Could I confine her within sight of the others and give her a chance to recover while (hopefully) breaking the pattern of abuse? Unfortunately, we have had night temperatures in the low teens and I worried that she wouldn't be warm enough without the body heat of the others during sleep. What to do?
I decided to set up an infirmary inside of the chicken house. I put the dog crate in a cozy corner, stuffing extra bedding around and inside, and giving her a wicker box to nest in. Putting a lid on the crate keeps the others from sitting above her and soiling her area. Because of the cold temperatures I've had to check her water a few times a day, but I had been doing that anyway so they wouldn't be drinking water near freezing.
|Phoebie enjoying a dust bath|
|Minerva and The Big Guy enjoying fresh warm water|
|enjoying a sunflower seed treat in the sunshine|
This morning is sunny with almost no wind. You can see that everyone looked grand and though LadyHawk is vocalizing her discontent at being confined, she looks better, too. The forecast for the week ahead is milder nights which will help also. Any idea how long it takes to break chickens of a habit??