It wasn’t that many days ago that we were thinking that Speedy just wasn’t going to make it. She wasn’t eating anything that we were able to appreciate anyway. She drank very little. She mostly just hunkered down and looked weaker and more out of it each hour. It was so sad. We were pretty sure we may have to euthanize her.
After giving some excellent advice over the phone earlier in the day, Lyn (From the Portland Backyard Chicken group) and her delightful daughter visited us Thursday evening. They brought a few treats for Speedy as well. But by the time they visited Speedy had already begun to perk up.
Here are some of the excellent gems of wisdom that were shared with us:
1. Make up a batch of Carrot Tonic – here’s how:
6 carrots (leave the peel on)
1 clove garlic
Adult dose of Vitamin C
Adult dose of Echinacea
Blend this together with a couple cups of water, and then add to a gallon waterer and add enough water to fill the waterer. Give it to the chickens, they will slurp it up. It boosts the immune system, helping them over what ails them naturally.
You can offer them this in place of their regular water for a few days if they’re feeling a bit under the weather, or as on occasional treat to boost them for whatever reason.
2. Add Kids’ Ecinacea (2 to 3 drops) in food and/or water.
3. Give an option of meal worms regularly!
4. Offer organic, full-fat, plain yogurt.
5. Try giving some berries – blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries – whatever! (Thankfully, I still have a smattering in the freezer from last year.)
6. Offer cooked cereals – oatmeal, cream of wheat, multi-grain or the like.
7. Add some apple cider vinegar and minced garlic to the drinking water about once a week.
8. Offer cooked brown rice with a sprinkling of garlic.
9. Try giving some oat milk (available at New Season’s Market or other health food store).
10. Offer corn bread!
Since Thursday evening Speedy has continued to recover – in fact, today she free ranged with the rest of the flock – beautifully I might add – but only after her morning snack of oatmeal with a big spoonful of yogurt on top. (See above.) [Speedy gets first option on the treats, then the baby chicks get the treats that are left over, and when they’re done, on it goes to the rest of the flock.]
Speedy is doing so well, she’s actually even sleeping out in the coop tonight – not in the pet carrier in the pantry as she had been. We tried initially to have her sleep with the older chickens (i.e., the middle girls – her peers, and the big girls), but the big girls were just too mean. So we added her into the side of the coop with the babies. She was able to perch high up on a branch that we have up there, and settled in for the night very nicely.
One very interesting effect of Speedy’s illness is that she has bonded – big time – with us. Whenever I go out into the yard and speak – Speedy makes a beeline for me – and will then proceed to hang out – following me wherever I may go. It should be very interesting to see how this behavior proceeds – whether it will be passing or not.
Whatever the case – we are so relieved and have breathed a huge collective sigh of relief that Speedy is doing SO MUCH better! Hooray!