This little lady is my sweet Bella. She is a precious little hen, and has been special since she was 2 days old. I didn't pick her when I went to the farm store that day. The man who owns the store was holding her saying she was basically dead. She had been trampled by the others because she was too weak to stand up. He was about to toss her when he asked if I wanted to take her for free. He said she would be dead in about an hour, but I could try.
I have a soft spot for injured or 'special' animals. I have two rescue bunnies, a blind cat, guineas without toes, have nursed baby blue birds, squirrels, and now a tiny little chick. I am not sure if she had wry neck, or if she was just really injured from being trampled, but she stayed on that basket you see in the photo, with her little neck stretched out for about three days before I saw any real signs of life. I forced her to eat a little with a dropper, and I dropped some water on the tip of her beak.
She stayed with me constantly. As you can tell the first few images were at my office. Slowly, she began to improve. I would scramble an egg every day to give her some extra protein. But, what appears to have made the biggest difference in her little life, was a combination of chick feed, in which I added a little warm water to create mash, and a dropper of Poly-Vi-Sol.
Now, I have since learned that the treatment for wry neck can be adding Vitamin E, which the Poly-Vi-Sol has. However, since I didn't know for sure that this was what she had, I assume the vitamins either treated that, or strengthened her enough for her to begin eating on her own after a week.
There are lots of times, when we find the hens fighting over a single nesting box. We picked up a really nice wooden crate at a antique store, and decided to re-purpose it into an extra nesting box. The only other purchase we made was some burlap material and brass thumb tacks.
Step 1: We measured and cut material for four sides, and the bottom.
Step 2: Using the thumb tacks and a hammer, we secured them to the sides.
Step 3: We measured the front opening, and added several inches to create front curtain.
Step 4: Then we added gathers and nailed front curtain into place- used twine as tie backs.
Finally, we added some pine shavings and nesting box herbs.
With our hot, southern summers, the girls will appreciate a private box that is not in the roosting area, which tends to get very hot during the day.
If you want to learn more about reasons to use nesting box curtains, as well as some design ideas,