Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Henrietta's Day Off

I was at work. The manfriend sent me a txt simply saying 'Henrietta's sick'.

My heart stopped.

They may just be chickens, but they're MY chickens. And I do love them so. And this wasn't just any chicken, but Henrietta. The prodigal hen.

I got a hold of the manfriend and he filled me in on the deets. She was lethargic, off her feed, and had gone pale in the comb and wattle. I had him palpate her belly and vent, check her airways, feel her crop, listen to her breathing.... nothing. I also told him to give her a bath. To his credit, his only response was 'a bath? Like hot water and soap bath?', when I responded in the affirmative, he said OK, got off the phone, and got to it. And boy would I have liked to have seen him lathering her up and then blow drying her fluffy feathers.

Henrietta spent the day at home with Mike, sitting on the rubbermaid tub we use as a side table and really not moving much. Mike spoon-fed her water with honey in it, and hand-fed her feed.

Sleeping chicken

When I got home, I gave her a once over and noticed that she is growing in A LOT of feathers. As in a large percentage of the feathers on her body are new. It's her first year and we haven't noticed her losing any, but it's clear that she is growing a bunch. Which would seriously explain her being so tired and off. It takes a lot of energy to grow feathers. They're mostly protein, after all.

She felt like a fluff-covered porcupine

See? They grow in with a sheath, and then it gradually falls off to reveal the floof.

Kinda reminds me of those hair wraps that were big in the 90's...

And when we got home from going out to eat (at our favorite place in Burlington), Henrietta was looking a fair amount better and started showing interest in food again. Read: she obligingly ate all of my leftover shredded lettuce. Like a champ!

She's much better and off with the flock, although still not quite up to 100%. I did give everyone a boost of ACV in their water, and yesterday before I wet to work I made them a smoothie. Yogurt, garlic & banana. Oh my!

Enjoying a morning smoothie.


Kerri said...

Poor henny.

Glad she's feeling better. I'm impressed you knew what to do because when my other friend's chickens get sick, by the time they notice it's too late.

Love is love.

caitlinvb said...

Oh goodness. I didn't mean to make it sound like I knew how to FIX her. I just know what to look for in terms of signs. And I know a few things... (and I always have been calm and cool in a crisis...) but I am at the mercy of books and interwebs...most chickens out here are well taken care of, but not beloved like Henrietta, so most would not get a once over. And surely never a bath! But if your friends ever wants to connect re: chickens, happen to lend what experience I've gained. And love IS love.