Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Chooky affairs!

One of my bantam chooks has not been well.  She looked really good but after doing some research on why chooks have a lump on their breast we learnt a lot about chicken anatomy. 

Rosie had a lump on her chest about the size of a tennis ball each night.  We learnt that chickens fill their crop (the first stage of their digestive system) really well just before going to roost so they "last" the night without food.  Usually by morning the crop is empty and they happily go off and eat.  Rosie's crop was not empty in the morning.  After some extensive "natural learning" (lol) I started some simple therapy of massaging her crop in the morning and isolating her so she didn't get any food for 48 hours. 

It was not looking good.  After a visit to a not-so-local vet who was very good with chickens I found out that her nervous system had probably been affected by a virus similar to Herpes called Mareks and that her crop could not empty.

All of this, of course, had to happen over New Year's and all of its associated holidays.  I have since been very busy giving her anti-biotics morning and night, syringing 10mls of apple cider vinegar solution into her 4 times a day, giving her fennel tea once a day and massaging her crop every time I hold her for one of these events.  It has been very busy.

The good news (fingers crossed, prayers said) is that she has gained 65g in the last 5 days, her crop has gone down to about the size of a bantam egg and she is looking a bit chirpier.  She is also becoming quite tame and cuddly.  :)

I had intended to start "formal" school back last week but instead we have been doing a little formal school and a whole lot of natural learning about chickens and their digestive system and the responsibilities of owners towards their animals.

Ironic, isn't it, considering my rant a month or so ago?

Best wishes


  1. Awwww...poor Rosie. Thank goodness she has a caring "mommy"! :P

    As for school...isn't that the beauty of home education. We just keep tweaking and adjusting and just when we think we know exactly what we're going to do "whammo" we're forced in a new direction! Or is that just me?!

    ((((hugs)))) for the New Year.


  2. Fascinating!
    And a life lesson for you. There is a balance somewhere out there between the formal and the natural learning.
    Hope Rosie is cackling again soon and have a good year whatever you are learning.


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