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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.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Introducing some of my wounded kids (hens)

The last 2 blogs were hard for me to write since I try to always see a positive to everything. Well, it made me think about what I have done or am doing to help some of my not so healthy chickens, who I refer to as my 'kids'
 I not only have very healthy chickens, but I will take any chickens people can't care for or are injured in anyway. I hope that with my care, I can save some of them, though its not always easy & some do not make it in the end.





I want to introduce you to Bowzer, my rumpless girl who was in my very first batch of chickens way back in 2008.  I noticed when she hit about 2 or so months old, she would have these odd seizures where her head would jerk to one side & her left leg would lift up at the same time.  This would occur almost daily & last for sometimes a minute & after wards she would be unsteady for a bit.  First time it happened, it scared me to death thinking she was trying to die.  Because of this, I decided she could not go out with the other hens because I was afraid they would hurt her either during her attack or after when she was trying to recover. She still has the seizures occasionally but otherwise is healthy.

The hen above belongs to a friend who allowed me to take her & 2 other hens that had a bad case of Leg Mites.  As you can see from the 1st 2 leg pictures the mites had done quit a bit of damage, which had to have been painful.  I researched the web to use a non-toxic solution to help kill the mites, shed the old damaged scales & bring the skin back to a healthy stage. The last 2 pics are 7 days later with the mites dead, scales gone & skin showing through.  The problem with leg mites is you can not solve the problem in one day.  The first day I had to soak their feet & legs in warm Benadine water & take a very soft tooth brush & gently scrub the legs to remove what looks like dried cement.  Then I coated the legs & feet in Marigold salve (Recipe at end of this blog) making sure to get deep into the lifted scales.  Daily the legs were checked & more salve put on.  By the 3rd day I was able to actually wipe some of the old dead scales off with a paper towel before I added another heavy coat of salve.  I also added to their diet of plain chicken feed to: Chicken feed, raw oat meal, wheat germ, flax seed, 7 grain mix & liquid chicken vits as well as add apple cidar vinegar to their water. These 3 hens stayed in my laundry room in one of my ER playpens so they would have quiet plus they can spread the mites to the other chickens. After 10 days I was able to return the chickens to my friend.
Meet Coraline, she was also one of the hens I brought back with the Leg Mite hens.  She didn't have  leg mites, but had been abused by a group of roosters who's claws cut open her back on both sides. One side was so bad the skin was cut through so she had a pocket of loose skin over her back that wouldn't close & could eventually get very infected. First thing I had to do with this little girl was cut her wings back since most of the feathers were broken  & they were scraping against her wounds.  I had to wash her back after trimming more feathers there as well, in peroxide then Vet grade Benadine, that's the reason her back is orange in the pictures. I used a antibiotic to coat the back, wounds & under the lose skin then used a gauze over the 2 bad wounds & wrapped the entire back with cotton gauze that I wove over her back & through her legs so it would not be easy to remove.  I left this on for 3 days before removing & cleaning all the areas again.   somehow today she figured out how to remove the big bandage but the smaller bandages are still on & she is healing nicely.  I will continue the antibiotic ointment & cleaning with the benadine until her skin is completely healed.  I also  decided since the back feathers will never grow back from all the damage, to get her one of those chicken fabric back protectors so that she doesn't have to deal with the bitter cold of our winters.  She also has bumble foot on both feet so I have both feet covered so they can heal & the pressure is taken off the sore areas with a cotton donut I made that slips around the wound before taping them up.
As I write I have gotten 3 other Leg Mite hens from the same friend who I am trying to heal.  These girls were given to me so they are now part of the household ER groups. One of them also has bumblefoot.  As you can see, I am a stay at home wife or I could never do this.  Each time one heals & goes back to being a happy chicken I am pleased that I was able to do something for them.
Now for that Marigold Salve recipe I said I would list for you.  I found this in a turn of the 1900's book & made it up & love it.  It works on people & animals.  I have used it for a dog surgery wound, cut paws, chicken wounds of all types & people minor wounds.
Its very simple but you must watch it so it doesn't burn.

marigold Salve:
Fill a non aluminum pan with as much marigold blooms as you can (dried or fresh) cover in water & bring to a boil, shut off stove & let set for 1 hour of so & remove blooms & keep the liquid.  should smell pretty strong.  Add 3-5 pounds lard (not Crisco!) Put back on stove & heat to boil, now's the time you need to really keep an eye on it cause you want to boil all the water out. this can take hours but to me was worth it.  Once you think you have all the water out turn off stove & let it set til the lard firms up.  Take a knife & stick it in several places all the way down to the bottom of the pan.  If you see water you need to heat it up again & remove the water...the water will cause it to mold & go bad if not all gone. another thing you can do is before it firms up is pour it into a bowl & stick it in the freezer to freeze.  Once frozen, remove the lard from the bowl & the water will have frozen to the bottom which you can cut off.  but please once you do this, put it back on the stove to remelt so any traces of water is completely gone.  let cool but while still liquid pour into jars with tight lids.  I store mine in the cool pantry & usually try to have a jar in the frig because in the hot months the cool salve feels good on scrapes.  its also wonderful if you have cracked feet.  Coat feet top & bottom with it & put on socks before you go to bed.
It has antibiotic & antiseptic properties to it & is not dangerous if an animal licks it or eats it.

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