It started on Saturday when I noticed big drops of blood in the coop and run. A little panicky, I looked for the cause. My Australorp, Dallas, had blood on one of her feet. It looked like part of her nail had been torn off. Thinking it would be okay, I let them out to forage. An hour later, I noticed Ms. Dallas was standing stork-like and was still bleeding. I called a vet recommended by another chicken-owner and they were able to squeeze her in. Ms. Dallas was transported by cat carrier to the vet!
Well, it turns out I way overreacted! The vet fixed her up with a little Quik Stop and told me to keep her separate for a couple of days. I asked the vet whether the separation would cause any flock-issues but she said no!
Over Saturday and Sunday, Dallas lived in an extra large dog crate in my garage and we became fast friends. I brought her lots of grubs sifted from my raised garden beds (waiting for the Spring planting) and she would chirp at me sweetly when I walked in. She also got romaine, seeds and scratch.
On Monday, I turned her loose in the yard with the other girls. To my surprise and horror, she was immediately attacked by all of the other girls! I know it is part of the animal world, but it broke my heart! (And made me resentful against my favorite birds). After watching half an hour of it, I scooped Dallas up and took her back to the garage. She was so bummed!
The only plan I could come up with was to stick her in with the girls while they were sleeping. I have read that sometimes chickens accept whomever they wake up with. And it worked like a charm! The girls were all friends again in the morning!