A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara
Last week, actually on Halloween night, we heard a ruckus in the chicken yard. I had just closed them up and it was raining so I was not happy about whatever was causing the commotion. I headed out to find one group of chickens had escaped their coop and were frantically calling at the front of the chicken yard.
My protective instinct kicked in and I hastened back to see what had frightened them.
Nothing was in their coop however I saw movement between the fences. A possum had grabbed the hen that had been living between the fences and was dragging it off. I chased the possum off and began to gather our hens back into their coop.
Rachel heard the racket and came to offer support. I showed her the hen which I assumed was dead. She thought it best to remove the body so the possum did not return to finish the meal.
When I reached through the chain link fence to grab the hen’s leg, it gave a feeble squawk.
Now, according to animal science major Rachel, there was no choice but to retrieve the hen and assess its injuries.
After rinsing it in the bathtub, Rachel was able to bandage the wounds and fix it a nice dry place in a laundry basket in the bathroom. At least it would die in comfort.
The hen survived the night so Rachel named her “Lucky.” We tube fed her and Rachel bought some special antifungal, antibacterial medicine called “Blue Kote” to put on her. After a couple days in intensive care, Lucky was moved out to an isolation run in the chicken yard.
She wasn’t mobile so each night I would lock her in the coop and each morning I would gently move her out near food and water. I would put her near the water and make sure she drank. I watched her eat.
I was hopeful.
However, after three days, despite the best efforts of animal science major Rachel and Chicken Wrangler Sara, Lucky succumbed to her injuries. Perhaps she was not so lucky after all.
no but the I am sure she felt the kindness and love as much as any creature.
She did seem peaceful. I felt like we were offering hospice care to a chicken.