23 August 2011
Giving Pills to Chickens
Sometimes it is easy to diagnose the problem, and other times, it is really just guesswork and or acting on a hunch.
I have been watching Rosie (pictured) my little ISA Brown for about a week now, not entirely happy with her state of health, but unable to decide if she had anything really ailing her or not.
She's been just... different. Not her usual self. She's lost a little weight, has had some diarrheoa, and keeps shaking her head, all of which can be signs of a respiratory illness in chickens, and yet, otherwise she's been well. No sneezing, no sniffles, no wheezing, no signs of lice or intestinal worms. I'd been treating her symptoms by feeding her a little extra protein, and just making sure there was plenty of fresh, clean water available, and monitoring her condition for any deterioration.
Today, deciding it won't kill her, even if it doesn't cure her, I decided to give her a dose of tissue salts combination 12. This is a homeopathic remedy which I take when I feel the onset of a cold and find that it helps to fight off the virus/infection before it takes hold, so I figured it might be worth a try for Rosie. It is a general tonic which is useful in the treatment of overall fatigue and exhaustion.
Given the tiny trace amount of active ingredients in these pills, I decided to dose her with a whole pill and see how she goes.
I was a bit nervous going up to the pen to get her, having never done this before. I caught her and took her into the coop, away from the others and got her settled on my lap. I then calmly got hold of her head and opened her beak, to which she objected a little bit, but not strenuously. I looked down her throat and then tossed in the pill and closed her beak again. I felt her swallow as soon as her beak was closed. She sat on my lap and turned her head to look me right in the eye as much as to say "Hey, if you wanted to give me a treat, you could just give it to me."
She sat and cuddled a little while and I gently scratched her belly under the feathers which always makes her close her eyes and drift off for a short nap. After a while she lightly hopped down from my lap and went off to eat some greens, neither of us the worse for wear.
The other hens crowded around her, asking "What did you get? Is there any for us?" Rosie seemed a little bit smug about getting something that the others hadn't been given. (Typical chook politics!)
I got several 'no fair!' glares from the other hens as I left the coop. hehehe
Wow! I wish it was that simple to worm my cat!!