Day 3 for the new girls, and they’re settling in well; they’re becoming slightly less nervous of humans, but still lots of wing flapping and squawking when I go near them! I try and spend as much time with them as I can, sitting on a chair close to them, walking around them slowly and quietly, and crouching down and getting as close to them as I can, so that they can start to get used to me.
The main task today was extending the temporary fencing for the new girls. The initial plastic orange fence was attached to the back of the run in a ‘U’ shape and would have been fine for our intended group of 6 hens, but was too small for the 12 we re-homed. As the fence was temporary I used a mixture of existing mesh panels and pallets, with a small gate. Immediately this felt better for the hens as it more than doubled the space they had, and for us, using a small gate will be a lot easier than wrestling with plastic fencing fixed in placed with some metal poles.
Tonight, Petal joined Lupin in the hospital coop inside. I noticed that she had some bleeding around her vent where the other hens had pecked her, and left untreated this could become very serious. On inspection, she had a small prolapse so she needed to be isolated and treatment applied. I bathed her in some baby bath, and covered the wound and prolapse in Sudocrem. We’ve had hens with a prolapse before and the cycle of bathing and applying cream should deal with this condition, but the hen needs to be isolated so that no other hens can peck at the wound.