Friday night, 11:30pm. My daughter calls to say there's a chicken sitting next to a box in the median on a busy road, right before the freeway on-ramp. She thinks fast, pulls over, and runs across to pick her up. She is wounded and docile. Very weak. We make a make-shift overnight box for her, find some leftover quinoa and lentils, add some blueberries and a bowl of water. Lights out to let her rest. In the morning, she hadn't moved an inch. Very thin and dehydrated.
Luckily, our coop at the sanctuary was just completed that day! But we had no supplies yet, so my contractor and friend brought some supplies so we could get her situated in a safe place right away. He had built a separate space, we call it our ICU pen, and she settled in with food and water. Since she had been debeaked (her top beak had been shortened) and it was slightly askew, she had trouble eating the pellets. (Debeaking often occurs in the commercial egg-laying industry to reduce problem pecking.) We crushed the pellets and mixed in some scratch. She finally started eating mid-day on Saturday. But she still could not move.
After letting her rest a bit more, we checked her out a little more closely. It looks like she'd been attacked with injuries on her leg and back, but no open wounds. Thank goodness! Finally on Monday, she raised herself up an inch. I was thrilled!
Tuesday, today, I brought her out into the run for some fresh air. She sat unmoving for quite a while, but then she raised herself up another inch, and took a small shuffle-step! She is still quite off-balance and uses her wing for balancing when she tries to raise herself up. But she is definitely on the mend! And she is completely ravenous, eating the crumble like a champ.
She started talking yesterday, and more today. Just when she's trying to get my attention that she wants to be moved. Bet she can't wait to feel all better and walk on her own. And I bet she's lonely and will enjoy her new friends when they come on Saturday!