Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hen Pecked

WARNING!!  Pictures that follow in this post may be disturbing to some.  View at your own discretion.  

With the hens getting moved over into the big coop, there is a certain amount of discourse to be expected in the flock.  They all battle for the pecking order and who will be top bird.  That is a fact of chicken ownership.  And just like dealing with pasty butt when they were peeps, one has to deal with the aftermath of the pecking.  I had noticed that one new hen was pretty beat up yesterday, but I did not have anything to put on her wounds.  I send my Hubby and Son to the store today to get some spray for them.  The boys brought home this stuff:
It sprays on purple and is an antiseptic so it should help with healing the birds while camouflaging the wounds.  Chickens are crazy about anything that resembles raw meat and will go nuts pecking and pecking and pecking at it.  I suspect the rooster for inflicting most of the damage.
This spray is handy to have on hand.  I should have had some way before this time but pecking was really not that big of a problem with my previous 2 flocks.  I set out to the coop in my snazzy insulated purple boots.
I took some before pictures of the beat up hens.  THESE ARE GRAPHIC.  Fair warning.

I took my time and caught each hen one by one and calmed her down.  I held her down with one hand and sprayed the raw area with the spray then released her...moving on to the next one.  One poor hen had a hole pecked clear through her skin into her back muscle.  I sprayed her extra good but it would not surprise me if she did not make it.  Hopefully she will.
I sprayed 3 or four hens total and they were pretty cooperative about it all.  Now I have a purple hand.  I did not realize this would stain my hand just as it did the hens.  I thought it would wash off with soap and water......nope.  Not even using hand cleaner with pumice.....
Some have a green thumb... I have a purple thumb.  Lesson learned....wear gloves when spraying this stuff!!

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