Anyone order a semi-plucked chicken?

March 13, 2009 § Leave a comment

Poor Poppy. She certainly never does anything by halves.

Monday night she was looking a bit thin in feather coverage, with a slightly bald patch on her back and some missing petticoats.

poppy-unzippedTuesday morning it was most of her back bald, and a scruffy looking tail.

Tuesday night, it was a bare back, missing wing feathers and no feathers at all on her bum. Quite obscene. We tried to Smurf her, but that just gave her the willies (I think because it made everything feel cold and wrong) and sent her running around as though we’d tried to amputate something. Which made the the others start flapping and running and squawking and pecking.

When we got her calmed down a bit we decided to put her in the broody coop – at least overnight, and if it came to the worst, until she was feathered up again.

Wednesday morning was … well, a bit startling. She was now even balder – most of the wing coverts gone, and down to her last five tail feathers. We gave her some time in the orchard with the others, to stop her from fretting and them from forgetting who she was. It was ok, but Lily did peck her a couple of times. And with no feathers on her back at all, it broke the skin.

semi-plucked-poppyThursday you could see her getting annoyed with the way her wing feathers were sticking out at all sorts of odd angles. So she spent a lot of time preening, but every time she did even more feathers came out! And she couldn’t even have proper cuddle time – there’s just nowhere to stroke her that a/ doesn’t remove more feathers and b/ is nice to touch (for either of us).

Today (Friday) she’s just lost her last two tail feathers, and is down to a couple of flights and patches of fluff. Trust me, it’s worse than it looks in the photo. But the new feathers are bolting along, so hopefully she’ll feather up quickly. But at the moment she looks like the result of a drunken one-night-stand between a plucked buzzard and a long-legged hedgehog …

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