True stories of a small flock of remarkable individuals -- and other critters.



Thursday, November 14, 2013

Torture

This was an extreme measure.


Let me explain.  
Lil'White had been pecking brutally at Lucy's neck. 
Lucy's neck feathers were all gone, and any new ones that emerged were promptly tweezed by Lil'White. 

This had been going on for months. It was horrible to watch.  
I tried everything I could think of to stop this behavior. I knew that Lil'White would create a bloody wound if she were allowed to continue.

With all options exhausted, I broke down and ordered "Pinless Peepers", a little pince-nez designed to prevent a bird from pecking flock mates while still allowing the bird to eat and drink.  

I had hoped for pink ones.  They sent blue ones. 

With a bit of a struggle, I placed the Peepers on Lil'White's beak, clipping them into her nostrils.
Lil'White would have thrown this brick at my head if she could have. 
She was livid.

But the Peepers worked. The Lucy-plucking subsided, and after a few days Lil'White seemed to adjust somewhat to the contraption. 

It took about a month for Lucy to transform from scraggly
back to glorious.   
But at what cost?    
I felt I had only transferred the torture of one bird to the torture of another. 

And Lil'White continued to despise me -- more than she ever did, if that's even possible. 
There had to be a better solution. 

19 comments:

  1. Three words: Lock your doors!
    Lil' White is coming after you...can't wait to read the next segment in this saga!

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  2. great story - reminds me of the dog collars that keep them from chewing on sore places...tell them they look very fashionable - maybe that will make them feel better huh!

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  3. Oh my! I can't wait to hear what happens!!

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  4. I'm giggling too!!! Can't wait for part two!

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  5. Maybe if you chop one side off of the blinders. Hmm.

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  6. We had to do the same thing but our chicken was pecking at more than one of the others. They were so tortured that they quit laying and so did the attacker. We had her wear the pin less peepers for about 3 weeks and then took them off. We haven't had problems since and they all starting laying again until of course they molted.

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  7. Gah...! Cliff-hanger! ;) Keep the stories comin'. We love em'!

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  8. I love hearing about your chickens!

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  9. Love this post! I used a smaller ring-type contraption. Bullying is rampant isn't it?

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  10. Eeek! I've heard of these pinless peepers but never used them myself. Can't wait to hear the next installment :)

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  11. Ohhh goodness! Poor Lucy - what does Lil White expect???
    Please tell . . . . .

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  12. I too await the next instalment. My girls feather pick since one of my hens died and now it seems to be an affectionate habit (so not bullying like your girl) but they seem to enjoy it while dust bathing and cuddling up at dusk. This makes it a hard habit to break and it does spoil their looks but doesn't bother them. I can't use peepers or separation as it's communal. I can't wait to see if you have an answer as I have tried everything.

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  13. Those peepers work like magic, don't they? Lil'White will forgive and forget!

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  14. My girls and I love reading your blog. So funny and we love the pictures you draw!

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  15. Ooo! I hope you slept with one eye open and listened for wee chicken feetsas in the night!

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  16. Hello, my name is Amie and I am 8. I really like your book, Once Upon a Flock. Can you please write another book about your chickens. I also really like the blog. I have chickens too, you can read about them on my mama's blog, blog.bolandbol.com. One of my chickens died a couple of days ago. I am getting three new chicks this Spring.

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  17. I love all the girls, and suddenly my two cats hissing at each other doesn't look so bad. Your stories, drawings and pictures priceless as usual. ~ Cheryl Elliot

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