Of the 6 chickens inherited from my neighbor, Red has always been my favorite. On one occasion I borrowed them to assist in the new vegetable area. 5 huddled in the furthest corner, Red came up to where I was forking up the soil and she focused on each upturning and snatched any worms or grubs that were unearthed. I was told she was rescued from a commercial operation and that was why her beak was snipped – to minimize damage amongst stressed confined birds. The bigger birds respected her and let her alone.
And all was well until last week when her behavior changed – not amongst the birds at the paddock corner scrounging for handfuls of seed, comb faded, more time in the coop than out. And last night I was sure she was at her end – standing in the corner with head drooped to the ground. I separated her from the others and this morning I set out to take her body for burial – I dig a deep hole for the departed and, when covered, mark it with a boulder. But there she was on her feet!
So I rolled out the “spa treatment” recommended at www.hencam.com. A long soak in an epsom salt bath. Which she enjoyed as you can see below.
Followed by pieces of whole wheat home made bread doused liberally with olive oil.
The least I could do for a real character. So we wait and see.