Two of my twelve chickens are White-Crested Black Polish chickens. When I first saw them at farm store back in March, I was fascinated with how they looked.
I picked them from the straight-run bin, meaning they had not been sexed, and I knew this meant I had a 50%/50% chance of getting a rooster.
They were absolutely adorable when they were babies and were always visiting children's favorites because of their funny, little puff-ball heads (Dot is on the roost, Pip is below the roost):
As they have gotten older, they have been healthy and, for the most part, seemed to fit in well with the others, although, in the picture below, you can see that Dot's wall-staring began quite early:
It became clear a few weeks ago, when bright red wattles started to grow from the sides of Pippi's face that Pippi is a rooster:
I used to think that Dot was a roo, due to her odd behavior and rapid feather growth, but it's pretty clear that Pippi now needs to be called Pip.
Pip is a very hardy bird and isn't easily frightened (unlike Dot), but when I'm not looking, someone is pecking the crap out of poor Pip. I'm growing very concerned. I spend a LOT of time with my chickens and haven't been able to see anyone looking even sideways at him, so I can't figure out who is doing it. And I can't figure out why he doesn't run away.
Warning: If you are easily disturbed by chicken-on-chicken brutality, look away for this next photo:
At first it was just a few feathers, but now the damage is starting to go down the back side of his itty-bitty bird head. The purple tinge to the outlying feathers that you see in the picture above is from the Blu-Kote antiseptic and the "Pick-No-More" solution I have been daubing him with, both of which are supposed to dissuade the pecking. Neither appears to be doing any good.
Pip needs a helmet.
If you recall the book Runaway Ralph, by Beverly Cleary, you'll remember how Ralph fashioned himself a motorcycle helmet from an old ping-pong ball. Something like this is what I have in mind for my Pip:
But until I figure out how to make a chicken helmet, he's going to have to continue to run around with a smelly, purple head:
Poor guy. It'll be hard for him to get anywhere with the ladies looking like this.