Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Meds and Dumpling

We're medicating the chickens because I think that Gwen has coccidiosis, an intestinal bacterial parasite.  Because we lost a hen, Dumpling, in March 2009 to cocci and large roundworms, it's better safe than sorry. 

G-man was always Dumpling's favorite human and she was his favorite in return.  She didn't care for me all that much but she adored him, following him around the yard and jumping into his lap any chance she got.  In the above pic she was trying to help him finish his sandwich during a weekend work project 2 years ago.

Dumpling had been sick for a couple of days: listless, droopy, and almost zombie-like.  I stayed up with her one night, giving her vitamins and water hourly.  When G-man got up around 5a to check on us she'd been unresponsive for several hours, not even opening her eyes.  G-man walked into the room and Dumpling lifted her head for the first time in nearly a day to look at him.  Then she laid her head down on my chest, exhaled, and died.

We realized the extent of her parasitic infections too late to save her.  RIP, Dumpling.

At the first sighting of blood in poop, a common symptom of cocci in chickens, I decided not to risk losing any more of our flock.  Gwen hasn't been laying for quite some time, which is a symptom Dumpling shared.  I medicated all 9 of the girls for both cocci and worms with Sulmet and Wazine.  Because of the medications we can't eat any of the eggs for 2 weeks.  We're giving them to our neighbors for their dogs.

Ever since I started the meds we've gotten some weird eggs that are wrinkled, crinkled, bumpy, and just, well... weird.  Worming meds are hard on their systems.  But yesterday's "egg" was the weirdest yet.

This rubbery thing was in the nesting box yesterday, along with the 3 brown eggs. 

It was cold and clammy.

I left it on the counter for G-man to see.  Then, in the spirit of scientific curiousity, I did something I now regret.

I cut it open.

Inside it was spongy, had a sack-type thing, and reeked of a rotten egg.  I gag just thinking about it.

Lessons learned:
  1. If the hens leave something really bizarre in the nesting box, leave it alone.
  2. If the hens appear sick, diagnose and treat them immediately.

1 comment:

  1. OMG. OMG. OMG. OMG. That is the grossest thing I have ever seen. I am pretty difficult to gross out but that thing did it. Gross, gross, double-gross. If gross needed a super-hero, that blob could be it. Just strap a cape on it and throw it at people. I wish you could see my squinched up face right now. Gross.

    Oddly ... I still want chickens though.