|Life Love and Chickens in the Blue Ridge Mountains|
So I recently de winterized the ladies coop. Not too much has happened in the last few months.
I am glad I did not heat the coop over the winter because the birds are accustomed to the weather now and aren't phased by cold temps. They also laid all winter without any additional light source!
I will sum up a long story to pass along some good information...due to a pit bull attack -(only feathers were lost) the girls were locked up a lot while we attempted to catch the dogs in a live trap. During this Roxanne took her frustrations out on Frenchy plucking her head bald.
So what has really helped is Blu-Kote. It's a spray on wound disinfectant. It turns everything purple (including your hands so wear gloves). It's really good at hiding blood which is important because once blood is drawn on a chicken then the pecking gets worse. This has protected Frenchy's head and now feather growth is starting again.
So, I learned that Roxanne has an overblown sense of her own importance and Frenchy is definitely at the bottom of the pecking order. I read that to correct this bad behavior Rox needed to be removed from the flock for at least 3 days.
First, I locked her in a large pet carrier, but there wasn't enough room to lay. I went soft and let her out after a day and that night she laid two eggs at once, one of which was deformed and gooey.
Then we tried to keep her in a fenced in area in our backyard but she flew over the 6 foot enclosure. So, I've given up for the moment. If she gets worse I will buy a bigger dog cage and confine her.
She's been given a good talking to and for better or worse I'm letting them all out despite the lack of fence and lurking dogs...