Saturday, June 18, 2016

Don't Step on my Blue Silkie Shoes

It's been a while since I provided an update on our bullied beau Henry. A few weeks ago, we discovered some scrapes on his feet, which wouldn't heal because the girls kept pecking at them. So - after some shenanigans - poor Henry went into solitary confinement until he was mostly healed.

By that time, he also completely hated our guts. He still runs to the other side of the coop when I come in. And I'm pretty sure he's learned to glare.

But when we released him back into general population, we quickly saw new peck marks re-appear on his toes. Apparently the ladies weren't just reopening the wounds; they were causing them. I don't know whether they're picking on him because he's small (silkies are bantams, about 1/3 smaller than standard) or a dude, but either way I'm betting Napoleon didn't do well with chickens.

We can't keep him separated permanently, and I couldn't even bear to do it again temporarily, so we had to get a little creative. The solution: chicken booties.

The veterinary bandages we have are blue, so Henry spent several days wearing blue shoes.

We watched a bunch of YouTube videos (yes, there are video tutorials on this) about how to bandage up a chicken's foot. We cut thin strips of self-adhesive bandage and wrapped them around and between his toes to make little foot protectors. I held Henry upside down while Brett wrapped. Brett figured he basically already had practice, since it couldn't be that different from wrapping tefillin. He did a pretty good job, so I'm thinking someone may want to alert the Rabbis about this highly useful transferable skill.

Henry does manage to get himself free after a while, so we replaced the bandages a couple times. And now that the girls can't get a rise out of him, they seem to have given up trying. So Henry is barefoot again, and will hopefully stay that way.

But if not... the blue silkie shoes will be waiting to make a comeback.

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