Tuesday 23 April 2013

Escape to the Country - not suitable for chickens

Do NOT allow your chicken to watch 'Escape to the Country'

Enjoying a night in with Wyandotte Bantam hen Rosie, we were watching an English program, allegedly rated PG - 'Escape to the Country'.   It featured a couple who were looking at buying a country property to escape their hectic city life and noted that as owners of two cats, they needed to make sure that their new home was not located near a busy road. 
All going along well until the camera panned over to the two cats and showed them generally frisking about and acting in a cat-like way.  Rosa sprung to attention and began to call at the top of her voice to alert...well, I guess me to the danger in the room.  Try as I might I could not soothe her.  I turned off the program and she stared at the blank screen, seeing the movement of our reflections and continued to fret and yell loudly.  It got so bad that I had to 'evacuate' her back to the sleeping hutch with the other hens.  
I would strongly suggest that the producers of that program preface each episode with the warning that, "This program may contain feline images and may not be suitable for chickens".  
If I were in America we'd be lawyering up for a class action right now.  

Rosa - blue is so her colour.  April 22 2013. 

Wednesday 17 April 2013

ILT in Chickens

ILT Update

Little Rosie was a super star at the Vet last week.  She has a few plaques on her throat as a result of the ILT virus.  A couple of insignificant ones on the roof of her mouth and one more substantial flapping about behind her tongue.  This one is getting in the way of her breathing and her eating.  I opted to have this plaque removed with forceps.  if was about half the size of a little finger, fingernail.  Rosie was wrapped up in a towel (so gorgeous) and had her mouth held open whilst the forceps went down, trimmed off the piece of plaque and lifted it back up for examination.  It's not nice that this leaves Rosie with a bleeding throat afterwards.  Rosie also got a vitamin injection to help keep her radiant.  The Vet is impressed by Rosie's vitality and energy and feels that her weight of 1.2kilos is very healthy, even a bit porky.  This is great news as she must be in prime (preferably prime+) condition to face the Winter ahead which treated her so miserably last year.  The Vet was unable to take Rosie away to be weighed.  Rosie is so particular about how she gets picked up that she won't tolerate anything other than to stand on my open palm and have my other arm circled around her - with neck extended as long as she can get it, pushing forward into the crook of my elbow.  So she had to be escorted through the surgery with the Vet leading the way.  
Wrapped and ready for her throat cleaning.
We were less than 2 minutes away from the Vet when Rosie started chopping down mouthfuls of seed.  The small area of bleeding in her throat seems to bother her very little.  She is such a trooper.

Cosmetic Testing

I have to admit to a chicken kissing incident.  The Vet was out of the room and Rosie was so cute wrapped in her towel.  I was giving her the usual two dozen kisses on top of her head, when I noticed that I had left a big smear of pink, glittery lip balm behind.  This was at the same time as I felt something stuck to my mouth and realised that as Rosie is moulting and my lips were so sticky, I had accidentally removed 4 or 5 feathers and they were stuck to my lip balm.  So I'm madly trying to quickly and gently rub off lip gloss from the top of Rosie's head and at the same time pick off the feathers from my mouth - all with one thought in mind (to the Vet), "Don't come back in.  Please don't come back in".  When she finally did, Rosie and I were all ease and serenity, both with our best, "What?  Nothing strange going on in here" look on our faces. 

 Rosie - Tuesday 9th April.  Relaxing on the Vet's table. 
 She's been great ever since.  Such a lovely little hen. 

Tuesday 9 April 2013

ILT in Chickens

Preventative Care of ILT in Chickens

Off to the Vet today to get a symptom of ILT treated in our beautiful, white, Wyandotte bantam hen Rosa.  Don't think we've been to the Vet in nearly two months now which is a long time for our little flock over the past year.  Rosie has a plaque (infectious deposit) on her throat and I need the Vet to scoop it out.  
Rosie keeps coughing (sounds like a loud squeak in chickens) so the blockage is obviously getting in the way of breathing and eating.  Rosie is also moulting at the moment so there are feathers everywhere and she very sensitive when being picked up.  This is a delicate time for her as all her nutrients are going in to growing new feathers, she's underweight as she has been broody and stuck to her nest for around the last 8 weeks, she has the plaque swelling in her throat and the cooler weather is just around the corner to give her a further challenge.  I'm also going to get her a vitamin injection today to try and boost her a bit for the coming weeks.  
We are trying to keep her as fat and well fed as possible so she's been inside for extra night feeds 2 or 3 times each week.  She calls, squawks and carries on during the night feeds, so I know she's feeling very perky and is full of energy.  This is why I am so determined to treat Rosie in a preventative way this Winter, rather than waiting for her to become sick and then going in to crisis mode.  If she was miserable, lethargic and suffering now, we wouldn't pursue a recovery for her but as she is so glowing, a rosy glow in fact (a pinkish hue - Seinfeld reference) and deserves the best chance to stay healthy for as long as she is happy and well. 
Last time I took Rosie to the Vet she also got her throat scraped to remove a plaque.  Her behaviour was unbelievable, I would say movie quality impeccable.  She actually sat down on the examination table (unheard of), stretched her neck outwards and upwards and sat perfectly still whilst her beak was held wide open and the plaque was scraped off with a very long cotton bud.  It was surreal for me.  She is the flightiest and noisiest little bird under these conditions and yet when out in public, she behaved like a little lady on her best behaviour.  The Vet left the room to prepare anaesthetic for Rosie in another room, as the last bit of the plaque was not budging and needed to be snipped away.  On the Vet's return Rosie got a huge scare as the door opened and took off in full flight from the table, flew the entire length of the room and hid in the corner.  We all burst out laughing which upset her further and the perfect lady act was shattered.  It was such a classic Rosie moment. 
I am interested to see what she has in store for myself and the Vet today. 

Rosie - Mud bathing at the chicken spa.