December 6, 2010

Bumblefoot and Naked Chickens

Sad to say, I'm still dealing with bumblefoot in my little flock, several months later.  I've done antibiotics.  I've performed surgeries and pulled some of the nastiest things I've ever seen out of my chickens' feet, packed with antibiotic ointment, and applied dressing and vet wrap.   I've had to soak, medicate and wrap 6-7 of the 9 remaining hens several times a week, and I'm about spent from it all, and of course they're none too happy either.  After a spell where they got considerably worse, we seem to have turned a corner and they're getting some better, but we're not over the hump yet.   I know I have to get rid of it completely or it'll be back with a vengeance.

I still don't know what caused Bessie's demise at the end of Oct, and now I'm dealing with a naked chicken.  Poor Ophelia started losing some feathers last week and I didn't think too much of it as they can go into a molt at the weirdest times, but 2-3 days ago I noticed a large amount of chicken feathers on the ground and in the coop, so this is no ordinary molt.  She's pretty bald now and with it dropping to the 20s at night and 30s during the day, I knew I had to do something or the cold would kill her.  I imagine it would be a slow, horrible death as she weakened, so was determined to get her some relief today.

I crochet and was going to make her a sweater of some sort, but that will have to wait for another day.  I pondered several different ways to attack this, but decided to try the arm off an old thermal shirt.  I cut slits for her wings and with a little help from a buddy, was able to slip it over her head.  It's not the prettiest thing and there are still some bare spots not completely covered, but I'm sure it's helping some.  It's not really restrictive, but she hopped around oddly for a bit as she got her balance.  Of course I'll be checking on her several times throughout the day.

Awaiting her 'fitting'

Not perfect, but it'll work for now

The fitting room after dressing Ophelia.
You can see she lost even more feathers during the process

I started antibiotics again two days ago and I'm going to give it this one last ditch effort to get the bumblefoot under control, and hopefully that will also address whatever's going on with Ophelia.  I'm at a loss as to what else I can do, and if I don't see rapid improvement soon, I may just cull them and admit defeat.

Ophelia, in better days

I'd love to get you back into this shape, Ophelia. I'm trying girl, really I am ...

1 comment:

Crittercre8r said...

Poor thing! I hope you start seeing improvement soon!