Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chicken First Aid: Injured Comb

It's like fate has been wanting to give Chicken-Man and I a quick 101 class in Basic Chicken First Aid!

First, one of the White Orpington's got broody and refused to leave the nest. Basically that means that a chicken is trying to hatch the eggs in the nest, which is a problem when there are no roosters and those eggs are never going to hatch. The hen won't leave the nest, which can be dangerous because she may not get enough food, water, or rest.

That was an easy enough fix, and we sequestered her in the spare rabbit hutch for a few days until she calmed down and returned to normal.

Then (as seen in last Tuesday's post) we came out to the coop to find one of the Araucanas laying just the soft shell of an egg, which Chicken Man had to help pull it out. We cleaned off some of her gunky feathers just to be safe. Not too difficult.

Monday morning I headed out to the chicken coop expecting the normal quick feed-and-watering. For a second I thought maybe Chicken-Man had spilled paint all over the chicken's roost. Then I realized it was blood.

The night before some friends had stayed over, and their pet dogs had given the chickens a bit of a fright. It seemed like everything was fine, but I think maybe one of the chickens injured her comb during the panic. Poor girl!

The spare rabbit hutch has sure come in handy, because we had to put her in there to make sure the other chickens didn't peck at her wounds.

Thank goodness for the internet and http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/. It looks like comb injuries aren't too serious- some folks who breed their chickens for show even cut them off on purpose.

Luckily she just had a small cut though, and the comb doesn't seem like it needs to be removed. Yesterday we had quite the adventure bringing the chicken into the shower to wash the wound with saltwater, and then put a little Neosporin on it.

She seemed to like being dried off with the hairdryer! I took a picture with Chicken-Man's camera so hopefully I can post it soon. She's still in the rabbit hutch until she heals up a little more.



Samantha said...

I have the best mental picture of you in the bathroom chasing a chicken with a hairdryer.

************* said...

Haha! That reminds me to get Chicken Man to forward me the photo of the chicken in the shower :)

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