WARNING – The picture at the end is kind of gross, so if you are squeamish about blood, do not scroll down!
Yesterday as I was sitting at the dining room table working on some of my reports I heard the chickens squawking. I went out to the pen to see what was wrong with them and they were all huddled in the far corner. Usually when I walk out there they all come running toward me. Not this time. I was standing there trying to figure out what the problem was when I saw the hawk. It was sitting on a low branch right over the pen. The pen is an open dog run, so it is easy for things to swoop in from the top. I counted the chickens and noticed one was gone. There were four huddled in the corner and one over in the opposite corner by itself, and one was just gone. I searched the woods behind the house and around the yard and couldn’t find the last chicken or any signs of it at all.
I came in the house after I was sure the hawk was gone and read Cari’s post announcing that today’s theme would be panic. How fitting. I went back outside to take a few pictures of the panicked chickens to use and then noticed the one chicken that was by himself was injured. That is when I started to panic a little.
I’m not sure what to do with a chicken that is all scratched up. I called my mom and she laughed at me, because, really, what do you do about a chicken who just escaped a hawk? I did look up how to treat it’s wounds online and it is exactly what I would have done without looking it up. Clean the wounds and put some ointment on it.
Let’s hope the other chickens don’t pick on her and that the hawk doesn’t come back!
Update: After closer inspection, there is more damage than I thought. While cleaning her face up, I noticed a huge gash under her wing. Not sure what will happen, but there is nothing I can do to clean it up or fix it. I’ve moved on from panic, to just being very, very sad for the poor little chicken. The picture below looks really bad, but after cleaning up her face it didn’t look so bad. Her eye is okay, now we just have to worry about the rest of her.
Update 2: She seems to be moving a little better and her eye is open now. I’ve contacted the homeowners on what they want me to do and my panic has gone away now that I have the situation under control.