Yesterday morning when I (Sara the Chicken Wrangler extraordinaire) went to let the chickens out and give them food and water I discovered that one of the quail had gotten itself stuck in the space where the eggs roll out of the cage. This is not the first time this has happened so I was not at all surprised. After all quail, do have bird brains.
As I was getting it unstuck, I saw that the cage looked like something out of a quail horror movie. There were blood splatters all over the feeder. The stuck quail didn’t appear to be wounded enough to produce that much blood so I looked at the other quail.
One had what I guess would be the equivalent of a bloody lip — if quail had lips. Its mouth was bleeding and so every time it shook its head, blood went everywhere.
Not being as attached to the quail as I was dear Einstein (the rescued rooster from last week), I decided that what happened in the quail cage, stays in the quail cage and returned to the house.
Later that afternoon I went to retrieve eggs and check on the birds. One of the quail had in fact died. Since there was nothing I could do for it (I only revive roosters.), I went to play another round of “Get the egg from the small coop,” a game in which the challenge is to get the egg from the back of the cage (which is slanted away from the door) to the door and get it out before it rolls back down.
To make the task easier, I have found the perfect branch with a hook in it to scoot the egg forward. So far, my record is three tries before the egg goes into my basket.
Then I checked the other coop, which had a stunning lack of eggs. I thought perhaps the dirty condition of the nest boxes prevented the chickens from laying. After all, I would not even consider laying an egg in that filth even if I were prone to laying eggs – which I am not.
So I headed back up to the house for a shovel to clean out the nest boxes. I filled water jugs and headed back to the chicken yard with the shovel balanced on top of the chicken waterer. [In case you don’t know what a chicken waterer is check out this site.]
As I approached the coop, I saw something I never hope to see again. Bella (one of the four daschunds) had one of the chickens by the neck. I assumed she pulled it under the wire covering in the gate.
Anyway, I dropped everything to the ground and ran towards them yelling at Bella to stop.
Bella was distracted long enough for the chicken to head under the shed. Little did the chicken know that dachshunds are bred to go into small spaces after animals.
Bella headed under the shed. I, being much larger than the chicken and Bella combined, decided to approach the shed from the side in the chicken yard. I pulled the hen out from under the shed into the safety of the chicken yard.
Chicken wrangler – 1, Bella – 0