Thursday, October 24, 2013

Late Night Chicken Calls

This morning I went to get the honey out of the bathroom. 

I know what you are thinking.  It goes something like this “There’s something strange going on at that house!”

Let me assure you – you are absolutely correct.

And it involves a chicken.


In the bathroom checking out her comb, I think her part is a little off.
Let me back up a few hours into yesterday.

I was out doing chores and a Buff Orpington (9 months-old so technically a pullet) is sitting in a bucket hoarding five eggs.  I finally move her aside and take the eggs.  In disgust, she gets up and leaves the bucket.  Whereupon I notice her back end is all scraggly like a long-haired lady fresh in from the rain.  An Orpington behind is supposed to look like this:


Now imagine wet and bedraggled.  No I did not take a picture.

Normally I would chase down a chicken that looked like that – after all, I love examining chicken vents.  (Sarcasm)

Lucky for me, I was late for parent-teacher conferences at school so I had to run off.

Later, much later, we were doing chores by flashlight when I saw that wet bum again.  

Still?  We don’t have any puddles.

OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD AND ANY OTHER APPROPRIATE EUPHAMISM!  

What is that coming out of her hind end?  

I’m so green I had to run in the house and Google “my chicken’s vent is inside out.”

That was after making supper and feeding the baby twice.

So here it is 9:30 and I’m pretty upset.  It says here on all these technical sites that a well-cared for, young chicken rarely has this problem.   When it does happen, it’s from trying to pass too large of an egg, or uterus default from a calcium deficiency.  The midwife in me understands that kind of talk!

Now we feed our chickens an excellent, complete food, plus we supplement.  However, if they free range enough and don’t eat said food – a calcium deficiency is possible.

I’m woefully short on chicken tending skills but I understand the term “could be fatal.”

I mixed up a chicken cocktail for her to drink while I was researching how to fix this problem at home.  The cocktail was postpartum tea (it works on human uterus’) heavy on raspberry leaf (high calcium content), liquid dispersible vitamin/mineral mix to combat shock, raw apple cider vinegar to help fight infection, and liquid dispersible probiotics.  Looks like a liquid cure to me!

Google came up with many horrifically intimate instructions for reversing a prolapse.  I prefer non-invasive techniques so we decided to try those first.  Besides, this was thumb sized, not a monstrosity. 

Evidently honey will reduce swelling and fight infection.  First a hot bath to clean and relax the area.  We added a small amount of hibi-cleanse to the water.  


Then Nolan did like James Herriot in all his late night animal calls, and stripped to his shirt-sleeves and cap.  Thank goodness this didn’t require wellingtons for mucking about.

WHOAH!  It voluntarily went back in!  The cocktail must have scared her.  

We honeyed her bum for good measure.  Kept her warm and dark all night then put her in an isolation cage, also dark, to keep her from trying to lay any eggs. 

She might be fine.  Odds are high, according to Google, that this will be a repeat occurrence.  They recommend culling (removing from the flock) but we will withhold judgment. 

The Chicken Spa.  She never once fussed.  She must have known a honey rub was coming!

Meanwhile, I’ve put the honey back in the kitchen.

Links for those of you who need to know about chicken prolapse:
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/793/please-help-my-chicken-with-prolapse/10

1 comment:

  1. Just call the midwife and all will be well! GREAT JOB!

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