Poppy goes even more punk

July 2, 2008 § Leave a comment

Following advice from the people on BYP forum, we got some blue wound spray to cover Poppy’s naked skin (which is/was seriously yellow!) Because chooks can’t really see the colour blue, covering wounds or odd flashes of skin with a blue spray should make them less visible, or at least less peck-worthy, to other chickens. The hope was that we would be able to then put her back in with the others.

I covered the picnic table with the old blue towel/bedspread/cover thing, donned a pair of latex gloves, and tried to spray her.

A couple of points for future reference:

  • Chicken claws are much tougher than latex. (Note to self: buy more than one pair of gloves.)
  • Chickens don’t take kindly to the hissing sound made by pressurised spray.
  • Chickens really don’t do sitting still.
  • If something odd is happening behind them, chickens will turn around to see it.
  • Chickens can rotate their heads more than 260˚.

Got it done in the end. It’s quite possible that I had more blue spray on than she did. It certainly looked better on her than it did on me:

When it had dried (mostly), I tried to see if she could be put back in with the others. It started well – she had one imperious peck at Claire, which Claire accepted. But when I added Ella to the mix, the wheels fell off somewhat. Ella really chased her. Flat out around the orchard. No way was she going to let this weird bird slot in ahead of her in the pecking order! Bessie was also quite aggressive. The biggest surprise was Lily and Frida, who also came at her. Poor Poppy was an emotional wreck. Hurled herself into my arms and burrowed her head into my armpit, as though I was her mother-hen and she was hiding under my wings.

Not good.

Even worse – I locked up everyone else except Claire, thinking that at least this way she’d be able to have some company. Nup. Poppy did one little “I’m boss” peck which Claire initially accepted, then Claire changed her mind and also went after Poppy.

Oh [*@!].

Methinks this is not going to be at all easy. Right back to square one. No, even further back – she’s moulting; it’s freezing cold; and there are six other birds who want to have a go at her. Poor girl. Smurfed for nothing!

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