First off, my poor, poor chickie! I came home yesterday and after the usual head count we were one short. I checked all over and no sign of the missing one. The young uns are getting big enough, 8 weeks about, that they can get out of the "play pen" into the main coop. I figured that this meant they could also get back if they needed to escape the 3 adults that share the coop with them. Needless to say, one didn't make it back in. I found her because of the feeble cheeping coming from an old feed bag. I store dried grass in old feed bags to use as bedding, and she found her way into a half emptied one. I got her out, and saw the horrific damage. She was scalped, from just behind the eyes her skull was visible, and no skin on half the neck. I think it's likely that one of the hens got hold of her and did a bit of damage, and then she got peeled by her broodmates picking at the wound. Thankfully, there were no other injuries. I thought I would have to put her down. After a bit of consternation and consideration I figured I could spare a pack of sutures, so I set about cleaning the injury. A little saline to wash, and soften the scabs, allowed the dried in feathers to be removed. It isn't easy to pick debris from a frantically shaking chicken head, but we got it done. I wrapped her in a towel to cut down on the struggling. I pulled the torn skin from the neck area up to make sure there was enough, and fortunately they hadn't actually removed any of it. Out come the 5/0 sutures and forceps, and we get the first stich in to start the closure. The first one went without a bit of fuss. I was really thinking I was going to have an easy time of it. The second one went much more as I expected. FIGHT! SCREAM! FLAIL! SQUAWK! I had to give her a minute between each of the remaining stitches. With all of the movement she managed to turn 16 pokes into 50 by pulling free of the needle. At the end, she had all her parts in their correct places. Then came the neosporin, the aspirin, vitamins, and a new home in the house, complete with a stuffed critter. She didn't move for hours. I knew she was alive, because of three little rapid peeps anytime I spoke to her. I was a bit worried. This morning, happy little bird! I brought her a yolk, and she got up and went right after it. Now she is hopping about hoping to get out of the cage. It's an old ferret cage, so it has a few levels. She flits from one to the other, with an expectant air. Perhaps she'll make it.