Friday, May 14, 2010

Help! My poor little chicken..

I feel like a terrible chicken mommy! Today was beautiful. I was reading on the hammock after Mike went to work for over an hour. It was marvelous. After I finished my book, I decided to go down to the garden and admire all of our plants (a post on that is coming soon!).  When I got down there, I saw Juliette looking mighty interested in the ducks pond. When I got closer, I saw one of our white leghorns, Betty, in the water! Who knows how long she was in there struggling to get out... I feel terrible that I was enjoying myself, while Betty was suffering. I scooped her out of the water and ran her into the house to wrap some towels around her. I could tell she wasnt feeling well, because she wouldnt even move.. and if you know white leghorns, you know that they are very skiddish. I took her to the bathroom and attempted to blowdry her to warm her up. She was shivering and she kept closing her eyes. I was afraid she was going to die right there in my arms! After checking her out, I found that she is missing a lot of feathers on her belly and backside.. this leads me to believe that the prolonged water exposure made her feather fall out.. I dont know though. 

Now, I dont know what to do.. I brought a kennel inside and put a heating lamp in there along with some towel to try and warm her up. I tried to get her to drink a little, but she wasnt interested.. 

Do any of you chicken mommys and daddies have any advice about what I should do next? I feel frantic and so sad.


taylorgirl6 said...

Press pause on that panic button. First, you did the right thing by bringing her inside. Keep her warm and quiet for at least a day. Give her access to water, but don't force it. She may have swallowed too much water, in which case she needs electrolytes (think gatorade or pedialyte, watered way down). Your local feed store should have a bird version of this available. The main thing is to keep her warm and quiet. She'll heal well enough with just that.

If you haven't already discovered it, the Backyard Chickens Forum has a wealth of knowledge in its membership. Go there, read up, ask questions, and you'll get responses pretty fast. Good luck!

Kelsi said...

Thank you so much for your advice. I will get her through the night and if she isnt doing well, I will find something with electrolytes. That is a good idea. I just checked on her and she is a little more alert. That is a good sign!

I am going to do a little research on chicken forum now. Thank you so much,

John Gray said...

hens die of shock very keep warm AND dark!

taylorgirl is right!

as for the feathers
I suspect she ws attacked and ran in panic into the water

Callie said...

Checking with the forum is a great idea. Hopefully, the hen will warm up and dry out and be good as new. I have never had a chicken go swimming so I don't have any advice. Sounds like you are doing all the right things.

Kelsi said...

I checked her for puncture wounds and there were none. The good news is that she was back to being skiddish again this morning, so I let her back out into the yard and coop. She has been acting normal all day. I think she will be ok. Poor little baby!

Dani said...

I bet the ducks pulled her feathers out when they caught her in their pond. We have ducks and anytime any of the other animals go near the pond they chase them away. The ducks also grab our turkeys by the feathers on their chests and pull out all the feathers. I'm sure she will be ok, just a little traumatized.

John Gray said...

how is she?

Kelsi said...

John, She is doing just fine! Back to her normal self!