In the days before we got our new rooster, we had seven hens and a turkey. The turkey was the boss. It was an unwritten rule in the coop. She never had to actually fight for her authority. She just gave the hens one look and that was all it took. They simply decided to not mess with a bird twice their size.
Before the turkey moved in, the hens often battled for who was queen. But now with a clear winner at the helm, the battling had stopped and they all lived in harmony with the turkey at the lead.
We had never had a rooster in the coop before. And when we introduced him to the rest of the hens, he was young… and we still thought he might be a hen. But, eventually, it became clear he was definitely not…
Once he came into his full “roosterhood,” things started to change around the coop. The old maid hens took to fighting him. While the two new hens that were raised with him as chicks clung to him like glue. There was a lot of chaos, but eventually the hens took to accepting him as their “man” and fell in line. Things calmed down and once again there was harmony.
Then, one day… civil war broke out. We are not sure what set them off, but the rooster and the turkey had decided it was time to decide who was really in charge. The first battle was bloody and the turkey was the clear winner. We had to actually separate her from the flock for a few days to get her to stop attacking him.
However, she didn’t want to be separated. She had grown accustomed to living in the chicken coop and wasn’t happy anywhere we tried to put her. We finally decided to give it another try.
This time, there were many more little battles. We kept them out on the pasture all day so they could separate from each other as much as they needed. We were going to let nature play it out.
Eventually the testosterone won out and the turkey conceded. So, the final winner was the rooster and he now totally runs the roost. Once again, there is harmony.