Yes, yes, I know it was Cinderella but it just so happens that my princess is named Alice. Alice recently lost her best friend and hatch mate, Myrtie. Her three wicked and older stepsisters have been unkind. Alice & Myrtie were at the bottom of the pecking order but it seems the wicked stepsisters, Mildred, Mabel & Pearl wanted to make sure Alice stayed there. This week they took it too far and attacked in the nest box.
|Alice & Myrtie, sisters & BFF’s|
I had been watching these four and noticing that Mildred, Mabel & Pearl were getting more aggressive. I don’t know if their instincts were afraid the pecking order might shift or they saw Alice as an easier target by herself. Whatever the reason, they attacked poor Alice while she was trying to lay an egg on Tuesday. I could see feathers all over the place inside the coop and nest box. She was always careful to lay her egg last but it seems that wasn’t enough for the wicked stepsisters.
|Mildred & Mabel & Pearl, the wicked step sisters,
in the rain while Alice was dry in the garage
I went out to check on them mid-morning as I always do and found Alice with a bloody shoulder. She quite often goes behind the Polish pen to get seek protection. Alice has frizzled feathers which left her even more vulnerable to attack since they do not lay down and do not protect the skin very well. I immediately removed her from the run and brought her to the garage. I treated her shoulder with Vetericyn spray gel and sat her in a cardboard box in the dark so she could calm down. I guess that makes me her fairy godmother.
|Alice’s wound after I cleaned it and
sprayed it with Vetericyn
While she was resting, I got my broody cage, put the bottom in with fresh pine shavings and nest box herbs (lots of lavender for a calming effect). I got my chick waterer and some food and placed Alice in the cage. She was stressed, rightly so between being attacked, bleeding and a lot of recent changes like losing her sister and BFF, Myrtie, Alice needed some R & R. She stopped panting almost immediately when I placed in her in the cage and sat down to begin healing.
|Alice enjoying her R&R|
I’m happy to report my pretty girl is enjoying her vacation. She talks to me when I go out to visit her in the garage, she still lays me a beautiful blue egg every day and she loves getting out and walking around to stretch her wings and explore the garage. She will have to go back outside when her wing is fully healed but she will have a small coop & run all her own.
Since my chickens cannot free range in this predator-filled mountain environment I live in and I cannot put her back with the wicked stepsisters, I am working on ways to improve their roaming around room but will have to wait for spring to put them into the works. For now, my sweet Alice will have her own spot until she heals and I’ll be busy building come spring to enlarge my run.