Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Complicated Chickens

Maeve, the new chick on the block

Well, best laid plans and all that...

My idea had been to integrate Mini with the new teeny Maeve, and once they were firm pals to reintroduce the pair to the flock. Easy. Except Mini has some kind of respitory infection. She's wheezing a bit, snotty and has a slightly swollen face. When she sneezes, mucus flies. Oh crap. Just as I noticed this new development, Mabel wandered over, bokked a bit, and then sneezed wetly up my arm. Double crap.

To be honest, at this point I may have thrown a little tantrum. After the nightmare of Delilah's illness and subsequent death, I really thought I was owed a good run of chicken health. Ha! The chicken God apparently has a wicked sense of humour. So, monday morning saw me high tailing it to the vet and picking up some baytril.

Baytril is a broad spectrum antibiotic, which in this case comes as a syrup. Cue me trying to hold a chicken in a headlock while firing medicine down her throat. Cue Mini making an alarming amount of noise of the 'I can't breathe! I'm dying!' kind, and turning an unpleasant shade of purple. In a human you'd have called it an asthma attack. I popped her back into the coop, sadly expecting her to cark it from stress. Five minutes later, she trotted down the ramp and wandered off to eat aphids. I actually let out an audible sigh of relief.

We went through the whole rigmarole again yesterday, before my brain engaged this morning and I squirted the baytril onto a piece of bread. Mini scoffed it with enthusiasm, and no near death episode. Good. I am currently awaiting the delivery of a set of digital mini scales, so that I can measure out the Tylan I need to treat the whole flock. Hopefully, this will kill all bacteria and the birds will be healthy again. Until the next time...

Maeve has been cheerfully destroying the greenhouse, managing to tear up everything in the growbag and then crap on it. She has been out for the odd wander around the garden, and rightly keeps out of the other ladies way. She has a big charcter for such a little bird. When she is grown, I think she's really going to shake up the pecking order....

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