Thursday, July 16, 2009

Chickens as Chew Toys

So having solved the keeping Roux from eating eggs dilemma, we've now moved to the Roux using the chickens to teeth. She's not trying to kill the chickens, but she is hurting them. I've got a couple of hypothesis about this. First, she's treating the hens like they're part of her pack, which means chewing on each other. Second, the hens getting caught are the more docile birds (who are also my best layers) whom I'm thinking are ready to be bred. So when Roux walks by one of these hens and she does that promiscous "Let's get it on" squat that hens do, I'm thinking Roux's just using them as a opportune teething windfall.

Puppy teeth are sharp, and chicken skin is fragile. Not a good combo at all. Here's the first hen I found. If she looks wet, it's dog slobber.

So the main injury here is a puncture through her wing. Not a big deal at first glance, but this is summer, and it's really warm - and infection & fly problems are a given. I carried her up to the house from the pasture in a small wastebasket that was the perfect size so she didn't get hurt any further. Probably not what most people think of when they hear about a bucket of chicken.

So I disinfected all her wounds with peroxide and that blue antiseptic they use on cows. After 3 days of that, she's doing alright. The wing puncture has enlarged to a hole the size of a sweet pea, and has a good number of maggots in it. These fly larva only eat dead tissue, so believe it or not, I'm thinking they're actually probably helping as long as they're held in check, especially because the larvae are keeping the wound from sealing over and the wound is healing up clean. Hopefully, she'll still have use of her wing, because she needs to be able to fly to get up into the coop, onto the roosts, and into the nesting boxes. Luckily, poultry are pretty remarkable in thier ability to comeback from serious injuries and this young gal isn't giving up anytime soon.

Here's the hospital pen that she's in. She's got a roomate now, another hen that's keeping her company. She's doing well enough to start laying eggs again. Definately a good sign.

1 comment:

  1. MAN! Ok, love your blog bro. Being a native Arkie and growing up on a farm outside of Benton in rural Saline County, this is awesome. I'm (unfortuneatley) living in town just outside of Dallas now. Discovered your blog from hearing the call in today that you did to a podcast.

    Great blog man. Keep up the good work.