We decided this morning that it was urgent to move Columbine and her chick, together with any potential siblings in ovo (‘scuse bad Latin) from the main coop to a smaller place where she could raise the wee ane in suitable accommodation. Her Maj and I surveyed one of the A-framed coops down in the goose pens and decided that it would do very well after a little cleaning, so we got down and dirty in that cause. Soon had the small coop clean and with a new layer of shavings inside, so the next task was to make a nest box for Columbine and her clutch of eggs/chick combo. An old cardboard box was pressed into service and partially-filled with shavings for the purpose.
This was when the head injury occurred. Now, PTC is bald on top and, as a consequence, the old scalp is fairly fragile and easily-damaged. Having scraped most of the top layer of skin off with the garage door a couple of days ago it stood no chance at all when I banged it into the iron beam that supports the roof of the coop as I leant inside; the last of the layers of skin were peeled from the scalp and the blood flowed freely. Undaunted by the injury, and far too cross to want to go in and have it sorted out, I insisted on carrying on with the exercise.
The chick was so well tucked into Columbine’s wing that it was tricky to disentangle it from her, but when that was accomplished I popped the chick in my top pocket and picked up Mum so that she could see the chick as I carried her down to the new coop. We popped them in and I went back to collect the other eggs that she had been sitting on, discarding the really old ones which were, by now, clearly addled.
Her Maj had not been idle and had been grinding up some meal for the chick, which, with a saucer of pebbles for water, were placed in the coop and the chook and chooklet shut up inside.
The gander was, by now, taking considerable interest in the proceedings and it was clear that he’d give them no peace, given half a chance. The run for the coop was goose-proof, but not chick-proof, so we re-arranged some chicken wire and corrugated iron to make the run suitable for its new occupants.
We’re keeping Columbine shut up inside today so she gets used to the new place and may open the coop so she and the chooklet can get into the run tomorrow if it suits them. She has settled into the back of the coop and seems happy on her new nest, so fingers crossed for the next few days. The fun bit will be moving them back to the main coop in due course, but we’ll worry about that when the time comes.
After all this poultry enterprise, went back in to get myself ready for the concert this afternoon and was surprised to see tracks of dried blood running down my face from the scrape on the head. Perhaps it’s time to get a nice protective syrup.
Oh, toggies tomorrow if all goes well.