Things have not got any better with Speckles and in fact it has got much worse. I am giving serious thought to re-homing Peaches and Barley with Moira but we have been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to talk to her yet.
Every time Speckles gets some pins through on her head and her bottom they are pulled out again and recently her head and her bottom have both looked red and sore. She is also getting a bare neck and has feathers going from her back too.
It actually looks worse than the photos because they don’t show how red her skin looks and because of her black and white feathers its difficult to show in a photo how bad she is looking.
She spends time trying to keep away from the other girls and while having a dust bath at the furthest part of the run she didn’t even come to the patio for the lunch time apple. Also her and Emerald perched out in the run one evening at bedtime which they haven’t done since we have had the chicken shed. I had to pick them up and put them in.
It’s not just Speckles that is victim to Peaches and Barley either. They chase the three amigos, Cinnamon in particular, mercilessly. They have taken to pinning Cinnamon to the ground which is awful to see. They also grab her by the feathers on her back and she is looking a bit tatty now. They keep her away from the food and water and they keep her out of the nest boxes.
To cap it all a few days ago Cinnamon was drinking water from the bottle at the top of the ladder and Barley ran up the ladder and chased her down. I have been giving it a lot of thought and I really think the flock would be happier without these two.
Last year they were plucking Butterscotch and because I really didn’t want to part with them I took Butterscotch to Moira thinking that she would have a happier life there and that the problem would end there.
With hind sight that was probably a mistake on my part but I couldn’t bear to think of letting Peaches and Barley go. Now it’s becoming unbearable and is spoiling the harmony of the flock and spoiling my enjoyment of the flock.
I think they may actually be better off in a larger, free range, space. They have had three years with me and now perhaps it is time for them to be in an environment that may suit them better.
I think with just Speckles and Emerald and the little girls the flock would be happily balanced again. The smaller number may work better and the balance of little girls would make their life so much better. I feel sorry for Speckles but I feel equally sorry for poor little Cinnamon.
I have been struggling with this decision but as I watch what is happening with the flock it is becoming more obvious that something needs to be done. I will have a chat to Moira soon.