Just ask FUgly. That is what I’ve named the hen that now is out of the coop and has the run of the farm. No pictures for this one – she is too gruesome.
O.K. – Lesson Number One – Chickens hate weakness in the flock and can be brutal. Being at the bottom of the pecking order can mean a bloody head and a short life span. We have a really large run with lots of space so this rarely happens – unless you are a sick chicken.
Lesson Number Two – Chickens are NOT vegetarians and enjoy their meat snack. Whether that be bugs, snails, mice, lizards, small snakes…or a fallen flock mate.
So FUgly (who wasn’t ugly at the start of this story) got sick. And as she started to move slower and huddle up more her peers zoomed in on that and started to harass her. Of course this added to her misery. She spent most of her days hiding in a small space between the wall and the nesting boxes. I’d slip food to her in the hopes she’d recover quickly and get back out there.
Well, that didn’t happen and even though she seemed able to get out and walk around she was now the target of the hen’s brutal attention. Over the course of a few short days the hens scalped her of all her skin on the back of her head and neck. And the sight of the blood and scab just drove them into a further frenzy.
I decided that her best chance of any sort of recovery was to let her free range on the farm. She now has had the run of the place for the past 3 days. She is eating lightly and spending her nights sleeping in the cat boxes.
So if you come to visit now you know the story of FUgly and if you see her walking around try not to be too grossed out!