A Chicken Medical Emergency

Earlier, we sent my husband and dad off to get some chicken supplies while mum and I went down to feed the chickens. By the time we were halfway through, the chicken food delivery had arrived. Between all four of us, we collected eggs and threw out treats. My husband took it into his head to try to catch Tommy. Tommy was distinctly less enthusiastic about this. As my husband held him, we quickly checked him over. On a roll with catching chickens, my husband then helped me get hold of Maude and Mavis. Both of them have long spurs which have a tendency to curl around towards their legs. Armed with dog nail clippers, I quickly gave each spur a quick trim.

As we were leaving, we decided to have a look at some of the other chickens on site. We passed Phil and Steve’s chickens on Mick the Greek’s plot. All of the brown leghorns were out and about but there was no sign of the Buff Orpington. Worried she wasn’t visible, I quickly popped into the coop and opened up the nest box. A mound of buff-coloured feathers was slumped in the corner. More worryingly the back of her head and comb looked rather bloody. I sent my dad off to get some food and tried to tempt her with it. She wasn’t interested.

Remembering I had purple spray, I ran to the shed. A frantic rummage of the shed came up with nothing. We went home and I rang Phil to let him know his chicken was injured. Unfortunately, I had to leave a message. Next, I called Cliff and he jumped into the car and drove across. We met at the gate and walked down to the coop. Cliff carefully picked her out of the nest box and we had a good look at her head. There was a clear hole right through the skin and it was clearly causing her discomfort. Dowsing her in purple spray inevitably led to both Cliff and myself covered too!

We decided to put her into the coop on Will’s plot. There were a selection of La Bresse chickens already in there but we assumed the buff Orpington would hold her own against the youngsters. She was quite wobbly on her legs but managed to walk to the water bowl. Over the next few minutes, she drank without pause. She was very dehydrated. Slowly, the youngsters got closer to her and the cockerel seemed particularly interested in her. As quick as a flash, he pounced on her, grabbing her comb in his beak. Immediately, she jumped up and fought him off. We decided that it might be better to put her on her own for a bit.

As Cliff went off to find a food and water bowl for her, I put some bedding in the nest box in the greenhouse. With a full food and water bowl set up, I went to Will’s coop and picked her up. She wasn’t too impressed! I gently put her down in the greenhouse and watched as she stood there taking in her surroundings. After a few minutes, she had a cautious peck at some weeds before having a dose. We left her to settle down and I headed home for a very late lunch.

I rang Phil to let him know what we had done and told him the chicken was safe in our greenhouse. He said he was planning on moving her because the new cockerel in Mick the Greek’s coop was bullying her. It seems that she will definitely need to go somewhere new to ensure she isn’t hurt again. I planned to pop down and check on her after dinner.

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