As I mentioned in yesterday's post, now that Sophie is well on her way to being cured, I have a new patient—one of the red hens that I call Red Momma. She is the one who was sitting on the nest box hoping to hatch some babies a few months ago, wanting so bad to be a momma, but we kept taking the eggs so that she wouldn't have to raise her babies in the cold.
Just in the past week or so she has been tortured by the other hens. They have been pecking at her and pulling her feathers. By the time I realized it was a problem, she was already too freaked out and wouldn't let me catch her. In the past 3 days she has gone from looking mostly normal, like the top photo, to this pathetic-looking girl in the other photo. I felt so bad allowing her to get that way, but she wanted no parts of being caught.
Finally The Husband managed to catch her this morning. She is now in the Chicken Hospital, which is a rabbit hutch in the garage. Right this minute it is outside in the sun, but when we bring her back into the garage at night, I am going to have to devise some way to keep her warm. They say that chickens don't need heat in their coop because they have their own little down jackets, but this poor girl's jacket is almost down-free. At least the feathers are already starting to grow back.
Now if I could only convince her that being segregated is a good thing. She keeps trying to escape the crate...
And for anyone who read the posts about my previous chicken patient, the one who was attacked by something (probably a barn cat from across the street) she is very much cured and back to looking like her black-and-white sisters, so much so I can't tell who was the injured one.
Maybe I missed my calling...I should have been a nurse.