Porch Chicken

In a previous post I talked about our predator issues and mentioned that my lap-chicken was injured in an attack. I wanted to tell you a little more about that and the predator post was long enough so here is Porchy’s story. Some of the description is a little graphic but there aren’t any graphic photos.

The morning of the wolf attack Porchy was in the wolf’s mouth when Michael shot at the wolf. The wolf dropped Porchy and Michael brought him back to the house. The wolf tore off the skin on the back of Porchy’s elbow and his elbow bone was sticking out. We cleaned the wound out really well and then stitched up the poor things elbow as best we could (Michael did the stiching). We bandaged the wing and bound it to his body to immobilize it. The wound didn’t close quite right because there was too much skin missing but it was better than leaving it open. We put him in a pet carrier on the back porch with some comfy bedding, food and water and hoped for the best.

For the first week or so he couldn’t really stand. Then he could only stand for short periods of time. We made him a little run outside his carrier on the porch. During the day he would come out and hang in the run and at night he would put himself to bed in the carrier.

I did wonder if it was cruel to put him through all that. I though he must be in a LOT of pain, looking at the wound and seeing how miserable he was. Many people would cull a bird that was in Porchy’s situation. Michael thought he deserved a chance to try and make it and after talking to some other chicken people about what their chickens survived I believed he could make it too. There were many good signs. Through it all he maintained a good appetite, even right after the attack and while we were doing chicken surgery. He was such a trooper. During his healing stay on the back porch, he would talk to us with his little beeps and we would beep back to him. He seemed to like that and sometimes still does, even though he has now rejoined the flock.

When chickens are young it can be hard to tell if they are boys or girls. We originally thought he was a pullet but over the time he spent on the porch he started developing rooster-y feathers so it became clear he was a rooster, even though he didn’t look as rooster-y as the other roosters of his kind. We couldn’t think of a name and called him Porch-Chicken for so long it kinda stuck and then got shortened to Porchy. I kept meaning to give him another, more bad-ass name, but I think we’ll probably stick with Porchy.

His wing mostly healed. The wound closed and he can move the wing a bit but he doesn’t have full range of motion by any means. Some of his feathers are growing weird because of the missing skin and the way the wing had to be stitched. This means he can’t fly as well as the other chickens (not that any chickens really fly well) and he looks a little lopsided. I was nervous to reintroduce him to the rest of the flock, thinking his time away and injury would put him at the bottom of the pecking order. But I underestimated that bird, again. He is darn near the top of the pecking order! Even the bigger, stronger, more-developed roosters don’t wanna mess with him but they all accept him as part of the flock. He’s also an excellent hunter. He chases and catches bugs better than the other chickens. I can’t tell you how proud I am lol

 

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