The Saturday before we left for our trip we noticed that her stomach seemed bloated….we feared that she was egg-bound (having trouble passing an egg - This is very serious and they can die). Trying to find a vet to treat a chicken, much less over a weekend was a challenge. I asked our vet when we first got the chickens if she treats them; she said well, they are either dead or alive! So we referred to our “Chickens for Dummies” book that suggested you set the chicken over “steam” heat to get the egg moving. Dan took our antique Victorian bird cage, removed the bottom, set it over screening, up on blocks in our pantry and we put her in it, covered it with blankets and placed boiling water in pans below her from 6:00pm to 9:30pm. (Fran was thinking “I don’t think I bought the weekend spa package”) No egg. Next morning we gave her a hot bath and used the hair blow dryer – still no egg. We read about injecting Calcium Gluconate…so the vet gave it to us. (ok first injection went off in my jacket pocket so had to run in and get another one)…still no egg and Fran still looked like she was wearing a full diaper. We had to leave so the pet-sitter watched her daily for a week; still no egg.
My friend Laurie suggested another vet that treated her pet duck. So we packed her up and took her to see Dr. Jones about 45 minutes away. You can see that the dog carrier we borrowed was a bit of an over-kill.
The office was filled with mis-behaving barking dogs. Fran, been a very well mannered southern gal, sat perfectly still for Dr Jones, calmly weighed in, even provided a stool sample. The model patient.
The doctor checked inside her for an egg, no egg – so thinks it could be “egg yolk peritonitis” Which means during the egg laying process the egg yolk missed the “funnel” and went into her abdomen, causing an infection. So we are giving her antibiotics.
How to give a pill to a chicken: hide it in food. Ok chickens are pretty smart and can see in color – this pill is bright turquoise. By the third day she figured this out. So now we pop it down her throat.
We have been back to the vet’s office again (behind the counter I heard “that nice chicken is back”) and are on another round of antibiotics. I pray every day she will get better. She still eats and plays with everybody and looks like she’s got a diaper on – but she sure has a strong will to live!