jwehl

Crowing
Nov 3, 2020
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Atlanta GA
So true! She had already been my favorite hen prior to falling ill, but helping her through her illness only deepened that bond. She now will fly onto my arm on command, constantly pesters me for belly scratches, and follows me everywhere when supervise free-ranging. Of course, that'll make it that much harder should she get ill again, but I'm so thankful for each day I see her thriving.

Thanks for your kind words. I'm happy to report she is still doing well (see previous post for updates ^).
I nursed a stupid cockrell back from what looked like death- though I've been told by more experienced owners of gamecocks that it wasnt that bad- and SO gave him a name so I did consider not selling him... but I have too many boys so today I say good bye to him anyway. :eek:
 
May 29, 2019
445
524
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Southwest VA
I nursed a stupid cockrell back from what looked like death- though I've been told by more experienced owners of gamecocks that it wasnt that bad- and SO gave him a name so I did consider not selling him... but I have too many boys so today I say good bye to him anyway. :eek:
By the way, the dog in your profile photo is GORGEOUS.
 
May 29, 2019
445
524
171
Southwest VA
I'm glad to hear your hen is doing well from her recovery. To me that's chicken devotion, when you see them more than just food. And because you went through this difficult phase, you have learned a part of understanding chickens. I wish your hen a long healthy life.
Chicken devotion is both a blessing and a curse, but there's no going back (at least for me). Thank you for the very kind words. All the best to you and your flock!
 

CHlCKEN

🐔 Just Beak-Cause I Can 🐔
Premium Feather Member
Jun 21, 2020
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The Other Side (Tennessee)
Hi there, I'm so happy you reached out with yours and Joy's story. It's always warming to hear of a happy ending. I'm glad she is doing well! ❤ What is her breed and age?

Joy's saga sounds quite similar to my Easter's, who also always seemed "behind" her sisters, especially in terms of size/weight. Her recovery was slow, and, after over a month of various antibiotics, vet appointments, crop massages, and all kinds of TLC, I was getting ready to let her go. Each day I'd wake up thinking "today will be the day I have her put to sleep." But then, each day, she do something indicating she still had an undying zeal for life which I read--perhaps cruelly--as a sign that she could keep fighting the good fight. For example, the night before I planned to have her euthanized, I let her out of the hospital pen to give her belly rubs on the floor (she loves belly scratches). Then I noticed a big, juicy cricket slowly ambling towards us from the other side of the room. With curiosity, I watched it make its way across the floor, right up to Easter's toes, almost as if in self-sacrifice (it was that time of year when the crickets start their death march). She immediately perked up, dove for it, and gulped it down with happy trills. I then thought there might still be a chance, and decided against euthanasia.

I'm happy to report, Easter made a 180 degree turnaround in the weeks following that anecdote. I'm glad I kept fighting for her, because, like your Joy, she is clearly enjoying every moment of chicken life--sassing her sisters, gobbling up treats, flying onto my back shoulders every time I let my guard down, etc. One thing I should mention--and admittedly, this is purely anecdotal--is that her sudden turnaround seemed to coincide with a last-ditch attempt to administer colloidal silver. I knew she wasn't getting better (at this point her crop wasn't functioning at all and she was barely pooping) and the antibiotics had run their course. As a Hail Mary, I mixed colloidal silver into a small bit of tuna mash and within the next 24 hours she was eating a ton, chattering, and pooping. She went from the brink of death to being a healthy, happy chicken. Once she fully recovered (I treated her w/ colloidal silver for 10 days), I put her back out with the girls and she's since been happy as can be.

Like Joy, Easter hasn't laid an egg since--and I'm glad for it. I think her molt saved her in the end, since it occurred right as she fell ill with EYP. The cessation in laying gave her time to heal. My fingers are crossed that she will never lay again so that she can remain strong and healthy. While rare, there are cases in which hens cease laying after recovering from EYP.

Of course, I know there may be a day when she falls ill again, and I'm always preparing myself for it--till then the joy of seeing her thrive each day is priceless. And I'm sure you feel the same way about your sweet Joy. I'm so glad you decided to fight the good fight with her--it's so hard to tell whether we are helping or prolonging the suffering, but in this case it was certainly worth it for us. Thanks again for sharing Joy's story.:love
im thrilled to hear that Easter recovered well. Joy is a 3 year old Speckled Sussex. She’s been my favorite chicken for so long. She’s very friendly, and treats me like a flock member. She’s almost like a dog!

Every day that Joy was sick, I had a hard time bringing myself to see her... I was afraid that I might find her in a state where i would have to make a tough decision. Joy hated her pellet feed, so I had to crumble it for her to eat it! The first day she was sick, I kept her in the mud room in a cardboard box. I didn’t think she would want to get out, it was about a foot tall, but she hopped right out and pooped for the first time on my tile floor! It was a broody-size poop, thanks to her digestive track being blocked from egg-junk. She gradually flushed out the egg remnants with the help of meds and TLC. I moved her to a crate, where she passed a couple egg shells, and some more yolk (hardened yolk is the worst thing to clean up) which started to stop happening after a couple days. There was one day where I found her looking awful, I thought I would have to call the vet like you, and make a final decision, but they where closed that day, so I had to wait. I decided to take her outside one last time, and when I did, her energetic personality shocked me! I could tell this wasn’t just her “trying to act normal” because despite her careful steps, she was talking loud, running quickly, and finally (it’s odd how similar our stories are) I so her chase down a frog with her sisters, and win a game of “keep away” with them! When I caught up to her, the legs were dangling out of her beak! I called the vet the next day and told her what I had thought before letting her out, and what happend after she went out. The vet told me I should keep on fighting with her, and I’m very glad I did. The way she looked inside that day was probably just depression of a sort, because when she was back inside, she was still perky.

I took this picture in the garden right before she caught the frog. You wouldn’t believe how sick she was, she looks so healthy and perky! (Her comb didn’t shrink until her molt started later, this was July, and even though she wasn’t laying it stayed fairly red and large.)
56309102-83AC-4309-AD40-FABEE289DBD5.jpeg


I hope both of our stories brings hop to anyone going through this now. Chickens are strong, and they will fight through as much as they can in order to fulfill their long happy lives ahead❤
 
Last edited:
May 29, 2019
445
524
171
Southwest VA
I agree. It is very e

im thrilled to hear that Easter recovered well. Joy is a 3 year old Speckled Sussex. She’s been my favorite chicken for so long. She’s very friendly, and treats me like a flock member. She’s almost like a dog!

Every day that Joy was sick, I had a hard time bringing myself to see her... I was afraid that I might find her in a state where i would have to make a tough decision. Joy hated her pellet feed, so I had to crumble it for her to eat it! The first day she was sick, I kept her in the mud room in a cardboard box. I didn’t think she would want to get out, it was about a foot tall, but she hopped right out and pooped for the first time on my tile floor! It was a broody-size poop, thanks to her digestive track being blocked from egg-junk. She gradually flushed out the egg remnants with the help of meds and TLC. I moved her to a crate, where she passed a couple egg shells, and some more yolk (hardened yolk is the worst thing to clean up) which started to stop happening after a couple days. There was one day where I found her looking awful, I thought I would have to call the vet like you, and make a final decision, but they where closed that day, so I had to wait. I decided to take her outside one last time, and when I did, her energetic personality shocked me! I could tell this wasn’t just her “trying to act normal” because despite her careful steps, she was talking loud, running quickly, and finally (it’s odd how similar our stories are) I so her chase down a frog with her sisters, and win a game of “keep away” with them! When I caught up to her, the legs were dangling out of her beak! I called the vet the next day and told her what I had thought before letting her out, and what happend after she went out. The vet told me I should keep on fighting with her, and I’m very glad I did. The way she looked inside that day was probably just depression of a sort, because when she was back inside, she was still perky.

I took this picture in the garden right before she caught the frog. You wouldn’t believe how sick she was, she looks so healthy and perky! (Her comb didn’t shrink until her molt started later, this was July, and even though she wasn’t laying it stayed fairly red and large.) View attachment 2437991

I hope both of our stories brings hop to anyone going through this now. Chickens are strong, and they will fight through as much as they can in order to fulfill their long happy lives ahead❤
What a heart-worming story! Joy is BEAUTIFUL (I love Speckled Sussexes--they have so much personality!). Thank you for sharing her photo and story. Like you said, I hope our little anecdotes help others down the road with what is a stressful and all-too-common illness in laying hens. Too often they have sad endings. ❤

I love how, in both our cases, we were ready to pull the plug only for our chickens to show us they still had spunk in spades and were not ready to go into the light. Like yours, part of Easter's long recovery was depression from being away from her flock mates. I supervised free ranged her with her sisters a couple times a day to keep her upbeat (and she'd always go from looking like a zombie chicken, to, well, a really lively zombie chicken who terrorized her sisters, even during her sickest days), but sadly, she wasn't eating enough on her own to stay out with them. However, once she made her comeback and rejoined the flock, she hasn't looked back. I think it's an important part of recovery to try and gauge whether social time might help boost morale and therefore give them a reason to live.

Anyway, I'll stop rambling. Again, thanks for your story, and I wish you, Joy, and the rest of your flock all the best ❤
 

CHlCKEN

🐔 Just Beak-Cause I Can 🐔
Premium Feather Member
Jun 21, 2020
7,007
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611
The Other Side (Tennessee)
What a heart-worming story! Joy is BEAUTIFUL (I love Speckled Sussexes--they have so much personality!). Thank you for sharing her photo and story. Like you said, I hope our little anecdotes help others down the road with what is a stressful and all-too-common illness in laying hens. Too often they have sad endings. ❤

I love how, in both our cases, we were ready to pull the plug only for our chickens to show us they still had spunk in spades and were not ready to go into the light. Like yours, part of Easter's long recovery was depression from being away from her flock mates. I supervised free ranged her with her sisters a couple times a day to keep her upbeat (and she'd always go from looking like a zombie chicken, to, well, a really lively zombie chicken who terrorized her sisters, even during her sickest days), but sadly, she wasn't eating enough on her own to stay out with them. However, once she made her comeback and rejoined the flock, she hasn't looked back. I think it's an important part of recovery to try and gauge whether social time might help boost morale and therefore give them a reason to live.

Anyway, I'll stop rambling. Again, thanks for your story, and I wish you, Joy, and the rest of your flock all the best ❤
Thank you for your story to! 🥰
 

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