Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Why don't books tell you this?

I'm so frustrated this week.

You read my previous post on Ginger and her bumble foot.  Making sure she gets her medicine and her dressing changed, well, it's just one more thing to deal with each day.  And the medicine has really upset her digestive system.  She's had a bath twice this week and is in need of yet another.  I'm going to hold out 48 hours and see if we can get her system back to normal first.

Yesterday, I came home to find Lulu Lemon limping.  Lulu is my wild child who will not let me get near her.  She doesn't want to be held or touched and only occasionally will eat out of my hands.  When she let me pick her up with little more than a squawk, I knew something was very wrong.  The poor thing was covered in blood and realized that she had lost a toe nail.  The WHOLE nail.  What you see there is just a tad of the top of the nail and the quick, the insides of her nail which is one big nerve.

I have no idea how this happened.  She has very sharp, pointy toe nails and she clearly got it caught on something in the run and pulled it out.  But what?  I've gone over that whole run and can't find any sign of blood except on her 2x4 perch where she clearly sat after the accident.

I feel awful for her as it must hurt something awful.  But I hesitate to wrap it up as I'll never catch her to remove or change the dressing.  I probably should have given her some pain meds.  But again, if I can't get her to come near me to do this consistently, then what is the point?

I did keep her isolated in the dog crate last night just to keep her calm but I think I just frightened her something awful.  So I put her back out with the other hens this morning.  She's still limping but doing MUCH better tonight.  Thankfully!

Here's what Lulu Lemon looks like she's not under the weather.  She's a beautiful bird.
And to top off my week, Honey Bear went broody AGAIN!  I always feel bad keeping her in a dog create in the garage to break her so this time I put her in the lower portion of my spare coop.  Well, what I didn't realize is that she paced back and forth, rubbing her beak along the hardwire cloth and rubbed a big divot in the top of her beak.  I cleaned it up and it looks okay.  But now I'm worried about the structural integrity of her beak and I'm wondering if I should put a patch over it so she doesn't crack her beak.

I read multiple books and did all kinds of research before I committed to getting chickens.  None of the books prepared me for all the things that can go wrong with a chicken.  They mostly cover all the diseases they can contract.  Fortunately, those have not been an issue for me.

But I'm truly exhausted from this week.  I'm eager for the weekend to arrive so we can get everyone cleaned up and get back to scratching in the garden for bugs and the other things that chickens should be doing.


  1. I really feel for you. It's awful when it seems to be one thing after another. You try so hard to keep them all happy and there is always something unexpected round the corner.

    I too am finding that having read all the books it's issues that aren't covered in the books.Five times now the little girls have had their combs pecked, Honey struggles to lay her eggs and I don't know why, the big girls continue to pull feathers and now to top it all it looks as if the they have started pulling feathers from the little girls. I found six banty feathers in the run yesterday and on close inspection I think the bantys neck feathers are disappearing. I really thought the bantys would get out of the way. I can't bare to think of the little girls ending up bare necked as well. Sorry to have my own rant but I wanted you to know that you are not alone with the frustration of the unexpected issues keep happening. We just have to keep on doing what we can. I am sure it will get better soon.

  2. Thanks Carol. I feel like Ginger is on the mend. Just need to get those runny poops under control. I trimmed back her fluffy bottom more severe than I ever would because A, it's a mess and B, it's time for her to molt. I also gave her some yogurt this morning. Hopefully, that gets her system back on track.

    Lulu is back up in the tree again this morning so she must be feeling better. But I'm still suspicious that the tree is where she had this accident so obviously, I'm nervous there.

    And I posted Honey's beak picture a few places and I do think I'll run this past the vet and see if we shouldn't try and patch it now before it gets worse.

    Hopefully, that's my three and I'm good for a while now. Sigh... I'm truly exhausted.

  3. I'm sorry to hear about your poorly girls, I do hope beak and toe recover ok.
    They always find some problem that isn't in a book nd it's worse when they throw their poorliness at you all at once xx

  4. Hope everything is getting back to normal at your place. I've been away and off the net so miss all the updates on everyone's girls. Hope yours settle down and are all well.