It has been three days since the Great Chicken Massacre. The next day after the fiasco Hubs rescued a Mable literally from the clutches of the domestic predator. She appeared to be in bad shape: wing drooping, limping, lethargy, pale. I gave her some Rescue Remedy, some nettles and comfrey in her feed and isolated her in what is now the bunny pen/chicken brooderhouse (a tiny shed with roosts and hay connected to a good sized chicken wire pen with a rabbit hutch). Charlie, the rabbit, looks on with casual interest.
Recuperation Mable was pretty out of it the first day and come evening I lifted her into the brooder house and set her on a soft pile of hay for the night. Yesterday morning I lifted her outside and put her food and water beside her. She pecked at her food (oats and herbs) and drank a little water, but was still totally uninterested in her surroundings. By bedtime she hadn't changed much. Today we went thru our morning routine. She wasn't as pale (her comb was pink instead pale pink) and although she wouldn't get off her bed until I picked her up, she seemed a little stronger.
Everyday since the incident we have watched the remaining three Mables and Jack closely; sure enough two of them meander around until they finally get over to the neighbors house with the offending dog. We go over and round them up, Cassie's herding instincts kicking in and heading them home. After numerous times our frustration level has risen dangerously. Finally, this morning Hubs says we have to pen them up.
So, the only place to do that is in bunny/chicken pen where Recuperation Mable is convalescing. I'm afraid they will peck her and interfere with her healing at best and possibly kill her at worst, but decide to give it a try. I pick up the troublesome two and as soon as their little chicken feet hit the ground they begin to gobble up Recuperation Mable's special diet. The moment she sees them she limps over to them, gets between them and half-heartedly pecks at the food. She's happy to see them! They ignore her, but at least they weren't picking on her.
The third Mable had been busy laying an egg while her two trespassing sisters were on their adventure. After I collected the egg Hubs and I agreed that she should be shut up with the others as well just as a preventative measure. She was just in time to get in on the last of the gobble-fest; their little crops are stuffed and puffed out like a balloon. They also seem to love the nettle/comfrey tea that replaced their water.
I waited to see what the dynamic would be after the food was gone and they got bored. Recuperation Mable started grooming one of the newbies. I think she's definitely glad her sisters are in there with her. But, Egg-layer Mable was stressed. She was fast-pacing along the fence wall and working herself into quite a dither. After watching a few minutes I elected to let her out rather than allow her to make herself sick. The second I opened that door she raced outside and into the chicken house and up on a nest. What? She's already laid one egg today. I just checked on her a few minutes ago and she's still on the nest. I have no idea what she thinks she's doing, but she seems happy so I'm going to leave her to it. As long as she stays home and away from the neighbors, I'll be happy, too.
Hubs has the fence all marked but now we have to wait on the utility company to come out and do their thing. Hurry up and wait. Yes, in spite of it all, Life is good. :)