When good chickens go bad, backyard chicken farmers pull out the Pick No More

Well, I had to pull out the Rooster Booster Pick No More tonight after I watched Mrs. Wiggins plucking the feathers out of Ethel’s head. I mean, literally, she was pulling Ethel’s feathers so hard she was dragging her across the Camp Cluck exercise yard.

When I checked my poor Ethel, I noticed she had stiff feather shafts on her head without feathers. Oh rats. She’s been getting beat up.

Once the chickens draw blood, they’re ruthless, and they’ll peck the other poor chicken to death. So I need to take care of this asap before I end up going out one morning to find a dead bird in my coop.

That’s why Joyce suggested I keep some Pick No More on hand; if someone started pecking we could stop it before it got too bad.

Here’s how it works: you put the Pick No More lotion on the spot on the chicken where she’s getting pecked. When the other chickens go to peck again, they get a taste of something icky and yucky and don’t go back for more.

So right now, Ethel has a bunch of Pick No More on her head and I’m going to keep checking on her to  make sure they don’t start pecking somewhere else.

I don’t know what got into Mrs. Wiggins. She’s never been aggressive. In fact, if someone was going to pick on another hen, I would have expected it to be Coco or Aunt Bea. Mrs. Wiggins pretty much hangs in the coop all day with Lucy and Ethel.

I wonder if it has to do with food. Lately, when I go out in the morning, Aunt Bea, Coco, and Mrs. Beasley are pressed against the door ready to go out. They go right to the “snack pan” where I’ve been giving them some corn and they wait. So I started giving them regular feed in the pan. Now they like breakfast al fresco.

There’s still food and corn in the coop, but I’ve noticed that as the weather is getting warmer, Mrs. Wiggins, Lucy and Ethel are coming outside more often. I wonder if they’ve started eating from the snack pan, too, and that’s why she’s getting picked on. She and Lucy have always been the low chicks on the totem pole, so if they’re trying to scarf down some of the other girls’ food, there might be retaliation.

If they keep it up, I may have to separate Lucy and Ethel into their own coop and run. Which of course just about gave David a heart attack. He said, “I’m not building any more coops.”

On another note, Aunt Bea laid another egg tonight. Literally, tonight. At around 6 PM. I think she has her internal clock wound backwards.

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