04 November, 2008

Dead chicken

I've been away the last three nights at my mother's for my niece's 9th birthday party. And seeing Tom off to a conference in New Orleans. Anyway I got back too late to check the chickens last night, but this morning when I popped out to open the run and let them range, only five came out. The other one was stiff as a board in the nesting box. Our neighbours and chicken-sharers were also away though they did see them all last night and they seemed fine. I suspect that one has been nursing a cold. The temperatures have changed dramatically over the last few days from warmish, to freezing and back up again. There's another looking a bit sorry for herself with a runny nose and a slight wheeziness. A cold seems the most likely thing but any ideas from chicken-keepers out there would be gratefully received. The other four look perky as ever and are roaming all over the place.

I've ordered a liquid tonic and a powder which the vet described as "curry powder for chickens" which you add to their food and it warms them. Pick it up tomorrow. I hope the second one is okay but I'm not sure what else I can do. I did ask the vet if I should bring her in to the house. Thankfully she said no. And everyone I spoke to about it seems pretty philosophical. So that's what I shall aim to be.


Elizabeth Musgrave said...

Poultry spice is the only thing I can think of - ours have been taking it since they have been moulting and seem to have perked up. No idea why!

mountainear said...

Poultry spice does seem to be recommended - but I'm not sure what's in it that makes it so effective.

I've had the occasional sick hen - and some which have died mysteriously. I've taken them to the vet but unless you are very lucky a 'poultry vet' is very hard to find and I've not been confident that they actually know what they are looking for. Poultry seem to be neither 'large animals' or 'small animals' or 'exotics'.

I think all you can do - as no doubt you have done - is keep her warm and dry and give her a tonic.