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Rosie’s Pecked Head-Bottom of Pecking Order

7 June 2010

Rosie is balding. She’s been been getting the feathers picked off her head for some time now. Poor Rosie. She is at the bottom of the pecking order. She is also an annoying glutton, grabbing the tastiest of treats, ducking, and running away with them. See “Rosie” on Six Hens. In frustration, the other hens will peck her head, but Rosie stands her ground, treat in beak, and an absence of feathers on her head.

Chickens can be vicious. They eat meat when it is available and will practice cannibalism at times. When a flockmate is injured, other chickens will continously pick at the wound. So far, they have not drawn blood on Rosie’s head so I’ve been able to ignore the behavior.

"Pick-No-More Lotion"

In Farm Supply they sell “Rooster Booster, Pick-No-More Lotion” for $12.99. “Gads,” I thought when I picked it up, “Rosie is only worth about $20 as a laying hen! Am I really going to spend $12.99 for an ointment made to keep chickens from eating each other alive? Of course I am.”

Ointment being applied to Rosie's head

“Rooster Booster” has aloe vera and calendula for healing, and coal tar to discourage roosters from pecking the heads of their “victims”. Growing up, the old neighbor, Mr. Light, just put a glob of hot tar on the head of  chickens with peck wounds. On the label of “Rooster Booster” it says, “Not for human Use”. What are they talking about? I can’t think of any situation that would warrant “Rooster Booster”  being applied to a human!

Rosie has had two applications applied to her head thus far. I’m hoping that if the others hens will stop picking at her, the feathers on her head will grow back. I have no hope for her gluttonous behavior. That’s just Rosie.

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2 Comments to “Rosie’s Pecked Head-Bottom of Pecking Order”

  1. Can you tell me if the Rooster Booster on your hen? I am having the same problem and would be interested in trying. thanks Jim Papin, Cincinnati, Ohio

  2. Are you asking me if the Rooster Booster worked to stop the hens from pecking Rosie’s head, Jim? Yes, it did. It covered the bald spot with a sticky goo and the hens “lightened up” on Rosie temporarily. It took forever for the feathers to grow back. When she finally molted, the feathers on her head grew back along with the other feathers. Did it cure the hen from picking on Rosie. No. Sadly, they were always after her. Sigh……..

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