Help! I need new ideas or the resolve to end a life.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Hummingbird Hollow, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 1, 2011
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    I've had 7 chickens since they were three days old (June 15, 2012). One of my WPRs had what I was treating as "pasty butt" from day one, although as the weeks went on and I tried every cure I could find on this forum or Google and the dirty bottom continued daily, I began to think that perhaps the problem was something else.

    Now she is 7 months old and STILL, every time she poops it sticks, to some degree or another, to her backside. Over the course of a week, she goes from clean (just bathed by me) to a horrific, mess, loaded down with layers of fecal mater. She's been to the vet and put on antibiotics, she's been treated with apple cider vinegar and colloidial silver. I've trimmed her feathers around her vent until she's almost bald and, at times coated the area around her vent with petroleum jelly or olive oil. I believe that there is something wrong with the structure of her backside, because her tail droops down instead of curving up, like my other WRP and she walks with a funny waddle, even when she is clean.

    I bathe her about every week to 10 days and she is a horrible mess by that time. I'm especially concerned when we have cold spells, because the poo becomes this huge, frozen mass and the skin around her vent is red and sore looking when I bathe her. She seems good otherwise, eating, drinking, taking dirt baths and laying 4-5 eggs a week.

    So, does anyone have any experience with this sort of thing? Is there anything I haven't considered or tried? If not, can anyone give me the resolve I need to butcher her. It is my belief that this chicken would have been "culled" long ago if she were being raised by either a commercial farm or anyone trying to improve the breed, but she's been like a pet.
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Well, if she's otherwise healthy, you could just let it be. Keep the feathers around her nether regions clipped short, and only give her a bath once a month or so. Try not to look down when you're looking at her...lol. I think it's due to a variety of factors, including the angle in which they squat to eliminate. My GLW is my messy bird, but I just try not to pay too much attention to it (it used to drive me NUTS though), as she is a very healthy bird who lays really well. When I can take it no more, I bathe her. The urates (or whatever) are horrible to work through even after a long soak in warm, soapy water - they're like big globs of concrete that are almost impossible break down. So I understand your frustration. I just think if she's healthy otherwise, I'd just put some blinders on regarding her messy fanny.
     
  3. Chick named Lola

    Chick named Lola Chillin' With My Peeps

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    100% agree, you've confirmed that she's not ill, she just a little high maintenance girl...who isn't?
     
  4. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd say that she is healthy otherwise, although not so much so during cold spells. We had a five day cold spell two weeks ago, and I was reluctant to bring her in and bathe her because I was afraid that the shock of going form 9 degrees F into a warm bath, and then back out into the cold would be really bad for her. However, after about 24 hours when she seemed unable or unwilling to come out of the coop for food or water, I took her inside the house for a bath. Her feet seemed to be frozen in the shape of the roost and she couldn't stand on the counter. After a bath and a blow dry she seemed back to normal, but the cold obviously affected her much more than her flock mates. January and February tend to be our coldest months here in Colorado.
     
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Poor girl - many generalize, saying chickens can handle severe cold. But severe cold, especially extended periods of it, can really stress the body. Most do survive it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't take a toll on their health. If you keep her around, I'd probably forgo any more baths until the weather picks up. Even if you blow dry, the bird is going from a warm bath and hair dryer back out into really low temps. If you've found her to be pet-like, I'd still hang on to her. I still think that even most people who keep livestock chickens would keep her (since she's a decent layer), although I doubt she'd get the baths she's gotten from you...lol.
     
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Sometimes living things have physical deformities and disabilities... it happens. I don't keep my birds are true pets, they are livestock to me. I'd have culled her if the poop issue was so bad that it affected her standing in the flock and if I had to wash her in the sink on a regular basis. If the bad poop was just unsightly, I'd wait to cull her with her cohort during replacement time.
     

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