Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Looking Better

Today "blackie" the chicken is still alive and looking much better. He/she still has a gimpy walk though. We haven't decided if the leg is "gimpy" from being squooshed into a funny position for so long or if it was born gimpy and wouldn't have survived naturally without intervention.
We had a baby duck once that was trapped behind a retaining wall section for 3 days. We thought it had been eaten so we hadn't looked for it. We heard it one afternoon peeping it's little heart out and found it stuck in a rotted crevice part of the old railroad ties used to make the wall with. We had to break apart the wood (didn't want it anyways) to get it out. It's leg was stuck out at an odd angle because of it's confinement.
We helped it by giving it "hydro therapy" :-D by holding it partly in water and making feel as if it had to paddle. Within a number of days---all better.
Since blackie can't do hydro therapy---I held it partly up and made it walk a bit while helping it to bear some of the body weight. We also have a towel down in the box the bird is in so that it can grip better, which seems to be working. Today it can stand almost normal and almost run. It's little leg shoots out some times when it walks or stands but maybe by tomorrow it will be fine. It is now definitely eating and drinking on its own so hopefully in a couple of weeks----we won't even know which bird it was. I know some would have just stretched it's little neck---but I haven't really spent that much effort on it and if I save it for future use all the better. Of course if it stays bad---it will eventually get culled.
Carolyn asked if I used electrolytes or added a bit of sugar to my water to give them a help. No, I don't do that. I don't know why I don't---it's just something we never have done. ( By the way Carolyn: yes, it is exciting to try and figure out what your "mystery" chick is. Eventually I will post pics of "brownie" and we can all guess if it's not obvious what he/she is.)

We also don't vaccinate our birds. I know a number of people do vaccinate but we don't seem to have widespread problems with Mareck's or any of the others. Do some of you always vaccinate your birds? We vaccinate our sheep since some of them leave the farm, we do also vaccinate our cows because we have large herds around us. Not confinement cattle but they are bought from auction, fed out and go back to auction. Since only a small gravel road separates us---we do feel somewhat concerned about that.
I don't know anyone who vaccinates their poultry around here though nor did I know anyone in Texas who did. Not saying there isn't---just none that we know of. We have always felt that sanitary, healthy conditions control most problems. We don't iodine our lamb navels at birth anymore either. Since we don't have the conditions that allow for the navel disease---we don't feel it's worth the hassle. One lamb last year did get hers dipped though. She had to be helped from her mother since her shoulders were so wide. I couldn't get the lamb lasso around her mouth/head so I used it on her forelock so she wouldn't slide back in and breath fluid into her lungs (I could see her two front feet, tip of her nose and her big pink tongue sticking out at me) I ended up pulling her forelock so hard with the lamb lasso that I injured it. So, since she couldn't stand well (yet another example of leg problems here) she flopped around for a while getting her naval and her tongue all full of hay, chaff and dirt. I finally figured out to use popsicle sticks and hot pink vet wrap for a temporary "cast" to help her because by not standing---she couldn't nurse. Within two days she was fine. We had a really cute picture of her with that little cast on but I couldn't find it to put it in this post. Oh well---guess I need to be more organized about my pics :-)
Hope everyone has a great day---we'll be getting rain with a 60 degree high.

SmallMeadow Farm Icelandic sheep, Irish Dexters and heritage chickens

1 comment:

Caroline said...

Wow, rain and 60 degrees. Right now I can't imagine - it is *frigid* here right now (7 degrees at 9 am) although I know it will warm up before it snows.

For the chickie - check out "spraddle leg". We had a few that hatched out that way, and I put in a surface they could walk on more easily (paper towels in my case) and made a harness of sorts with yarn. (There's a pic on this web page:

Good luck! I look forward to hearing more about your peepers.