Lately we've been watching a great horned owlet learning how to hunt way out in our pasture...it's so cute.....or so I thought until the little ******* snatched one of my chicks. (Let me start off by saying that having lost at least 25 chickens to predators in the last 3 years, my fiancee and I decided no free ranging unchaperoned...for the record the girls hate this rule!) So the girls were free ranging and I was chaperoning late afternoon on saturday last when nature called...I was gone but 5 minutes and when I came out ALL of the girls were freaked out and hiding under a big bush. I immediately did a head count and only 7 out of 8 chicks ( After about a 1/2 hour search found the 8th chick alive but limp laying in the tall grass and that little ******* owlet in a nearby tree. I took her inside and checked her over...found 2 bloody puncture marks on her back and some feathers missing here and there...CURSE THAT OWL...she couldn't stand up & was obviously in shock (who wouldn't be!) I cleaned the wounds & put triple anti-biotic ointment on (yes the kind w/o painreliever), put her in a box in a quiet spot in the house. She drank a little water but wouldn't eat anything. Checked her 1st thing in am and she seemed ok but still wouldn't stand up. I gently felt each leg and didn't feel any obvious broken bones. She would flap her wings and try real hard to stand...but nothing. That night I put one of her sisters in with her to keep her company for the night. Next morning she ate a little fresh corn and drank a little but try as she might could not stand up. Since she didn't appear to be in any pain decided to wait it out. FAST FORWARD...it has now been 2 weeks since the attack...OMG!!! At nine weeks old, 'CORNelia' (cuz all I could get her to eat was corn at 1st) is working me like never before! She still can't bear any weight on her legs so I have to feed her by hand every couple of hours during the day....her 'likes' and 'dislikes' change daily...if I am feeding her something messy she'll take about 3 bites then turns her head away until I hold a napkin (YES A NAPKIN) in front of her whereupon she wipes her beak and then continues eating a few more bites...then napkin again and so on! AND If she doesn't like something she pushes it away with her beak and gives me the back of her head! Being an invalid that has to be hand fed means she goes to work with me....she goes grocery shopping with me...she goes to the pharmacy to pick up my moms prescriptions with me....ALL the old ladies at my auntie's hair salon ADORE her...I made her a diaper....a walker....3 different kinds of 'slings' to carry her in....painted her toenails same color as mine and I HAVE to be in view AT ALL TIMES or she starts dangerously flapping around her cage....I know I'VE CREATED A MONSTER...(it's not me it's my guilt for leaving them alone)!!!! I'm keeping fingers crossed she starts walking again SOON.....I sure do love that little chicken...TO BE CONTINUED.....
UPDATE...lost another chick today (
Cornelia and I were out chaperoning the girls this afternoon...laying on the lawn, snacking on the occassional blade of grass or bug that happened by when ALL OF A SUDDEN...a bobcat jumps out of the bushes 15 feet away us snatches up one of Cornelia's sisters & was gone so fast none of the other chickens (or our black lab) even saw it!!! Since apparently it's not safe for them to free range even with a chaperone...I'M MAKING A CHICKEN TRACTOR & GETTING A GUN!!!
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