Mavis is easily the most challenging and aggressive hen we currently have here at Raggedy Hen Farm. So challenging, in fact, that her name has been extended from the simple and classy Mavis to Mavis G@* D^%#@T! Who would have guessed that she would have our first hen-pecked injury?!
Well, she must have had her snout somewhere one (or more) of the bossier hens didn’t want it because when Kori went out to give the gals a treat after dinner last night, Mavis G.D. had a bloody comb and beak. At first glance, it was assumed that Mavis G.D. had attacked one of the others, but, alas, it was she who bore the bloody head. Kori went into the coop to retrieve her before things got worse. Chickens give blood-thirst a rather gnarly enactment–when they see an injury or blood on one of their coop-mates, they will literally peck her to death, no matter how well they all got along before the injury. Blood=weakness.
Mavis G.D. was not too happy being carted in the house to have her comb cleaned–first with water and then with hydrogen peroxide. It took a while to get the blood to ease up, but when it did, Kori put some homemade comfrey salve over the wound. Because she was still injured, Mavis G.D. couldn’t go back into the coop, so she spent the night in the garage with her own food and water. She certainly was feeling out of her element, but it was the safest spot for her to recover.
Today, Mavis G.D. spent the day in isolation in the grow-out pen–she was her usual crabby self and not at all happy about being separated from the flock, but it was for her own good. By evening, the wound was dry and healing well–no sign of infection, oozing, or other unpleasantness. We let her out for an hour of evening free range right before dusk and then let her into the henhouse after all the big gals had gone to bed–which was right where she wanted to be. Hopefully, a night returned to the roost will help to ease everyone back into co-habitation. We’ll be keeping a close eye, however, just in case we need to intervene in any roughness. As long as her wound continues to heal and there’s no blood, we have our fingers crossed that things should be fine.
Of course, with our flock, there always seems to be some sort of drama going down!