Poultry problems and purple patches 

Since we moved our feathered friends into their new 5 star pad a couple of months ago, and introduced 4 new girls to the coop, things have been somewhat….. unharmonious. We lost 2 of our older, smaller girls, Rolo & Beyonce, within a couple of weeks. After some close observation, we soon realised that Chickoletta was ruling the roost, but the way she was going about it was just downright nasty. The majority of our girls were getting pecked to pieces . She seems to have taken a disliking to everyone. They’ve mostly been pecked around their bottoms and are missing a lot of feathers.

We’ve used an antiseptic spray on them to soothe their sore bits but it’s bright purple! That’s meant to be less attractive to peck at, although it doesn’t seem to be working. Poor Bluebell has had it the worst. She’s lost all her beautiful tail feathers and the ones from the back of her head!

We researched online about chicken behaviour and tried all the suggestions, like making sure there’s always plenty of food and water available so there’s no fighting over it. Keeping them entertained, I went to our local community shop (a bit like a charity shop) and bought a mirror for them and even a xylophone believe it or not! Apparently, they peck at it to make music. Turns out ours are neither vain nor musical. After exhausting all our options and not having anywhere to keep her separate from the rest, we decided it was time to find Chickoletta a new home. I wondered if anyone would take her given her nature, but there’s nothing to say she’d be the same with some different friends. When she’s on her own she’s actually quite tame and happy to be handled. I put some feelers out a few days ago, and today Chickoletta has gone to live on a little farm called Forget me not Care farm. It’s a lovely little place attached to a garden centre not far from us. She’s been put in with some big girls so hopefully they’ll put her in her place. And now, fingers crossed, our remaining chicks will heal, grow some new feathers and start laying eggs again and live happily ever after.