Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

Pinless Peepers

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cruella is one unhappy chicken right now.  As the unrepentant instigator of the feather plucking that is plaguing the flock, she was the first to be fitted with the pinless peeper last night.
She's a handsome Barred Rock, isn't she? And oh-not-so-happy with us right now.
I bought a pack of 5 of these from Ebay for just a couple of bucks, so it's worth a try to see if we can break the girls from their bad habit.  These are made of hard plastic and, if you look at the pic to the right, you can see that they have small prongs that fit into the birds nostrils to keep the peepers in place.  The larger areas block the bird from seeing forward - they are essentially blinders for chickens, much like the blinders that they put on race horses to keep them from seeing to the side. The idea is that they won't be able to see the other hens' feathers and pluck them out.

They're a little difficult to put on, and I suspect softening them in a little hot water would have made it easier.  It's definitely a two-person job, with one person holding the chicken still while the other puts the peeper on.  Having done this, I can now say that I never noticed that chickens have such big nostrils.

After we got it on and set Cruella down, she immediately tried to get it off by shaking her head and kicking it off with her feet.  Those prongs hold it firmly in place, however, and she wasn't successful.

She was successful in making me feel like I was being mean to her, though.  I was very concerned that this was hurting her and I wanted to make sure that she could still see to eat and drink, so J. and I spent quite a bit of time with them while they free ranged.  She is able to see - she just has to turn her head a little more than usual.  Other than that, her new pince-nez doesn't appear to be causing her any pain and she went about her chicken business as usual.  She was able to fly up on the roost without any issues when it was bedtime. 

And, yes, I couldn't resist having a little bit of fun with this with the addition of some stick-on googly eyes.  I think the eyelashes add a certain something also, don't you?

Before you call me a meanie, I'll tell you that we removed the eyes right after I took this picture so Cruella's dignity is still intact.  The pinless peeper will stay, however, for several months and then we'll see if she has given up her penchant for featherpicking.

I've shared this post with this week's Barn Hop, Rural Thursdays, and Farmgirl Friday hops.


  1. What will they think of next! This is hilarious! I hope it works for you. By the way, I think you should have left the googly eyes on, lol. I found you through Monday's Homestead Barn Hop at The Prairie Homestead.

  2. LOL, and she can still peck and eat? Wow, what next....

  3. Bwaaahaaahaaa :) Put the eyes back on, definitely!

    Hope it works!

  4. Well I have a feather puller but I do not know who the feather puller is. If I can let the hens free range a better part of the day they seem to leave each other along. Fox attacks keep them in the run morning hours while I am at work. Also found if I keep a flock block that somewhat helps also. The eyes are hilarious!

  5. That is TOO funny! I hope it works and she stops picking on the others. Great name, by the way.
    visiting via Rural Thursday Blog Hop.

  6. She's a beautiful hen. That last shot is so funny.

  7. Oh good grief -- this is too funny! When we rural folks are left to our own devices for humor... Lol!

  8. Thank you for the best laugh I've had since I started my chicken misadventure... going to order these today and the aftermarket eyeballs too!

  9. Too cute...I just had to pin it on Pinterest!

  10. do we have an update? did these work to stop the feather picker?


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