Hen Pecked

We had our first case of picking among the chicks today. We have noticed them jostling for dominance lately, establishing the pecking order of the group, but this afternoon things went a little farther than it should have. Sometime between my afternoon visit and when I went down to take them some leftover greens after dinner, one of the White Wyandottes had a large bloody spot on her back and another one below her vent. I’ve seen them occasionally pulling at each other’s feathers during their little tiffs (which are never very bad), but I think today one of them actually pulled hard enough to dislodge an adult feather, resulting in some blood, which on her white feathers stood out like a beacon for the rest of them to pick at.

Needless to say, she has been removed from the group for the time being. The insect cage that the mantises recently vacated has been repurposed as an isolation cage. Luckily it’s just the right size to tuck into a corner of the brooder, meaning she can stay close to her friends (and the heat lamp) until she heals up.

Alan’s wondering why he can’t get in to those nice full bowls of food .

There was a bit of confusion while they all figured out why they couldn’t get in to that area of the brooder anymore (and why she couldn’t get out), but everyone has since calmed down and they are even managing to cuddle with her through the screen at naptime.
Hopefully she heals quickly and this is the last time we see anything like this for a while.

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