This is my pretty girl, Dot. She's a White-Crested Black Polish hen.
Look at that beautiful head of feathers:
This is how the hens of this breed are meant to look...a snow-white, fluffy head of feathers:
..and a touch of black brow feathers for stunning effect:
Dotty has always been my special gal. When you see her, it's evident that she is a bit... challenged. She's smaller, twitchier, and more excitable than the other hens. Sometimes she does really goofy things that attract the attention of the other hens. These behaviors started when she was barely more than a few weeks old (read about Dot's early months here.) I attribute these behaviors partially to her being a specialty breed and partially because she may have some developmental issues. Bottom line, though, this gal is different and chickens in general don't like different.
Unfortunately, I have already had to deal with a situation like this before. You may recall that Dot's brother, Pip, (read Pip's story here and here) was picked on by the hens, but then was also being beaten up by my dominant rooster, Roopert. Ultimately, Pip had to be rehomed.
So when I went to let the chickens out and found Dotty like this, I was horrified:
She had done so well, for so long, to avoid any pecking, I was shocked to see her:
I've heard that chickens will peck another chicken to death if blood is visible. I think the only thing that saved Dot was her flightiness and the fact that she only stands still when she roosts:
I couldn't tell yet how wounded she was, so I put her in the utility sink and washed her off as best I could. It wasn't as bad as I had feared:
Then I used some baby shampoo and a Q-tip:
..to clean her up a bit more:
Roxy, my pup, was worried about Dot (and why she was sitting in my lap on the bathroom floor). She really likes the chickens:
Now I could see the extent of the pecking. Those big mean hens of mine really did a number on her:
Sniff, sniff, sniff:
After all the excitement, Dot napped in my lap:
Then came the blowdryer. She didn't mind the noise at all and seemed to enjoy the warmth:
No damage to her eye, thankfully. Looks like just the hair follicles were pecked:
On the bright side, it kind of looks like she had a trim. She had been having a hard time seeing through all those feathers. Now she can see just fine:
She spent one night in the 5-star Critter Farm Chicken Hotel (a.k.a. dog carrier in the laundry room) with some special chicken vitamin water and a bowl of oatmeal mixed with layer feed:
And went back to the coop the next day.
Poor Dot. There's a reason those chickens books recommend not mixing specialty breeds with bigger, hardier breeds.