Tag Archives: sick hen

“Winter” “storm”

We’re having a bit of a wind these days.  It’s all we’re getting from the giant storm swirling off shore on the Atlantic.  No rain or snow, just wind. I don’t like wind.  I don’t like getting pushed and slapped around by it.  It’s tiring.

The wind wreaks havoc with my chicken yard fence, so I didn’t let the birds out, deliberately.  But naturally the door blew open while I was in the GH, so they all went pouring out and I had to patch up the fence for a bit.  They don’t like wind either, though.  It blows their feathers the wrong way.  They quickly retreated.House chicken (who needs a name) is still keeping such a low profile that no one has been talking about when she’s going to go back to the flock.  Every day she hops out of her box and hangs out for awhile “in her yard” (on the sheet of newspaper in front of her box).  She eats and naps and does a lot of grooming.  She does less sleeping now and more grooming than when she first got imported.  She’s also turned into a real turd machine, which I suppose is healthy.  Means she’s eating more, maybe growing.  I figured she would let us know when she’s finished living in a box, by getting restless.  But she’s the opposite.  Just incredibly mild and quiet, so we mostly forget she’s even in here.  So different.  I can just imagine any other chicken in a cardboard box for five minutes…

The cutest little box chicken ever

I’ve never known a chicken to be so happy to live in a box.  It’s crazy.  She seems perfectly content to nap, eat, groom herself.  Repeat.  She eats breakfast and settles down into the hay for a nap.  Eats lunch, stretches out in the sun and naps.  Eats a snack, sighs, tucks her head under a wing and takes a nap.

I’m glad she’s eating.  It’s her only real job.  And I can feel her putting on weight.  But I do want to see signs of normal chicken behaviour, like escape attempts.  Scritching.  Opinions.  No, she’s just I live in a box now.  So the jury is still out on, Is she ill?  Or Is she just the mildest chicken ever?  She’s growing slow for her age, hence the forced confinement with snack bar, so maybe her mildness is a symptom of hunger?  Not the usual symptom of hunger. The only sure way to get a rise out of her is autofocus.  The green light makes her hit the dark far side of her box in zero time flat.  I’ll be looking through the viewfinder at her, lining up a perfect shot of her being cute, touch autofocus, and *poof*.  Where’d she go?   I failed to get many excellent pictures that way.  The only way I can get closeups is in full sunshine; that drowns out the autofocusing green light. Oh, falling asleep. Going… Gone.  No, I’m awake. See, my eyes are o….o…oh, back to sleep

HW shakes his head soberly and says I’m headed for a certain destiny of being a crazy chicken lady that has chickens in the house wearing diapers (Ok, I don’t think that necessarily correlates to mental instability, just sayin), but he loves her too.  She’s too precious, and it’s fun to have a quiet little poofy pet.  A purse chicken.

Another boxed chicken

Yang is quartered in the house again.  I brought her in yesterday when I saw her hunched up and not eating breakfast.  I don’t know why, but she’s underweight and seems listless, compared to her sibling Yin, so she’s in rehabilitative care.

She’s into it.  She likes cuddling,and seems to eat pretty well, if timidly, on her own.

I gave her a roomier box today, with a decent view of the room.  First she went to the very back and made herself a nest, but then she edged up to within extended-neck’s reach of water and snacks and settled in there.   She goes back to the back if I make loud noises.

I can’t figure out if she’s exceptionally meek, or if she’s ill, because a chicken usually has much more energy than this.  Ie., they’re usually ready to tear a box apart, upset their water dish, and let you know, very loudly, that they do not thrive in captivity.  But for now, she’s been admitted to the box and the all-you-can-eat buffet for observation.

Guineas getting along

I thought this hen was about to expire.  She spent a couple days hunched up in the greenhouse (no neck), with her eyes half closed.     When hens get like that they aren´t feeling well.  Sometimes they pull through it, sometimes they die.  This hen is very old.  She could be six or seven years old.  She retired from doing eggs some time ago.  But it seems she´s pulling through, and has decided to camp at a higher altitude today.  Her neck is getting longer too.

I haven´t planted anything out in the GH yet, so the doors are open for the various fowl to come and go.  Mostly they don´t go in there unless it rains; they are reveling in playing outside and have had enough of the greenhouse.

A guinea update – on the first night of freedom the new pair came back to the greenhouse!  The second night, they were all up on the guinea house together- adorable!  They don´t spend the day together – they travel in two separate packs all day, but they´re cool.  They know where they live.  The three-pack has a favorite spot by the trail, where the hen nestles down into the leaves under a little tree.  I think she´s laying eggs, but not yet broody.  She didn´t pick a very secret spot.