Rosie our bantam Australorp is our top hen but she still refuses to sleep on the perch and prefers nestling into the shavings on the floor of the house. The last few nights I have seen her settling down for the night inside the nest box - a behaviour I don't want to encourage, so I have blocked the nest boxes up for now and will leave it like that until they start laying again.
It seems strange that she doesn't want to be up higher than the others. It is also a bit of a shame, as Bizzy Lizzy our Scots Dumpy has lately taken to pecking at the feet of the other hens so that they jump off the perch and tries to have the whole thing all to herself. Once it is dark I go back out and pop Whitey Didee back onto the perch - by that time it is too dark for B.Lizzy to defend anything. I've even seen her sharpening her beak on the concrete - much like a carving knife is sharpened before ...eek. When she pecks food out of my hand it always hurts but no blood has been drawn - so far.
We are still keeping an eye on Whitey Didee. I let her sleep with the others at night but in the day she gets put into the isolation area so that the other two can't peck at her wound. I do let her out with the others but only if I am out there, and I use a long bamboo stick to hover over her tail so that the other two are deterred from showing any interest. She does seem to be knocking off some scab every day with her preening, which just causes bleeding. The vet has said the next step could be a bucket collar but at the moment we are just trying to keep her clean and not bored.
Everyone is moulting at the moment, and it is so funny!
|Whitey Didee, all scruffy and bald|