Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Chicken Report- Big Reds Surgery, Jasmine & Stewie's Release

Not posted at time of surgery posted months later when I realized I forgot to post it!

Big Red one of our hens was laying internally. Some of you may remember some earlier posts about her
"jelly eggs". While she was in our recovery house I found out she had totally stopped laying eggs and had totally started laying internally. Which is a big problem. If a hen lays her eggs internally she will become infected and will die. So I hunted down an avian vet and started going to see him. He said as soon as most of her wounds heeled she could have surgery. He had done this surgery on many types of birds but never a chicken. I was a little worried but learning some more about his back ground, he works for the national aviary in Pittsburgh and is one of the top guys for the local Raptor Rescue, so I figured with all the animals he had treated he would do a great job.
She did finally heal enough to have the surgery. So I took her and dropped her off. What was supposed to be a 30 minute surgery turned into hours worth. She had laid alot more eggs internally than originally thought. Though she didn't have the muscle trauma which he really thought was part of the problem. The vet was awesome brought her through it great and even charged us way less than the bill would have been. But the bill was still pretty expensive. He said she was the worst case he had ever done surgery on and that he had never seen a distention like that in a living bird. So she was very lucky.

She came home with us that day on pain meds & antibiotics. She wouldn't take the liquid antibiotics that he gave me and it took us 3 doses the first day to get a whole dose into her. The next day I took pictures to send the vet via email to show how great she was doing when I noticed she had pulled out a bunch o stitches. So of course back to the vet. He put in some internal stitches and glued it good were she had pulled it apart. He is only in 3 days a week so I could not see him till the following Tuesday (4 days later). Of course by the time we got home, even though she was half sedated she pulled out the stitches above and below the internal stitches. Luckily he said the holes would be ok. He also has her another injection of Antibiotics so that we wouldn't have to fight with her.

After that we did run back and fourth the 2 hour drive a couple times but luckily it has been smooth sailing. She is doing very well and being very spoiled. I was feeding her Organic raspberries, organic blueberries, organic strawberries, organic grapes, and organic greens with a sprinkle of sunflower seeds every morning. She was loving it. but with the cost I had to slow down after she healed and got all her strength back. But her recover has been pretty fast and she is ready to go. I am just afraid to put her back with the chickens because of the whole getting a new pecking order thing. Mabon, the other hen that lived through being attacked by the raccoon still hasn't made friends with the top of the pecking line again. So she gets picked on alot. I am not really sure how to stop this. I have been thinking about pulling Gaea (Top Hen) out so that Mabon can settle in and so Gaea will have to climb her way back up the pecking order ladder. I am also a little worried about the roosters being frisky with her after all her internal issues. So Big Red is still living on our back porch. Hopefully the inflammation she does still have will go down a little more by mid December so I can reintroduce her to the group.

Mabon almost all healed.

Mabons release

Please if you have any questions about internal laying please ask and I will do my best to answer them or ask my Avian vet. My vet was nice enough to email me the pictures of her surgery so I though I would post them. For some they may be a little gross so beware.

After looking at these pictures I have had several  people say they will never eat eggs again...  :)
Day after surgery. Taking pics for the vet.
Noticed she has ripped out about an inch and a half worth of stitches.
She is also still very swollen. (We ended up getting 3 sets of staples and the stitches & glue. That worked alot better
But we still had to keep her wrapped up to keep her away from the incision.  It took awhile for all the swelling to go down and about 2 more months before I felt safe releasing her with the other chickens. But today 5/14/2011 she is doing awesome! and is super friendly with us, wants all of our attention and is the first to run up and get treats from us. She loves life and I am so happy she made it through all the issues she had. I know we truly made the right decision when I see her happy little face running through the chicken yard! :)   )

another look at the stitches that were ripped out.
We had two chicks hatch this year. Jasmine and Stewie. Jasmine is a small feather footed black Cochin and Stewie, my best guess, is Ivy's egg and Titans Son.... maybe.. I don't know what that makes him. But they both have been released with the other chickens and are doing good.

Stewie has grown alot since the day I watched him hatch.
He is looking more like his daddy every day.

Didn't relise I didn't post I didn't re-read or edit it sorry in advance....