20 November

Animals Have Egos Too: Making Peace: Zip And The Formerly Imperious Hens. Maria Is Our Gandhi

by Jon Katz

Zip and the hens got off to a rocky start. Simply put, he ran them out of the yard where they used to hang out, not because he wanted to eat them, but because he wanted them to understand that he was the Imperious One, not them.

The hens, who had never been chased away in that way, were highly offended; they responded by going out into the pole barn and the back pastures during the day and staying out of Zip’s rapidly expanding territory. We miss seeing the hens in the yard.

We’ve only seen them recently when they come in at night to get to the roost. Zip has stopped chasing them, but they are still wary of him.

We pride ourselves here on being the Peaceable Kingdom; all the animals (Simon accepted) have always gotten along, so Maria set out to bring peace to these enormous animal egos. She brought some kibble for Zip and some cheese bits for the hens. Two of them ran off when Zip came close; the older hen held her ground and got her cheese.

We’ve done this before. It will take a few days, but Zip, who seems at ease now that he has taken over the farm, and the hens will learn to get along. Food and patience will do it, and there is no better animal peacemaker in the world than Maria. Stay tuned.

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