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**WARNING: Sensitive stomach alert!**

Chickens are hard to understand.

It’s obvious they don’t understand English. Or Ginia-ese. Or even simple reason.

One thing chickens completely lack — and I’m generalizing and being extremely prejudicial here — is compassion.

For the second time I rescued one of my hens from her brutal and terrorizing flock mates.

For the second time in as many months, she had become tangled in some string around the property (looks like the string from feed sacks) and then somehow tangled herself INSIDE the chicken house. Trapped. And at the mercy (at night when I lock them up) of her very UNcompassionate comrades.

Culprit string

The first time she was hanging upside-down like a Piñata and the other birds were pecking her. It was bad. I thought she was dead and she probably should’ve been. But I was able to get her free and then it took me 45 minutes to untangle the string and cut it from her bloody claw.

She lived. And I named her (lovingly) Scab Head.

And she moved out. Rightfully so seeing all the abuse her roommates put her through.

She had been living a quiet and solitary life in the well house. And her scab was actually starting to heal.

Until today.

Another day, another string and another time stuck by the feed trough in the chicken house. Locked away. Brutalized again.

She is still alive. And seems no worse than the first time this happened.

Scab Head

Today, with the air all gloom and chill, it’s hard to sit with a settled stomach when faced with the realities of animals. Farm life. Creatures.

I “know” why chickens do what they do when it comes to the weak, but today is a shining example and another reason pointing to why God put humans in dominion over animals.

Animals are not our equal. They are animals. They have the instincts of creatures. Survival. And chickens don’t have compassion. At all.

Thankfully for Scab Head I DO have compassion. And I will try as hard as I reasonably can to keep this from happening to her again.

But if it does happen again (and it probably will), I hope it happens on a sunny day. Stuff like this is too hard to make peace with under clouds.

Categories: Life on the farm

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My name is Ginia Oehlschlager and I'm a small-town gal from Missouri. Join me as I document my crazy life on the farm with my husband and four kids. I'm always looking for frugal, simple ways to live the life God set before me. Where faith, family and fun come together on the farm.

6 replies

  1. Having literally “grown up with chickens,” I know just a tad about them. They will peck anything red. Throw something out there that is red and they will peck on it. Have a fellow chicken with blood on it anywhere, and they will peck on it until it dies. Get a bottle of PINE TAR to slather on the injured party where the red does not show, and it will heal unscathed by its fellow fowl. My parents had two huge chicken houses with 16,000 to 18,000 chickens at a time, and that is what they always did. Now when a rooster flogged us kids, what mama did to them is a story for another time, but it worked! Enjoy reading your adventures on the farm!!!

    1. Yeah I’ve heard of people doing that. Unfortunately, she will have to heal a lot before we can put anything on the wound. I’m hoping she stays in her well house home tonight!

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