Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Bloody chicken

Just went out to let the girls out to free range, and noticed that there was blood on Lily's head. I managed to scoop her up (fortunately, despite being very flighty, she's started crouching for me) and bundled her into the kitchen. I left her with some corn, and went to look inthe Cube to see if there was blood there too.

There wasn't any in the Cube, and there wasn't any on Lily yesterday when I picked her up, so I'm assuming that it happened this morning. I have to start by assuming that one of the other Girls is the culprit, although I'll go and check the hanging things in the Run shortly. And it could be that she caught herself while scratching.

Chickens get very excited at the sight of blood, and even if it wasn't one of the others that caused the problem, it's common for chickens to start attacking the area that is bleeding.

I was on my own, and holding a flighty chicken while trying to bathe the blood off her with wet cotton wool was not easy. The situation wasn't helped by Washburn, my ginger cat, coming to see what the fuss was about; seeing a chicken trapped in my arms, he was remarkably confident around her, but that didn't last as I let her go to re-wet the cotton wool, she flapped her wings, and Wash ran off.

Anyway. After several attempts, I managed to wash off most of the blood, and I think there is only one wound. I put on some rubber gloves and sprayed the wound with Gentian violet; I didn't realise that Gentian Violet when sprayed is a bit like blowing ink out of a fountain pen. Good job we have a solid floor that is easily cleaned. And a good job I had thought to cover Lily's eyes.

Anyway, aftet I'd GV'd her, I opened the french window and she bolted for freedom, stopping immediately outside to start eating the grass. She looks very punky at the moment.

The other side is a bit more dramatic, as the GV sort of splashed down her side a bit. I've taken a dozen photos but she just moves too quickly for me to catch it.

I've seen Milly chasing her, but I haven't seen any real attacking going on. I'll have to keep a close eye on them to make sure there aren't any problems.

Inspection of the Run shows that the Peckablock couldbe the cause. The end of the hook is quite sharp, and it's possible she caught the top of her head on it while eating the top of the Peckablock. I've bent it round, and will go out with some tape shortly.

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