Red Bucket Farm is an urban farm on a quarter acre property in an average residential neighborhood. We are located in Wisconsin, USDA Zone 5. We focus on chickens, bees, orchard fruit, and raised garden beds for fruits and veggies. We hope to reduce our footprint on the planet by growing some of our food, reducing our use of fossil fuels, and gardening with sustainable practices. Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Circus Update

I'm taking a moment to bring you up-to-date with the current chicken wars in my backyard. You may remember that young Petunia decided yesterday morning to assertively squeeze herself into the nest box with older Wisteria. The result was a bloody comb. It started out rather small, but by mid-afternoon she was bleeding freely and her comb was far more damaged. Chickens will continue to peck when even the smallest amount of blood is present.

I attempted to stop the bleeding with pressure and a clean rag, and I applied styptic powder, all to no avail. I needed four hands to solve this and my family wasn't available. I put the bleeding Petunia into a cat carrier and took her to our veterinarian. With great patience, he trimmed her comb and cauterized the bleeding. When we were finished, the exam room was a bloody mess and Petunia was so exhausted from the struggle that she fell asleep in my arms.

We're keeping Petunia separated from the other girls until her comb is fully healed. She's in the day pen for now. We put her into the hen house from dusk to dawn so she can stay warm with the other girls in the chill of  night, but we separated her again at daylight. She seems a little subdued, and I hope she learned be more respectful of the other laying hens. Maybe. She's not quite as beautiful with her abbreviated comb, but she still has a few years of good egg laying ahead of her, if she can stay out of trouble.

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