Thursday, March 6, 2008

Growing, Gangling Peeps, and Solitary Confinement

The peeps are growing fast. They're not quite to the gawky teenager stage, but their wing feathers are growing in. This week they graduated from the big tote to the box from the new hot water heater. we cut the bottom out of the box and set it on a plastic sheet so that clean up will be easy (I hope).
The screen on top of the box discourages those who think they can fly out--they're already trying out those new feathers.
The little one below is in solitary because the others were pecking at her and made a raw place on her back. I put liquid band-aid on the wound and we separated her so her wound could heal. but she hates it! She spends all day pacing in front of the screen, crying to be back with the others.
I tried putting her back in with the others after the liquid band-aid dried. What happened? They immediately started pecking her again and she, poor thing, hunkered down and just took it. Who would think chicks could be so vicious? But this isn't unusual--I've raised several broods over the years and the weakest one is often attacked.
My hope is to get this one healed and strong so she can rejoin the flock. That may not be simple because there is a tendency to attack any bird considered a foreigner. I am gambling on the screen wire being enough of a divider to protect her while allowing her to remain familiar to the rest of the birds.


Anonymous said...

Yup, they are cannibalistic. Pigs, too! You can put a spot of paint on one and cause the same behavior. They peck at what is unfamiliar and they would have her dead in no time. The screen is perfect. Pigs will bite at other pigs tails and continue as the damage gets worse. Commercial pig operations clip the tails and teeth for this reason. Commercial bird operations clip the beak so far back that the bird nearly has to use its lower beak as a spoon. It is sad, but necessary.


Tiger Lady said...

Poor Girl! I am glad you did separate her when you did. I hope in time when she is no longer weak, they accept her.

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