An Update on Betty White

by - January 13, 2018

I spoke to someone at The Urban Chicken about how to tell if the bullying has gone to far. Obviously if there is bleeding, the bird needs to be separated as chickens are drawn to the color red and would potentially peck it to death. The other dangerous sign is if the bird stays off by herself. This would mean the chicken has been rejected by the flock and it isn't trying to rejoin. The fence divider in the run only lasted a day and a half because I was curious how Betty would do after spending a day with Luna. She was eating and moving around well, so I figured, why not? Not only was Betty quick to find great hiding spots, she would eventually come back out and peck around with the others. Luna and Betty seem to have bonded. Typically when the door to the run is opened up, all five of the original flock will come running out to free range the yard. The past two days, Luna has stayed behind in the run with Betty. Luna's crest makes it hard for her to see and keep up with the rest of the flock, so maybe having a fellow Silkie behind takes off the pressure for her to follow along.  

This morning the Silkies looked as if they might leave the run to forage, so I was patiently waiting to see, but then Ruby charged Betty and chased her out into the azaleas. Ruby, the sweet girl who used to jump onto my lap, it a total jerk. 

A week ago I trimmed the feathers around Betty's eyes so she could see better to eat and avoid conflict with the hens. The feathers are starting to grow back out. I'm still moving her up into the coop a couple times during the day and then at bedtime, but she's coming out of the coop on her own. She will eventually catch on. I'm still supplementing her feeding with mash by tube before bed just to fill up her crop in case she didn't get enough during the day. Her crop has stayed pretty flat when I'm not supplementing her diet.

With the rest of the flock in the yard, the Silkies are at ease looking for treats in the run. 

Best of all, our living room no longer smells like chicken poo. Sure, it smells like other things, but Betty is not the culprit. 

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