Sunday, April 30, 2017
About 10 days ago, my daughter and I noticed that one of her big, light brahma chickens, was missing her tail feathers. Every one was gone, like something had pulled them out. She was also acting very nervous and was very hard to catch. Not like herself at all. It was all really strange and, in the end, we chalked it up to maybe the hen was having a spring molt.
This past Monday morning, I let our dogs out the front door and noticed what I thought was a white plastic bag laying in our front pond, about 4 feet out from the bank. The more I looked, the more I realized that it was not a bag, that it was, in fact, one of our Pekin ducks. I quickly waded into the pond and saw that she was still alive, but barely. I wrapped her in a towel and got her up on the porch. The feathers had been torn out from her back, she was barely breathing, and she was obviously in bad shape. Long story short, I ended up having to put her down. It was a shitty experience that I have no desire to ever repeat, and for the love of us we could not figure out just what the hell had happened to her.
The Answer to Our Questions
Friday, Pookie and I rode the Harley down to Wilmington. The day was beautiful, and after pretty much two weeks of mostly rain, it felt good to be out in the sun and "in the wind". While we were gone, our daughter let the chickens/guineas out for their usual roam in the yard. We got home, and as we were getting off the bike, my husband's phone rang. It was our neighbor telling us that a large dog had gotten hold of one of our chickens and carried it into his yard. We were very fortunate that he managed to wrestle the hen out of the dogs mouth. It was one of my black australorps, Ella (aka "Crazy Eye"). She was alive, had a chunk of feathers missing from her back, and her skin was torn in two places. We carried her back to our yard, only to see the very dog that had hurt her splashing around in our pond, very interested in our remaining 3 ducks. He ended up running from our yard, our daughter in hot pursuit. In the end: #1 - we got close enough to see that he had on a collar with no tags. #2 - no one in the neighborhood knew who he belonged to, but they had been seeing him on and off for about a week and a half. And, #3 - the last we saw of him he was heading down the street.
So, today my husband and I went over to Tractor Supply and bought a gate for the driveway. Then when we got it home, my awesome, amazing husband hung it for me, even though he absolutely hates the idea of having one to open and close whenever he leaves or comes home. This fact makes me love him even more.
P.S. As I type this, Crazy Eye is recuperating out in the feed room. Two times a day I clean her wounds with peroxide, then I slather on antibiotic ointment. She is eating and drinking and we are cautiously optimistic about her recovery. The rest of the flock are out happily pecking around our fenced in 4 acres. Complete with a gate.