Tilda was in excellent form last night when we put her away for the night, and she was very sprightly this morning. She demanded breakfast, had it, and then strolled out into the kitchen. I shepherded her to the door, she jumped down on to the paving, and from there I picked hwer up and put her in with her sisters. She spent the morning under the rosemary bush with her sisters around her.
My brother called in. I checked Tildy was OK, and made us (my brother, DH, and I) a pot of tea. We chatted. I checked on Tilda. We chatted. After 3 cups of tea (possibly a personal record), I realised I couldn't see Tilda any more. I looked around the garden, in the Pampas grass, all followed by the ther 6 girls. I couldn't find her. As I got back to the house I heard her burble, and she stepped out from the rosemary bush.. no idea where she'd been, as she wasn't there when I came out.
I could see something red and glistening on her comb. I picked her up, it was definitely blood. There were no obvious wounds and she didn't look too botherered... but blood is a no-no with chickens. It doesn't look as though she's been attacked, I imagine that Milly (who is by nature a really spiteful chicken) or Custard (who is a real bully) probably gave her a don't-forget-your-place peck on the head. [Actually, to my surprise and in Milly's defence, she didn't attack Tilda at all when I put Tilda back out. I watched, and saw Milly even shuffle up to make space for Tilda, which is a first. ]
I whisked Tildy indoors, got out the septiclens and liberally sprayed her comb, my hand (which was shielding her face) and my floor with purple spray.
I put her back outside, scrubbed my hands, and I've yet to start trying to scrub the floor.
She's been sitting quietly under the rosemary since then, almost dozing off a couple of times. It's very bright and sunny where she is sitting, but everywhere else is very frosty and cold. Should I bring her back in? Should I leave her out? I reasoned with myself that if the worst should happen, at least she will die happy and contented. And she can't live indoors indefinitely. So, I'm going to leave her out there for now, keeping an eye on things.
And I haven't decided what to do about tonight yet. I'll see what happens at corn time.