So yesterday afternoon, we had not one, but TWO hens appear on the back step with dire health issues...one was Houdini, a small gray and white bantam hen, who had managed to rip off one toenail and was bleeding pretty good. She had the sense to come and stand and bleed on the back porch so I'd see her, and let me pick her up and bring her in to clean it up and apply Kwik-Stop, a birdie coagulant. We get her fixed up and close her up in the bathroom for a bit until the she is OK to go outside again without reopening the wound, and return out back again to finish feeding the animals and putting them away.
Then I see Chicken
Sister, the surviving VERY elderly buff cochin bantam hen twin, standing
in one place, facing the garage door. I do the 'Food' call, and she
Go over to look at her and see her do
the trademark 'eggbound hen' strain. DAAAAMMMNNNN!!! At age 8 or 10
years (we got her and her twin sister as adults in 2001), she's way too
old for this egg-laying nonsense. I can see the egg crowning when she
pushes, but it ain't comin' out any time soon.
Grab her and truck
HER into the house, for nasty egg binding treatment, which involves me
oiling up a finger and getting personally acquainted with her most holy
of holies, something which dignified old ladies like her do NOT approve
of. The egg is stubborn, so she gets to spend the night on the kitchen
floor on a heating pad in hopes of her laying the egg herself.
Meanwhile, Houdini has ceased bleeding and is allowed to return to the
This morning, Chicken Sister still has not produced the
egg and is straining harder with a pained squeak, and no amount of
oiling/coaxing by pressing with my fingers is moving that egg, so off to
the vet we go.
Pop! He gets that egg out in under two seconds.
at the vets' office loves to see the chickens, though, I guess it's a
break from dogs and cats all day long. Tonight Chicken Sister is again
in the house so we can keep and eye on her and she can rest, tomorrow
she should be able to return to the flock.