Our mountains to the South send strong, almost hurricane proportion winds across Limousin. Farm roofs take off, trees are uprooted and last year our garage collapsed. Today was no exception and the ominous drone above our barn made me uneasy.
Wandering down to the garden for my daily coop clean and tussle with the hormonal geese, I saw the egg box flap was down. Oh no. That meant chickens out!
Quickly shutting the door and entering the coop I did a head count. Not easy with 10 chickens bouncing around eager for meal worms. Please stand still. 1, 2, 5, 8, 10. 10! Where are the other two?
The usual suspect Poppy was gone. Escape committee leader. But with her Goosegog. You can’t really call a chicken. I ring a bell. It works. But no chickens arrived.
Worried, I finished feeding and cleaning and headed back to the barn. Then being me I cried. I love my chickens. I am duty bound to look after them. I should have checked the lock on the egg box.
Husband reassuringly suggested they would return that evening. I hoped so.
An hour passed. I couldn’t concentrate on anything. I had to go back out. I put the geese in their pen and for some obscure reason decided to put concrete blocks along the outer coop edge by the wood pile to stop the geese pulling up the fence there. The chickens curious as ever followed my every move. But there was Poppy. Back in the coop!! 11 chickens. Phew. One to go.
I finished putting down the last block and as I stood up, there she was squeezed under the branches in the wood pile. Two big scared eyes peered out. She had obviously been attacked by the geese and had been mauled. She must have managed to escape and crawled into hiding. My god imagine if I hadnt gone back out or hadnt ended up by the wood pile. I felt sick.
Feathers on her back, tail and chest had been pulled out and she was in a state of shock. I hurriedly took her inside, washed off the blood and wrapped her in a towel. Luckily my helpful chicken mummas over the Pond in USA had given me a list of first aid products which I have studiously accumulated over the last few months. The Homesteaders there know a good deal about chickens and I am very grateful.
A sprey of Vetrycim for healing and then into a dog kennel we have in the house to dry off and convaless for a few days.
Nutridrench is an electrolyte poultry boost and this was administered into her water. Scrambled eggs, tomato and homemade seed peck block got her eating and drinking. Fingers crossed. All good signs.
So now she is snoozing. The occasional little chirup can be heard and straw rustling. Goosegog knows the ropes as she had sinus problems back last year and spent a few days inside. But it’s the return to the coop that can be difficult. Chickens attack poorly or injured chickens, so she will have to quarantined in the side coop. It’s a delicate issue with the pecking order too, so we may put a friend with her for support when she returns to the flock.
Here is my girl. What a stressful day!