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!


  1. Hope all continues to improve! Good luck with the medicine. You're a great chicken momma!

  2. Honey is looking really good. Don't feel bad about the sugar, I have seen sugar water recommended for weak hens to help build up their strength so at a time like this it is fine and any way, needs must! She is getting better and that is the important thing. It's a good sign she wants to be back with her flock mates. Good luck Honey and your special chicken mum.

  3. Thanks Joan and Carol. I did the sugar thing again this morning and it worked again brilliant. She even has the drill down. Honey comes up to the gate and knows that only she is let out. I set down her treat bowl and go into the run to distract Coco with something else. Just two more days of this and then we're done with medicine. Whew!

  4. What if you gave Honey, well, honey instead of sugar? :-)

  5. Honey might be better. I hadn't thought of that. Tonight, she didn't finish all her laced treat. I don't think I put as much sugar in as before. And evenings are tougher because she's more full from eating. But I'm not as freaked out as she only has three more doses and I really think we're out of the woods as far as infection.