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Thursday, April 5, 2012

The return of a hen, and her re-disappearance, and a funny egg

I really need to get rid of 4 roosters - they are big and bold and taking out their hormonal angst upon my hens.  In particular, they've been targeting my two Rhode Island Red hens.  I'm not sure why they do this, but the RIR hens are losing far more feathers than the other hens and the other day, I noticed that one of them had her flanks completely torn open on both sides.  I inspected her wounds and she had really huge openings - about 1 inch or wider - on both sides, but the blood was dried and the skin was peeled away and I wasn't sure what to do.  I decided to let her try to heal on her own.  A couple of days later, she disappeared.  Just clean disappeared.  I searched high and low, but no sign of her.  I decided she'd been taken by a hawk or another predator or something similar.

It's been about a week since she disappeared, and today when I did the afternoon feeding, I did a double take when I looked at the flock running over to the feed grains.  She was back!  I went out immediately and looked her over.  Her wounds have healed a little, but not that well, and I still have my doubts as to whether she'll make it, but she was eating heartily and holding her own.  I had no idea where she had been, but she was back.

Just before dark, I went out to close up the coop.  Was she there?  No.  She'd disappeared again.  I searched yet again, but no sign of her.  Clearly, she has taken to sleeping elsewhere.  I don't know where, and I don't know why I have only seen her with the feeding group that one time today.  She must have made herself a little hiding place where she can heal without the roosters constantly hassling her.  I really must get them processed soon - it's just not fair to the hens.

Anyway, when I closed the coop and picked up the eggs, there was this funny little hiccup egg.

I've never seen one quite this shape before.  It's my first hiccup egg from my Nova Scotia hens.  Couldn't resist sharing the pictures.  I think I've got 5 or 6 hens laying now - one has just started laying these small white eggs recently - this is the third one so far.
 Such a cute little egg!
I have more to blog about, and I will write soon, but still finding it hard to find my writing muse.  Time heals all wounds.

18 comments:

Marigold said...

Do you read Danni's blog over at Critter Farm? She had a hen that kept getting beat up by everyone. Finally she just adopted the two cats, two donkeys, one llama and her farm pup as her flock. She lives in a crate on the deck. Maybe your hen has taken up with the goats. We are good company, you know.

Cynthia said...

I just love young hens and their narrative eggs. They talk about the trials of not belonging and trying to fit it...all in the days of those early eggs. Long or short, round or oval...weirdly colored and/or no particular color at all. First eggs are precious in that they are all about finding one's place in the choir.

Lin said...

I'm glad to hear that she is still hanging in there--albeit secretly. She's a smart gal--laying low until the storm blows over.

fullfreezer said...

I've only got one rooster and he is pretty rough on two of the hens. I'm your hen is hanging in there.
We had an odd 'wind egg' last week- only about an inch diameter and nearly round. I've seen more people posting about odd eggs this spring. I wonder if it's the weather...
Judy

laurie said...

I guess thats on esmart hen , she knows enough to saty out of the roosters reach, thats one thing I did not like about raising chickens, Roosters, i dislike them, I know everyone loves paintings and photos of them, I paint them and sell lots of rooster art but man oh man they are self centered nasty birds, with one thing on their minds, after many years of raising chickens I must say i do not miss roosters but i had many hens I just adored, now they have personality

Patty Woodland said...

I have this theory that roosters are reincarnated rapists. I hate roosters

Lisa said...

Oh darn!!I'm in need of a rooster. Mine died last week. Too bad you live so far away. If you plan on coming to SW Nova Scotia bring one along.

I'm serious.
Lisa

Spinners End Farm said...

Claire!

We had that exact same egg a few days ago- rather oddly oval and tiny. I've had small roundish eggs but never an oval one like that...I was going to post about it too. We also had four roosters to deal with...DONE!

:) Sherry

Millie said...

That is a funny little egg. I hope your hen heals, and my human would like to send you her Naughty Rooster Boy.

Holly said...

While you are at it, I've got two roosters needing the same thing done to them. What's two more. LOL Hopefully after Easter they will make it into a nice big pot of chicken noodle soup. They should have been done weeks ago. Such is the way with chores.

Foothills Poultry said...

Have you considered that your hen may be broody and have a hidden nest of eggs somewhere she is setting on?

Nancy K. said...

Your poor little hen! I'd get rid of those roosters YESTERDAY! That egg reminds me of a Jellybean! You should boil it and color it for Easter...

Speaking of which, I hope you have a nice Easter.

Stockannette said...

Speaking of hens... seeing your chicken hat on Etsy just made my day! http://www.etsy.com/listing/91111828/the-subdued-chicken-hat-of-silliness

Mare said...

God Claire, i just stopped by your blog and read about your situation. Don't know if you've checked in with me, but i am recovering from a stroke. Surprise!!! Life is interesting, isn't it....One thing i do know for sure is, you and i, we can do this. We are strong, hard headed women, and we can get thru to the other side. Take good care of yourself my friend. I send my Love, mare

porkpal said...

DrDoolotz, are you still there? We miss you!

porkpal said...

DrDoolotz, are you still there? We missyou!

(I may have just posted this twice - that's for emphasis.)

Ping said...

Two of our hens disappeared when we went on 2 weeks holiday to Hawaii. A few days after we returned, both hens were seen in the yard scratching for food. They seem fatter and looking very well groomed. But they did not stay in the pen at night. Very puzzling behaviour. My suspicion was they are nestling somewhere. So we waited…another week gone. Still the same behaviour. Second week after our holiday, one of the mother hen turned up with 5 little chicks. Two more days later, the other mother hen turned up. I counted 12 chicks. Now we have total 15 chicks because two chicks from the first mother hen went disappearing overnight. Perhaps the wild had taken them. We did not know we had to fence them away from dangers. Now we learned from our mistakes. Both mother hens are very good moms keeping their chicks warm in a separately fenced off area. I wonder how many chicks will survive. Pamela

Ping said...

Two of our hens disappeared when we went on 2 weeks holiday to Hawaii. A few days after we returned, both hens were seen in the yard scratching for food. They seem fatter and looking very well groomed. But they did not stay in the pen at night. Very puzzling behaviour. My suspicion was they are nestling somewhere. So we waited…another week gone. Still the same behaviour. Second week after our holiday, one of the mother hen turned up with 5 little chicks. Two more days later, the other mother hen turned up. I counted 12 chicks. Now we have total 15 chicks because two chicks from the first mother hen went disappearing overnight. Perhaps the wild had taken them. We did not know we had to fence them away from dangers. Now we learned from our mistakes. Both mother hens are very good moms keeping their chicks warm in a separately fenced off area. I wonder how many chicks will survive.