All the new chickens are currently okay. Blanca, in particular, seems a bit traumatized by her new surroundings, as well as the heat. She and Babette stay in the cool shelter a lot. But, she seems better today.
The little hens have a lot of shade and fresh water, so they should be fine.
Billie Idyl is by far the smallest. I should probably have asked Gene to pick out the largest of the Brabanters. I noticed yesterday morning that the others had been pecking on her, as chickens naturally do (source of the term pecking order). Billie’s tail area was bloody, which worried me.
I wondered if I should separate her in the original chicken house, like I did the chicks. But, clearly that wouldn’t fix the problem. Maybe a deterrent would be better.
So, the nephew looked up what could stop hens from pecking and found a recipe or two. We combined two of them and mixed this:
- Lemon essential oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- Small amount of Dawn detergent (in lieu of blue food coloring, which we didn’t have)
We think the blue was so you could tell where you applied it. But Dawn might help clean the wounds. We put it all in a cool old oil dispenser he’d found in an antique shop.
The resulting product was just right for spraying. Now, cornering Billie to spray her butt was no easy task, so the stuff got in a few other spots, but did hit her injured areas. We were worried it would attract ants or bees, but apparently the lemon oil repelled them. Whew.
Today, there is no sign of new pecking or injury. There are no ants on her, either. Billie is running around eating, drinking, and scratching most cheerfully. Hooray for the chicken butt medicine.