Friday, November 9, 2012

Gnarly Bunch - Chapter 26 - 10/15/12



10/15/12

Noticed Stumpy's feet today and the swelling has gone down immensely!!!  I took pics but my camera is charging...will review the pics as soon as that is done and post a pic of her feet after just a 5 min. soak in epsom salts last night and a massage with Nu-Stock. 

I know the changes are subtle and hard to detect in these pics, but as a nurse I'm pretty adept at noticing when something is swollen or has become less swollen...in the first few pics you can see that Stumpy AKA Middle Sister has swollen ankles and toes, with a shiny and puffed appearance of the ankles in this first pic.  You can see a crease at the bottom of the swelling that shows the edema is so tight it has created a roll or crease in her flesh at the bend of the ankle.  



In this bottom pic you can't see the shiny puff at the top of the ankle joint and a more smoothly flowing line of the foot.  I still see redness around the toes but the foot has become more uniform in shape and size...no more skinny legs and big feet as in the second pic on this page.  Now she has nice, thick legs flowing down into more normal sized ankles(no puffy or shiny roll of flesh at the ankle) and the feet look more in proportion to her legs.  We are getting there.....another soak tonight perhaps and this time a massage with bag balm.  




In these two lower pics you can see a better stance and a better stride, she no longer walks or stands hunched over with her neck pulled down into her body.  If you see a chicken with this stance or walk at all times, this usually indicates some discomfort in the chicken.  That's one of the things I look for in my flock when I do a daily looky lou...everyone moving good?  Everyone standing proud?  Now, you can't count the times when they are just resting...often times you will see them with their neck tucked down and just standing still.  When it's cold outside and they are resting you will often see this and it's just conserving heat.  Sometimes it's just a bird resting while standing up.  But..if they walk that way or stand that way all the time, you know something is up. 

I think she still has tired eyes.... you can see an almost weary look in her eyes.  That, to me, is a sign of pain, discomfort or weakness.  When this flock arrived they all had that look around their eyes. 

This is another thing I look for when assessing my flock each day... bright eyes.  Their eyes need to be wide open, bright and sharp...almost beady.  If their eyes look heavy lidded ~ like Miss Stumpy here ~ or sleepy looking, I always give that bird a second look.  She really could be a little sleepy, standing there all hunched over and droopy eyed... but if I see her looking like that several times a day there is something wrong with a chicken. 

Stumpy always looks tired around the eyes.  I know how she feels... I'm in pain pretty much all the time now and some days it's worse and my eyes look just like that.  Tired of dealing with it all. 

Here is the Gnarly Bunch ranging on this overcast fall day.... the leaves are the most beautiful they have been for many a long year:


 

Gnarly Bunch had a lovely day in the beautiful fall weather today.  I can't remember when I've seen a more beautiful fall...it's been many years since.  We got 2 good eggs with nice hard shells.

GOOD:  Stumpy got soaked in epsom salts again tonight but I think that will be the last time.  Her feet and ankles look so much better..it will remain to be seen if they stay well.  All other flock members continue to gain wt. and feathering and look so content and bright eyed. 

BAD:  Ruby's butt still looks a little tender and swollen.  I gave her another dose of OLE but cannot tell if it is helping.  I may try the miconazole/lotrimin cream right inside the vent and see if it has any effect on that area.  After that, I don't have much left in my arsenal.  Eventually a person has to realize that either the bird is healthy enough to thrive without chemical intervention or not...if not, she doesn't belong in the flock. 
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