Every evening, Donna sits in the doorway, watching the sunset.
One afternoon about a year ago, the rooster chased and attacked her. The rest of the hens surrounded Donna, trying to fight the rooster off. Her back was raked, her tail feathers were gone, there was a large laceration on her head, and she couldn’t walk. She looked and acted like her leg or hip was broken. We had two other hens, Delawares just like Donna, die suddenly. We realized after we saw the rooster attack Donna that he must have attacked them too, and they died of internal injuries. Rooster was dispatched.
We put Donna into Sick Bay, treated her wounds, and made her as comfortable as possible. She moved around her crate using her wings to push herself. She ate baby chick crumbles and applesauce. We thought she would succumb from her injuries, but she kept eating and drinking water and scooting so she could see us.
After a month of baby crumbles, she graduated to chicken pellets. We moved her into the ‘Castle Annex’ when we partitioned part of the Castle off for her because the weather was getting too cold for her to stay outside in the crate that was exposed to the elements.
Even though she couldn’t walk, she would scoot over to the doorway in the evening to watch the sunset.
She’s just a chicken – a bird. But every evening she watches the sun go down. It’s almost like she’s thanking God for giving her another day.
She can walk now. She’s a little shaky, but the other three chickens who decided to join her in the Annex look after her. Annie, Molly, and Emily – each one of them left the West Coop during free-range time at the end of last year and walked around the corner of the Castle to be with Donna in the Annex.
And in the evening when my Farmer Man goes out to close up the coops for the night, he sits on the steps to talk to Donna. And they watch the sunset together, thanking God for giving them another day and another beautiful sunset.