Despite the rain, we walked down to the allotment this morning wondering if Dolly was any better. It is notoriously difficult to know whether a chicken is going to pull through or not, sometimes you are convinced they will never make it (e.g. Leia and hypothermia) and others who seem to only have minor issues die. Upon arrival at the main coop, Dolly was sitting with Polly on top of the food bins. I haven’t seen her up there in a few days.
Taking this as a positive sign, we fed the chickens and watched Dolly carefully. Her skin appears to be moving back into place near her beak but she kept getting shoved out of the way by the others when she tried to eat. I decided that I would have to isolate Dolly – it’s not ideal but if she was on her own she could at least eat and drink. Whilst my husband cleaned out the old bedding and put in new sawdust, I got Dolly’s medications ready. Phil and Geoff had recommended olive oil so I planned to give her a syringe of it. Apparently it helps loosen any blockages. Next, I got some crushed garlic paste and added it to Dolly’s water. Again, online research has suggested that garlic can help. It certainly can’t to any harm.
My husband went into the coop and collected Dolly. We then tried to get more gunk out of her beak but she wasn’t playing ball. Perhaps this is another good sign. To be honest, I couldn’t see much stuff in there compared to yesterday but her tongue is still pushed across to one side. We then gave her the syringe of oil followed by a syringe of water to help her get it down.
We then put her down and let her explore her new home. She immediately went to the water and drank. How much liquid she got down her I don’t know but she kept going back so I hope that means she was getting something each time. As she was settling into her new home, we sterilised the water feeder in the main coop and refilled it. The last thing we want is to have any other chickens affected by this.
On our way back I had the idea to give Dolly a couple of syringes of egg yolk. It’s not what they would normally eat but it is nutritious. We got two egg yolk doses down her with four water doses between each egg one. When she went back into the coop she started to scratch which is happy chicken behaviour. I still suspect she isn’t managing to eat well – she can get food into her beak but is struggling to get it down. We will go back later today and give her some more egg yolk and water. If she can build her strength up, she might just pull through.