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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Chickens

Ah, chickens.  I spend a lot of time thinking chicken, in case you didn't know, as I am the main tender of the coops.  James builds and moves, I water, feed, check for eggs, clean, pester James to add straw, and watch for sick chickens.  Somehow, however, James usually picks up on sick chickens first.

Take Toeless, our current hospital chicken.  She is an Easter Eggers pullet from the "Green Whale" coop. Recently, James and I both saw her laying awkwardly on the ground.  The next day, her head was pecked into a bloody mess.  We rescued her, isolated her inside a crate in the main coop, and fed and watered her well.  Our hope (my hope, really) was to rerelease with the others. It's worked before.

Not this time.  After four or five days of isolation, she was healing nicely and in good spirits.  We had noticed one of our Plymouth Rock chickens was muttering threats at Toeless through the door, but hoped for the best.  Alas, despite our caution, Toeless was a bloody mess within hours.  My mom helped me rescue her, and now we have to decide where she can live.

As an aside, she's called Toeless because, as a chick, her middle toe was partially severed.  We separated her for several days, and she reincorporated into this same coop in May with no problems.

Our current choices are to let her become a free ranger with the other two, but they have attitude problems and are bigger, so I fear for her life.  Also, I don't want a big free ranging flock, as they get picked off by predators and poop on our front sidewalk.  We may add her to our juveniles, who are less than eight weeks old, so she would be the dominant hen.  We'll let her heal thoroughly before we make any decisions, I think.

I'm also canning and preparing for baby, but these are my chicken thoughts these days!

Until next time, remember, this is not paradise.  It's Purgatory Ranch.

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