Abigail Update

Last time I wrote about Abigail, she was quarantined in the workshop with a taped up foot:

Not a bad place to be during the blizzard, since the workshop is (minimally) heated, and she had a ton of space to herself. We just used the portable chicken run we built for turning rye grass, and made sure she had food and water. She slept in a clean corner and even was laying eggs (although that slowed down, since she's subjected to the limited natural daylight of February, whereas the henhouse has a light on a timer to simulate more spring-like conditions).

Anyway, for a week or so Abigail got daily attention with her bandage (which we stopped using after a couple days) and daily applications of Silvadene cream to keep her foot from getting infected while it healed over. That stuff is a fairly expensive prescription item, but it worked really well.

I also made sure she had lots of protein and calcium to help her heal: 

This is a scrambled eggs with crushed eggshells and dried comfrey. The scrambled eggs are for protein (Not cannibalistic in any way, btw. It's like eating placenta, which is normal in animals and actresses), the eggshells for calcium, and the comfrey has lots of minerals and is supposed to be really helpful for healing wounds. It was known in medieval times as "knit bone," and since we're pretty confident that her outer toe is indeed broken, this will hopefully speed healing. I also sprinkled sugar on top, so she'd eat it all up. Another treat that she gobbled down was yogurt-eggshell-honey mash.

On Friday afternoon, I scooped Dolley up out of big coop and put her in with Abigail to keep her company. We kept an eye to make sure they were getting along, and Dolley had a sleepover with Abigail over the weekend. I had read that it can help not only to keep the injured chicken from getting lonely, but also to give them an ally when they re-integrate into the flock. 

If you look closely above, you can see that Dolley was a total bull in the china shop--she knocked the food over (that's the mason jar on its side to the left), and she kicked the water over several times as well. Still, they got along alright, and that was the important thing.

Since that went well, and since two chickens in the workshop is really two too many, Kirk put Abigail back into the big coop today. Here she is roosting with everyone else. She's not gripping too tightly with her hurt foot (the right foot), and she spent most of the day inside, but we haven't seen any evidence of pecking or problems. We'll keep an eye on her this week, but at this point her injury was two weeks ago. She's getting around reasonably well (though still not putting much weight on her foot and trailing the other chickens speed-wise), and in another couple weeks her foot should be as healed as it's going to get. Though the broken toe may always be crooked, hopefully she'll be back up to speed with the other ladies soon!


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