Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sick Chicken

My leghorn hen, Joanie, has been sick for the past week. She had not laid any eggs for at least 2 months but had otherwise seemed fine. She is the only one of my 3 hens that could be older than a couple of years. She was already laying eggs when I acquired her. She had been laying steadily up until the past few months, except for taking breaks during molting. Because she seemed to have reached the end of her egg producing usefulness I was planning on having her take a swim with the dumplings at the end of July. Then about 6 days ago I began to notice she wasn't her usual rambunctious self. As the days passed she got increasingly more lethargic. Her tail was tucked very low and she had trouble walking. She would just lay down and close her eyes. This usually means they are egg bound. An egg gets stuck along the oviduct and backs up the works. I have had this happen before with my Rhode Island Red, Laverne. My usual treatment for this is relaxing soaks in a warm bathtub. I began this therapy for Joanie on Sunday. She has enjoyed a warm 10 minute soak for the past 4 days and each day she has made improvement. The first couple of days she made no attempt to resist and would lay in the tub with one foot curled tightly. Yesterday she sat beside the tub while I ran her bath but she didn't cooperate at first when I wanted her to lay down in the water. Today I can tell she is feeling MUCH better. Her tail is still drooping down but her comb looks better. No dark edges. She tried to walk away from me when I went to collect her from the chicken run and when I sat her beside the tub she walked over to try to hide in the corner. She was also more uncooperative when it came time to lay in the water. These pictures were taken after today's soak. She is standing up with the other hens and going after the lettuce treats I gave them. I figure this is also a good time to give them their yearly worming. Which means if she rallies, and still doesn't lay eggs, she has a one month reprieve from the stew pot.

Today I needed a little break from my chicken nurse duties. I had to pay a visit to Costco which meant I was over near Tuesday Morning. I stopped in there to see if they had any more cheap quilting fabric. I picked up some fat quarter packs, charm squares, and a couple of other fabric bundles.

As I was wandering the aisles I spied this cute little bee scrubbie. I'll display it next to my sink.

I also stopped by Petco to stock up on Reggie food. I always look down the toy aisles to see if they have any on sale. I hate to pay full price because he chews through them so fast. I picked him up this latex squeaky monkey. He loves it. Here Reggie is taking a nap with his monkey close by. Excuse my unmade bed. It was a hectic morning.

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