Updated: Aug 13, 2018
A few weeks ago I went out to the chicken run to find Mystery's comb bleeding. It looked like it had almost been peeled back and separated from her head, ouch! I have no idea how this injury happened but I can only assume one of the other hens pecked her.
The first thing I did was separate her from the other hens and bring her inside to my emergency bin. This is basically a giant rubbermaid container with hardware cloth over the top.
We cleaned out the wound with a syringe of water the best we could then applied a triple antibiotic ointment using a Q-tip. For chickens it is important to NOT use an antibiotic cream that has a pain reliever in it.
For the next few days I monitored for signs of infection and alternated between the Vetericyn spray to keep the wound clean and the antibiotic ointment. When her comb looked like it was starting to heal nicely it was time to begin the reintegration process.
Since Mystery had been away from the flock for a while, I knew she had to be reintroduced gradually to minimize bullying. I followed the the Chicken Chick's playpen method.
This is the playpen I chose. I placed this playpen in the chicken run so Mystery could be with the others but separate so they couldn't peck her healing comb. When the others went to free range, the playpen came out and she "free ranged" in the grass inside. At night I still brought Mystery into the house to sleep in the emergency bin where she would be safe.
After about a week in the playpen I began to let Mystery out with the others while supervised. There was some bulling as Mystery was now at the bottom of the pecking order. Slowly but surely the flock began to restore order. After another week of supervised free ranging and few pecks from her sisters, Mystery was part of the flock again. For her first night back with the others I placed her on the roost after dark when her sisters were already asleep. This way she didn't have to compete for a spot on the roost.
For the next few days I was sure to have an additional food and water source in the run for Mystery in case the other chickens bullied her away from the feeder and waterer, she would still have a spot to eat and drink if she needed.
Start to finish the healing process and reintegrating Mystery back into the flock took about 3 weeks. Her comb is a little funky looking now but she's no worse for the wear!