Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sore claw

One of the chickens has injured her foot somehow. Silver Boy the rooster can be pretty violent but he usually doesn't beat up his girls, he normally tries to protect them. From us. There was no fending me off this time however because I had to find out what was wrong.

The chickens had retired for the evening, all but the injured one, to their roost we built from a tree we removed and forever after known as the birch perch. Injured one got as high as she could but then just sat hunched miserably.

Closer inspection revealed a very sore foot. No obvious cut to the skin, bruising or swelling, but a rather dangly and disjointed toe in the centre. She was making completely appropriate little oww oww oowww noises, but I picked her up to check for anything else awry. The foot seemed to be it, so we debated whether to strap it up. She's completely safe from foxes in the closed henhouse, so we'll keep her there for a few days.

The next morning we found her gingerly trying to climb down from the nest boxes and stepping on her own foot instead. More ow oww oowww. I picked her up with one hand, fended Silver Boy off with the other (sustaining only minor injuries) and put her next to the hot mash the chickens get for breakfast at Chicken Hilton. She hoed into it with gusto, so she's eating alright. Hopefully the warmth will help stave off any shock she may be feeling. The amount she ate would stave off any hunger.

If you look closely you can see the middle digit of her right foot appears to have it's own Sydney Harbour Bridge shape to it. Not normal. Inducive of the ow oww oowww.

At this point many people would just off her, chicken soup and all that. We certainly don't want to leave her in too much pain, but her comb and wattles are still as bright as the other chicken's, as are her eyes. Especially when eyeing the food - she's eating really well.

That's her on the right of the trough, picking out all the best sunflower seeds. They'll keep her warm at any rate. We'll wait another day...