Wednesday, November 28, 2012


On Monday I realized that I could no longer ignore how LadyHawk has been picked on by her flock mates. Her poor little rear, devoid of feathers, and openly bleeding was a fright. It was clear I had to do something.
Could I confine her within sight of the others and give her a chance to recover while (hopefully) breaking the pattern of abuse? Unfortunately, we have had night temperatures in the low teens and I worried that she wouldn't be warm enough without the body heat of the others during sleep. What to do?

I decided to set up an infirmary inside of the chicken house. I put the dog crate in a cozy corner, stuffing extra bedding around and inside, and giving her a wicker box to nest in. Putting a lid on the crate keeps the others from sitting above her and soiling her area. Because of the cold temperatures I've had to check her water a few times a day, but I had been doing that anyway so they wouldn't be drinking water near freezing. 

Phoebie enjoying a dust bath
Minerva and The Big Guy enjoying fresh warm water
enjoying a sunflower seed treat in the sunshine

This morning is sunny with almost no wind. You can see that everyone looked grand and though LadyHawk is vocalizing her discontent at being confined, she looks better, too. The forecast for the week ahead is milder nights which will help also. Any idea how long it takes to break chickens of a habit?? 


  1. Poor LadyHawk! I once had a hen that picked on the other one. I was advised to keep them separate by day and together in the roost at night. It took a couple of weeks but in the end they grew to love each other! I have heard that you can by a chicken saddle to protect hens from over enthusiastic cockerels but it is also used to protect the hen from being pecked from the other girls. Maybe something like that would help? I am glad to see the girls enjoying the sunshine!

  2. Hi Sharon! Your chickens are really lucky having you as a "mum"! ...I think LadyHawk will appreciated what you're doing for her! Hope her feather will grow out soon, to keep her warm! :)

  3. Oh, poor LadyHawk!!
    Everyone else looks very happy - hope LadyHawk grows out her feathers soon, and that absence will make the others' hearts grow fonder!!
    I thought having two cats was a challenge!! :)