Chicken Infirmary, Part Two

Luma joined Petunia in the chicken infirmary. Two weeks ago, we went out at dusk to administer Petunia’s second-to-last Baytril pill, only to find that Luma showed no interest in treats, had fluffed up her feathers, and was standing around listlessly.

Turns out she has an infection in one of the lobes of her left lung and has been on the same quarter-pill dose of Baytril ever since. What’s happening to our chickens?! She subsequently took a six day break from laying before going back to her amazingly consistent laying routine (she usually misses a day once every three or four weeks).

Luma puts up more of a fight than Tuni did over taking her medicine. In medicating technique number one, Kelly holds Luma firmly in her arms while I attempt to pry open her beak long enough to drop the pill down her gullet. At least half the time she manages to chomp down on my finger. She also wrestles so violently that she sometimes gets her wings free from Kelly’s grasp and begins flapping.

In medicating technique number two, I pick Luma up and kneel on the ground with my thighs pressed firmly against her wings. I then have to restrain her from lunging forward while at the same time attempting to pry her beak open long enough to drop the pill down her gullet. Kelly is out of town for the weekend, so I am resorting to technique number two. Fun times.

Fortunately, Luma will finish her antibiotic round in a few days, and we can start counting down the four weeks to when we will actually be able to eat her eggs again. In the meantime, we have amassed nearly three-dozen inedible eggs since the chicken health scare began with Petunia in September.

In the midst of all this, my time spent working at my real job has increased dramatically and, to top it off, I am attempting to prepare to apply to graduate school this December. I mention this by way of excuse for my lack of blog updates this month. November should be just as crazy, but with any luck, Kelly will soon chime in to tell you all about her wine making adventures.

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