It was my birthday this week and there were highs and lows.
I woke in the morning to the following gift from the cat. Nothing like a dead mouse on your birthday to set the mood. : )
I received some lovely gifts including magazine subscriptions and the below book full of tips about growing different fruit and veggies and then ideas of how to use them.
Our dog Jessie had scaled the 5 foot fence and had ripped out some of the feathers of one of our hens.
I was furious! So I got her out of the pen and tied up and then I went back to find out exactly how bad the damage was and how many chickens had been involved. I found the poor hen hiding in the long grass the grows around the fence and took her inside so I could have a good look at her.
I was home by myself and so the whole process of trying to look over a stressed out hen was not the easiest process. I checked over her wings, head and body from the top then I wrapped her in a towel flipped her over and tried to get her to relax with some chicken hypnotism. Now for those who might think this is a joke it is actually a very good way of getting your chicken to to remain still while you look it over. The method I use is to flip the chicken on its back, cover it's head with a cloth so it is dark (although this will still work even it you don't) then you take your thumb and index finger and run them down each side of the chickens breast bone. Do this over and over and hey presto sleepy chicken.
Now it would have been much easier if I had a second person to keep stroking the chicken, but I didn't so I was not able to spend too long inspecting the hen.
I was able to see she had had a number of feather yanked out and was bleeding around her vent. But it was hard to see how bad the damage actually was. So I washed the area with some sterile irrigation solution from our first aid kit (there goes some plastic in my plastic free month) and put the chicken into the small cage we have with so water and a clean but old towel to sit on and decided to keep her inside over night.
I rang hubby at work and told him what had happened and I hinted that I might take her to the vet.
Hubby then told me not to be so silly taking a $5 chicken to the vet for a $50 consultation and asked me to wait till he got home. I understand his logic but I just felt really bad for my chicken.
Any way she has been in the cage for a few days and I have given the damaged area another wash and trimmed away the bloody feathers and it looks like it will heal up. She is eating and drinking and pooping normally and today she even ate some of the chickweed I put in her cage so I think things will b ok. I do not want to put her back with the other chickens too soon as I would hate them to peck her or the rooster try and have his way with her, I am not sure she would tolerate that at the moment. So we are back to having chicken(s) in the house but hopefully not for too long.