Pinless Peepers for Pecking Chickens

He LOOKS harmless, settling in for a nice dirt bath.  He wouldn't be harmless without those peepers.

He LOOKS harmless, settling in for a nice dirt bath. He wouldn’t be harmless without those peepers.

To me, one of the most confusing things about being a newbie chicken owner is the vast amount of information, much of it conflicting, available to me on the Internet.  Seems like everyone’s got their own opinion on how big the coop MUST be, how to brood the chicks, what kind of feed to use – it goes on and on.

I’m not an expert, but after owning chickens for a while and spending vast quantities of time reading about owning chickens, I have developed some opinions of my own.  I will share one of them now!

I have a recommendation if you, like me, have a chicken that is aggressive and picks feathers off the others.  It’s no fun to see one of your sweeties being picked on, sometimes to the point of bloodiness.  When it first happened in my flock I was determined to stop the behavior, but couldn’t find a clear answer on what to do.

Should I apply a stop-pick ointment?  Change feed?  Isolate the offending chicken? Isolate the offended chicken?  Give the flock more room to roam?  Give them some entertainment because they’re bored?  Have them wear aprons or saddles? (Please not that solution – looks too silly to me!) Re-home or even KILL the meanie?

AAUGH!

Or, maybe none of the above. I used pinless peepers on the offending chickens, and they WORKED.  Pinless peepers are little plastic gadgets that attach to a chicken’s head with prongs that fit inside their nostrils. They work because a chicken can’t peck what a chicken can’t see, and pinless peepers prevent the chicken from seeing what’s in front of it.  They can still see to the side – they have no problems eating or drinking or doing all the other things chickens do.

I got pinless peepers a little over a year ago when Maude started pecking the butt feathers off most of the other hens.  (I wrote about that adventure here on Just The Right Things.)

We added the eyeballs.  Nice touch, don't ya think?

We added the eyeballs. Nice touch, don’t ya think?

For some reason I didn’t think of them immediately when Liberty started goin’ all crazy with the hens.  But I put the peepers on him and the drama in the barnyard has reduced dramatically.

Which way did they go?

Which way did they go?

He still has his way with the ladies.  Louise is still terrified of him.  But her feathers are growing back in and the other hens are leaving her alone as well.

Back of the neck - growing in nicely.  Throat and chest - taking a little longer.

Back of the neck and top of the head – growing in nicely. Throat and chest – taking a little longer.

Putting pinless peepers on the offenders takes a few minutes, is easy to do and is harmless to the chicken.  Some retailers suggest a tool to help get them on, but we soaked ours for a few minutes in warm water to make the plastic more pliable and that worked great.  A helper to hold the chicken is advisable.  You can get them at EggCartons.com

I’d certainly suggest trying peepers on a chicken before, say, KILLING IT.   Slightly less dramatic, don’t ya think?

Louise has a bodyguard now!

Louise has a bodyguard now!

(Shared at the Clever Chicks Blog HopHomestead Barn HopBackyard Farming Connection HopDown Home Blog HopThe HomeAcre Hop,  Farm Girl Blog FestFarmgirl Friday Blog Hop, Farm Fun Friday and The Ole’ Saturday Homesteading Trading Post!)

Comments

  1. I love the peerless peepers because they make Joan’s chickens look goofy.
    Nancy recently posted…The Eyes Have It

  2. Found my way to you via Tilly’s Nest. So from one chicken mama to another “hello” and I love that Pig! How cute. Have a great day.

  3. I’ve heard of these, but never tried them. Back when we first had our pullets they pecked each other like crazy. I used blu-kote and it didn’t work. I wish I would have had the peepers back then! They all looked so horrible with bare backs, and some even had their butt fluff pecked off! It was insane.
    Tammy/Our Neck of the Woods recently posted…Happy Birthday Cake Pops

  4. *giggle* these are awesome! I might need to get some for my big roo.

    ~L

  5. Your blog post could not have come at a better time. I have a big problem with picking in my youngest flock. We have tried everything even removing the offending chickens and tonight we applied blue lotion to all of the bare bottoms because even though we removed the offending chickens the bad habit had already gotten picked up. Thank you so much I am going to look into getting these! Thanks so much for linking up to “The Ole’ Saturday Homesteading Trading Post” blog hop this week. I so hope you join us again next week!

  6. I love the pinless peepers. I almost got some last fall, but I gave the culprit away instead. I wish I had tried them. It’s nice to know they do work. If I have the need again I will be sure to try them instead of giving away my hen. Thanks for sharing your experience using them.
    Heidi- WWSF & My Simple Country Living blogs recently posted…Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop #97

  7. And they look hysterical :) Thanks for sharing this on The HomeAcre Hop!!! Can’t wait to see what you share this coming Thursday :) Here’s the super easy link to the next hop!
    http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/2013/02/the-homeacre-hop-8.html

    If you haven’t checked out Wildcrafing Wednesday yet, please do! :) It’s a hop I co-host for herbal remedies, natural living, real food recipes, and self sufficient living. Here’s the link for tomorrow’s hop:
    http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/2013/02/wildcrafting-wednesday-10.html
    Lisa Lynn recently posted…Let’s Say Goodbye to Winter

  8. Hi, this is great information I once had a pecking hen and this would have come in handy for sure. Come on over to Hibiscus House I have highlighted this post! Thanks for linking up Dolly
    Link:http://hibiscushouse1.blogspot.com/2013/03/farmgirl-friday-blog-hop-98.html

  9. Thank you, Joan — I’m going to take the plunge. Lil’White has plucked her last feather off of Lucy, by golly.
    lauren recently posted…The Four Nuggets

  10. Thank you for the post, Joan! I just got some peepers for my bully gold-laced wyandotte, Skittle. She hates the peepers, but if she wants to stick around and keep being spoiled at my place, she’s gotta quit picking on everybody else! Beautiful blog you have! Thanks again.
    Kira recently posted…Fuzzy Fall Squirrel Book

  11. Joan, I LOVE that bodyguard photo.
    lauren scheuer recently posted…Torture

Speak Your Mind

*

CommentLuv badge