Jane and Kerry

…or Kerry and Jane – it’s up to you.

Chicken update

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It’s about time we posted an update on our chickens. Sadly we lost Ginger in May (the vet seemed to think it was liver failure – she just stopped eating and drinking properly and slowly ran out of energy), then Ivy had to be put down a couple of weeks ago after she got a prolapsed oviduct.

We decided to get two new ones this week while we were off work, and ended up with a Buff Sussex and one that’s supposed to be a Rhode Island Red, but doesn’t really look like one. She actually looks more like the ‘Black Rhode Island’ on the egg box in the photo, but I can’t find any mention of that breed on the Internet. We reckon she’s a cross between a Rhode Island Red and something else (the man we got them from had hundreds of chickens of all shapes and sizes running around). They’re a month or so younger than the others were when we got them, and a fair bit smaller too.

Lucy Buffy Lucy and Buffy Lucy lookalike on an eggbox Four chickens

Anyway, we made the mistake of leaving them roaming round the garden with the others when we brought them home, thinking it would be easy enough to catch them if they didn’t go to bed of their own accord. We caught the buff one (who we’ve decided to call Buffy – original, eh?), but as it started to get dark there was no sign of the other one, who’s quite well camouflaged at the best of times. After spending about an hour with torches searching the hedges we had to give up and hope she’d found somewhere safe to roost.

The next morning there was no sign of her, and we feared the worst, especially as I thought I’d heard a squawk and flapping in the night (I got up and had a look round, but couldn’t find anything). Then next thing we knew, they’d both disappeared! I was relieved to find them eventually, both sitting in a hollow under a hedge. We put the one who’d been out all night in the Eglu run, but Buffy had run off by then.

The one we had managed to shut away seemed very quiet, and on closer inspection she turned out to have a cut on her back. I tried cleaning it, but it looked pretty deep so we took her to the vet. It seems she was bitten by a fox or a cat (not one of ours as they were all indoors!), but had somehow managed to escape. The vet found more bite wounds under her wing, as well as some other cuts and scratches, and we had to leave her there overnight.

Of course that still left one bird to catch, and it was obvious that unless we made a big net we weren’t going to do it until she went to sleep. We kept an eye on her as it got dark, and she started thinking about settling down in the hedge. Then there was a bit of a commotion as the tabby and white cat from one of the neighbouring houses appeared, and she flew up to a branch about five or six feet off the ground. We had to wait about 45 minutes for her to shut her eyes, then I managed to grab her and put her in the Eglu, although she obviously wasn’t very happy about it!

The stapled bite wound in Lucy’s back
We brought the other one back from the vet’s today, and she’s slowly recovering, with staples holding the wounds closed. At least she’s home now, and in the run with Buffy. We decided to call her Lucy, after the vet who treated her.

Written by Kerry

July 28th, 2007 at 1:51 pm

Posted in Chickens

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  1. A good read, definitely worth a cut and paste. Thanks For making such a nice website. I really appreciate this. Thanks

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