Archive for May 3rd, 2022

Diary #618

Years ago, I worked out a system to stop older hens from pecking pullets to death, and it worked fine up until this year.  The sapphire gems I got last year have proven to be more aggressive than any other hens I’ve ever had; they simply wouldn’t stop viciously going after the pullets, despite my precautions.  Nor was it limited to only one of the pullets; all three have been bloodied, but after an especially-vicious attack last week I was forced to put the little ones back into the nursery in order to protect them.  If you want to see, enlarge the picture and look at the back of the middle one’s neck; it was originally much uglier, because this is after several days of my putting antibiotic salve on the wound.  The one on the right has a less serious wound atop her head, and the one which looks unharmed was severely pecked in her anal area when she tried to escape by going into a gap in the wall that had no other way out.  Next week, I plan to let them out and put the blues into the cage for several weeks, then let those out one at a time to see if the behavior resumes (and cull the offenders if it does; I can’t have hens that try to kill every new arrival).  I don’t plan to buy any more of the breed in the future, and if you keep chickens my advice is you don’t, either.  They’re attractive, healthy birds, but the small brown eggs they lay aren’t worth this kind of trouble when I could have some nice white leghorns or Rhode Island reds.

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