Saturday, September 13, 2008

Weeble

...or not. Weebles don't fall down, but my little Rhode Island Red hen Sophie does. Maybe she has an "inner ear" problem, because at least once a day (on average) she falls or is knocked over (by another chicken), rolls onto her back, and can't get up. The inability to get up from the toes-up thing is apparently a chicken thing. Like a turtle, once they're on their backs, they can't easily right themselves. This is handy to know if you ever need to immobilize a bunch of chickens for a few minutes. Of course, you have to catch them first.

Anyway, poor Sophie has had this problem for months. The other birds pick on her when she's down, so she hides from them. A lot. Which means it's sometimes hard to find her to check up on her. It also means that she's easy pickins' for a predator if she capsizes out in the pasture or the neighbor's yard, where they sometimes wander. I don't have their run completed, so they just free-range around the property.

I have to be away from home today, and didn't want to worry about her all day long, so I took a wire dog crate, took the tray/bottom out of it, and put it in the grass for an instant "chicken tractor" for her. Food, water, a stick jammed through for a perch, and some plywood over the perch for shade if she wants it. Perfect. She's in there eating her grain and scratching in the grass. Now I won't worry all day.

1 comment:

  1. That's quite an innovative solution. Sorry to hear your chicken needs a "Life Alert" bracelet.

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