Chicken Eleven is an ex-battery hen. We’ve had her in free-range freedom for just over a year now and she’s turned from a timid feather bare hen into the fully feathered friendly girl she is now.
She’s come from a battery farm which is cruel to say the least. Hens live under artificial light to make them lay more. Hens lay on a daily cycle and the artificial light is used to simulate shorter days. As such a hen really has no recovery time and is pushed until they are just disposed of.
Eleven has just suffered a problem that may mean she has limited time left with us if she doesn’t heal up. Her insides are now out. She’s pushed the back-end out (looks like the size of a big strawberry), and that’s not a good thing. She’s fine – not bothered at all by it – but it could be prone to infection, and it’ll lead her to being prey for the other chickens.
Sadly this means she may be put down if treatment doesn’t rectify the problem. One thing we have done is to keep her in the dark (to stop the egg laying) and feed her yoghurt/hen feed mix, with poultry spice. She has a hard-boiled egg for lunch to keep her protein intake up. One thing NOT to do is use any haemorrhoid creams on the ‘expulsion’ as this is not that type of thing and the creams will make it worse. We have seen lots of reports where natural honey smeared on the ‘expulsion’ helps… and that seems to be helping her.
Anyway, to make sure the back-end is kept clean we have had to soak her in a warm bath, which she really enjoys. To dry her off afterwards she has a blow dry…. yes… a blow dry.
She’s quite happy with the whole deal and even started to lay down and doze in the bath. I was sat next to her as she was blow dried and she leant up against me and started to doze again. She’s very content, and it’ll be a shame if we have to lose her.