Monday April 21 one of my best Rhode Island Red hens got out of the chicken yard and the puppies tried playing with her. Lets just say things did not turn out too well.
A couple of weeks ago the puppies tried playing with the same hen. A lot of the feathers on her neck were pulled out. Besides a couple of small bite marks she was otherwise ok. It looked like she was going to make a full recovery. Then Monday came along.
After my wife and I got home from work I opened the chicken yard for the chickens to free range until dark. The puppies were roaming free while the chickens were in their yard.
Maybe around 6:30 or so I opened the chicken house and that is when I saw her. She was in the nest with a broody Australorp. I knew right then something was wrong. She was missing feathers around her vent and she acted scared.
I picked her up out of the box and that was when reality set in. She was more than just scared, she was missing chunks of flesh under one of her wings and around her vent. I am going to guess she jumped over the fence of the chicken yard. The puppies saw her and and tried to play. Chickens just are not as durable as puppies.
The only reason why the hen was not pout down right then was because she had certain traits that I wanted to breed her for. Anytime the flock was out foraging she was leading the pack. She was not a follower, she was a leader. She was also my largest Rhode Island Red. I wanted those traits passed down to the next generation.
After dark I got some neosporin out of the first aid kit, got the hen off the perch, spread the neosporin all over her wounds, put her back on the perch and prayed for the best.
Tuesday April 22 my wife and I got home from work, went into the house, my wife looked out a back window and saw the Rhode Island red in the backyard just behind the chicken house. I walked out the backdoor, touched the chicken with my boot to confirm she was dead. Yep, she had been dead for awhile.
I went back inside the house, ate dinner, then buried her next to a newly planted grapefruit tree.
To make sure no varmints will dig her up I put several 3 inch thick cement pads over her grave. Hopefully she will rest in peace.
So long nugget, you will be missed.