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eija

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  1. Yeah we'll give it a shot. If we can't solve it within a week, we probably will 😬🔥
  2. Yikes, I better get on that today then. Thanks Beantree. I first noticed them when I opened the maintenance door in the morning, which is where the end of the perch sits. There were 5-6 of them on the end. I covered it in DE and I haven't found any in that spot since. I've got some Smite spray, so I'll clean the whole thing out, coat it with that and some more DE. Hopefully we won't have to burn the coop 🤞
  3. How do you know if you have red mites? I found a bunch of teeny tiny black/ crimson round-looking bugs on the ceiling, walls and underneath the roofing felt of our chicken coop yesterday. Also found one on an egg today (photo below). I haven't found any castings yet and they seem to be equally dispersed rather than clumped together. I disposed of the roofing felt and they were all over it. I crushed a few on the walls, but no blood came out.
  4. We rescued 3 ex-cage hens 2 weeks ago, Spock (top of pecking order) [feathered] Donna (middle) [feathered] and Maurice (bottom) [featherless] Maurice arrived practically looking like a supermarket chicken, with just her wings and neck feathers in tact! Week 1 – Pecking order or brutality!? Spock immediately established dominance and Donna took the pecks calmly. But it was clear from day 2 that Maurice was going to have a hard time. Spock grabbed onto her tail feathers with her beak whenever she came within a 1-foot radius. Spock then backed off and Donna became (and remains) the most vicious, grabbing on to the part of the feather attached to Maurice's skin and pulling at it until she breaks away, constantly! It has been so upsetting to watch and I feel a sense of regret for going into this without fully understanding how mean they can be to each other! During the day, Maurice would stand around alone or go in circles trying access food 😭. We ended up adding several eating and drinking stations and used blue spray whenever spots of blood were drawn. When I'd open up the coop every morning, Maurice would be cornered in one of the nest boxes squealing, being pecked at by the other two. Or staring blankly at a wall in a kind of dissociative state. She began to refuse to go into the coop at night, trying to hide or perch under different things in the run, so we had to pick her up and place her in the coop (much to her displeasure). After 4 nights of this chaos and relentlessly rainy, zero-degree frosty weather, we decided to bring Maurice inside to roost so that she could get some peace, keep warm and conserve energy with such few feathers. Week 2 – Separate sleeping quarters, next steps? The weather has been so cold and rainy that we continued to keep Maurice inside – and her health has improved so much! She is sleeping so much more, has massive feather growth on her back and tail and is running around, perching on stumps and even snuggling up to us! It is clear that she has so much more energy and curiosity than before. She has been spending every day in the run with the other two since they all arrived and the general pecking has reduced. Spock now tolerates Maurice standing and eating within her proximity! However, Donna is still super aggressive and pecks at Maurice's tail area... seemingly for the fun of it? 😰 She seems intent on pushing her out of the flock. I've become very attached to (and protective of) Maurice, giving her lots of cuddles to keep her cosy and warm! Tonight she perched on me and snuggled under my arm and almost refused to get off and roost in her normal indoor spot! It is clear that she has had such a hard life and I would hate to cause her any more unnecessary stress or pain. As soon as the evening weather warms up (hopefully tomorrow!) we plan 🤞 to place her back in the coop at night with them after they've settled in to roost. We don't want her to get too attached to indoor sleeping, or to be sad all alone at night! Questions Would separating Donna (the main bully) for a few days help, or do we think that Maurice's frail appearance is the leading cause of the bullying? Should we build another coop for Maurice to sleep in and rescue a featherless friend for her? (we can only afford to keep 1 more hen, maximum) Should we continue to keep her separate at night until her feathers are fully regrown? Should we rehome her? 😥 Thank you so much in advance, it's been so stressful!

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