am writing to let anyone with chickens know the horror i witnessed today in the hopes it will prevent any other chicken being injured this way. A farmer's wife i know was given 4 chickens several months ago for eggs. i have not visited untill today, and when i asked after her hens she told me only two were laying. One was broody, but the fourth had been pecked a bit by the others and wasn't laying. i told her i had some little bantams who would appreciate the company if this little one was being bullied, and we went to fetch her. when i picked her up it was clear no one had intervened in time, the entire top of her head was missing, right down to the skull cap which was completely exposed and clean of any flesh. The poor little thing could not walk properly and was obviously in distress. i told her she must destroy the chicken imediately and she has promissed her husband would get around to it. Obviously this injury has taken several weeks, considering there was no flesh or blood left on the head and the flesh around the eyes had turned gangrenous. This lady is not an intentionaly cruel person, she ignorantly assumed her chickens would 'sort things out' amongst themselves and never really paid attention to them day to day or picked them up to check them over. It is normal for chickens to have a pecking order and like people, they have their own social hierarchy, but please if you see a chicken bleeding, remove it from the rest of the flock and treat it. chickens will continue to peck at an exposed wound and the result can be horrific for the owner and fatal for the bird. sorry it's a gruesome post, but it upset me so much to see this poor animal suffer and i hope reading this will just remind anyone new to be vigilent with their animal's care.