Chicken Sitter

Hello, as some of may be aware, I am going to the UK for 4 weeks, in about two weeks time, we have been a bit worried about how the girls will cope with us gone for such a long time. We have enlisted the help of a couple of friends, to come over and replace feed and water etc, however they probably won’t interact with the hens as much as we do, when we’re here all day.

So since we got the new feeder, which holds about a weeks worth of feed for them, I ve been trying to avoid contact with them, to an atempt to get them used to the idea that there isn’t going to be someone out with them during the day, giving them scraps of food and so on. We’ll probably find that they have moved out by the time we get back, maybe over to Gary and Gloria, a couple of pensioners who feed Daisy bread on a daily basis. I’m still worried about how they be without us here to look out for them, I’m sure they’ll be fine.

3 Responses

  1. Egg Bound chicken. A fox just massacered my flock. I only have two chickens left – the rooster and a hen. I believe it was because they were on their perch and in a laying box.
    Anway when I found them it was hard to see them breath until you touched them. I followed the first aid for bird shock protocol- heat quiet and antibiotics by mouth if possible and I added some strong pain meds I have for my back. Look don’t give pain meds unless you have some idea about how much a bird will need because it is only a tiny amount. They will stop breathing.

    So after basically 24 hours ICU, the rooster could not lift his head at all or swallow. He also had a small hole in his trachea- you could hear his breathing through his trachea not his lungs. If it is lungs you either need to plug up that hole or give up. Anyway, I rolled up three large towels and made them supportive nests. Their heads need to be up so they will not choke when they swallow anything. I feed them a shot glass full of cephlexin antiobiotics (half 100mlg tablet mashed), the pain meds panadien forte, I/4 tablet also mashed, and now I know I should have given them some calcium powder. I held the shot glass up to the rooster and hens beaks and let them drink as much as they could get down at least 5 times the first day. I reduced it to 4 then thre times as the days went on. that was last Saturday. It is a week on. I have been feeding Edward the rooster pureed food because he will not swallow anything bigger than a quarter corn kernal and he pecks slowly at the tiniest pieces. His neck was the most damaged. Bella, the hen, was eating large pieces of fresh corn, peas and large grain sliced bread(broken up). I forgot we had laying mash that would have helped.

    this morning I found Bella perching with her head down and not at all happy. She had only laid an egg the first day with the shell separate from the insides. I have only seen this in young hens so I think this is normal with shock.

    I went through my long memory bank and set her up with a nest box (a clean milk carton from our chook house) so she would be familiar and relax. Then I put a heating pad in the box. With parrots you need to get them as close to body temp as possible if they are egg bound.

    Then I called the vet and the vet nurse reminded me of calcium. I knew calcium had a big role in laying an egg but in this instance I forgot.
    I gave her a strong solutition of Vetafarm Triple Calcium (with D and other minerals) and then in her box she perked up a bit and put her head down and I assume started to concentrate on passing the mass.
    I have to check her later but am scared the mass is going to be too big to come through. I will give her another 20 minutes and see how she goes- I really don’t want to disturb her. When you said it could take two days that worried me. What do you think? thanks I hope you see this. Kathy

    • Hi Kathy, where to start, firstly sorry to hear that your flock has been severly attacked, I know how upsetting it can be to lose your hens. Secondly, it sounds like you’re ontop of the birds needs and treatments, some people say that using a gloved and lubed finger can damage the internals on the vent, It can help release the pressure and build up, just be very slow and gentle in your movements. Good luck.

  2. Hi Rob, I was so worried about losing her I put on a glove and used vaseline and checked inside. There was nothing there that I could tell. The last egg she laid was on the day of the attack- it looked as if the egg was cracked open in a pan and there was a white egg shell beside it, still soft and looked like a fat grub.
    She was not well at all, I brought in her nest box (a milk crate with straw bedding) and put my heating pad in it. I kept her very warm and continued to give her calcium in her water.. It took about a day and a half to get her “happy” again. Now, 3 weeks later they are in their coop again. The rooster is not perching- he was worst injured. He doesn’t want to fly up to his normal perch and sleeps in the lowest nest box. The hen is perching but not laying. We have had terrible weather, hot, humid, floods nearby so I am not surprised. I haven’t let them out to graze. I have purchased some fence panels to surround the coop. Hopefully this will help with the fox problem.
    I need some more hens and want to find some Pekin Bantam cross if possible. I am in Australia, I don’tknow if you have breeders reply to your site but it would be nice if someone would let me know if they have any available. Thank you for your reply- Kathy

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