I witness bullying amongst the chickens.

“Stoppit! Stoppit!” I shout, as the big chickens peck furiously at the scrawny one.

I wave my arms in their direction. The big chickens skulk away. They are like all bullies, who are cowards and run away if you stand up to them, apart from the ones that were at my school.

I tramp off to see Short Tony, keeping an eye on the perpetrators as I leave.

“There is bullying in the henhouse,” I report to him. “The Light Sussexes were assaulting the small one with a wonky comb.”

“Samantha Sad?” replies Short Tony. He calls the weak, scrawny chicken ‘Samantha Sad.’ I think this might be contributing to its self-esteem issues.

“That’s the one,” I confirm. “No wonder it has been hiding in the henhouse all day. I lifted it out as I was a bit fed up with its insipid behaviour. But the other chickens just started attacking it.”

We consider this for a while. Chicken bullying is a problem that we have not faced before, and we are at a bit of a loss as to how to address it.

“I suppose I could get some posters made up,” ponders Short Tony. “To try to make them realise the pain that they are causing.”

“And to let them know that we have a zero-tolerance policy towards bullying in the henhouse,” I agree. “Either that, or we could shoot the smaller one and eat it.”

This is good. Nobody can say that we are not problem solvers. We have been faced with this difficult issue, and already we have come up with two excellent solutions.

“I will keep an eye on things,” I promise, as I take my leave. Bullying is not big and it is not clever, and being a chicken is no excuse.

23 Comments

  1. couldn’t install CCTV like they are in school’s these days?

  2. couldn’t you install aswell…… 2nd comment in over 5 years and still bugger it up!

  3. Counselling works, doesn’t it? How about tough love?

  4. You need a catchy slogan, such as “Cooperation is an Opportunity for Community and Kindness” or “Fierceness and Unjustness Can Kill!”

    May need a bit of work on the acronyms though.

  5. Sad Samanthas everywhere applaud (flap vigorously) your compassionate nature, Jonny.

    Also, a video montage of S.S. training at the gym, jumping rope, shadow-boxing, drinking raw eggs and smacking frozen beef with “Eye of the Tiger” thundering in the background is absolutely something you need to post.

  6. I saw this on the telly the other day, it’s very common with chickens, to wit ‘pecking order’. Compared with a hen-house, the average chav-laden inner-city secondary modern is a bit of a breeze apparently.

  7. Ah, comments remembered my brief alter-ego from the other day. I’m back to who I am.

  8. I detect the unhealed scars of your own childhood sufferings in your emotional response here, Jonny. Bit of a puzzler, as by no stretch of the imagination could you ever have been described as “scrawny”.

    Maybe you just possess a superpower of enhanced empathy for the sufferings of others. Yeah – let’s pretend it’s that…

  9. Or, you could add Samantha Sad’s drumsticks to your growing collection – although asking her to sign them first might be a bit cruel and unusual.

  10. Kill Samantha . . .
    but send Nick Mason the drumsticks 😉

  11. SS will turn. Our own hen-pecked bantam occasionally dashes out from hiding and stabs one of her bullies hard in the face and then dashes back – loud cheering is heard for miles around.

  12. Megan, problem – chickens can’t read long sentences. The posters would have to have two words, or even just one.

  13. Is your Samantha Sad a good layer? It seems I’ve heard somewhere before that if a chick wants to stay she has to lay.

    If she won’t produce don’t waste time and resources on sensitivity training. Just eat her.

    Wow. That sounds really dirty.

  14. Hm. I think they have been upset at her for hogging the nesting box. She may be broody, as well as scrawny and a non-layer.

    Still. That is no excuse for violence. A peaceful protest, yes, to highlight the issues. But it is always a few moronic chickens that spoil it for the rest.

  15. It needs some affirmation of its self-worth. Bring it into the house and feed it some cheese. Chickens love cheese.

    Are your chickens actually laying any eggs? We haven’t had any eggs for a week. I suspect they’re laying in some scratched-out nest somewhere, because two dozen chickens not laying for a week isn’t natural, even if they are moulting. I had to buy eggs. I haven’t bought eggs for twenty years, Expensive, eggs,

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  17. Play your banjo / drums etc at them. This should calm the masses.

  18. Ouch!!Did you get that? Play your banjo AT them…not To them! Harsh.

  19. What about breaking down the barriers with a regular coffee morning? All the chickens could come along and, to encourage conversation, bring something personal from their lives. They could talk about this thing. That would help build bridges and, I feel, ultimately lead to some surprising revelations which would foster a ‘belonging’ and help build a true community. *nods enthusiastically*

  20. No , no –
    The saying is-
    ‘music has charmes to sooth the savage beast ( or breast)’
    So go with the banjo . If that fails use it as a weapon.

  21. “The chickens that lay together
    Stay together!”

    This is easy to read and even a chicken could understand it. I suggest you get it printed up into a poster immediately.

  22. Dear Jonathon,

    Here’s a straight question for you – how do you like your sausage in the morning? More to the point, do you eat sausages at all?

    I’m planning to run a series of “Top Bloggers Guest Sausage Reviews” at RMS, would you be interested in taking up the frying pan and the laptop? No limitations or guidelines, or any of that stuff, you would have free rein to write and picture whatever you wish.

    Interested?

    *This is a cut and paste question to save me re-typing many times. Sorry for the lack of originality.

  23. For goodness sake eat the bully. Publicly!

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