Recently Spaghetti noticed one of our Welsummer hens limping on a swollen foot. She had recently earned the nickname Weather Chicken for her accurate and vocal forecasting skills. She walks about chanting “hot, hot, hot”. (I’ll post video of this soon). In addition to her vocal talents, she is one laying those fabulous speckled dark brown eggs. Broadcast talent & egg laying = keeper. The swelling in her foot was the result of a staph infection from some innocent scratch on the foot, called bumblefoot. She likely scratched on a sharp stick or fluttered from the roost bar onto a rock. Now her foot was swollen, warm to the touch, and clearly ouchy. Aside from being painful, bumblefoot can ultimately be fatal if untreated.
Enter Drs. Howard. Paul is the only one of us with any
street cred in veterinary medicine, having worked with a vet for a few years. The whole family joined in the procedure which required careful incisions and a strong stomach for the result. I was the chicken-holder-in-chief and paper towel manager while Paul did the dirty work. Sauce helped with the fancy bandaging and donated his snazzy duck tape to waterproof the bandage. Fast forwarding past the gory details, I think we did just fine.
The Weather Chicken was pretty cooperative. She seemed to know that we were trying to help. Within minutes of the procedure she was pecking around and studying her bizarre looking feet. She stayed in the recovery ward for a few days where we changed bandages and kept an eye on her. But I’m glad to report that she is back in with the flock (still sporting a small bandage) and doing great. Strangely, we noticed her counterpart (other Welsummer) seems to have the same problem. So the OR will be open again soon. And according to the Weather Chicken today was ‘hot’. Nailed it.