oh these chickens!

i am trying not to freak out.  it seems like there is constant chaos in the coop lately and i am always one step behind.  currently, i have one chicken, tina turner, upstair in a bedroom.  two chickens, dolly parton and stevie nicks, in their newly built as of late last night run within the run.  one chicken, rose, who came out of the coop this morning with her eye frozen shut.  and they are all eating each others feathers!

where is the rooster when you need someone to take control of the situation?

i made a desperate trip to the feed store this morning to gather supplies and advice.  i seriously love our feed store, more importantly the people that own and work there.  they offered great advice.  hay, which has already been sprinkled throughout and the girls LOVE it!  i will be back to get a large bale soon :) and also a couple of flock blocks.  this will give them something to do, instead of beating up on each other!

here is our new construction.  i am planning on painting the door something fun but with all the running around it just hasn’t happened yet.

so now we have a permanent room when we need it and a when we don’t we will just leave the door open so the ladies don’t really lose any of their space.  this is also great because the new hens are still on starter food so even after we allow all the ladies to be together (hopefully this weekend), they will still have their own area with their food.

feather pulling.  could be a sign of reestablishing a pecking order since the rooster has been removed.  could be a sign of boredom.  could be a sign of a protein deficiency and an indicator that the girls are getting ready to go into molt.  molting is natural and means the ladies will lose all their feather, stop producing eggs, and grown new feathers.

i can’t do anything about pecking to establish a new order.  i have given a flock block (seen in the above picture) to both the new girls and the old.  also hay to play around with.  hopefully this will take away boredom.

if it is protein deficiency, which is unlikely because they are on great feed, i have been supplementing their protein with plain greek yogurt.  the ladies LOVE yogurt and with 22g of protein in 1 cup it seems like a great way to get some extra protein in them.  protein helps grow new feathers and since the girls were lacking because of the damage the rooster caused i figured the extra protein wouldn’t hurt anything.

above, lucy and ethel playing in the hay.  below, ethel and blanche enjoying blueberries and greek yogurt.

the new girls enjoying their new larger digs.

and tina turner, oh tina, the husband and myself had a long night last night.  this is what my guest bathroom sink looks like.

electrolyte water.  hydrogen peroxide.  and neosporin.  the three new girls had been cooped up in the dog crate for too long and got bored and started pecking at tina turner.  her tail was beyond gross last night, literally dripping blood.  i honestly didn’t think she would make it through the night.

after some research we decided it best to give her a hydrogen peroxide warm water soak.  yes.  the husband held the chicken in the sink filled with the above mixture.  yes.  we are the people that gave the chicken a bath.  laugh.  but she liked it.  for reals.  we then dried her off, applied neosporin and put her in her new temporary home.  she made it through the night and this morning is resting well.

her breathing is back to normal and the bleeding has stopped.  it will be many days before she goes back outside.  for now, electrolyte water to help build up her strength.  and maybe another bath tonight.  :)

owning chickens is not always fun.  but sitting on the floor with a chicken at 3am, it completely dependent on you is pretty amazing.  it is overwhelming and most of the time i feel completely incompetent but there is something instinctual about caring for another being when it is injured.  they aren’t the most intelligent creatures but they have an awareness.  they know pain.  they know fear.  just something to think about the next time i am tempted to order “just chicken” off of a menu without knowing how it was cared for.