Either Rosie severely pecked her in the eye, she contracted bird flu, a weasel got to her, or she has some other thing I haven’t read about yet.
I don’t even know what say or think. I posted on the Backyard Chickens forum and googled probably too much and not enough. My head hurts. I think I’m going to search for something that validates me going down to the basement and wrapping that ouchie swollen face with a warm wet compress.
I have no idea what to do.
Looking at this makes me think I should just let the poor dear go. How can she come back from this?
I was able to give her a few droppersful of water. She seemed a bit more alert. Her other eye was open and looking around when she wasn’t falling asleep. Both sides of her face are swollen but the closed eye side is worse. Also maybe bruised. Maybe my cleaning with a damp cloth bruised her. Either way, she looked less dead, not more. So I’m a bit hopeful.
I held her for a while. Someone posted to me that she may have some terrible respiratory illness and I need to contact the state vet if she dies.
My clothes are in the washer and I’ve thorougly washed my hands, face, arms, and neck. Yes a shower seems in order, but no I didn’t get into one. But I did bleach questionable surfaces.
God bless you, Marigold. May we see each other in the morning.
Rosie is our only layer out of three young hens. Clementine and Juniper are our Delawares who haven’t yet begun. Well over the last few days, there hasn’t been any egg at all and then this morning Rosie had some bloody mucus hanging out of her backside.
I had Gordon and the boys check on her a few times today while I was at work just to see if she was eating and getting around ok. She was. But obsessed hypochondriac that I can be on occasion, and because of my online research, I was concerned that we could be dealing with an egg-bound lady or a prolapsed vent.
Better safe than sorry, I clipped my nails, scrubbed my hands, grabbed a pair of latex gloves and a blob of coconut oil, and headed out to the coop in the rainy darkness. Flashlight in mouth, I opened the front of the coop and was greeted by sleepy clucks. Happily noting that Rosie had made friends enough to be snuggling with a Delaware, I snapped on the gloves. I went for the Red and failed. Tried again and failed. Wings flapped and squawks erupted. Rosie was determined to not let me touch her, even when ambushed at night. I was determined to not be bested by a damn chicken and grabbed her. She protested loudly but I was able to hold down her wings and grab her legs. I gently turned her upside down and magically she calmed. I supported her against my side and examined her vent. It looked fine! Nothing bulging or hanging out; nothing red or swollen. Then I bravely coated my gloved pinky in the oil and gently poked it in, feeling for a stuck egg. Again, nothing! I flipped Rosie back upwards and cradled her like I can sometimes do to the others. I petted her back, sang her a little song, and kissed her on the neck. She didn’t seem to hate it at all. In fact, when i put her back into the coop, she was in no hurry to get away from me.
I closed up the coop and marched back across the rainy yard, very pleased with myself. I’m a real farmer now, I thought. Rosie is ok and I can take care of my chickens.
Maybe Rosie will take food out of my hand soon.
UPDATE (12/6/16): She’s back!
Her comb and wattles seemed really red on Saturday and then on Sunday she squatted when I was in the coop feeding/harassing them.