About Me

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Lapsed anthropologist-turned-burlesque performer and post-modern punk housewife/homesteader living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with a hunky husband, gorgeous daughter, adorable corgi, fluffy rabbit, and three clucking fabulous chickens.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Guess what? Chicken butt!

 With Rosie's prolapse showing no signs of getting better, and having reached the end of our knowledge in treating her, we decided to take Rosie in to the vet. Luckily for us there is a vet within 30 minutes of us who treats chickens and came highly recommended by some friends of ours.

We gave Rosie her (now)customary bath and blow dry and packed her in the car. She was a very good passenger and pretty much just chilled out the whole ride there.

There were a few dogs that came over to say "hello" when we sat down in the waiting area. Luckily no one was feeling aggressive and everyone was just curious about each other.

 The vet, Dr. Robinson, was very good with Rosie. We explained that she's been prolapsed for three days, resulting from trying to lay her very first egg, and that there seemed to be some sort of blockage there that we were hesitant to remove ourselves, not wanting to injure her.

Dr. Robinson cleaned her up and removed the blockage and some dead tissue, and her vent immediately looked worlds better. He said he felt good about her potential for recovery because as soon as the tissue and blockage were gone, she started pulling the prolapse back into herself.

 What's wrong with my butt?

After pushing the rest of the prolapse back in and applying some antibiotic ointment, Dr. Robinson threw in a couple sutures to hold everything in place while it heals. Throughout the entire examination and suturing, Rosie made not one peep. She didn't struggle, she didn't squawk, and Dr. Robinson and his assistant said that she was one of the best-behaved chickens they've ever treated. She didn't even require sedation when he was suturing her.

She's such a sweet little hen.

We're hoping to keep her sutures in for about a week, longer if we can manage, to give her time to heal and for the swelling to go down. We have her back in the big brooder in the living room, this time covered and blocked from the light to discourage further laying. If she does start to lay an egg while the sutures are still in, they'll have to be removed immediately so she doesn't tear. We also have Preparation H and Vetericyn handy to help with keeping the swelling down and protecting against infection.

I'm so proud of my little Rosie-bird. And I'm so relieved to have gotten her looked at by the vet. For our piece of mind and her health, it was totally worth the $95. We'll have to be vigilant about checking her for prolapse for the rest of her life, as once it happens, it's prone to reoccurring. I'm hopeful that since she's so young and we caught it early and got it treated, that she'll heal up well and won't prolapse again. Fingers crossed!

Sunday, February 24, 2013


 Life on the homestead has been in a constant state of flux, what with growing chickens and a growing fetus. I'm half-way through my pregnancy, and finally starting to get my energy back(though I still find myself frequently sleeping until the afternoon...).
My wonderful friend Jewels painted this amazing poster that relates the size of our growing bundle to various bird-and-bear things, which is so incredibly awesome and thoughtful and way more appealing to me than all the fruit comparisons.
Currently, Baby McAwesome is the size of the wingspan of a sparrow. :D

 Next level-up: blue-jay feather!

We've invested in some good shears for Butters, and took them for a test drive. She wasn't thrilled, but she was a very patient bun and let us clip her nice and close.

 She spent quite a while grooming after we'd finished, and took the opportunity to investigate the chickens while she was there.

On the subject of the chickens, we spent the last few weeks acclimating them to the back yard, taking them out for longer and longer stretches and introducing them to the coop. The first time we took them out, they clumped together and refused to explore. They're over that now, and have been investigating every nook and cranny of their new kingdom.

For her part, Ponyo is utterly uninterested in being around them when they're free-ranging, which is good. With how much she enjoyed harassing them while they were in their brooder, I was worried there would be issues once that barrier was removed. I should have known Ponyo's bravado was all for show, she's the biggest chicken of them all!

 The girls mistook our shoes as something worth trying to eat.

We noticed that Rosie had taken to bullying the other hens and pecking at their backs, plucking their feathers. Poor Marie ended up with a red bald spot! So we placed Rosie in isolation about a week ago, giving her separate outside time from the others, and giving the others a chance to heal up. She has completely lost her standing as the alpha hen(Ruth has taken over, to my surprise, given how hard Ada was vying with Rosie for dominance).

During her time in "solitary", Rosie laid her first egg! Unfortunately, it did not go so well for her. They girls are only 4 months old, and I think Rosie wasn't quite mature enough for laying, not to mention we hadn't switched them to layer's feed yet, and I think the lack of maturity plus the lack of calcium caused the issue. Her egg was still attached to her at one end, and she has a pretty bad prolapse(I'll spare you the images, they're graphic). We destroyed the egg and removed the shell, but she's still prolapsed. We've been keeping her protruding vent clean and moist and treated with Vetericyn, but since there still appears to be something stuck there and we don't want to injure her trying to remove it, we'll be taking her in to the vet tomorrow. I've been worried sick about her all weekend.

Happily, not all our girls are having such problems. As though she knew I needed cheering up, Marie laid her first egg today! And it's perfect!

 A lovely little blue-green surprise in the nesting box!

 Shown next to a store-bought jumbo for size comparison. It's so dainty and little, I feel like it should be made of chocolate and covered in a thin candy shell.


 Things are changing around here, mostly for the better. I feel like it's going to be a glorious spring.

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