Saturday, 28 June 2008

Starting a new Run

I tried putting Dopey back in with the other hens earlier in the week, once her foot had healed. Unfortunately, Ginger REALLY didn't want her back in there, so I let them all into the garden. Ginger kept pecking Dopey and pulling at her feathers. Interestingly, Honey stuck up for Dopey, which I thought was nice. But it was obvious that Dopey, as bottom chicken, wasn't going to slot back in nicely. And in fact she is thriving in the rabbit hutch - her comb has reddened up, and grown, and she is much happier not being bullied! And the other 3 chickens do seem to like having a bit more space in their run - amazing how much space a little chicken can take up!

So, the new plan is to make a new run! I have bought a house from West Country Poultry (it is one of the bargain ones at the bottom of the 'arks' page), and Graham is going to make a new run for it. Then, Dopey plus a couple of new chickens can go in there, and hopefully Dopey can be Queen Chicken! I would like to get a White Star, which lays white eggs, and a Bluebelle, because I have always liked them. But first we have to build the run! We're going to try to put right some of the design errors from Chicken Run Mark 1 - for example, we're going to put some clear roofing on, and make the top open up to help with cleaning.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Dopey in isolation

Dopey (just for a change) is having another health problem - she cut her foot yesterday. I noticed some blood on her foot, but it didn't seem to be bothering her too much. This morning was a different story - hanging her foot, blood dripping - lovely. The other hens, being attracted to the red as hens are, were pecking her foot and making it worse, and poor Dopey was trying to hop around on one leg using her wing to balance her. She looked very pale as well. So I shut her in the henhouse for the rest of the day, with food and water.

She is now in the rabbit hutch! I had to let the other hens back into the henhouse to sleep, and I didn't want them to start attacking Dopey, so I have put her in isolation to recover. I've also ordered some wound powder and Gentian Violet Spray which should help healing, and also discourage pecking. Poor old Dopey - she is a bit crammed in there, but it's better than being pecked!