Pepper, the box chicken

You met Pepper, a beautiful black Silkie chicken, in November when she decided to hatch some eggs. She ended up giving up and I finished hatching the eggs in the incubator.

She was fine after that, until about a month ago. She started acting weird. Well, maybe peculiar is the word. First she acted broody, but she was trying to hatch the floor! She kept sitting by the feed bin with her butt all puffed up broody-style. I would stick her in the nest box, she'd come out and sit by the feeder. A few days of this and she walked outside and sat in the mud for the whole day! Silly bird would not move! 

How to care for a sick chicken

I brought her in the house and cleaned her up. I set her on a flannel sheet in a shallow box while I went to get a cage and when I came back, she was sleeping. Apparently she likes that box because she stayed in it for about 3 weeks! 

I couldn't find a thing wrong with her. I felt for broken bones. Made her walk around the basement to see if I could find an injury. No limping, flapped her wings ok. No cuts, bruises, or discharge. She ate well, pooped normal. I couldn't find a thing wrong! 

I tried giving her eggs to sit on in case it was a broody deal, she ignored them. Fed her chick starter, water with vitamins & electrolytes, scrambled eggs, scratch and her favorite...Greek yogurt with honey! (please excuse the yogurt on her face in the picture. She's a messy eater! lol)

black silkie hen that pretended to be sick for months

As you can see, she could have hopped out of that box at anytime. She just chose to sit there. I didn't see any reason to put her in the hospital cage, as she never left the box!

My husband said "There is nothing wrong with her. She's just not stupid. Why would she want to be outside when it's 20 degrees when she can be inside in a cozy box?" I think I agree with him! Suddenly last week she hopped out of that box and clucked at the back door. I took her out to the coop. Unfortunately she had lost her spot in the pecking order, but I had a few new silkies that were ready to come out of the baby pen and join the rest. She fit right in with them!

trio of silkie chicks

They had the best time scratching for bugs in the dried leaves, and sunbathing in the garden! They had 3 great days....then I took the white one to the poultry swap. I took a few others too though, which sent the pecking order spinning again! 

Pepper is pretty close with that little rust colored silkie (not sure if I should call it partridge or not) They hang out in the gardens all day and join the rest to sleep in the silkie pile at night. The pecking order is being re-established. She's not as high as she used to be, but not at the bottom either. No matter...she's happy!


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