Friday, May 13, 2011

Chicken Injuries

We had bad luck with chicks this year. After losing one chick when it was few days old, we lost our Golden Campine about a week ago. I am not sure what was wrong with her but I did notice that she seemed to have stopped growing. The other chick was growing great and I decided it would be a good idea to move her to the big coop now that she was alone.

Because chickens are stupid, I put her in at night and hoped they would all wake up and just think she had been there all along. I checked on her a couple times before going to bed and all seemed to be okay. In the morning she was still nervous but alive and uninjured.

Fast forward to after lunch...  I open the coop door to find one of my White Orpingtons covered in blood, not a great sign. The poor teenage chicken had been scalped. While I am tempted to insert a picture, it is pretty gross and trust me when I say you could see bone. No feathers, no skin just grossness (and I have a pretty high tolerance to blood and guts). So after I was done crying and feeling really, really bad for this chicken I covered the wound in antiseptic cream and waited for my husband to come home and "take care" of this poor mortally wounded chicken.

During those long four hours I talked to one of my parent's neighbor and friend's husband to learn that this type of injury isn't that uncommon and if they live through the night they will probably live. My husband came home to find her eating and drinking with copious amount of cream on her head and decided she didn't need to meet her chicken maker.

Fast forward a week and she is doing great. She has the most nasty looking scab on her head but other wise doing great. She looks like a vulture. My husband bought a crate for the next time we try and introduce her into the flock and my neighbor gave me some additional tips like letting her bond with one of the friendlier chickens in the flock prior to introducing her to the rest and taking out the mean chicken for a couple days when we try again.

The friendly Light Brahmas
In summary - chickens are mean to each other. Chickens are stupid. I am not the type of person that can kill an animal to end its misery.


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