Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Stuck Chicken

I had just finished up my morning chores (which almost always ends in the chicken coop/run) when I noticed that the tarp over the outside hoop house poultry pen had come loose on one end and it was blowing in the wind a bit. I went back in the barn to grab some zip-ties to anchor the tarp back down. I had finished putting the zip-ties in and was about to turn to go back to the house when I noticed that my Hill Roamer rooster, "Chip", was lying along the other edge of the hoop house. Chip tends to be on the flighty side and thinks he is a big guy (which he is not really) so I thought it was odd that he was laying so still. As I walked around the back of the hoop house it quickly became clear that he was not resting inside the hoop house but had wedged himself between the hoop house and the no-climb fence of the chicken run. I tried to reach in to shoe him out but I could not reach him and he didn't even flinch, which due to his flightly nature was again odd.

So, I walked outside the chicken run along the fence until I got to him. He was stuck for sure! He was lying almost on his side with both wings stuck through the 2x4 no-climb fence. I had to straighten his wings out and the push them back through the fence to free him up. I gave him a little nudge to get him closer to the back of the hoop house so I could reach him from inside the fence. So, I walked back around inside the run to get him and picked him up without even a little complaint.

I put him into one of the brooder pens which I often use for isolation pens when needed. He looked pretty depressed, was limping on one leg and just looked sore all over. I put some food and water down for him and he went right for it. I figure he must have been stuck all night and continued to struggle until he lost his spirit totally. After he ate he tried to hop up onto the roost but fell back down to the ground again. As I left the coop I could see that he had finally settled down in a corner of the pen.

I figure a quiet 24 to 48 hours and he should be ready to go back out with the rest of the chickens again.

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