Young hen having feathers on head pecked off!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MissRaychel91, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. You definitely made a good choice doing that, even as hard as the physical labor is. I know what that kind of area is like. I swore that the area we first chose to clean up for our original coop was some burn pile trash barrel area in years past. We would clean up the area, and as soon as it rained, BAM, it had all this cr*p come peeking out of the dirt again... It took us FOREVER [it seemed] to get it all dug out and covered up!

    As for your original problem, here is an idea... Catch everyone else, one at a time, and trim their beaks to where they're less pointy and sharp. As long as you do it like you'd trim a dog or cat's claws, and stay away from the "pulp" in further, it won't hurt them a bit. Just use sharp fingernail/toenail clippers. That won't stop the bullying as much as stop it from causing injury.

    Also, you can help the little lady gain more pride in herself, so to speak*, by having her hold her head higher, and stand taller, around the others, as long as you're there physically helping her do so, and keeping the rest at bay while you do it. Just hold your fingers under her head, and gently put some upward pressure on her jaw, to have her hold her head higher. The physical action of being taller can help her feel less 'target' and more 'proud, pretty chicken'.

    Many people debate whether chickens have enough thought processes to have emotions such as pride or depression or love. As long as we remove the human aspect of it, they definitely, as far as I am concerned, have their own form of emotional processes. :old I have seen it in action. :thumbsup
    And, LOL, yes, I have been called a chicken whisperer! :lau

    (minor edit for typo)
  2. Well, the plastic bags on their own are bad enough - it takes a hundred years for them to fall apart into bits smaller than something critters can see and eat - unless they're in the water, where the tiny fish try to eat them, and die from starvation - and even then, they are toxic in a high enough quantity. As for the kitty litter, depending on the kind, it would likely have eventually composted down into dirt, if it had not been in the plastic bags.

    Then again, I detest plastic bags with a passion, so I may be a teensy bit prejudiced against them. *shrug* Either way, they should have been handled better than just being buried.
  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Well that stinks your run was that way. I'm sure you will end up finding more junk and debris over time as they dig around in there. A magnet on a stick works well. You can pick one of those up at Harbor Freight for around $8.00, they come in handy for picking up metal pieces.

    Adding more dirt or sand to the run would be good, but that is labor intensive and you may have to that over time. Something that could be added now would be straw, leaves and/pine needles.
    Birds love to have some loose soil to take dust baths, so you may want to at least loosen up some soil for them or add a tub of dirt/sand depending on how much space you have.
    Low perches added to the run allows them to get up and out of the way of each other.
    Mine like to perch and preen.

    Since you had a lot of debris in your run, I would inspect feet periodically for any cuts that may be turning into bumblefoot.
    Having plenty of space sometimes eliminates most problems, but sometimes some birds just don't get along either.
    Look forward to your photos.

  4. MissRaychel91

    MissRaychel91 Chirping

    Jul 15, 2018
    Do I need to file them after I clip them?
    And with holding her chin up, do you mean do it while every one is watching, for how long? And how many times?
    And im a firm believer that all animals have feelings and can love :love
    hispoptart likes this.
  5. MissRaychel91

    MissRaychel91 Chirping

    Jul 15, 2018

    Everyday they have dug up even more stuff, I mean I honestly don't know where it keeps coming from!
    Every single day I clean the entire run and coop out, but the next day there's debris everywhere again...
    We ordered a big pile of good dirt months ago and I've already filled in half, but I thought I was going to finish it a long time ago... and now the pile of dirt has weeds growing all over it!:he
    Im very slowly getting it in there.
    A magnet is a great idea!! We don't have a harbor freight though, but Maybe I could order it online.

    Every day I let them out for like half the day, they have a huge yard with lots of big 'bath tubs' that they made themselves lol. Plenty of grass and trees and bugs. All kinds of places to explore, and it is fenced in.
    Our rescue cat Tom actually sits with them and follows them around overseeing and protecting them. It's quite amazing.

    I put a large log right at the window so they can sit up and look over the low wall out side..
    You'll See what I mean in pictures..
    Do you happen to have any easy ideas for a low perch? I'm not the best builder
    I think they may just be bored. It's a great space, just nothing really in it yet, and there's SO MUCH that can be done in it!
    I'm about to upload some pics now!
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
    hispoptart and Shezadandy like this.
  6. Weeds are okay! They love them and bugs go with them so it's okay to put that sand in your run. In fact it's ok to put sand in your run one bucketful at a time. Also if you have grass elsewhere you can dig up a square of it and put it in the run for them to peck at.*

    I suspect the reason the kitty litter was buried was because the previous owner wasn't allowed to put it in the trash or she had to pay by the pound to have the trash hauled or she had to haul it to the dump herself. I ain't sayin' it's right but I understand.

    *i learned about this here.
  7. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Songster

    Sep 26, 2015
    Portland OR
  8. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Songster

    Sep 26, 2015
    Portland OR
    It's possible- but we've lived here for 6 years - have two indoor cats - and the litter goes to the trash which didn't have any issue. It's maddening to have plastic bags stuck in dirt, especially in clay where it's rock hard in the summer.
    hispoptart and Willowspirit like this.
  9. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Songster

    Sep 26, 2015
    Portland OR
    Usually if I clip a beak I'll give it a little file- not the nails, just the beak.
    The scissor-type cat claw trimmers work really well for this- loads of control- can take off very precise amounts with little risk of causing cracks.
    hispoptart and MissRaychel91 like this.
  10. SurferchickinSB

    SurferchickinSB Crowing

    Feb 23, 2018
    Don’t wait too long, because with that bald patch they can pick a big open spot in her head. Then you will have to separate them.

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