Monday, February 04, 2008

Beyond Gross

I've had to do some disgusting things in my life, but Sunday took the cake. My mom, hearing the tale, said that she has changed her mind about someday owning a mini-farm or at least one with chickens. It all started Sunday morning when I noticed that Mo, a six year old Black Giant hen, appeared to be moving very stiffly. Her rear was completely caked. You can guess with what. When I picked her up, she gave the breathy whine that signaled either pain or distress that I was picking her up.

Taking her into the kitchen, she was given a bath in the deep sink there, causing nearly everyone, myself included, to nearly lose our lunch from the smell. Blown dry, I took her back outside and put her down. She stood there miserably. I noticed her crop was quite large. A crop is a kind of pre-stomach in a chicken where they gather food. Sometimes, they get impacted, perhaps from eating hay or long pieces of grass, or some food forming a ball there. I took her inside and put her in a cage. I thought we'd wait and see if the "in" might improve after cleaning the "out".

I'd read how to make a hen vomit by holding her slightly upside down and squeezing the crop. A sour smell indicates impacted crop. I almost emptied my crop with this process, but she indeed was sour. I liberally cleaned the kitchen with pure bleach and went with my family to a Super Bowl party, hoping she'd now feel better. On my return, it seemed she was going downhill. It was either drastic measures or she'd die for sure.

I read on the internet how to slit the crop and pull out the contents. The websites assured me that this was not painful to the hen. I took out the razor, cleaned it and her with peroxide and made a small slit. She didn't move. Out came bird seed and who knows what. I hadn't given her bird seed in several days, so she was impacted, but I found no "mass". She looked worse, and I saw that look I've seen many times. She wasn't going to make it. By the next morning, she was gone.

Wm and I took her and Lester, the rooster who'd been "on ice" since his death by racoon, and buried them back in the woods. Wm went on about how happy they'll be in heaven with God and how happy they'll be to be buried together and have "company".


pita-woman said...

What can I say?, I'm speechless!

Anonymous said...

you're a brave soul...



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