Sunday, March 27, 2016

Is there a Chicken Doctor in the House?

Normally I let the chickens out in the morning, and Brett closes them up at night. Today I was just dying for a few extra minutes of sleep, so my darling hubby offered to go let them out.

I should have known the universe would never let me sleep in...

A few minutes later, Brett came back in looking worried. We had our first chicken injury! Our rooster, Henry, had a bleeding toe. And as chickens do, the girls were pecking at the wound and making it worse.

A few minutes of frenzied chicken-blog-reading later, we had a plan. We filled a small container with warm, soapy water; found the hydrogen peroxide; grabbed some clean disposable towels; donned gloves; and went off to catch a rooster.

Not looking so cocky now, poor guy.
First, we sequestered him inside the coop, keeping him safe from the hens in the run. We washed his feet in the warm soapy water. Then we flipped him over and cleaned the injured toes with hydrogen peroxide to keep them from getting infected. He handed it like a champ!

We realized he'd gotten a lot of blood on his belly, and we were worried the hens would keep pecking at any red areas. So we gave him a little sponge bath to get him as clean as possible. Life lesson: we are not getting any more white chickens.

Once he was clean and dry, we needed a way to keep him safe but to let the hens back into the coop. We remembered that we still had a metal dog pen we used when Hermione was a puppy. Perfect! We set him up with some food and water where he could stay safely separate from the girls.

Henry in chicken solitary confinement.

Then we hung out in the coop for a bit to make sure the new arrangement was working out. After a few minutes everyone seemed to adjust to the new arrangement, and went happily about their own non-violent business.

We'll give him another cleaning this evening. Hopefully after a couple days of this, he'll be healed up enough to rejoin the ladies.

Whew! I guess we're real chicken parents now...

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