The other day, several chickens were huddled in a corner of their pen. I don’t remember what the occasion was, whether it was raining, or if we were mowing, or what. Regardless, there were about three or four chickens packed into the corner between their house and the fence.
Dinner time was coming up, so I headed up to the house to start making dinner, and as I walked past the chickens’ area, I noticed three pullets pecking at something in the corner. It looked like there was some blood, so I rushed in to see what was going on.
The arrangement was like this: One araucana was laying down in the corner, apparently thinking that it was dead. A delaware was half-lying on top of it, with one of its feet caught in the fence, so its leg was stretched way out behind it. Three other pullets were busily attempting to help free the delaware from the fence. Their chosen method: amputation.
My investigation had stirred things up, so the pecking had stopped. I freed the delaware, and tried to pick her up, but she started pecking at me, so I put her down. I picked up the araucana and told her that she was still alive. She was pleased and ran off to join the flock.
The bloodied delaware had also tried to rejoin the flock, but one of the other pullets was chasing her around, trying to peck at her wound. So I had to be a chicken rescue squad to rescue the chicken from another chicken rescue squad.
Now the damaged delaware is isolated so she’ll have a chance to recover. She is quite dismayed at being separated from the rest of the chickens, and every evening at dusk she gets antsy, wanting to go get into the house with the rest of the pullets. And she’ll get her wish … in a week or so.