We added another baby to our zoo last night!
Her name is Lucky. She’s lucky because we happened to be in the right place at exactly the right time to save her life.
Last night The Hubs and I decided to go out on a date to enjoy the lovely warm weather. After dinner we drove over to our local Rural King to look at the plants and also buy a bag of chicken feed. They go through it so fast! As we strolled back towards the chicken area I noticed that there were still chicks for sale. I can’t resist taking a peep at the fuzzy babies, so I walked among the bins marveling at their tiny sizes. It’s easy to forget how small they start out, especially since we’re getting ready to introduce our own Spring chickens to the regular flock:) I was watching a bin full of Rhode Island Red chicks and realized that one of them had somehow managed to get past the divider and into the other side of the bin. She was all by herself with no food, water, or heat from the lamp. When I went to scoop her up to put her back in the other side, I realized why she was all alone.
She was the lowest chick in the pecking order, literally.
Her naughty brothers and sisters had pecked all of her tail feathers out, leaving a bloody, stumpy mess behind. Some well-meaning employee must have noticed the bullying and separated her, but with no food, water, or heat, she wouldn’t last long. I know from experience that as soon as a chicken has red on her, the others won’t leave her alone and will keep pecking at it, usually until the hen dies. The Hubs could tell that a breakdown on my part was imminent so he hastily went in search of a manager while I stood guard over the poor broken chick. To my relief, the manager understood our insistence at being allowed to take just the one injured chick home (their policy is a minimum purchase of 6 chicks) and even gave her to us free of charge and helped us box her up.
To be honest, I’ve never dealt with a wound like this before! Her tail feathers are broken and jagged and the entire area was oozing blood. I had considered cleaning it with rubbing alcohol but read online that it could actually make the irritation worse. I ended up using cotton balls and warm water to clear the blood off, soap and more cotton balls to clean the wound, and even more cotton balls to dry it off. I then used my pinky finger to smear the tiniest bit of neosporin over her whole little feather-less butt. She was brave and held (mostly) still while I worked. We have her in an isolation tank with a soft towel on the bottom, I was afraid the usual wood chips would stick to the neosporin and be unsanitary.
She made it through the night at least, and when I checked on her this morning she was sitting in – in – her food bowl! So far so good. I will definitely keep you updated on her progress:)
Also, I’m sorry it has been so long since my last blog post. Exciting things are hopefully happening and I will fill you in soon. (No, mom, I’m not pregnant!)