This week has been a difficult one. On Saturday I discovered that one of my beloved hens had a horrible injury to the back of her neck. You wouldn't even have been able to notice when she was just walking around but when she walked over towards me and lowered her head to try to eat and her neck feathers fell forward, there was a big old gaping hole all the way to her spinal column. I couldn't believe she was still on her feet walking around! I quickly picked her up to examine the wound more carefully and I was just horrified. It was AWFUL! I was sure that I was going to lose her.
I boiled up some salt water and when it had cooled, used it to thoroughly wash the wound. I was sure Rocky would fight me on this but she just sat very still--probably a bit in shock. I then dressed the wound with some triple antibiotic and ended with a good slathering of honey. The poor gal is still with us and is drinking and eating--although not as much as usual. I have her separated and quiet and will keep her that way for a while yet.
Now, after I had doctored her up I began to try to figure out who the culprit was. My hens have a gated area that I close up at night but during the day they have full run of our whole side yard area. I thought I had made a good enough barrier to keep the dogs out but it turns out that it was not good enough. I really trusted my dogs as I have a little hen that has a twisted beak that I bring up to the main yard all the time so that she can eat without being pushed out of the way by the other hens. The dogs have NEVER bothered her and she is a really easy target.
Well, on Sunday we had to leave the house to run some errands and when we returned I happened to spy my Kelpie dog come skulking through the barrier to the chicken yard. I hollered at her and then hurried to investigate. It was awful. She had killed my other Barred Plymouth Rock hen. I found her poor lifeless, headless body hidden away in one of the flowerbeds.
If Juno (the Kelpie) was not my son's best friend I may just have sent the mutt up the river but because of his love for her I instead just threatened her with the loss of her life if she ever even looks at one of my chickens again and I installed a completely new gate and have made sure that she cannot get back there again.
I continue to nurse the other Plymouth Rock and I really hope she pulls through.
I have also been sick and not getting much sleep because I seem to need to cough my lungs out every night for most of the night. Not fun. So I am walking around in kind of a fog right now. I just feel a bit numb.
We are also dealing with my husbands dipshit older brother who is a very manipulative alcoholic/addict who has really put the family through the ringer for the last 5 years. There is a huge rift between my husband and his younger brother and Dipshit and my mother-in-law who just keeps bailing Dipshits ass out of the fire.
And my little sister and her fiancee just split up and my mother and my stepdad have been at eachother's throats as well.
What the hell is going on?
12 hours ago