Friday, December 03, 2004

Update on injured chicken

Our hurt bird made it through the night. I got her (him?) to drink a bit of water last night, which definitely increased her alertness. She wouldn't eat. I tried to clean her up with mild soap and water, but the best time for doing that had long passed. I swabbed some homeopathic calendula on the wounds, because it was what I had. I really wish I had some comfrey leaves right now to make a poultice. I will definitely be growing comfrey; it is an amazing healer.

This morning she drank a LOT of water, but still refused food. I put a touch of blackstrap molasses in the water and she guzzled more, even peeped. Then she moved around the box a little, so I offered her some food and she ate it all! Hooray!

Her side is clearly bothering her. She has a hard time putting weight on the affected leg. I suspect she will never grow feathers on her left side because I think I am looking at muscle, not skin.

Saving her to what I end, I wonder. If she is a hen, she may be able to live a relatively normal life, although she will likely be at the bottom of the pecking order, and will have reduced ability to escape predators. I don't think she'll be able to fly. If she is a he... wow, I don't know. I think it might be hard to do all the things roosters do with the kind of restrictions this bird will likely have. Time will tell.

I have learned a great deal about alternative emergency animal care in the past 15 hours. I will do some things differently next time, like cleaning up the wound immediately. I also now have a better idea of what I'd like to have on hand for emergency first aid for our animals.

I have also begun to actively process, emotionally, the raising-animals-to-eat thing. I have a lot of thoughts on this, so I will save it for another post.

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