Thursday, June 30, 2011

Coco is better

I am happy to report that Coco is doing better today.  But yesterday was a very long day which led to a very long night.

She spent the day at the vet's office having x-rays and other diagnostics done.  (How on earth they got her to stay still for x-rays is beyond me cuz even in her unhappy, wilted state, she wanted nothing to do with any part of the vet's office.)  It appears that my big Hoover Machine will eat anything and everything, including the straw I bought several weeks back and scattered in their run to give them something to kick around.

I've seen her eating sand inside their house and pine shavings from the nest boxes but it never seemed to be an issue so I just dismissed it.  Well, the straw got stuck in her crop and began to ferment.  Her crop was big and squishy and she had breath that could make a buzzard blush.

The vet gave her something to help move everything through her system and told me to take her home and keep her calm.  So I jetted by the pet store on my way home to pick up a dog crate and home we went.  She ate some mashed up feed and drank lots of water when we got her home so that was promising.  But she didn't poop.  She just stood in one place and didn't move.  Didn't talk and didn't lay down.  And didn't poop.

I checked on her several times throughout the night and there was no change.  This morning I got up at 5am and finally, the gas in her crop has subsided.  So I fed her some more mashed up feed and then her favorite thing in the whole wide world, banana.  She drank a little and then ate some more.  And finally, some 12 hours after we got her home, it started coming out the other side.  I went through all my old towels and had to switch to old t-shirts.

And then, she started to talk.  And she got louder and more vocal.  She was moving around more and finally started to peck at the cage and was clearly done being cooped up.  The vet had suggested keeping her cooped up one more day, but she wanted none of it.

So I opened the door and said to her, if you really want out, then you'll have to walk out of there on your own.  You walk over to me and I'll take you out to your sisters.  And if she didn't just march right up to me.

So outside we went for a reunion like none other with her two sister who were simply lost with out her.  Their run was spotlessly clean as I spent several hours out there last night raking up every bit of straw I could.  Obviously, there are some micro pieces here and there which make me nervous.  And she is by no means "all better".  This sour crop issue is going to be an issue for probably a few weeks till we get her back to her old self.  But I think the worst is behind us.

Thank you all for your kind words.  It really helped me get through the day and long sleepless night last night.  Who knew I could become so attached to a $4 feed store chicken in such a short period of time.  But she's my Alpha Hen and she's priceless in my eyes.

I don't feel well and what does mom do, takes me to see this strange man who pokes and prods me.
Then she brings me home and puts me in this silly cage.  And to add insult to injury, she's taking my picture.
I'm not a happy hen right now!


  1. Oh, I'm so glad Coco is better. What a relief! I bet you'll sleep good tonight!

  2. I just got caught up on blogs. Glad she is getting well. If she every gets like that again there is a simple way to flush her out. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of Epson Salt in 1 ounce of warm Water. Once it is clear draw off the clear solution and give the hen 6-10 CC of it right down the throat. I use a syringe(no needle) to do it.


  3. Thanks Joan. I slept all through the night till 6:30am when I could hear Bok Bok Bok BAAGAWK! AKA, we're up Flock Mistress. How about something seedy to eat!

  4. Thanks Matt. I'm going to save that info. These are my first chickens since I was a small child so I'm really new to this. I thought at first she had an impacted crop. But found out at the vet that would be a hard crop. Hers was definitely mushy and gassy.

    Actually, I'll have to blog about having a gassy chicken in the living room next to you. Now that's an experience!!!

  5. I am so glad to hear that she is doing better! Sounds like you guys had a scary night!

  6. Clandestine, Yes a very long scary night. But today she seems like she's back to her old self. I only let them out tonight into the bigger garden. I wanted to make sure she really had time to heal.

    I just went out to tuck them in for the night and gave her crop a good feel. It's full but it's a nice firm full of food feel. Not squishy or gassy.

    I NEVER want to go through that again.