Carl started crowing last night around 3am and woke us from a sound sleep. You might wonder why on earth we could hear our rooster in the middle of the night and you would be right to do so. It’s because he is currently housed in a kennel in the utility room.
Yesterday when I went out to release the chickens there was blood sprayed around inside the coop. Not death quantities, just spatter. The last time that happened Bunty had torn her comb and sprayed blood whenever she shook her head. So I immediately started checking everyone for damage. Sure enough Carl’s comb was torn. Now how on earth he did it is a mystery.
Chickens have an amazing ability to catch themselves on stuff. When Bunty was injured I decided it was a metal band that I was using to attach the grit cup to the wall. I removed it and no other injuries occurred so I figured I was right. So what was in there that Carl could get caught on? Given the size of his comb I decided it was the mouth of the feed tube. It’s PVC, not sharp, but if he got his head inside the Y joint it’s possible he pulled hard enough to tear the comb where it attaches to the top of his head (no, I’m not posting pictures. Ick).
The damage isn’t severe but it is enough to make him shake his head and spray blood. It’s also enough to attract the other chickens and they were making it worse by pecking at him. Obviously he needed to be isolated. Chris easily caught him (an indication of his needing help as he doesn’t usually like to be touched) and we cleaned him up, put him in the medium kennel with all the comforts of home, and placed him in the utility room where he’d be warm and quiet. A towel draped over the kennel helped to settle him also.
And he’s definitely feeling better because he’s crowing up a storm. At 3am, of course. He’s also eating, drinking, and the blood is no longer dripping. We’ll keep him isolated for another day, treat him with that goop that turns blood black (to keep the girls from pecking him), and put him back in the coop at nightfall. Everything should be okay when they wake up the next morning.
Oh, and I removed the feed tube and replaced it with a heavy crock. I’ll need to keep a closer eye on it to make sure it doesn’t get soiled or spilled, but hopefully that will solve the problem.