Monday, June 13, 2011

Chickens: Mrs. Farmer to the Rescue!

My Farmer Senses were tingling.

Farmer senses aren't very specific, but I knew I needed to go look at the chickens. I was hoping that I would see that they had begun laying eggs again. So I went to the farmyard, picked a bunch of the chickens' favorite weeds as a peace offering, and entered the enclosure. I tossed the weeds aside, and the hens all ran after them. I peeked inside the coop, and there was not a single egg. Not one. Again. I was so disappointed, thinking that my Farmer Senses were off, so I took a quick glance around the enclosure and headed for the door.

One chicken, however, wasn't swarming on the tasty greens I had brought in. She was tucked in the corner, dug into a hole. She wasn't dust bathing - the ground was wet and muddy from a recent rain. She was barely moving. Upon closer inspection, she was stuck. Her wing was stuck behind a fencepost and trapped between the pole and the chicken wire. The hole was dug in her attempts to untangle herself, and she was crammed tight into the corner. I couldn't get her loose.

She was so entangled, and her feathers were so beat up that I was sure she wasn't going to make it, so I did what any good, strong farmer's wife would do - I called Mr. Farmer and begged him to come home and put her down. He was too involved in his project to come and assist me, except to give the advice to either a) cut her throat, b) break her neck, or c) leave her there a while; if I hadn't come out to peek she would have been stuck there until he got home anyway. Something in his tone made me decide that I just had to act. This time I was not just going to let it go.

So I put on my gardening gloves and set out to work. I kicked the stones that were pushed up against the outside of the fence by the pigs away. That did not create as much "give" as I had hoped, and I was no closer to getting her out. So I went to the other side of the fence, and with superhuman (or at least supermom) strength I yanked the fence pole out of the ground. When I got back into the enclosure, the chicken had not moved, and I feared the worst. I was able to pick her up fairly easily at that point, and I carried her away to a waiting dog crate filled with straw. I closed the door and watched to see if she would move.

Within moments she was up and moving. She picked through the straw and even ate some of the grass that was coming through the bottom. She was moving in a normal manner - pecking and scratching and even shaking off the rain. She was dirty and wet and bedraggled, but she was alive and not bleeding.

The hen has been returned to the flock. Her wing is dropped and not moving, and her tail is pointed to one side, but she's eating and moving without any issue, and the other chickens are not bothering her. All because I saved her. Mrs. Farmer to the Rescue!


  1. Poor chicken! How funny would it be if she gives you an egg tomorrow. Lucky lady to be saved.

  2. Good for you! Oh my goodness, I thought you were going to describe how you went in and broke her neck! Thank God you didn't... I wouldn't have been able to sleep!

    You go girl!

  3. No, I would not have been able to do it, even if it had been a mercy killing. In this case, luckily, it wasn't needed.

    As our Pig-Partner stated, "Sometimes the most messed-up chickens last the longest." I'm going to run away and write a post about that (messed up chickens) now. I kind of feel obliged... Look for it in a few days.