Hey Everyone! Last night as the girls were getting onto the roosts for bedtime something strange happened. I'm still trying to put pieces together and was wondering if anyone could shed light on the situation. When we came to check on them I was shocked to find fresh blood on the roosting bars, and in a large enough amount that I was quite concerned. We flipped the light on to investigate and in short order found that our alpha, Charley, has somehow torn her entire "pinky" claw off her right foot. She was bleeding consistently, but thankfully not nearly as bad as I would have expected. The claw "nail" was completely missing, but the quick seemed to be perfectly in tact. We performed some quick first aid, stopped the bleeding, had her thoroughly Blu-Koted, and set her back on the roost. She (and the others) settled down for bed quite quickly and were asleep in no time. We're keeping a close eye on her but she seems to be doing VERY well considering the injury and it was 17 degF this morning - just as the girls were getting used to consistent above-freezing temps... go figure... So my question is this: how much force is required to pull a claw "nail" completely off? I watched them go into the coop for bed and they were perfectly normal. There was no trace of blood in the shavings on the coop floor between their door and the roost bars. The roost bars are about two feet off the floor. In order to save them from having to "plop" down two feet from the bars to the floor when they get up in the morning I installed a kind of landing platform about halfway between the floor and the roost bars. There WAS blood on that platform and on the roosting bars, but nowhere leading up to them. Charley, whom I love dearly, is not known for being a graceful chicken. Many times I have seen chickens frantically claw at something for purchase if they jump or fly onto something and don't make it. Charley is also a stout girl; not overweight, but not svelt. My hypothesis is she jumped up to the platform, missed, grabbed at it with her claws, then fell while her one claw was actually stuck in the OSB of the platform - and that was what pulled the claw off. I dug through the coop shavings but have been unable to find the claw nail. What do you think? Could the force of a falling chicken be enough to pull off a claw nail? I would have thought it would take a lot more force... but I cannot fathom what else may have happened. Everything else in and around the coop - including the other chickens - was perfectly normal and there is no sign of injury anywhere other than the roosting area. Thoughts? PS - This was the third time (and the most severe injury) I have used cayenne pepper to stop bleeding - to great effect! While it aids in circulation if ingested, applied topically it can GREATLY speed coagulation. I've tried it on myself. The scab that forms isn't as robust as a normal scab. But by the time something might disturb the first scab, the wound will already have healed significantly. It takes a lot more than just sprinkling it on. I take a pinch and press it (gently!) into the wound like you're packing it. It might take two or three good pinches. It did burn when I did it to myself, but not unbearably. The chickens, if it did burn them, showed zero signs of it, not even a blink. The burning goes away after a minute. But I'm SHOCKED at how quickly it stopped bleeding compared to normal gauze and pressure. So much faster and easier!