Tuesday, June 22, 2010
In the barn this happens from time to time. My oldest chickens are now four years old. While a chicken lifespan is reported to be 10 years, I don't know many people whose flocks make it that long. Predators get them, pests get them, age takes its toll. A hen might be a little off one day and dead the next; a hen might withdraw for a few days and rally back to good health.
Yesterday morning I heard a cry from behind me as I scattered scratch. Upon turning around I discovered the punky hen with the young rooster on top of her, as she cried for help. I pushed him off and she lay there with one wing outstretched. Pitiful. So I picked her up and set her in the dog kennel where she can be protected from other chickens. Set her up with her own food and water, and expected to come back in an hour and discover her dead.
But when I returned mid morning, she was sitting upright, a bit perkier than I've seen her. And this morning she seems to be gaining strength. Will the rally last? Can't say, but I am encouraged that I was able to give her comfort in her difficult time.