I'm just one of those people that worries about everything. Right now my mind is on our little white hen. She's always been picked on by our brown hen and rooster. We even had to keep her in a dog crate in the laundry room for over 4 months last year because the rooster was a little too fiesty with giving her lovin' and she had lost most of the feathers on her back.
If you know anything about chickens you know that if there is any sign of injury or weakness, there's a good chance the other chickens will pick on that chicken - some times to death. So we had her in our laundry room for a long time. After a few months we started thinking the feathers were never going to grow back, but luckily she finally went through molting (shedding old and growing new) and her back and upper wings filled out with feathers again.
They've all been happily exploring the back yard, scratching at the dirt, eating bugs and enjoying the random treats we give them, together, for at least 6 months now. There have been times when I see the other two being rude, but no blood shed. Until today when I got a call from Blaine about how he saw some blood back there and the white chicken didn't look good. When I got home I scooped her up (sounds a lot easier than it is) after a little fight with the rooster after which I locked him in the coop on a time out. I took a damp cloth to her feathers, she actually smelled like blood, but I couldn't find much of a wound.
So I guess we'll go back to being that family with one lone chicken in the laundry room. I keep telling Blaine we should buy her chicken diapers and have her live indoors. I realize that sounds insane, but come on, an indoor chicken? Hilarious.
Meanwhile, we'll be setting up a dog crate in there (again) until she is no longer bloody or has any speck of an injury or else the other chickens won't stop. And I'll be brainstorming ways to figure all of this out. My thoughts are we either need to get more chickens (preferred) or get rid of the rooster. I refuse to give him to someone who will eat, fight or kill him so that's a toughie.
Why did we think having chickens was going to be easy?