Spring has Sprung!

Spring unlocks the flowers to paint the laughing soil.

Bishop Reginald Heber
Fresh daffodils and migas courtesy of the Feathered Ladies

It has been a LONG LONG winter hasn’t it folks? I honestly did not know if I could make it through all those gloomy rainy days. I took advantage of the drier weather this past week to plant spinach and peas (sugar snap and snow) in the garden. They are not up yet but my hopes are high.

I’ve never planted peas before St. Pat’s Day but I just couldn’t stop myself!

I had great plans to create a St. Patrick’s Day post, but fate intervened. St. Patrick’s Day is one of our favorite holidays on the farm. We make a guinness stew with herbed dumplings which is to die for, colcannon, and Irish soda bread. I decorate a beautiful table and we dine in front of a fireplace fire. I have posted photos on Instagram of previous celebrations. Our St. Pat’s Day this year, however was waylaid by a seriously ill chicken. Feeling carefree, I went out to do morning flock care and noticed a suspicious looking dropping under the roost. Time for fluffy butt checks. Sure enough, I found dear Buffy Orpington had a prolapsed vent. I will not gross you out with descriptions or photos. Google it if you want to know what that looks like. It is a life threatening condition because the protruding tissue can easily get infected and there is a chance other flock members will peck at the tissue, causing bleeding and death.

So first order of the day is to bring the chicken in, bathe her, dry her, and attempt to reinsert the prolapsed tissue. I have done this successfully before on Henrietta, but this time I was not successful. So an emergency trip to the vet was needed. Luckily (the luck of the Irish was with us that weekend) we have a chicken friendly vet and she was on emergency call that weekend. She had to put sutures in Buffy’s vent to keep the tissue in, and sent me home with antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medicine, and instructions to keep her isolated and in the dark for the next several days. I tell you, one has not lived until one has to give a chicken liquid medicine with a syringe. Buffy and I were both miserable for days. Also, all my plans completely fell by the wayside as caring for her took up most of my time. There went St. Patrick’s Day, dinner and all! Poor Patrick. He has been such a trooper and a great help to me. Of course at this same time, my bum knee gave out and I had to hobble around doing all these chicken nurse chores.

Buffy was such a good patient. She did not struggle and let me care for her. She did cry for her flock mates though.

The story has a happy ending though. Today Buffy went to the vet to have the sutures out, and she was pronounced healthy and healed. She is back with the flock this afternoon, happily scratching around and dust bathing. Please keep us in your prayers and good thoughts as we hope this does not happen again!

Sick bay in the laundry room! I am well prepared because I have a Chicken First Aid Kit!