The second hatch of Indian Game cross birds are 10 weeks old. Normally by now they would have been free ranging for a couple of weeks but the Sparrowhawk attack made me over cautious and I kept them in an enclosed pen a little too long. The pen is large and they had plenty of room but Indian Game birds like space, plenty of space and the lack of it creates fighting amongst the birds, especially the young cockerels.
On Friday within a couple of hours of all being well amongst the flock I returned to find an Australorp cross bird with a nasty wound to the side of it's head. We immediately isolated her, cleaned the wound, sprayed the area with Septiclean and left her to recover in a pen in the poultry shed. In herself she appeared fine although her eye was closed and I was unable to see how badly damaged it was.
She remained in the pen all Saturday, the wound had dried up remarkably well although her eye was still closed, we sprayed the area again and left her in peace. On Sunday I put her into the main run with the other growers, who were now enjoying their freedom. I was aware that if I isolated her too long from the rest I would have problems with her being accepted again. I'm also a great believer that fresh air, sunshine and company works wonders but with her eye still closed she was vulnerable. I took the decision to put her in with the Exchequer Leghorn chicks. That way she could be seen by the other growers but was safe from any attack. The chicks accepted her immediately and yesterday afternoon her eye opened.
Photos: 1.The injured grower in with the Exchequer Leghorn chicks 2. but still in contact with the rest of her group. 3. showing the injury to her face.
In the next few days I will try to introduce her to the growers again, with plenty of space to escape she should be fine.
A lesson learnt.