A chicken emergency

Another sweltering day even after another spectacular lightning storm last night. My first job when I got down was to put Pop into her wheelchair with some food and give her a thorough checking over. Yesterday she got caught in the downpour and I was worried she might have caught a chill. After a little persuasion, she began to tuck into her food with gusto! She demolished 2 curly kale leaves, two lettuce leaves and two black kale leaves all within a space of an hour! Just for good measure, she also scoffed a good amount of her other food. It was lovely to see her so happy and with the volume of food she is putting away, she must be regaining her strength.

By the time Cliff decided to go home, I decided to follow. I walked down to the main coop, cleaned them out and checked their food. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted Georgie standing on her own looking rather sorry for herself. She has a history of having a mucky rear end and it was the first thing I checked. It was mucky. However, on closer inspection I saw some wriggling white things around her vent. Suspecting the dreaded fly strike, I put her into the carrier and legged it home.

At home, I ran around getting a large bucket full of warm water and dissolving several spoonfuls of salt. I had read online that this would help drown and flush out any maggots. I left her in the bath for about 20 minutes. Digging out an old towel, I kept her snuggly wrapped in it whilst ensuring her rear end was out in the open. It was then I could see the worst of it. Georgie had an open sore just below her vent – the source of all the maggots. Using a pair of scissors, I cut away the feathers from around the vent and sore so I could have a better look. Next, using a pair of tweezers, I pulled out all the maggots I could find. I periodically let her have a break before continuing. Another bath and tweezering cycle followed. Once I was reasonably certain I had got most of them, we put her into the cage and leapt into the car to pick up medical supplies. Purple spray plus some other odds and ends for worming were all brought home. Before I applied the purple spray, I checked her rear end and removed a couple more maggots. Purple spray is incredible but it doesn’t half make a mess. Georgie, unsurprisingly, wasn’t too impressed about having her backside spray painted purple! Another bath a while later and a cuddle in a towel to dry off. No more maggots appeared.

I left her in the cage covered in a blanket to keep it dark so she could have a rest. After another hour, I got her out and pestered her to take water. She refused. Out came the syringe and I managed to get quite a decent amount of fluid into her – I even got most of am egg yolk down her which was good. She was very sleepy but I kept up trying to tempt her with food. She would take a few mouthfuls before going back to sleep. I kept encouraging her to eat and drink over the next few hours.

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