I thought it was time for a Bianca update. She was the hen I took to the vet when she was laying soft shelled eggs and feeling rather sorry for herself.S
he was also at the bottom of the pecking order and had bald patches where the others had been pecking her.
Bianca was put on a course of antibiotic tablets by the vet which, while enormous, were surprisingly easy to administer if I grabbed her as soon as she came out of the coop in the morning. She perked up and started to lay more healthy eggs which was a great sign. They were even back to their extra large dimensions.
What has been most pleasing to see is that all her feathers have grown back. We had been so used to seeing her rather “strimmed” plumage that we had forgotten how pretty her feathers are – they have lovely cappuccino flecks on them.
I don’t know why they’ve suddenly grown back. It was fast too, noticeable day to day. Some of it may have coincided with the annual moult when chickens lose their feathers before new ones grow back. Buffy and Blanche seemed to be shedding tail feathers all over the place.
I think some of it has to do with the demise of Amber. She was the pecking ring leader: if the others took a dust bath she would try to peck the tiny pieces of grit off their backs and then started to pull the feathers apart. That soon led to whole feather pulling. By then the other hens had started to peck too. Buffy still does but not enough, it seems, to do any real damage.
Bianca is a dear little chook: first out of the coop in the morning and very inquisitive. She’s also very vocal and once she winds herself up into a flap of indignation she can’t stop!