Monday, December 20, 2010
A Chicken Story
I stepped out yesterday morning to go check my chickens and give them their morning treat. I get to the pen and everyone comes running for the cup of milo I have in my hand. Everyone but Neo that is, at first anyway. Once I get a handful on the ground she comes flying out of the coop to hide behind me with my randy little silkie rooster right behind her. Junior met the bottom of my shoe. He's 7 months old, just really feeling those hormones kick in and she's been sole the object of his desire.
I look down and see red, literally, her back was nothing but blood. Junior must have really been feeling those hormones to mate her to that extent of damage. I toss the milo, scoop up Neo and refrain from starting chicken soup a la Junior. Once I get her in I find the damage is more extensive than I first thought. My first instinct was to cull her right then and there. But..............
Neo is one of our favorites. She was the lone chick to hatch out of a horrible incubator accident. She hatched with her umbilical area not quite closed and got to wear a bandaid for 2 days. She quickly became a people chicken. She never screamed inconsolably because she didn't have hatch mates. If it were up to her she'd be a house chicken happily.
So I decide to at least try. If I couldn't help her I'd put her down. She got a shower to clean away the blood and dirt and nastiness. She was not patient with this whole process either. I got her coated with antibiotics and set her up in an infirmary crate in the living room. Complete with fresh water, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, feed and a few other treats.
She stood there for at least 2 hours before diving into the eggs, once they were gone she perked up and decided to make a mess. She dumped the water out. This earned her loose chicken time in the kitchen while I cleaned out her crate where she generally had the run of everything and tried to sit with the cats. I didn't have the camera handy either!
This morning I get up to find she has dumped her water again. It's a ploy I tell you, she wants out of the crate. She then proceeds to throw a fit when she sees me getting a scoop of milo ready for the birds outside and tosses her feed all over the crate as well. If she's feeling well enough to do that she can wait for a bit while I feed everything else.
Once I get ready to address her needs for the day she is beyond mad. This from a bird I was ready to cull less than 24 hours ago. I let her out in the kitchen with a little pile of milo and cat kibble. She was just so happy to have the milo all to herself that she stayed put while I clean up, get more antibiotics on her and get the crate ready to go again. I get that done and she proceeds to go straight in, ignore the little nest box I picked out just for her and starts scratching around in the back corner:
She decides the carpet is better for scratching and takes off for places unknown:
I think she'll be just fine. She's acting like nothing has happened. Her wounds look good, already closed in the worst places, no sign of infection. So for the duration of her healing, I have a chicken in my kitchen.