Sunday, March 21, 2010

Why Does It Always Happen On Sunday!?

That's what Kristine asked after a pretty red fox with black legs put a hole in our biggest Buff Orpington and (we thought) ran off with one of the Wyandottes.

This is where the attack on the Buff Orpington happened.

And this is where the fox tried to catch the Wyandotte.

Morgan was on the porch when the chickens came running and yelling toward the house. Morgan took off to help the chickens, caught wind of the fox and took chase. Kristine saw the fox climb the fence and get away.

Kristine thought the fox had something in its mouth! Feathers? We counted the hens and we were short two. But then the big Buff Orpington came from the other side of the property.

We checked her and she had a wound and missing feathers.

Kristine drove down to town to the feed store to pick up some antibiotic while I made a comfy place for the Orpington to settle down.

Kristine is back now with a package of dry antibiotic and we have a new problem. How to convert mg into something we can measure and add to the chicken's water.

I don't know how to convert the mg to teaspoons and when I google for conversions they say that you can't convert because it is two different forms of measure... mass and volume. Arghhh!

I just want to add some to the water. Why couldn't they put down a teaspoon measurement?

Next step is to wash the wound with a saline solution. Then put on antibiotic cream. Not knowing exactly what to do for the hen is very unsettling. 

Kristine and I went out with treats to lure the chickens in their pen because we think the fox came back for another try and Morgan ran him off again.

Surprise!!! The missing Wyandotte showed up! She must have been so scared she went and hid out somewhere she felt safe. Wow! We checked the hen and she is fine except for some missing tail feathers and a patch of feathers on her side. She is small and fast and got away!

My thinking on the fox Sunday dinners is that since people around here go to church and probably locked up their dogs that left the area open for the fox to cruise for chickens with relative ease.

Sprout update:
Sprouts are sprouting... slowly...

Chicken update:
When Kristine and I were cleaning the side wound we also found a wound in the leg on the same side. Both wounds are in the skin not in the muscle. Looks like the fox's canines grabbed the hen and got mostly feathers and sliced the skin.

It is amazing she got away. Kristine thinks that when Morgan showed up the fox dropped the chicken and high tailed it for the fence. The Orpington feels like she weighs 10 pounds. Too heavy to hoist over the fence?

New Rule:
From now on the chickens will have to stay penned on the weekends.

Peek at the Past
Jean is ok now.

(6 eggs today)



Lorilee said...

I am so glad that all of your chickens are accounted for. I hope the injured girl will be OK!

Melodie said...

Oh my! I am so glad none of your girls were killed!!! We have never had fox trouble,thank goodness,but we do have hawk problems from time to time.

Lori Skoog said...

Kudos to your dog for a job well done!
I was so glad to read that the chickens are ok.

tberry29 said...

So sorry to hear about your chickens..I wish I could help with the conversion of mg to teaspoon. I even googled for you as well. I do know that 1 tsp is 5 ml. But you probably knew that already too. Are you having to give her an oral antibiotic or a topical. Just curious which one you are trying to converse to teaspoons.
Hope she heals quickly for you.

Mike said...

Wow! Close call. Glad that everyone is accounted for.

Nancy K. said...

How frightening! I'm glad that both of your hens survived. Is that fox and coop picture or your chickens? I've never seen a wild fox so close up.

Callie said...

Nancy K:
That is not our coop or chickens. I just thought the photo of the fox and coop was appropriate for today. I wish we didn't see them so close up either. Thanks for your good thoughts.

JoyceAnn said...

Fox attack , yikes! So glad he didn't get the girls , hope they heal fast. Boy , it's a hard life being a chicken , everthing wants to eat you.

That's a cool little chicken coop and apparently fox proof. Guess he went home with his tail between his legs (lol).

~ Spring Blessings ~

Mountain Woman said...

I'm so very glad that both your chickens survived. I don't understand either why they don't make it easier for us to convert measurements. Your chickens are so lucky to have you taking care of them.

Knatolee said...

Poor chickie, hope she feels better soon! Looks like she is getting good care.

Foothills Poultry said...

I am glad they escaped. If you email me the name of the Antibiotic, I can tell you the dosage. Not the package name, the chemical/duge name and percentage. Oxytetracycline is one of the most common.

Make sure the antibiotic ointment does NOT have pain killer. Some of the pain killers in those are toxic to chickens.

As long as the areas are kept clean, she will be FINE. I doctored injured birds back to health from the edge of death.


Vicki Lane said...

We had a great fox massacre last year -- they/it got into the chicken house. Since then we've beefed up the chicken wire and always close the birds up at night.

Chicken Boys said...

Glad the ladies are okay. I went to the store last night just before dark. When I was driving home I passed a house a couple of miles down the road from us that has bantams. In the yard was a dead tree with a great horned owl (the same that killed my pigeons) sitting in it. I don't think the owl had a chance, though. The chickens were all in the coop, and it looked well fortified with strong wire and a roof.

John Gray said...

god the buff was lucky.......they are fat girls and are always taken first by a they are so slow...

never a dull moment.....!!!!!!!

Texan said...

oh my, so glad your girls all made it... I had to give up totally on free ranging... it was one predator or another taking our girls constantly :O(... so my girls live in a big pen :O) just three in a 10x20 pen so I think they have some leg room :O).... again glad yours made it!

Gus, Louie and Callie said...

We are so happy the chickens are ok.. Morgan we will be right over to help patrol.

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Missy AKA Little Messy Missy said...

Wow you are so lucky. I had a raccoon take out all my chickens late last fall. It was horrible. They also took some of them out the year before and ate all my ducks. We now have a golden retriever that sleeps outside by the ladies and no more raccoons. He does a double check on the girls every night and follows them around all day. He so loves being in charge of them. I am glad you hen will be okay.

Leigh said...

Its odd that happened on a sunday, as I recall the day a racoon riped our orpington pullets through the coop wire was on a sunday... I guess everyone wants a good chicken dinner on the weekends. :)
Hope your injured hen fairs well.

~Kim~ said...

Oh Callie, I'm so glad your girls are okay and all present and accounted for!! I will hope that "the one that got away" mends quickly, and Morgan gets a nice big treat for a job well done!!! HOpe your day has been a quiet one!

Diana said...

Wow that was SO close! I'm glad your girls are ok, and the injured one is safe. To calculate mg into tsp, it's easiest to go from mg to oz first. Then go from oz to tsp. You may want to consult a veterinary university or avian expert before dosing anything though. I hope your Orpington beauty feels better and heals up fast. I know you'll be watching over her day and night.

Bloody Frida said...

oh Callie - I just saw this - I'm so sorry about your B.O. and am glad the W got home safely.


DayPhoto said...

Chickens are the low in the food chain and Boy am I ever glad you got there. I'm sure that nasty fox will return,at least the predators in our area do. I'm glad you keeping them penned up.


Leslie said...

I am a little late catching up on blogs but wanted to say how glad I am that the chickens weren't killed. I hope she continues to get better, sounds like she will. I was thinking and my sweet Barred Rock, Olive, was taken and eaten by a coyote on a Sunday.

Kelsi said...

It is the worst feeling to lose a chicken. I am so glad that all of yours are doing alright.

flowerweaver said...

Glad to know your Orpington is OK. Sumo, our large Brahma rooster and one of his hens got huge chunks of their backs ripped off a couple months ago by some predator and they amazingly healed right up! After that I will never again think any chicken wound is impossible to heal.