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Friday, April 23, 2010

Chicken Adventures: Injuries

The first picture is of my 2-week old Americauna chick. The second one shows 4 week old Astralorps and Buff Orpingtons. The blonde chick to the far right in that picture is the same one as the last photo. More on her later.

I wasn't planning on doing another chick post so soon, but it helps me to remember these events if I put them down in the blog.

We've had two accidents in the few weeks the chicken divas have been with us. The first one was a bad one.

Two weeks ago, I had just moved the
first batch of chicks into their new quarters when the littlest one in the bunch (a black Astralorp) got picked on.

There is one thing you have to know about birds. They can be vicious inside their social circle. It doesn't matter what kind of bird it is either. They will pick on the weak or injured until they kill it unless something or someone intervenes.

Runt
was it this go round and they pecked on that little guy until he bled.

Luckily, I check the coop often to make sure everyone is getting along, and found him bleeding. I don't like to separate chicks because the old group always ostracizes the new group when you put them together again, but I couldn't leave Runt out there with them until he was completely healed.

Also fortunate for Runt is just that morning I bought six little Americauna chicks, so I put him in with them. He was bigger, but shier than the new guys, so everyone got along great.

I am on pins and needles because after two weeks, I am testing the younger chicks with the older ones. Despite being the new kids on the block, the Americaunas have been feisty and one of them regularly fights back than allow himself to be picked on by the bigger chicks. I hope they settle down soon.


They won't be loose all day, just a few hours everyday until everyone gets used to one another.

My other chick on the injured list is a Buf
f Orpington. Whoever said blondes were dumb weren't talking about the Orpingtons. Of all the chicks, they have been the first to test the new yard, find food and water, and explore readily.

They are curious about everything and therein lies the problem. Yesterday morning when I came out to check on them, one of the Orpingtons got herself caught between the fence and barbed wire. I don't know how long she'd been out there, but she was sure glad to see me. I have since renamed her Wing-Nut.

You can tell in the picture that her little wing is hanging a bit, but I don't think it's broken. She is managing just fine despite the injury. Hopefully, none of the others will sense weakness in her and gang up on the poor bird. She's suffered enough.
The last picture is a close up of Wing-Nut. She doesn't look too bad considering she was trussed like chicken dinner for who knows how long.

It's always an adventure around here.

For more Chicken Talk go here.

10 comments:

Jennifer Shirk said...

Wow, that's interesting. i didn't know chickens could be such bullies.

Maria Zannini said...

Bully is a good word.

I think it probably comes from being more instinctive than bright. Survival of the fittest and all that.

Marian said...

I guess that's why it's called a pecking order. :)

How do the dogs react to the chickens, by the way?

Maria Zannini said...

Ref: pecking order
I never thought of that!

Ref: dogs
Surprisingly, both have been good. I expected it of Tank, but Iko was a mystery. Yesterday, I took him into their yard and he just sat there and watched them.

The chicks too, have been used to big dog noses looking into their brooder box since the day they arrived, so they don't seem particularly skittish around the dogs.

Sherri said...

Love the pictures. You're making me wish I was in the middle of nowhere, LOL

Maria Zannini said...

Sherri: Chickens make it interesting.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

Birds are bullies! Ya learn something new everyday.

Btw, every time I can't think of a character name while I'm writing, I use Wingnut. It's easily searchable. ^_^

Dru said...

I can't wait to see how they age and I hope both injured chicks are doing okay.

BTW, did I miss the name you selected for your coop?

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: LOL. That's a good idea.

Maria Zannini said...

Dru: You didn't miss it. I thought I would wait to announce it when I made the sign in a couple of weeks.