Friday, February 4, 2011

Hannibal the Cannibal!!!

Brad, front and center!

Hi all,
Brad, Alpha Rooster, here with today’s blog about Hannibal the Cannibal, our Rhode Island Hen!

I’m sure many of you have heard about Hannibal the Cannibal, well you are right in drawing the link between this repulsive behavior and this hen!!!  I know she looks pretty innocent and blends in with the other hens quite well, BUT she has a horrible secret...she EATS EGGS!

She plays it straight 95% of the time, scratching around for food like the rest of us but when she thinks the coast is clear, she makes her move.   She jumps up to the nesting boxes and acts like she’s just looking for a good place to roost for a while but in reality, she is meticulously picking through the fresh shredded paper looking for eggs.  She then moves the eggs to the back corner where she can hide behind her beautifully full tail and promptly begins to peck like crazy at the egg until it breaks and she can feed in unabashed abandon.

It makes me crazy to see her destroy the wonderful work of all my lovely ladies.  Those could’ve been chicks, though I’m not sure since our human collects them twice daily, taking them someplace mysterious.  Our human, Renee, takes very good care of us, providing fresh bedding every  day, food twice a day, a fenced yard to keep the varmints out at night and a big pasture to roam in during the day.  She even sits with us in the coop, practicing being a chicken.  Strange human!
"The Hen House"

She’s pretty cool, as far as humans go but boy, was she mad at Hannibal yesterday when she caught the cannibal pecking at the eggs!  Renee grabbed Hannibal roughly around the body, yanking her out of the nesting box.  Hannibal is lucky she didn’t get a wing broken!  Once Renee got her out of the box and tucked under her arm, she gave that hen a piece of her mind!!!  Those eggs bring in money to buy us food for the winter when the weather doesn’t permit us to scratch outside for it.  Apparently, the cost of corn and soybeans has been going up and electricity is expensive, as she keeps a wonderful heat lamp on to keep us comfortable and keep our water unfrozen.  Luckily, she doesn’t have to buy us bedding due to the recycled, shredded paper she uses for our nests and floor, but still - those eggs Hannibal ate was like burning money to Renee and that’s not good!

After Hannibal got her lecture, Renee put her down and shushed her out of the coop and went on to finish cleaning, feeding and watering all of us animals before heading off to teach kids all day.  As Renee was leaving the coop, I realized that she forgot to grab the eggs that she had saved from that naughty hen!  Oh, no!
Sure enough, as soon as Renee left our yard, Hannibal hopped back into the nesting box and went right to work pecking at those eggs.  There must have been at least 14 in the box but by the time she finished, there were only three!  When Renee came back to do evening chores and realized what had happened, she was angry!  Hannibal’s a clever fox though, and made sure she was hanging out with the other Rhode Island Red hens so Renee couldn’t be sure which one was the “real” cannibal.  I’m sure Renee will figure this out and then Hannibal might discover a new path in life.

That’s all for today.  Those of you who have hens, watch out for the “cannibals” in the flock.  They are sneaky and if the other hens discover this trick, you’ll never find any eggs.

Best of luck to all you humans.  Until next time,
Alpha Male of “The Hen House”
Prize winning Mediterranean Rooster

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