Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Healing hands of time

A little more than two months ago I found my only Cuckoo Maran huddled and wounded under some brush in the chicken yard. The immediate relief I felt to find her alive was quickly replaced by concern when her condition worsened over night.

She had a deep wound on her back and after a short amount of observation it was clear that keeping her in with the rest of the birds (particularly the roosters) was seriously hampering her ability to heal. I treated her wound and brought her up to the house where I keep a pen for just such situations.

Within the first twenty four hours of isolation she showed marked improvement and within a few days she regained full mobility and seemed to be back to her usual clucky self. I kept her in her private pen for two weeks, checking on her several times a day until I was sure that she was fully healed and strong enough to rejoin the flock. Her return was a seemingly smooth one. I slipped her in with the others one evening after dusk and though she didn't reclaim her original spot in the pecking order she wasn't at the bottom.

For more than a month she has appeared to be a perfectly happy and healthy hen, with one notable difference.

Prior to her injury she was a strong layer of the dark brown eggs that are unique to her breed. After her injury she completely stopped laying for two months. Certainly one would expect her to focus her energy on healing at first but more than a month after all signs of injury were gone and she returned to her role in the flock she still hadn't laid an egg.  Did she spend any time stressing over her lack of production, worrying about what the other chickens would think? Or, did she perhaps just keep on about her chicken business until she was truly healed without any thought of it one way or the other?

I have no way of knowing what her thoughts were on the matter but my gut tells me that it was the latter and if such is the case that makes this another instance where I could learn a lot from a chicken.


  1. What a sweet story! I'm glad she pulled through. And you're right -- we could all learn a lot from her.

  2. You're a good chicken mama!

  3. Thanks y'all! She is a delightful little chicken lady and it makes me happy every day that I see one of her beautiful dark brown eggs in the now.

  4. Just an update, she is one of broodies and has been on her nest for about two weeks. She has such a sweet disposition and I can't wait to see her as a mama!