Good Grief! What Next?

On Saturday…there was chicken blood.  AGAIN!  One of Cleopatra’s toenails somehow almost got torn off.   Ethel’s comb accident somewhat prepared me for the blood that wouldn’t stop gushing from the wound, but still, two injuries in two weeks?  No fair!

I had just come back from walking Keela and still had my headphones on and was all bundled up due the the blowing wind.  One glance into the barnyard revealed a bloody mess all over the snow on the ground.  It took me a minute to figure out who was injured, since everyone seemed to be be very concerned and gathered round.  She was not getting pecked by the others but was pecking at her own foot and making a ruckus.  I grabbed her, grabbed some paper towels from the shed and tried to figure out the problem.

She's a stoic girl.

She’s a stoic girl.

At this point, it quickly devolved into my own personal comedy routine.  I didn’t completely tear the paper towels off the roll, so I’ve got a trail of towels behind me.  I’ve got a chicken squawking and bleeding like crazy in my arms, a dog circling my legs, my best jeans on, my headphones falling off and getting tangled in the chicken, and my long scarf coming untied (but not untied enough so it would come off).  I was getting hotter by the second, and couldn’t put Cleopatra down to solve any of those problems. To add my insult to her injury, she lets one rip and now I’ve got chicken poop all over my coat and good jeans.  Aaugh! Sometimes you just have to laugh.  Thank goodness Very Excellent Husband Don came home and saved the day.

We decided to take her to the vet.  Cleopatra seemed to enjoy the ride.

Road trip!

Road trip!

I called the vet’s office on the way and was told they had no openings.  Double aargh!  So we drove around a while, and finally the bleeding stopped.  We headed home, got out the first aid kit, I held her and VEH Don bandaged her foot as best he could, trying to immobilize the toenail in the right position.  For amateurs, I think we did a pretty good job.  And saved a boatload of money by not going to the vet on the weekend!

All cleaned up and ready for the bandage.

All cleaned up and ready for the bandage.

The dog crate came back into the house.  She was, literally, stuffed in.  She was doing everything she could to NOT GO INTO THE HOLE.  Water, and a few treats later, she didn’t hate me quite so much.

The next morning she was glaring at me, so hey, who am I to stand between a hen and her flock.  Back to the barnyard you go sweetie!

She is gorgeous.  And looks like she's going to be just fine!

She is gorgeous. And looks like she’s going to be just fine!

The bandage has stayed on and she has gone back to being herself – a cranky, unfriendly hen.  I could not be happier.

(Shared at Backyard Farming Connection, Maple Hill HopTuesdays With A TwistDown Home Hop, Simple Lives Thursday, Frugal Days Sustainable WaysHomeAcre Hop, From the Farm Hop104 Homestead HopFarmgirl FridayClever Chicks Hop and Homestead Barn Hop!)


  1. I know how blood can be…so frightening and feeling so helpless. I had an incident during the molt season of a pin feather getting pecked..lots of blood. Used pick no more and it kept the other girls away. So sorry your pretty girl got hurt. I never get dressed up any more just for the reasons you mentioned. Never fails !!!!!

    • I should have changed before I took the dog for a walk! Lesson learned 🙂

    • Becky Leach says:

      a Great Tip; if you ever find a torn feather that is bleeding, grasp it from as close to the skin as you can and YANK it straight out. (hold tightly to chicken) Bleeding stops! Just the way they work, some feathers have a larger blood supply, and it closes the little vessel when it is removed.

  2. Oh nooooooooooo! Happy she is on the mend, phew.
    Jen recently posted…Our Weekend

  3. You had a very eventful day. Glad to know she is on the mend.

  4. Ouch! Glad she is on the mend.
    daisy recently posted…The Maple Hill Hop 17

  5. I’m glad you were able to help her!! Chickens seem to heal fast, which is good for you and I!

    *♥´¨) ¸.-´¸.-♥´¨) Happy Valentine’s Day¸.-♥¨) (¸.-` ♥♥´¨
    Linda recently posted…A Bluebird Day February 11, 2014

  6. You make me laugh everytime I read your blog. You’re a great story teller. I’m glad everything worked out ok and she’s back to herself. Keep up the good first aid.
    lyn moon recently posted…Making a picture frame from old fencing

  7. Sylvester017 says:

    Good job, Joan. The cleanup & bandage look good (so does Cleopatra too – she’s a beauty). My Silkie got about 3 toenails ripped or pulled I thought in a fight w/ the other Silkie as they were both crabby. Washed her feet, put on triple ointment & booties to keep both feet clean in the house. Took her to the vet because she wanted to chew her toes (natural reaction for hens if their feet/toes are bleeding). 2 of 3 toenails grew back, one never did. About 6 months later she ripped a toenail again bleeding but this time I found the culprit. She is OCD when laying & digs so deep into the straw she splinters her toes on the nestbox bottom. Didn’t take her to the vet this time but kept her in the house for a couple days til healed & lined the nestboxes w/ plexiglass & now no hen can dig splinters up from the bottom of the boxes. Oh these girls!!!

  8. Wow, you are having a dramatic time. Doesn’t it always seem to come at once! You coped so well with it though (after the initial paper roll incident). I know what you mean about being pooped on too. I keep a fleece just for my girls as they are always jumping on my back with their muddy feet.

    One day my son and his girlfriend were visiting the girls and one of the girls jumped on my back. They asked if they ever pooped on me and I said they didn’t usually.

    At that moment Pepper pooped all down my back. Don’t they just have to prove us wrong! I think it was because we had visitors and they are not used to many visitors. All part of having chickens I guess. Your stories do make me smile.
    Carol Caldwell recently posted…Amber lays a soft egg and Honey may be broody

  9. Poor Cleopatra! Poor you!!! I’m so glad that you were able to wrap her foot yourselves and save some of the money that you would have spent at the vet. Heaven knows you don’t get out of there without spending $100. It looks like you did a great job! I’m glad Cleopatra is on the mend. <3
    Jen recently posted…Tour the Coop

  10. Haha – that sounds like something that would happen to me! I’m glad Cleopatra will be fine – I know how much it hurts to have a nail ripped off!!! Hopefully your clothes aren’t any worse for the wear. 🙂
    Vickie recently posted…Making Ground Beef

  11. i love chicken tails & she seems to be taking it in her stride. even on the worst days my chooks make me smile. i came over from Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways link up. i have just made a cuppa and im off to take a look at the rest of your blog :o)

  12. Good story telling! I have to ask… maybe it’s the angle of the picture, but that looks like a spur, not a toe. Is it possible Cleopatra is just Cleo? I’ve never had a hen with a spur.

    • No Kristine, she’s a girl! She was a good egg layer back in her younger days 🙂

      • Wow! My family has a saying, “You never die on a day you learn something new.” I’ve had probably 75 laying hens over the years and I’ve never seen one with a spur. After seeing your picture of the foot I went and looked it up and one reference says that it is passed on genetically from hen to offspring. Wish some of my girls had had them when the possums and raccoons came around!
        Kristine Smith recently posted…Chicken in the Crockpot

  13. Glad she’s on the mend! Luckily we haven’t had to take any Vet Road Trips yet for our layers. 🙂
    Mike @ Gentleman Homestead recently posted…Building a Seed Starter Rack

  14. I’m glad she’s doing better. Way to think on your toes! LOL

    Share with us! Blog Hop every Friday (entries accepted until Thursday at noon)
    Jessica @ The 104 Homestead recently posted…Snapshot Sunday