A Place for Everyone and Everyone in Their Place


Here are the sheep……….
Here are the goats………
Here are the dogs…….
Annabelle is spending most of the daytime now in the yard because she’s overturning furniture, spilling dogfood, chewing on everything she can chew on, and generally creating havoc on the porch. Her porch time has been reduced to bedtime on her blankie with Coco.

Annabelle hasn’t figured out yet that there is no mingling between barnyard cliques.
Coco has to rescue her when she makes a mistake and gets too close to Clover.
Ahh, that’s better. Just two dogs……….
……doing their doggie thing. Glad we got that straightened out.

The chickens and the ducks don’t mix it up any more than they have to, either. Mean Rooster update–yesterday, I tried to collect eggs and he attacked me. I’ve been collecting the eggs they lay on the floor, just leaving the ones in the nesting box where they’ve been laying for the past couple of weeks. I’ve tried showing Mean Rooster who’s the boss but it’s not working. Yesterday, I didn’t even get close to the eggs. He flew at me and pecked my knee so hard, it nearly made my cry. He drew blood through my pants. I ran out of the chicken house, eggless.

I crept back a little while later. I wanted those eggs on the floor!

But I was afraid to go in again. Mean Rooster was waiting for me at the chicken house door.
A hen was sitting there, probably getting ready to lay another egg, and there were still a couple of other eggs on the floor.
There was a mob of chickens surrounding one of the eggs.
A mob of chickens seemingly bent on destroying it.
Anybody ever seen anything like this? These chickens were in an absolute snit about this egg, crowding around it, pecking at it.
If I’d tried to get near that egg, I think Mean Rooster would have killed me.

I’ve been thinking it might be because it was her egg.
I’m not positive it was a duck egg, but I think it was. For the past few days I’ve been finding a big white egg on the floor that I think is a duck egg. Would chickens try to destroy duck eggs? Are they making a statement about whose house it is, after all? No (More) Ducks Allowed! Or are my chickens just psychotic?

Cuz I’m kinda special that way……
I get all the crazy ones!!!


  1. shannon says:

    that’s….gross? hysterical? not funny at all? i dunno, i’m a city girl, don’t know nuthin’ ’bout eggs and ducks and mean roosters! nothing dull goin’ on around your place, that’s for sure :moo:

  2. CindyP says:

    Oh my!! I have absolutely no clue on any of this… maybe you need to get hold of all the animal whisperers you can find and get to the bottom of all this!!

    Or maybe they’re just happy spring is here, too, and going all crazy for a bit before they settle back down to their normal selves? Ok, maybe not… but you may want to hold off on those miniature donkeys for a minute — they’re a little stubborn and could very well conspire with the others very easily!

  3. Cece says:

    I love the way Annabelle thinks she is a dog. LOL That is so cute. I have no earthly idea about the egg thing, but you know just watching some animal behavior it wouldn’t suprise me that one animal would try to get rid of another animal’s eggs. I would have a very hard to going back into the chicken house with such a mean Rooster, they really scare me. Hope your knee is feeling better today.


  4. Heidi533 says:

    It sounds like Mr.mean rooster needs to be stewed. At this point it’s unlikely he’s going to improve his manners.

    As for the egg issue, my chickens see any egg on the floor of the coop as food. They don’t bother the ones in the nest though.

  5. Kathy Hathcock says:

    Take a word of advice from someone raised on a farm and has dealt with a mean rooster. You need to send him out into the woods or have him for Sunday dinner. If you can’t bring yourself to eat him, load him up and take him to a flea market and trade for another rooster. One that likes people. It has just been my experience, once turned this way, that old rooster will never change his ways.

  6. flowerthread says:

    Suzanne get some oyster shell I think it is to feed to the chickens.I am thinking that may stop them from eating their eggs..

  7. LisaTwo says:

    Our mean rooster just got sent to freezer camp and he wasn’t even mean to people, just other chickens. My husband and kids said he was delicious. I cooked him, but I couldn’t eat him. Fine farmer I am. Stupid Rooster.

  8. lisa says:

    When my big rooster starting getting testy I took to bringing a leaf rake (an old one with the super flexable tines) in the pen with me.
    I had to wack him with it a couple of times and now he knows that the one with the rake is not to be messed with!
    He waits until I leave the pen and shut the gate and then he charges the gate and crows loudly to let everyone know that he chased me away!
    I tell him he’s a big dork.

  9. Kate says:

    What a nasty guy, that rooster is. Someone needs to learn some manners!

  10. Fencepost says:

    Maybe you could set up some kind of nest or nesting box on the :chicken: floor and see if they recognize it as a nest and leave it alone.
    Never seen that before.
    But I know all about those attacking roosters! :help:

  11. Sheila Z says:

    Domestic livestock needs to be culled for aggression towards humans. A case of don’t bite the hand (or the leg) that feeds you. If you can’t face eating him, then cook him up and feed him to the dogs.

    To catch him without getting yourself hurt wear gloves and get a chicken hook to grab him by the legs. Then it’s either off with the head, or pawn him off on someone else, who will end up having to do the deed. No one could or should put up with his behavior.

    Pecking at eggs, not good. Once they get a taste for eggs often they will keep eating them. My sister had one hen was eating eggs every day. She could tell it was only one. The dirty bird was the only one had egg yolk on her face every day. I told her to get some oyster shell and see if it gave them enough calcium to make the shells thicker, thus harder to peck through. If that didn’t work I was going to butcher the hen. No point in having layers that are eating the goods. Lucky for the hen she quit eating eggs. The shells were noticeably thicker and I think harder to peck through. Either that or it solved some calcium/mineral deficiency and the hen no longer felt the need to eat eggs.

    So glad for Annabelle that she has Coco to hang with. Life for bummer lambs can be tough without a friend and protector. I WANT ONE OF COCO’S PUPPIES!s…….as long as they aren’t rat babies.

  12. labanan says:

    Hi Dolly! hmmm…I think that rooster needs to go to freezer camp. That’ll larn him. As to the eggs on the floor – I agree with one of your other letter writers – you leave them and they get any idea that they are worth eating – they’ll eat them. I’m also wondering about the eggs you’ve left in the nest. Do you have a broody hen? If not they’ll just go bad. Sometimes folks make a special brood house where the hen is not let off the eggs too much – just for a bit of a trip out to the yard and a sip and a snack and then back in. Of course if you have a fiercely broody hen that is not a problem. Good luck with all this. Love your pics. We have snow AGAIN and lots of it. I’m going into the kitchen in a minute to make my lovely hens and my sweet rooster – John Wayne -(who is identical in looks to yours but NICE) some nice hot oatmeal. They’re Scottish – at least in my mind. Later…

  13. Reggie Girl says:

    What an awesome blog you have going here…….I love it!!
    I don’t remember which other blog I followed you from (I’m really forgetful) but I’m so glad that I did and will definately be back 🙂
    If you have a moment or two of your life that you’d care to waste, please visit me at my blog.
    Take good care and……….

    Steady On
    Reggie Girl

  14. Kathryn says:

    Wow! Clover is giving you some serious stink-eye there!

    I think that is a duck egg, and the chickens are gonna kill it. You might want to think about a duck house sometime down the road. And, I agree. Chickens think anything on the floor is food. Some added calcium in their diet might help, but an egg on the floor is food.

    If you can’t carry in a broom to swish away that stinking rooster, then eat him.

  15. Ang. says:

    Yes, eating eggs can turn into a nasty habit. Go to backyardchickens.com and do a search about how to curb that habit.

    The egg that you think is a duck egg should be fairly easy to figure out. Does the shell feel slightly waxy? Crack it open. Are the shell and membrane thicker than a chicken egg? If you answer yes to these questions, you have a duck egg. They are awesome for baking!

    Good luck with the rooster. I would beat the living tar out of him. If he still came after me, he would be soup.

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Yes, they are are a bit waxy, that’s why I thought they were duck eggs (plus they are a little bigger and white–I’ve had ducks before and they look like duck eggs to me).

      I have been saving eggshells from baking and drying them out then crumbling them to give back to them, also they are on layer feed. They don’t attack any of the other eggs on the floor, only these particular (duck) eggs.

  16. Mary says:

    We raise chickens and I have two warnings for you –

    1. Our “Bad Rooster” (a huge Rhode Island Red) ended up attacking a neighbor’s 4 year old child who had to go to the hospital for stitches much too close to her eye. Kill it. Kill it now. (We’ve had better luck with Banty roosters – smaller, nice, the hens like him.)

    2. If the hens eat eggs, that’s a really bad habit, and our hens will peck eggs right in the nesting boxes too if they get a taste for eggs. In addition to providing more calcium in some way (oyster shell), you can save the eggshells from the eggs you use, dry them out really good (we hang them in a chicken wire “bag” on the side of the coop), then crush them and spread them with the feed. One other trick you could try that has worked well for us is to put golf balls in the nesting boxes (and on the floor for your non-nest box chicken(s)). They aren’t that bright. If they peck the golf ball a few times, they get more wary about pecking the eggs. (But if an egg cracks at all, they’re all over it.) Don’t let them eat eggs ever if you can help it.

    Love your blog.

  17. Mim says:

    Have you tried giving the mean rooster a swift kick? If you are opposed to that, take a broom in with you. I’m quite sure he will start getting the idea of who is in charge if you knock him silly a few times. If that doesn’t work you may have to make the hard decision of him becoming Sunday dinner!

  18. Kacey says:

    Two words. Rooster Stew. (and it cracks me up that Annabelle thinks she’s a dog…)

  19. epon4 says:

    Lots of good advice here. I gotta agree on the roo. He’s gotta go. 🙁 But no all big roos are mean. Mine started to bully the hens and banty roo for a while, but he’s doing a lot better now that the pecking order has been figured out. And he has never gone after a human.

    In a way I’m hoping the batch of chicks I get in will have mean roos. It will make the butchering process a tad bit easier!

    Is there any way you (or 18 or 52) can make a separate duck house this spring? It looks like there is little hope for ducklings at this rate.

    Good luck.

  20. Remudamom says:

    Kill the roo. He’ll end up hurting someone.

    You have to stop the egg eating. It progresses to them eating newly hatched chicks. I know because it happened to us. Really nasty to see hens fighting over a chick because they want to eat it.

  21. Taryn says:

    A friend of mine who has had chickens all her life said the presence of a rooster can make all the hens a little nuts (isn’t that true for all species!) The oyster shell thing really worked for saving my eggs, the hens ate a few eggs, got the oyster shell, then completely quit. I have 2 Rhode Islands reds, 2 Barred Rock, 2 Americaunas, 2 black sex link, and 1 Buff Orpington (hawk got the other one). We just were given 2 black chicks (“Are those black sex link babies?” “…what do you WANT them to be?” “You don’t know, do you?” “No, no I don’t.”) 2 white chicks (Same conversation, switching “leghorn” for “black sex link,”) and two real Leghorns and one more Americauna. I know, we are chicken nuts. I am hoping the unknown babies are Marans! They have super dark brown eggs, and I love the color.

  22. Mrs. Kretzmeier says:

    Actually….it appears they have taken to eating eggs, which can be fairly common with chickens. I have heard that you aren’t supposed to ever feed them your egg shells so as to not encourage this. Supposedly, once it starts…it starts.

    Mrs. K

    P.S. I think you may need to drop kick the rooster (right into the noodle pot. Apparently, he doesn’t understand the pecking order…literally!)

  23. Barbie says:

    We had a Plymouth Rock rooster just like yours. He didn’t bother my hubby, but terrorized the kids and me. He came after me and I whacked him on the head with a piece of firewood and down he went. I wasn’t sure how I was going to tell hubby that I killed his favorite bird, oops! But wait, that darn rooster got up a couple of hours later like nothing had happened. He still went after the kids and me. Grandma cooked him.

  24. Christine says:

    Well, obviously it’s alien egg that must be destroyed. :dancingmonster: 😆 I would suggest maybe a small dog house or something for the ducks to lay in. And encourage your chickens to lay in their nests. (make sure you have at least 1 nest for every 4 hens and the nests are up off the ground and there is a fake egg in each one.)Sounds like they’ve already got a bad habit of laying of the floor though that might be hard to break.

  25. M Kellogg says:

    You may want to get the old rooster trained to what happens when he attacks you when you are carrying a really big stick.

    We had “Barney” the rooster (looked just like yours) and we would whack him in the head when he started getting all mean and aggressive towards us. He’ll learn real quick what that big ole stick means. My Husband ruled that roost, believe me!

  26. Linda says:

    Annabelle is really growing and I see she still has her tail. I hope it comes off soon. Sounds like you have a real problem with the chickens. Who knew they could be so much trouble. I think you need to take a broom to that mean Roo.

  27. MissyinWV says:

    Could it be a bad egg?????

  28. Senta says:

    I think the general consensus is a nice golden rooster. Remember Cold Mountain when Ruby said, “I can’t bide no floggin Rooster.” I like the idea of a rake or broom at first. My ornery angle here in Montana had to get stitches from a rooster too. I think she just raises crazy animals though. :chef:

  29. Paulette says:

    When I was a kid we rented a farmhouse in France in the country while my dad was stationed there in the Army…our landlord and landlady gave my sister and I chicks one Easter. One grew into a horror…just like your rooster. Mean, mean. We delighted in having a Sunday chicken dinner one summer day. It didn’t bother any of us to eat him.

  30. Claudia says:

    Sounds like your duck is laying eggs as well. Daphne, our black Indian Runner Duck lays a big greyish egg on the floor every morning. I leave hay on the floor for her but she does not make a nest and isn’t broody at all. I agree with the other posts…. I’d be finding a good recipe for that rooster!


  31. trish says:

    I can’t believe how big Anabelle is already. Why do the have to grow up??? I love them as babies.

    To everyone here….I don’t think Suzanne could hurt an animal. Hitting the rooster is probably not something she would ever think of. I don’t know you, but you seem to be a very nice person. Of course, a couple of knee boo boo’s might change your mind. :cowsleep:

  32. Nancy in Atlanta says:

    I’m so sorry about your pecked knee! This city girl is going to repeat the slogan that’s showing up in several comments: Kill the Roo! I have no qualms about eating chicken. I always thought gathering eggs was a pleasant, charming country treat. You need to get back to that!

    Love Annabelle and Coco together. I wonder if Annabelle will ever realize she’s a sheep, not a dog? And I see Honey’s horns have grown out really well…I know he was debudded, but tell him I think they make him very handsome. :sheep:

  33. Gail says:

    Our rooster gets a nice bucket of cold water dumped on him.That and a leaf rake keep him manageable. Love to see Annabelle and Coco together. Isn’t it heatwarming to see the bond they have with one

  34. Katharina says:

    Invite a neighbor over to help you kill and butcher your first rooster! I had a friend’s grandmother come to my place and she killed my surplus roosters and taught me how to clean and butcher them. Granny grew up during the Great Depression so she happily took all the chicken feet and heads home (for soup she explained) with a complete butchered chicken as payment. I didn’t eat the other roosters, but my husband did.

    Time to give your duckies their own place. I know they’ll love their pond.

  35. Christy O says:

    I’m with everyone else here, time for chicken and dumplings. I’ve got a bantam roo that is gentle as can be and takes good care of the girls. Plus, he isn’t nearly as loud as a full size rooster.

  36. KCRanch says:

    Hi Suzeanne,
    If I remember correctly you already dry your egg shells and feed them to the chickens as suppliment for calcium. I was doing this as well but for some reason my girls started pecking and eating their eggs.
    I stopped providing the dried shells and now my eggs are surviving – they no longer are eating them.
    I have also gotten the oyster shells before for my first group of hens and they seemed good with those as well – they are a bit pricier though.
    For this group I have stopped feeding any shells and all is well.

    As for the rooster – take a pie tin to the coup with you and if he comes near wave it in front of him. He will likely frighten away. If not a straw broom should do the trick to wisk him away from you.
    Good luck and thanks for the great site and humor you provide on a daily basis.

  37. Holly says:

    The business end of a broom handle will take care of the rooster. It may require more than one whack, but eventually they get the idea. I always went into the chicken yard with the stick out in front of me after I had applied the justice a couple of times. Their beady little eyes will zero in on that to fight with instead of coming at your leg. I know this sounds harsh, but the roosters are there to take care of their girls so it can be better than eating him. Good luck.

  38. Heidi says:

    One of our roosters decided to have a go at me this weekend and drew blood, he met the side of my boot. He later on tried coming at me again – so I chased him. I told him anymore of that and he would be in the pot (fortunately we are far back from the road as I must have looked pretty silly chasing and talking to my chickens). He hasn’t done it since!

    We have ducks and chickens sharing a house too, the duck eggs are waxy. We haven’t had problems with the chickens trying to eat the duck eggs, but I did see one chicken push a duck egg out of the nest box!

    Like a few people have said though, I have read that once chickens start eating eggs it can become a real problem, and that putting fake eggs or golf balls in the nest can discourage them.

  39. catslady says:

    I don’t have a clue but it seems like you’re getting some good advice (although sometimes conflicting lol). I do remember my mom telling stories of being terrorized by roosters when she had to collect the eggs. I also remember her saying that my grandfather would wring its neck and hang it up for the blood to go to it’s head ewwwwwwwww. A lot of us are so far away from real food sources that we’d probably have to go vegetarian before killing and eating our own food (or be starving of course).

  40. Kara S says:

    I have to repeat what Trish (#33) said – I can’t believe how big Annabelle is! She’s growing up quickly!

    Just a suggestion, if you can catch the mean rooster and don’t want to put him in the pot, take him to the Spencer Livestock Mkt on Friday night. You can make a few dollars off of him – probably $3 or $4 – and get a new rooster. Just don’t buy all the other cute critters that are there. :purpleflower:

  41. Kathy says:

    I love Coco and Annabelle together! As for the big fat meanie rooster, I couldn’t kill him. I’m just a pansy that way. I would try tossing him across the pen a few times with a rack or broom as suggested by others, not a whack or a hit, just a scoop/toss. Learning some mad hockey skills may be in order! I can just picture you as a fully dressed goalie going in to get the eggs! Good Luck!

  42. Kathy says:

    :snoopy: Sorry I meant a rake or broom!

  43. Shirley says:

    I don’t know about the co habitation of the ducks and chickens either, but, if that were my rooster, he’d be a floatin in a pot of dumplins.

    Or, I’d get me a big dip net and catch him everytime I needed to gather eggs. Then whilst I had him caught, I’d clip his spurs and his beak.

    The other option is a baseball bat.

    I grew up on a farm, got no special place in my heart for mean roosters or hateful hens either.

  44. Estella says:

    The rooster has to go. He could seriously injure someone.

  45. Winifred says:

    Those pictures are great. Annabelle has maybe been a doggie in another life!

    Don’t know how you stand that rotten rooster. What a little swine.

  46. Sheryl says:

    My chickens go after any eggs on the floor too, but don’t bother the ones in the nest.

    That’s just too cute that Annabelle thinks she’s a dog!

    I want one of Coco’s puppies too! I’d love to work out a trade of some kind. Want some paintings of your beloved sheep, goats and dogs? Charcoals of your kids? All of the above? What’ll it take to get one of Coco’s registered puppies? Seriouisly. Have you found homes for them all? I know you haven’t even mated her yet…
    She’s just such a great dog!


  47. Sheryl says:

    But only if they’re pure Great Pyranees! Here’s hoping there’s no accident with the little local fella down the street.

  48. monica says:

    I think I would have to side my vote with the roo for dinner–pecks can be nasty for infection. A tasty dinner of roo, or a dinner on the run because somebody needs stitches and spent the night in the ER. They are not very expensive and you already have a couple of other roosters that seem ready to perform the duties.

    You really must check out the joke in the forum section (I think “joke of the day”.
    I really must ask: Is Annabelle going to be Easter Dinner or is she to be a pet? I think I am getting attached! :sheepjump:

  49. Tressa says:

    3 words:
    chicken noodle soup

  50. Ginger Wolf says:

    I cannot imagine a duck would voluntarily get into the middle of chickens and lay an egg. Hens and Roosters will eat themselves if you let them loose around a bar b qued chicken, or scraps of cut up chicken for that matter. Get rid of your rooster, he’s only protecting the hens and future babies. I had one I called Raper Roy, vicious bird, and always terrorizing the girls. Your hens will be fine, or better without him, unless of course you want fertilized eggs, and scarred legs. He is pretty, though.

  51. Cranberry says:

    Yea, girls I just don’t agree with actually hitting an animal, get it over with and cut his head off and eat him with some good gravy but don’t hurt him, he’s a chicken after all and he’s a rooster – they protect their mamas and get carried away. We are the smarter species, right?! :duck:

  52. Debi says:

    Mean Rooster needs to go into the stew pot!
    As to the eating of the egg, My girls will do this if one gets crcked or broken. They just love a fresh egg. Thier own or someone elses doesn’t matter. Stupid birds. :chicken:

  53. Lola-Dawn says:

    Don’t let them start pecking eggs! Once they get into the habit, it’s a very bad thing! Do your chickens get oyster shell? The extra calcium in oyster shell generally cuts down the egg-pecking. I recommend a good sturdy broom or shovel or boot for Mean Rooster (okay, send those weenie city pet cops after me now). When he comes at ya, give him a good solid whack ot kick. He may THINK he rules the roost, but he must submit to the HEAD HUMAN! We had a nasty Leghorn rooster one year. It took several whacks and he just wouldn’t get the message. Finally one morning, he attacked my leg and ran my last pair of good stockings … I was picking up eggs before leaving for church … and he promptly found himself in the soup pot! My kids cheered. They hated that mean rooster. He tasted darned fine with dumplings, and we never kept Leghorns again.

  54. Pony Girl says:

    I love the pictures in this post! I am sorry that mean old rooster attacked you. Scary! They are small, but boy, they pack a punch, eh? I am glad you posted what kind of camera that you use on your sidebar. I am thinking of getting a new camera, a Canon! I was looking at the Canon Powershot SX10 IS. I think that is similar to yours? Can you let me know what your opinion on either is (I think the one I mentioned is considered an “ultra zoom.”) Thanks!

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Hi, Pony Girl! I really don’t know anything about the SX10 IS, but if it’s anything like mine, it’ll be great! I only know about mine. It sounds like it’s probably like my camera but with a better zoom since it’s in the same model series.

  55. lola falana says:

    Suzanne, you’re a bigger chicken than that rooster is!!! :chicken:

  56. Shelley Savage says:

    I enjoyed your interview on NPR. Will share your blog with friends. :dancingmonster: :snoopy:

  57. Sarah Brewer says:

    Funny stuff. I had a mean rooster, and I always wore knee high rubber boots around the birds.

  58. Elisha says:

    Hello just to let you know the chickens will attack any egg that gets brocken open they will look like crazy birds! I allways throw the eggs that are just to dirty down on the ground for my chickens. try giving them your overripe tomatoes or watermellon rind they go crazy for that too. oh and you may want to eat that rooster!LOL

  59. Ginger says:

    I have 5 chickens, 4 ducks and 2 turkeys in my coop. I feed them the crushed oyster shells they know when they need the calcium. Mine have never ate an egg even if it left on the floor. All my birds even share the same nest even mamma turkey. I have a khaki campbell her eggs are large and white.Cayuga and a mutt female all laying eggs and the duck eggs are really smooth compared to chicken eggs if you look at each egg you will be able to tell the difference. And eat that rooster!

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