Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bear is all better

I am THRILLED to post that Honey Bear is all better.  I took her back to the vet today to get her stitches out.  Her wound is all healed up and the stitches are now out.

She's a smart bird.  She saw me come for her with a towel over my shoulder and went and hid under the coop.  I always bring a towel when I take her in the car.  Just in case there's an "accident" or if it's really cold out, I'll wrap her up to make her feel more secure.

She saw that towel and she wanted nothing to do with me.  I felt awful that she has such a negative association with going in the car now.

The vet tech let me hold her while she quickly removed the stitches and Honey was very well behaved.  But you could see how nervous she was.  And who could blame her.  The last three trips to the vet have ended with her being put to sleep, having surgery, probably waking up in pain and coming home only to be stuck in a dog crate in the kitchen with me for two days.

She was thrilled to be put right back outside with her sisters once we got home.

Now she just need to finish up molting and go broody and we'll give her four baby Buff Orpingtons to raise.  I'm not 100% certain but I'm leaning towards naming them Pickles, Peaches, Peanut and Penny.  Penny definitely falls outside my Spice Girls theme, but it's such the quintessential chicken name.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

My house guest is back

Yes, Honey is back in the house.

She was doing great following her surgery two weeks ago.  She was eating and drinking and I never saw her nibbling on her stitches.

I took her back to the vet yesterday afternoon to get her stitches out and was devastated when the vet came back to talk to me without Honey in her arms.  Turns out that she busted through not only her external stitches but a few internal ones too.  She does eat like a goat and can really pack her crop so I can't say I was totally surprised.

The vet had to put her to sleep one more time and put a few more stitches back into her crop and outside up her wound to seal it shut once again.  Oh, Honey Bear.

I've got her in the house today and I'll keep her in for a few days to monitor what she eats and keep her clean.  After that, all bets are off.  She is really much happier outside with her sisters.  And I hate to deprive her of that.

So here's hoping that these stitches hold this time.

Friday, January 3, 2014

I gave Honey sugar

OMG, I'm so embarrassed to admit that.  As you'll recall from my previous post, Honey had surgery on Monday to remove a blockage in her crop.  I kept her in the house for three long days.  And she was miserable.  You could tell she wanted desperately to be outside with her sisters.

I did let her out for a bit each day to spend time with them.  And when it was time to bring her back in the house, she would run from me.  That is not like her at all.  Usually, she comes right to me when I call her.  She loves to be picked up and held so it was disheartening to see her try to get away from me.

My biggest pain point, is getting her to take her medicine.  She's on three different things but I quickly figured out that it's the antibiotic that she can either taste or smell.  I tried mixing it in applesauce, baby food, cat food, mash, banana and scrambled egg and she would stick her beak into the bowl and maybe take one taste and then just shake her head no and turn away.  UGH!!!

So I turned to the internet for ideas and people suggested that I mask the taste with something.  So tonight I pulled out all the stops.  I mixed the antibiotic with mashed banana, sprinkled in crushed, freeze dried meal worms and added in a few drops of simple syrup (sugar dissolved in hot water).  And BINGO.  She hovered it up.

I'm not proud of my actions and I know sugar is not good for chickens.  But I was desperate.  I was only given the exact dosage for her so I don't have extra to waste.

And to make it every more challenging, I need to pull her out of the run to give her the laced treat and make sure it's only for her beak only and that her sisters don't eat it out from under her.  This causes Coco to wail like an air raid siren begging me to return her best buddy.  So making Honey's treat extra tasty is critical so that I can set down the bowl and get her to eat it on her own while I go into the run and distract Coco for a few minutes with some seeds.

I'm so hoping that this continues to works out as I have three more days of medicine for her.

If you ever had to give a chicken medicine, you might want to make note of this as it's been a lifesaver for me.  If it wasn't for her having had crop surgery, I would have requested pills which are easily split and tucked into raisins and MUCH easier to get chickens to take.

Honey on day three in the house.  She was a less than pleasant house guest.  She scattered feed everywhere.  She flung banana and egg all over my kitchen cabinets (thus the sheet draped over her cage).  And then there was the poop.  OMG!!!  I'm not sure who was happier when I finally put her back outside, Honey to be back with her sisters or me!