These past few days have been interesting for us here on the farm. Monday morning Skippy went to the coop to let the ladies out and give them feed and fresh water. He came back in quickly there after, holding Queen Latifah in his arms, her had just hanging there all limp. When I asked what happened, he said he found her hanging in the coop. I immediately pictured her hanging by her neck and started to cry, but that is not what happened. Skippy found her hanging by her wings on the wires we have the food and water containers hanging by that keep the shavings and the droppings out. I still don't understand HOW it happened nor really how long she was in that position. Earlier I had heard some commotion going on out in the house, but just thought it was their usual melodious, "COME NOW AND SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE" song. I should have gone!
Well, we wrapped Queen Latifah up in a towel to get her warm and to see if we could get her to perk up. She was in shock so we were going to keep a very close eye on her for awhile. We got an empty tub from the porch and put some clean bedding in it and put it in the bathroom, out of the way of the dogs and cats. As we lifted her up, Skippy noticed something strange on her backside. There was some blood and it looked like her insides were hanging out. If you have never raised chickens, it can be a scary sight to see that first time. After the harrowing experience of her being hung up by her wings, now come to find out the poor thing has what is called an oviduct prolapse, a condition in which the lower part of a hen’s oviduct turns inside out and protrudes through the vent. Prolapse is a very serious condition that is treatable if caught early and is more than likely going to recur. Talk about a DOUBLE WHAMMY!
After a quick bathing of Queenie's hind area, it was time to put everything back in its proper place. Just how I wanted to spend my Christmas Eve morning! lol Before we began, we covered Queenie's head with a hand towel. Since chickens can not see in the dark, they won't move. We place a hand towel over their head to subdue them, preventing them from thrashing around and hurting themselves.
Armed with latex gloves, a hand towel, My Skippy Man, and Preparation H, it was time to begin. When you have a prolapse, everything becomes inflamed and swollen. The Preparation H helps to shrink the swelling allowing the oviduct to remain inside the vent instead of bulging back out. Very slowly, I gently pushed everything back inside, cleaning the area again with warm water, then applying a little more Preparation H. We waited another minute before flipping her back over and removing the towel, making sure she didn't prolapse again. SUCCESS! Now to get her back in her tub and limit her light and feed so she will not lay for a time so she can heal. When we were finished and everything was cleaned up, Skippy turns to me with a big smile on his face and says, "DR. DOLITTLE, STRIKES AGAIN!" lol Such a funny guy!
Ok, now with her all taken care of and in her nice clean tub, it was off to Wal-Mart for some last minute grocery items and prescriptions. Fast forward three hours! URRGGHH!
Back home and groceries unpacked, we check in on our precious baby girl. Just when we thought it was safe to go back in the water, we realized we had another problem......Queenie's wings were hanging to the ground. After a quick search on Yahoo, we found what we had expected......both her wings were broken. Time for another fix-it session, bandaging and binding her wings to her body. We didn't have any gauze handy and another three hour trip to Wal-Mart was NOT an option, so we had to improvise. My very helpful Skippy Man, gently gathered her wings and drew them up close to her body, putting them in place. I then took a piece of fabric, ripped it into strips, and tied it around her middle, holding up her wings. Not too bad for an impromptu sling. Skippy gave her a small bite of oatmeal since it was very low in protein, but she only took two bites and was done. It was time to go back into her bed. She will have to be separated from the flock for about two weeks, giving her wings a chance to heal. If she goes outside, it will have to be with supervision.
Queenie Latifah did very well the rest of Monday and through the night. She's just soaking up all the attention. And, as you can see from the picture below, she was enjoying herself on Christmas day, just chillin' on my lap and hangin' with the family! (ooops, sorry.....no pun intended) lol