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I am a 50+ yr old stay at home wife of a scientist/Military man.  I raise chickens for eggs, rescue dogs & cats & spoil them all.  I am a silver/metal smith & stained glass artist.  I, at one time was an secondary art teacher & Social Studies teacher.  I am sorta a eclectic earth mother who recycles everything I can get my hands on.  Enjoy working with power tools & even built my own 10ft by 6ft chicken coop.  am pretty much interested in learning everything I can thur books, magazines & friends. I enjoy veggie gardening & doing gardens just for the chickens. I also sew & love making pioneer style comfortable clothes for myself & adding vintage lace when I can find it. I am pretty easygoing, but need my coffee first before I am ready to face the world & day.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Voodoo Moon, My special little girl

I want to introduce you to a very special little hen named Voodoo Moon. She came to me by way of a friend when she was only a week old. She had one leg that was up so she hobbled on one leg & my friend did not want to put her down if I could help. So I took her home & started research & therapy on her. First let me say no one knew what to do for her. I contacted bird injury experts & looked on the web for anything that could tell me how to get her leg lowered without having major surgery done on her. I had seen an article of a vet who put a bird in a sling after correcting a damaged leg. He also recommending mild weights to be added so the leg would straighten & grow strong. Now mind you, this bird was big & mine is the size of a large dust-ball, so I had to rethink the idea a bit. I ended up wrapping the leg from toes to hip, then added 1 penny to the top of the foot area to cause pressure that might bring the leg down slowly without hurting the bird. Within days her leg started to come down but now I had another problem, her other leg had compensated so much it was now causing major stress on the knee joint. In a matter of hours her bones had moved in both legs to the point they were beside each other instead of one on top of the other. So now I have 2 big problems that have to be addressed. I am not expert, nor have I had to deal with this before so I did the best I could so, remember that as you read this. I was able to get one leg back to where it needed to be & bandaged it, the other was so tight I couldn't fix it without tearing tissue so I bandage it & put pennies on the top of the feet to help bring them back in line. Needless to say nothing I did worked & she became completely crippled with 2 legs that look & bend like a frogs. But don't worry, that little girl has figured out how to get around using her legs to kick back & her wings to move her forward. Because of all her moving & rubbing she has lost a lot of her feathers on her tummy, wings & legs. I keep her in the dining-room where she is warm & I can check on her often. I have her in 1/2 of the ER playpen where she has a huge teddy bear she likes to lean on or move under its arms to sleep. she can eat on her own, but I have to water her constantly during the day because she will sling her water dish ever which way & ends up taking a bath instead of getting a drink. She is now around 7 months old but looks like a 2 month old chick because of her size. I believe because of all the trouble she had she will probably never lay an egg. I think her body would not be able to handle it with her on her stomach all the time. I have a special sling I put her some days so she can be out & about with us when I am not holding her. She also gets baths because her tummy area gets poo on it when she moves around. I still bandage her legs but now for protection against scraps & rubbings. I also use almond oil on her exposed skin areas which she seems to really like, not sure if its the oil or me gently rubbing it on her. Everyone that sees her says I should put her down that she looks like she is in pain. Believe me, this little girl gets treated with kid gloves & is spoiled rotten. If I ever believe she is suffering I will put her down, but now she is healthy, eats like a horse & enjoys being held. She may be ugly as sin to some but to me she is beautiful & I am glad she is part of my life. When I am tired or not feeling well I go get her & hold her. She talks to me while I feed her warm oatmeal or cream of wheat. She makes me realize that even though she has no real legs she wants to survive & I am more than welling to see she does. I had to teach my husband how to care for her so when I am sick or gone he can care for her. He is still learning she has to be held a certain way so she doesn't spit up her water through her nose. But I think eventually he'll get comfortable with her & relax, then they will do good together. But she prefers momma's touch since she has been with me for so long. Now I know most people wouldn't take the time or energy to do this for a chicken but my friend was so upset over the baby chick & knew I would try. I know that there are things I could have done differently or paid to have the surgery done or just put her down, but I wanted to try & give her a life & that I did. She will always need help from me but I don't mind that, its not like I have 50 kids, a job outside the home or anything. I choose her & I will make sure til her end she has what she needs & wants. Plus to be honest, she is good for me, when I am down over something stupid I can pick her up & see how hard she fights & know that my life is easy compared to hers. That is one of the reasons I love my chickens, they give me a sense of peace & calmness that is different from any other animal I have owned. Until next time, have a happy chicken day!
Footnote: My little Voodoo Moon passed away one night in her sleep on her big teddy bear.

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