I am here to tell you the Story of Beauty, as well as tell you about all that is going on in my quarantine barn. Beauty's story is one of injury, pain, infection, and neglect, But now there is hope for her.
Beauty is a white silkie hen. She is around a year old. Her exact age is unknown. I saw an add for two silkie hens for sale on the coast. They caught my eye and I knew right away I wanted to add them to my flock. I contacted the person selling them and pre-paid for them. The birds were located about 3 1/5 hours away from me so I was unable to go and look at them. After almost a week of looking I found someone who was willing to deliver them to me. I was thrilled, and told them all the information they needed to know.
Beauty arrived at my home at about 5:00pm on Wednesday, March, 1st, 2017, with her sister Pandora. Sadly it was dark already and getting cold. The girls had already had a long trip with no food or water, in a card board box. I got them straight in Quarantine Pen 2. I got them food, and water with some ACV (apple cider vinegar) in it. Then left them for the night.
Above Photo: Beauty to on the left and Pandora on the right.
The day before Beauty and Pandora arrived. Three other silkies had arrived. 1 crele coloured hen name Diz, one silver hen named Muffin, and a white rooster named Mouse. I knew before they had arrived that the Mouse had swollen feet. The lady I bought them from had looked into what could be wrong, and wasn't finding answers and wasn't sure what to do. So I bought him from her. I was more then willing to take on the challenge of helping him. The hens arrived with Scaly leg mites. I gave everyone one a once over and saw no wounds, bugs, punctures, or limping. They went straight in to Quarantine Pen 1
I gave Mouse an extra looked over and saw no reason for his feet to be swollen like they were. his feet were so swollen his toes couldn't even bend. So I decided to look into it, and until I found some answers I decided I would treat all three of them for the scaly leg mites and get that dealt with for the time being. I washed all their feet with dish soap, and then coated their feet with Vaseline.
On Thursday, March,2,2017 I went out in the morning did chores, gave the new hens a chance to eat and relax a little more, well I brought Mouse inside. I talked to several people and after ruling out Gout, and bumbled foot I knew he either had frost bite, or it was from the scaly leg mite, possibly from both. So I made up a bath of Epson salt and warm water. I soaked his feet for 15 minuets, dried his feet then he went back out side.
It was now time for me to look at the hens, and give them their once over health check. I observed them first from outside the pen and saw nothing wrong other then a few feathers missing from their backs from breeding. Its nothing I hadn't seen before. So I continued and entered the pen. To discover these birds have never been handled and where terrified more then I have seen any birds before and I have seen a lot of scared birds in the past few years. So I gave them a few minuets then picked up Pandora.
Above photo: Pandora
Pandora had good conformation for the most part, non- feathered legs however, her ears were a very bright vibrant blue which in my opinion is getting harder to find. Yes she was missing some feathers on her back from breeding but I am not concerned you can barely tell and they will come back. Her eyes were nice and bright and no injuries. I moved some feathers and with a first glance I saw no bugs. So I put her down and continued to Beauty.
I picked up Beauty and the moment my hands touched her I could feel something was wrong, and she was screeching like crazy. I did a quick once over with out lifting her wings. she seemed to be in as good of shape as Pandora, but she had feathered feet. She had a hell of a lot more feathers missing from her back though and that concerned me a little.
I started with her right side. I stretched out her wing and new right away the wing was fine, but there was a massive scar on her side that seemed pretty fresh as there was still some tiny spots of scabbing on it. I noticed a small fold of skin on it and lifted it up, 3 yellow lice crawled out of it and it appeared to be infected. The worst part is that wasn't even the side I felt anything on.
Above Photo: Beauty's right side
So I moved her left wing. What I found shocked me an appalled me so much I almost dropped her. There was a massive wound, dried skin hanging off the wound, tons of scabbing and some scaring around it. It screamed neglect to me. I have never had a chicken come into my care that was this bad.
How someone could have a white chicken and not seen a wound this bad is beyond my comprehension because it would have bleed like crazy and even when I picked her up I new something was wrong, before I saw it. In my opinion this is more then lack of knowledge. This is pure neglect. I am hoping I can help her, from any infection and death so I got my mom and had her look at it. The chunk of skin we didn't think could be saved, and would have to remove it.
I made a list of what I would need to help her and headed into town to get what I needed. When I got home I washed her wounds gently to remove the scabbing. I was thrilled to see the flap of skin was still alive, and there was minimal infection. I applied some pollysporne to a gauze pad and wrapped her up, folding the flap of skin up, in hopes of the skin healing back. After all I had done that day and it already being late I decided to wait till morning to treat everyone else for the lice.
On Friday, March, 3rd, 2017 my hubby and I went out in the morning and brought in the flock from Quarantine Pen 1, which consisted of Diz, Muffin, and Mouse. Muffin and Mouse got a 15 minute foot soak in Epson salt. Then all three silkies got bathed and treated for the lice, and scaly leg mites. There is already improvement in Mouse's feet. Although not visible, the swelling has gone down enough that I can bend the end of his toes a bit.
I returned the three silkies outside to their pen, and brought Pandora and beauty inside. Pandora was terrified of the bath but calmed after a bit. Once she was clean and treated I moved onto Beauty. I removed her bandage and the wounds looking a little better already now that's it cleaned. The white that's on the wound was just pollysporne from the other day. I cleaned off the Pollysporen and re wrapped her wounds. She didn't scream this time and stood still. She seems to understand that I am helping her.
Above Photo: Beauty's right side
Bellow Photos: Beauty's left side
So to help combat any pain, the parasites and boost everyone's immune systems I have ACV (apple cider vinegar) in everyone's water a well as Turmeric added to their feed and they all seem to be enjoying it. I am hoping to see even more improvement in everyone by Monday.
Saturday, March, 4th, 2017
Well I woke my hubby earlier then he would have liked this morning by bringing him a cup of coffee so he wasn't to mad at me for waking up. As I was having him help me in the morning to treat Mouse's feet well I treated Muffin's. Mouse's feet are doing better well their is no physical change that you can see I am able to bend his toes a little bit more.
Above and Bellow Photos: Mouse in his Epson salt bath
Pandora one of the white silkie hens had her second bath today to treat her lice. I had caught the lice infestation in time so I didn't have to deal with any nits luckily. After her bath I combed out all the dead bugs remaining that I saw which wasn't many. She is looking good and I will wait a day then she will have her 4th and hopefully her last bath.
Bellow Photos: Pandora after a bath and blow dry
Beauty is dong extremely well today. She has come around very quickly, and is getting more and more used to being handled. She was more feisty today during her treatment and seems to be moving around a lot more and is loving the human contact. I am very pleased with how her wound was looking after I unwrapped it.
Bellow Photos: Beauty's wound after being un wrapped
Beauty's wound was looking well enough today that we felt it was safe enough to give her a very gentle bath with diluted soap to help get rid of the lice on her. Luckily just like Pandora she is free of nits. Beauty took the bath very well and it seemed to help greatly remove all the bugs. I will give her a second bath when I give Pandora her last bath. I was very pleased with how well Beauty's wound looked after the bath.
Bellow Photo: Beauty's wound after the bath
After the photo was taken I gently removed the dead skin around the edge of the wound for two reasons. By removing the skin I am giving the lice less food to feed on, as well as help the edges of the wound to heal faster. After the bath. Beauty was more then happy to have a blow dry, I used a small towel to cover the wound so the blow dryer was never on the wound.
Bellow Photos: Beauty after the blow dry
Once She was blow dried we decided to let her wound get some air for half an hour well she spent that time inside to ensure she was fully dry. To allow her to air dry we removed the towel and left her in the box. Well she air dried she was also given a mix of warm oatmeal, bird seed, and turmeric powder, as well as AVC in her water.
Bellow Photo: Wound air drying
Above Photo: This photo was taken to allow you to see the number of photos missing from her back
Above Photo: Turmeric Powder, warm oatmeal, and bird seed
Above Photo: ACV
Well her wound was getting some air we expected her to jump out of the box but she had no interest in going any where. So after the 1/2 hour was over it was time to wrap her wound up and get her back outside. Once her wound was wrapped and I was getting the lid for the box she decided to get out of the box and jump on my hubby's lap, which he already has two dogs on, neither Beauty or the dogs seemed to mind each other.
Bellow Photo: Self sticking Bandage, gauze pad with Pollysporne
Above photo: Beauty wrapped up and in her box
After we removed the food and water we had in the box for her we put her back out side with Pandora. I am very happy to say that Beauty is on the mend and doing well.
Monday, March, 6th, 2017
To day was bath day for everyone in quarantine. Beauty was the only one who didn't get a bath today. All she got was a bandage change. she is doing well not much change but she seems to get a little more livelier each day.
Bellow Photo: Pandora, and Beauty after their treatments ready to go back out side.
Mouse is doing well his feet are improving. Although his feet are still Swollen and hard on top, the bottom of his feet have softened up and I can move some more of his toes. He had a bath, foot soak, and Scaly leg treatment again today and is looking well.
Bellow Photos: Mouse enjoying his foot soak in the popcorn bowl.
Some new information has come to my attention as what may be wrong with Mouse. It is currently under investigation, and is being debated. Its currently up in the air as to weather Mouse will remain with us or move on to a better place. As of this moment no decision as been made as to what is to be done and until a decision is made we will continue on with his treatments. Regardless of the decision yet to be made it has been determined that Mouse is not fit for our breeding program. I will due my best to keep you updated as to what happens with this lovely boy.
Tuesday, March, 7th, 2017
It is with a sad heart to day that Mouse was laid to rest. It is believed that he had Mycoplasma gallisepticum infection also known as Chronic Respiratory Disease. It is treatable however he would have it forever. Although it was not fetal to him at this point in time it could be passed on to the rest of the flock as well as to his offspring. To save the flock the decision was mad to cull him come morning. We wish we could have kept him as a pet how ever it is not fair for him to be kept alone, and away from the other birds. So we made the decision and feel right in the choice we made.
Saturday, March, 11th, 2017
Today all the chickens currently in quarantine. Diz and Muffin are both looking well. Both girls seem to be free of leg mites. I will be continuing there treatments for at least one more week. I did add a a board to the floor pen as this bi-polar weather we are having has completely soaked the ground. Giving them no dry place to stand. At least with the board on the floor of their pen they have some place dry to stand.
Pandora still remains free of lice same with her sister Beauty. Pandora is also taking the baths much better. There is less screaming, wing flapping and trying to escape like the first time. She is still as beautiful as ever, and she got to see Owl, our main rooster today as he needed a bath as well. I never ever want to have to blow dry him again. I never knew a chickens feathers could be so thick. Talk about a lot of work. Sadly though I will go through bathing, and blow drying him in the future as he is perfect for showing.
Beauty is doing well and is officially free of all lice and nits. Her wound is also healing up nicely. As she is feeling better she is picking at her bandage now so I decided to switch from pollysporne to vitamin E. She seems to like it and its totally safe if shes ever gets the bandage off and eats some of it.
Photo Above : Beauty's wound. This is now day since treatment started
Above Photo: The flap of skin that was originally hanging of Beauty is now almost fully attached to her
Above Photo: Beauty's wound on the mend
Sunday, March,12th, 2017
Today was a big big day for Beauty and Pandora. Both are clean, and with good health so I brought them out of quarantine. Was going to wait till Tuesday but I needed space to put my unwanted roosters. Not sure if will eat them, or re-home them yet. I am aiming to re-home them but I have used them as my guinea pigs with the quarantine hens, and no one has gotten sick, so they are in the empty quarantine pen for now, the trouble makers.
Anyway, I changed Beauty's bandage like normal made her a strong and thick chicken saddle to cover bandage. They introduced them to the flock. Which consists of Sweet Heart a black bearded hen, Owl a dark blue bearded rooster, Tiny a serama silkie X pullet and Magic a Silkie Americana X pullet. There was a tiny bit of chasing and pecking well a new pecking order was sorted out but no feathers were lost and no injures. Apparently it wasn't to stress full on anyone because Sweet Heart decided today was perfect day to go broody.
Above Photo: The flock with Beauty and Pandora introduced
Above Photo: Pandora decided to strike a pose, well Beauty thought she would hide behind the feeder
Above photo: Pandora and Beauty in the coop
Tuesday, March, 14h, 2017
Today has gone very well so far and things are looking great. I moved Muffin and Diz over to the main coop during the night and had them placed I a dog create. That way when everyone woke up they could see each other but there was a metal create door between them. At 8:00am I let the girls out of the create. There was a small scuffle with my pullet Magic but its was only about who was in charge and Owl put a stop to it real quick.
Above photo: Muffin out side in the run
Above Photo: Diz is exploring the coop and loving it. But she is Skeptical of the hen in above her in a nest box.
Above Photo: Sweat Heart is watching the new hens exploring. She is Queen of the coop
Owl seems to be taking his place as king of the coop. Well his brother was still in the coop with him all Owl did was breed the hens well his brother kept the hens in line, crowd, and protected the entire flock.Since his brother has been moved out of the coop though Owl has had to do everything. Not only dose he breed the hens, but he has began to stop the hens from squabbling, kept a look out for danger, called the girls over when he found food. At a year old Owl should have been crowing. However yesterday was the first day I heard him crow. I think he wasn't crowing before because of his brother.
Above Photo: Owl always loves to come and see me for cuddles and loves his photo taken
Above photo: Pandora thought about coming over to join Owl for some cuddles.
Now onto the hen you are probably waiting to hear the up date on. The wonderful, beautiful silkie hen Beauty. Well I can in form all of you that Beauty is doing well. With the all the handling she has been getting well undergoing the treatment of her wound she is because easier to handle, catch and is enjoying being in the house for an she is even beginning to love the camera.
Above Photo: Beauty let me get a headshot of her and I must say its the best photo I have taken
Above Photo: Beauty after I took the bandage off.
Beauty has been healing very well and I feel that by next Monday she will no longer need to have the bandage. Till then though she will be treated with Vitamin E applied to her wound, and then covered by a gauze pad and wrapped up. Everyday before her wound is wrapped back up she is left in the house for an hour (supervised of course as I have cats and one of them is terrified of her) well her wound get some air. The feathers in her back have also started to return.
Above photo: Beauty's back where the feathers are returning.
Above photo: Beauty's scar on her right side is even looking better
Above Photo: Wound on right side
Above Photo: Wound on right side
Above Photo: Wound on right side
Beauty's mood is also improving greatly. She has become easier to handle, and doesn't mind being carried or moved around. Still doesn't like to be caught though. She is also clearly feeling better. She is now picking at her bandage more often, pruning her self, and moving around a lot more and over all enjoying life. However to help protect her scars as she wont have feathers there I have a friend making me 2 special saddles for her. Both saddles have long sides and by having two when one needs to be washed I have another one to put on her. Till the saddles are ready, I have made a new temporary one which fits her better and she seems to like more.
Above photo: Beauty rocking her thick, soft, temporary saddle.
It has been a long day so far. We have moved the first batch of silkies chicks out side to the broody coop. They will all be a month old tomorrow. We also gave everyone in the flock a health check and gave them their new bling.Bright orange and yellow leg bands. Owl wasn't happy about me cutting some of the feathers on his legs but other then that they all took to their new bling well.
Beauty is also doing extremely well. We are very happy with her progress. She no longer has to wear a bandage over her wound, and is very happy about that. Her new saddle blankets are in the mail and on their way, mean while her temporary saddle is holding up.
Above photo: Beauty's wound on day 16 since treatment started
Above Photo: Beauty's wound
Above Photo: Beauty's wound
Will have another update on Beauty and the flock end of next week. So stay tuned.
Thursday, March, 23rd, 2017
Things are going so well on the Farm. Bother Pandora and Beauty have found their places in the flock. They have also both taken quite a liking to the new little rooster named Snowball, who is staying close to Owl well he learns the ropes of being a rooster. Pandora is still as pushy and bossy as ever and seems to be less fearful now. Who like normal is avoiding me as much as she can. If she had it her way she would never come near me.
Above photo: The new rooster Snowball who is only 5 months old
Beauty's wounds continue to heal, the scars continue to fade and feathers are coming back to her back, as well as around the edges of the scars which we never thought would happen, and every day we can see that the scars are getting smaller. This little hen has come a long way from where she was. She still isn't laying but she still has healing to do, she is also still sticking close to her sister Pandora ,who is protecting her form the pushy rooster's and the other hens. We are hoping to start getting eggs from Beauty by middle of next month. She is slowly coming along and we believe that in a couple more months her scars may not even be visible.
Above photo: This is Beauty looking wonderful with no saddle on. She keeps slipping hers off.
Above Photo: The feathers in Beauty's back are coming back nicely
Above photo: This is the scar on Beauty's right side, she had orginnaly when she arrived at our farm. It has gotten much smaller.
Above photo: This was the open wound with the flap of skin hanging off on her left side. You can't even tell she had a flap of skin hanging off her it has healed so nicely. The scaring is even shrinking and you can see some new feathers around the edges coming in where there used to be scaring.
March, 29th, 2017
Yesterday we took our lovely boy Owl to the vet. He had a growth on his Preen glad. We gave it a week and saw no improvement so we made a trip to the vet. After an examination and a tissue test it was discovered that the growth is a Benign tumor. As it isn't cancerous we mad the decision to leave it as we didn't want to cause any undo stress, despite taking the appointment well. However his entire gland is a tumor, so now to make up for him not having access to natural oil to preen his feathers, I will be us a tiny bit of vegetable oil on my hands to apply lightly to his feathers to make up for it.
Above Photo: The handsome man Owl
Above Photo: Tumor on Owl's Preen Gland
Beauty is also looking extremely well. She has come so far, for such a little hen. We are all very happy with her progress. She is even laying again finally, and has found her place in the flock.
Above photo: These feathers are covering the scar on her side she arrived with.
Above Photo: This is the scar Beauty arrived with
Above photo: Under there feathers is the scar where Beauty's wound once was.
Above photo: This scar is all that remains of the wound that Beauty arrived with.
FINAL UPDATE: May,3rd,2017
I am very excited to report that Beauty is now a brand new chicken. After a long few months of stress, treatment, healing, love and gentle hands beauty has transformed from a timid, scared, injured hen to a beautiful, fluffy, calm and friendly hen I new she could be. Her feathers have grown back, her wounds are healed there are next to no signs of scaring and she is doing well in the flock of 2 roosters, and 7 other hens.
Above Photo: Beauty posing for the Camera
Above Photo: Beauty's new chicken saddle
Above Photo: Beauty wearing her new saddle
Above Photo: The feathers on her back have all grown back
Above Photo: This is beauty's right side. As you can see there is no sign of scaring anymore, and all the feathers have grown back.
Above Photo: This is Beauty's left side. Where she use to have the massive wound. As you can see the feather's have grown back in and she looks as good as new.
Above Photo: Moving her fluffy feather's aside you can see a tiny scar. This is all that remains of the wound she once had. Each day the scar shrinks and feathers begin to grow back.
Above Photo: Beauty taking one last pose.
Thank you all so much for your support, kind words, and following along. Beauty and I have needed it.