Zelda: Black Australorp
Week by Week Photos
Our Black Australorp, Zelda, is an intelligent bird, you can see it in her eyes and how she regards you. She is friendly in an aloof manner and mutters using a low voice. Zelda is very competitive when eating and often growls like a dog to assert herself over the other chickens for what she thinks is her food or treat.
She has reliably been laying light red-brown eggs just about everyday, and has many times laid eggs that are incredibly large and have double yolks! She seems to be or wants to be the highest in the pecking order as she is a bird of large stature and has the personality to be in charge. Our Buff Orpington, Star, and our Cuckoo Marans, Queue, are both about the same size or bigger than Zelda, however they are much too sweet in personality to run the flock.
At six months of age, we are dealing with Zelda acting out aggressively towards our White Leghorn, Marshmallow. It is possible this is to establish pecking order, or even because Marshmallow is the only white chicken in our flock. We have noticed repeatedly how the hens group together by feather color and Marshmallow is somewhat left out as she is no longer a pale yellow chick, but white. Her other pale yellow chick mates were Star and Apricot, whom have also changed color dramatically.
We plan to install a separate fenced-in area just for Zelda so that she can still be outside to free range, but is separated from the flock and Marshmallow. We’ll monitor her behavior and try to reintroduce her to the flock, or see if there is another chicken or two that she will get along with that can join her for company.
This is not at all what we had expected from the flock and hope that a time out will help to calm her down and are wondering if it may also be related to her hormones and egg laying, or if she may be going temporarily broody? Will give it time to resolve and then go from there but hope she can rejoin the flock instead of having a separate living space!
An Update: After three days of keeping Zelda separated either in the coop or free ranging by herself, we were able to reintroduce her to the flock without consequence to Marshmallow.
Photos of Zelda, Our Black Australorp
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