How in the heck is she still hanging on? I really don’t know. She seems about the same as yesterday. Her breathing hasn’t gotten worse. Every day I steal myself to find her dead, and every day I am amazed at her resiliency. I don’t see how she can possibly recover. But if she isn’t giving up, neither am I.
Here’s something I’ve been thinking about the last few days; just about any chicken keeper will tell you that when a chicken is sick, the rest of the flock will “take care” of the situation, meaning they healthy chickens will peck the sick chicken to death. I have heard and read this “fact” from multiple sources. Here’s the thing; none of my other 5 chickens has shown the least bit of aggression towards Scarlet. And it’s not as if she is isolated. I have her “sick bed” parked right in front of the waterer so all she has to do is stretch out her neck to get a drink any time she wants. The others come right up by her to drink. They seem to have absolutely no interest in her one way or another. My only answer to this is that we only have six hens and they have the run of the entire barn and are free to go in and out whenever they want, without fences. They are free range, but can be in the warm shelter of the barn whenever they want. I have to conclude that all of these “chicken people” simply have too many birds confined in too small a space. Coops and runs keep too many chickens in too close a proximity to each other. The stress of over-crowding causes an unnatural reaction to illness or weakness. You don’t see birds in the wild pecking each other to death, right? That is my take on the matter. What do you think?