Help! Advice needed following dog attack.

anlawrence

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 30, 2013
21
2
26
Hi

I have two hens (Betty and Margo) who I have had since September 2012.

On Saturday Betty was badly injured by a Springer Spaniel (trained to the gun) who decided to 'retrieve' Betty and delivered her to his dismayed owner.

Betty has lost all the feathers on her back and most on her breast and has only one tailfeather remaining :)-( I am keeping her in a cat carrier (oh the indignity) inside the house. She has been to the vet twice and is on painkillers/anti-inflammatories and antibiotics and seems to be perking up. This morning she pounced on a grape which I tried to tempt her with and then wolfed down some mixed corn and mealworms. So I think her prognosis is good. I take her out every day to visit with Margo but still in the cage.

However, her roost-mate Margo has been behaving strangely since the attack. She refuses to come out of the coop (the girls are housed in an Eglu) and is firmly sat on the nestbox. She is aggressive when I approach her and yesterday I found her with feathers in her mouth. She is behaving for all the world as if she is broody but does not appear to be sitting on an egg (although she did grab a small yoghurt pot and tuck it underneath her!)

My questions are:

Should I get hold of Margo (using oven gauntlets - she has already pecked me once!) and put her outside the coop bodily or should I just leave her to her own devices (she has food and water in there and this morning ate heartily - while I held the container in front of her)

When it comes to putting the girls back together should I start with some 'supervised play' during the daytime? I am reluctant to put them together at dead of night (as I understand is normal practice) as I fear Margo might attack PBB (Poor Bald Betty)

I am pretty new to all this as you can imagine but I have heard that you folks are the Go-To Guys for Chicken Woes!

Warm regards

Angie
Isle of Man
 

AmberRex

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 26, 2013
290
21
98
Earth
So when a chicken goes broody it does not mean that it is sitting on an egg. If you offer her an egg she will probably sit on it but when hens have gone broody they remain broody whether they are sat on eggs or not at least for two weeks into their broody cycle. It could just be entirely coincidental but it does sound as if she is broody...
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anlawrence

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 30, 2013
21
2
26
Don't know settingdusk. I open up the back of the Eglu and put the cat carrier with the door as close as possible to it so they can see and hear each other. Hope that it helps but am really just going on instinct here!

Thanks for responding!
 

anlawrence

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 30, 2013
21
2
26
Thanks for responding AmberRex. Is it possible that a trauma has sparked off broodiness I wonder?

Should I lift her out of the nestbox and make her go outside or should I just continue to let her get on with it?
 

AmberRex

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 26, 2013
290
21
98
Earth
If she is broody then she will just go back inside again. It will encourage her to stop hopefully if you shut her outside but to be honest as it does her no harm it is much easier to let her run her course... if you wanted then you could start your own mini chick farm at this point. If you haven't noticed by looking at this site, it is a great conversation starter!!!
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!

This way it is nice for both your hens because neither will get lonely. Perhaps the trauma did bring it on perhaps it didn't. I don't suppose that you will really ever know...
 

anlawrence

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 30, 2013
21
2
26
Don't tempt me to start a chick farm! I would LOVE to but really do not have the room! Plus we are pretty much in the middle of a bird sanctuary and I have seen too many chicks picked off by hawks and seagulls down in the village
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My instinct is to let it run its course - so long as she is eating (which I have seen) and drinking (which I haven't) she will be okay I guess.

Did make me laugh about the yoghurt pot though!

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ChickensBeCrazy.com !!
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anlawrence

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 30, 2013
21
2
26
There;s a joke there somewhere AmberRex - but it's 11 pm over here and my funny bone is going to sleep - shortly to be followed by the rest of me!

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anlawrence

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 30, 2013
21
2
26
Just a quick update on my chooks!

The injured one (Betty) just took it upon herself to go back into the coop - whether the broody one (Margo ) liked it or not! Both hens are now happily together as they were before the dog attack.

A friend gave me a couple of fertile GOOSE eggs for M to sit on (I know! I didn't think her feet would touch the ground either but she seems fine). At first she came out of the nest box once a day like clockwork and ran around like a crazy person with only ten minutes for lunch and an hour's worth of errands. But yesterday she didn't come out at all so this morning I gave her breakfast in bed (besotted much?). Some mixed corn and mealworms and a few grapes which she wolfed down.

I have NO idea how long this broodiness will last or indeed if the eggs will hatch. Meanwhile Betty seems fine, eating well and coming out for a wander but insists on staying inside with her pal. I look forward to them returning to normal but on the bright side at least my newly planted vegetable garden is benefiting!
 

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