This is Blue Bell just last month while strolling in the gardens & backyard. Blue Bell has to be our most feisty chicken and definitely our fastest runner & flyer.(even with clipped wing feathers)
Blue Bell has a brightness about her that makes her the most carefree chicken in the bunch, and she is the youngest. Blue Bell is a Andalusian Grey that was born on March 21, 2016. Matt and I picked Blue Bell & Princess because they were born on our Anniversary.
When Blue Bell started laying, we were still letting them roam and didn't have the laying boxes built. So, the chickens found their own "special" place to lay. Blue Bell, would fly over the back fence (even with another 4 foot of fencing added) and would lay her eggs in the window well of the home behind ours. She loved the "free" food from the apricot tree in the back neighbor's yard and would fly over every morning just after we let them out of the small pen.
We couldn't hold Blue Bell and she never would come near us, even when she was a chick in the inside brooders. She was always skiddish of us and would dart away fast whenever we came near.
This was as close as I'd gotten to her in months.
These above photos were taken in October of this year. She is 7 months old now and loves being out on her own. That being said, and to get on with her story of courage, yesterday, Blue Bell was found in another neighbor's yard, over a 6 foot fence. After closing the chicken house up the night before, she wasn't accounted for. So we hunted for her in her "normal" places to roost, like the huge lilac between our home and our neighbors yard, or on top of the huge morning glory vines. She was no where to be found. At 6:00am we found her roaming the neighbors yard.
Unknown to us, the neighbor had let the dogs out before they went to work and there was our girl in the yard. The neighbor was quick to grab the big dog, but not before he got ahold of our little girl. Blue Bell was laying lifeless on the cement patio, bleeding and hurt.
We got the call around 8:40am. It was the neighbor and she said, "my daughter's dog killed your chicken!"And went flying out the door, knowing she was dead, knowing I would have to bury her, knowing this would truly break my heart. I arrived out in the yard after Matt had her in his arms. He said, "CJ, she's alive!!"
First, she was assessed for medical stuff. She was totally in shock. We cleaned her up and put her in a box with a soft towel. We put her in a quiet place and the waiting began. When she finally started responding, we gave her vitamins & probiotics through the night.
Her eyes are still swollen and shut tight. We have been giving her eye drops 4x's a day. Her first night, she was able to stand, but was very skiddish and shy at sounds. She slept in the carrier and did great!
This am we noticed the eye swelling is down a bit and with the eye drops, probiotics and vitamins she is doing much much better!! However, her eyes were dark black and she's acting as if she is totally blind. We will see her through another night of rice, soft veggie mash and love. She has really come along in the two days since the attack and we are so happy that we have had these days with her.
Baby Blue Bell
UPDATE: Sunday 2:30am
We just took a peek in the carrier and found that Blue Bell had laid an egg!! YAY! She had moved it out towards the front of the carrier, but there it was, bigger than any egg she has laid since.
Oh and Matt told me that I forgot something in Blue Bell's Story. While he was holding Blue Bell, before we even had a chance to clean her up, Blue Bell, laid an egg in Matt's lap! We were so shocked, but it seems that this sweet girl kept in her egg until she felt safe enough to lay it. And she laid it in Daddy's lap!!
I have to say that,for me, a woman of great emotions, this has been a heart wrenching ordeal. My emotions in the past 45 hours, I have gone from desperately worried, to devastated, to elated, to hopeful, to worried, to surprised, to thankful! Emotionally, as any Momma is, I'm a wreak! But happy and relieved that, no matter what, she will be ok.
After this early am examination, she is tender on her left wing. The swelling and bruising are still evident, but she is more active and talking a bit when we talk to her. We have been holding her gently on our laps, and shockingly, she is enjoying it, except when I reached for the "feeder tube" we are using for the vitamin & probiotic water (an irrigator I got when I had a tooth pulled - a medicine/warm water dispenser that has an extended curved tube at the end) photo and SWAKKK came out of Blue Bell.
On closer inspection, Blue Bell had broken her wing. We think the swelling kept it from hurting, but now that she is healing, the wing is tender. So, "DR. Daddy" (whose initials are MD lol) sprung into action and we found a chart on this link: http://www.starlingtalk.com/fractures.htm
about Avian wing and leg treatment. This has been extremely helpful. Oh and the photo in the carrier,
was how we could see that the left wing was indeed visibly lower. **So, photos are a must, and I recommend for anyone going thru any trama with their chickens/avian children.**
She has been "gently" wrapped and we will keep it on for 2 weeks, as indicated, to ensure proper healing.
I wrote instructions on this photo, but they are not readable here; they are from the website on Avian wing treatment above.
After a little bit of nutrition and vitamin/probiotic water, she is looking good!
I'll update again, when it is morning, or normal people's morning...there is no such thing as normal when dealing with an injured animal, as you all know!
*Note: the vitamin & probiotic are Probiotic by Sav-A-chick and High Performance Poultry Pack by durvet , this is the water-soluble vitamin & Electrolytes Mix.
UPDATE: Saturday 12:30am December 3, 2016
Blue Bell is blind, but seems to be able to see some shadows. We tap on the water & food bowls when we set down the new bowls daily, so that she knows where they are. There is no thought of killing her because she is blind, the chickens are our pets. We feel, as many of you do too, that just because there is an injury to the chicken does not mean it has to be put down. That being said, if it ever becomes an issue with the other chickens, even with separation, the we may consider it for her Blue Bell's sake. But she is doing great and improving daily.
She is lifting her legs high when walking and stepping in small steps in a manner of locating where she is and what is around her.
She still loves the rice mix (above) and we have added the poultry mix to the cracked corn and she really likes that mix. She is not drinking as much water as we would like, but it is right there next to her favorite rice mix, so she does know where it is.
Her wing is on the mend and she took off the ace bandage sometime yesterday. The over wrap is still on for about 3 days; taking it off at 2 weeks as instructed.
The wing seems to be tender, but not painful as before and she is lifting it a bit.
She did stretch out, the first time we saw this, each wing; favoring the left and not stretching it out as wide, but it is definitely an improvement!!
Her poop is definitely switched from runny to a chicken poop. No need to describe, I know.
She spends most of the time now in the tub, coming out when we shower, but she seems to like the added space. And we placed a large folded blanket in the bottom to keep the cold down and topped it with puppy pads for easier cleaning. The poop stays in shape and can be picked up with TP and flushed away. Changing the pads at night had kept down the smell. *(for me, CJ, that is a big issue!)
Her eyes have changed as well. The color is more around her eye on the right. Mostly black with a little strip of orange on the left eye, but the vet said that may change in time. We will see.
So, it seems until the Side Chicken Run is built, she will stay indoors. By the way, Grandma, Matt's Mom, who has Dementia, loves sitting and watching Blue Bell. It gives her a purpose during her day. She has also adopted our disabled Persian Kitty, too. Animals are good for people with all sorts of troubles!
Have a Blessed Day! CJ
UPDATE: Thursday, December 7 2:30am
Blue Bell is doing terrific! She has been moved to the tub with a big blanket under her and "puppy" trainer pads on top of the blanket. We can change these daily and keep down the smell. Also she has figured out how to find her feeding bowl and water! Her up close vision is pretty much none. She has learned to peck at the bowls till she gets inside them to eat and drink. Yesterday she "talked" to me for over 20 mins, and started to crow a bit. She still lifts her legs high to walk and takes little steps.
Yesterday am we got a big surprise! The coolest thing was when I stood by the tub and she could see the dark outlines on my yellow sleep pants (minions) and pecked at them several times. This was the first normal behavior Blue Bell has displayed since her attack. We are so thrilled.
Matt took Blue Bell out to the chicken coop and closed her in for 3 hours to give her alone time and to get her acquainted back to the coop. We made sure the other girls had finished laying and that both Blue Bell and the others had food and water. Blue Bell did great! She spent her time exploring the coop again with "different eyes". We don't know if she tried to get into the laying boxes because there were no new eggs, but we are more concerned with how she is doing and not worried about her laying. We are so happy that she is doing so well. It has been a true joy to watch her heal and get through her horrible ordeal.
We will keep you up to date on her progress back to the flock.
A very happy day! CJ
UPDATE: Sunday 12:30am December 11, 2016
Blue Bell can see the little Minions on my jammies!! YAY!! She is not totally blind!!
Bell's adventure has taken another step!! She is now out, daily, in the make-shift pen so she can be reacquainted with the other chickens! She seems to be doing better each day and this is a monumental step for her! Our chickens are part of our family and YES, to many others we are weird, but we love them and that is all that matters!Blue
Princess & Spice come to see Blue Bell. They are the next up from Blue Bell's new position in the pecking order. They have pecked, but she is more at ease with these two than with the rest of the 8 Sisters.
This is Blue Bell's good eye ans she seems to really like being out with the other girls! Every day is a new adventure, she can see shadows with the other eye, but the left is her dominant eye and seems to be how she is seeing. She uses this eye, turning her head to put the eye in the direction she is seeing or going. This is such a miracle and we Thank God that Blue Bell is doing so wonderfully! What a hard recovery she has had, but this right here, is a great testimony of how resilient chickens can be. We are so proud of the long way Blue Bell has come and will update the next step in her adventure!
She has laid her first egg since the ones during the first of her ordeal! Her egg is the same size as the others and looks good. She is eating and drinking well, sleeping and now laying!! She has come back from this ADVENTURE and made a good recovery! Blue Bell's egg is resting on my middle finger.
She loves being outside and seems to enjoy being back with the flock. Re-introduction has been made with Matt keeping a careful eye. So far only a few short minutes before she is pecked at. So, back in the recovery pen during the days and nights in the tub with the puppy pads!
Sure feeling Blessed! CJ
UPDATE: Thursday, 10:30am, December 15, 2016
We did read a great LINK: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1037086/how-to-reintroduce-a-chicken
on how to reintroduce a chicken back to the flock.
Tonight we will reintroduce Blue Bell at night into the hen house when all the other chickens are asleep. Matt says he will be putting her on the lowest roost bar that Princess usually sleeps on. We will keep you updated!
We are very happy Chickie Parents!! Matt & CJ
UPDATE: Satirday, 10:30am, December 17, 2016
Blue Bell has been accepted fully back into the flock! Last night she walked up the plank into the Chicken house and roosted on the lower roost! Here are some photos of her with her sisters!
Snow fell on the chicken house~ they are tucked up safe and sound and warm!
This photo was taken Sat night. We got a total of 8 inches!! The photos above, were
taken on Sat AM. That's Colorado for you!! Blue Bell has made a full recovery and we
couldn't be more proud! Thanks for following our story and for prayers and good comments!
It is a pleasure being here on Back Yard Chickens! 8 Sister Chicks, CJ & Matt