A Book By It’s Cover

February 11, 2012

Yesterday, I had time to catch up with a chicken friend and chat for a while.   Of course, the conversation would not be complete without me asking about Dottie Speckles.  The thing I love about my friend, who has been keeping chickens for over 45 years, is that she has a huge heart for animals.  She rescues horses and often has a menagerie of roosters in need of new homes living among her and her beloved farm animals.  Her place is a sanctuary filled with warmth.

She told me that Dottie Speckles has now settled into her new home.  She is living with a few breeds including a pair of Polish and some Silkies.  She has ample space, six nesting boxes at various heights and roosts galore.  Yet now that she is comfortable in her new home, she is asserting her dominance.  The worst part, is that even with a change of scenery, change of flock and change of space, Dottie Speckles is still mean.  She deliberately is attacking chickens that are not even in her vicinity but in her field of vision.  She runs to them and attacks them for no apparent reasons.  She is pulling feathers from the Silkies.  She terrorizes them all.  My friends tells me she has never seen a hen behave this way or be so mean.

6 weeks
5 months

Unfortunately I’m can’t say that I am surprised.  We both agree that she is an incredibly beautiful hen and lays a lovely brown egg.  My friend says that she is going to keep her, yet possibly make some more adaptations to her living quarters.  For now, everyone can escape from her wrath.  I’m not quite sure what makes a hen this way.  I guess the reality is that just like with humans, this can and does happen in chickens.

8 months

I have met many beautiful people in my life like Dottie Speckles.  Yet, they have hearts of coal and ruthless personalities.  For no apparent reasons, they do their best to attack the innocent, prey on the weak and make others around them walk on eggshells.  I have also met people who appear at first plain and because of their personalities are some of the most beautiful people that I know.  I think my eight year old son said it best when I was relaying how Dottie Speckles is doing on the ride home from school yesterday, ” I guess,  it’s just like judging a book by it’s cover.  She’s a bully.  Don’t worry Mom, I get it.”  I never thought that I would have chickens help me to raise my children by sharing this sort of lesson.  I guess I was wrong.

Dottie Speckles will turn 1 year old April 10th.

Photo Credit:  Tilly’s Nest


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10 thoughts on “A Book By It’s Cover”

  1. I would very much like to pass this message along to my daughters and friends. I think God uses all His creatures the humble and the beautiful to teach us! Thank you for you for sharing this! Elyse Barrier

  2. Oh friends, you do not know how much your loving words of encouragement mean. It is so hard knowing that Dottie Speckles is not behaving and I can't be there to help. There might be a light at the end of the tunnel even if she doesn't work out here. The doors may be closing on her, but I think God might just have opened a window.

  3. Thank you for sharing news on Dottie Speckles–she's such a beautiful hen, it's a shame that her behavior doesn't match her appearance. It's amazing the range or personalities that hens can have. I have a chicken that has been a bit of a bully lately. I find it comforting to know that I'm not alone in having this problem.


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Sharing an inspired life from the New England seaside. Chickens, Bees, Gardens, Art and Yummy Goodness.