Yesterday I left the hens in the coop, then after breakfast, I wrapped White Hen in a towel so her wings were close to her body and put my hand under her feet so they had something to grab on to.
Then I carried her to Jon who was sitting under the apple tree and placed her in his arms. I pulled the dogs nail clipper from my coat pocket and cut her very long nail. I looked at the rest of her nails, but they were close to the quick so we gently placed her on the ground and soon she was pecking around with Kitty and Anne.
I’d noticed the long nail the day before. I’d never seen such a thing on any of our hens, but when I looked into it, I found it’s not unusual. I also found that clipping a chickens nails are just like clipping a dogs nails.
And if I did cut the nail too close to the quick, a little bit of flour helps stop the bleeding.
I was hoping that the long nail, which kept White Hen from being able to wrap her claws around the roosting bar would solve the problem of her not jumping into the coop at night.
But last night she was once again sitting on the rail under the hen house instead of inside it.
It’s possible that she got used to staying out at night, or maybe it wasn’t the nail at all. She is about 8 years old and it might be that she just can’t jump so high anymore.
Today I was back to the ramp. It could be my angle was too steep for the chickens to comfortably climb up.
So I nailed a piece of wood to the hen house so I could lower the top of the ramp a bit and I propped the bottom up on a brick. All this made the angle of the ramp noticeable more gradual.
I’ll see what happens tonight.
With the ramp in place it’s possible that all three hens will be sitting outside the coop tonight when I go to close it up.