November 15, 2010

How to give a chicken eye drops...

First you sneak up on an unsuspecting chicken...

Then you carry her inside and sit in a comfy chair...

while she proceeds to close her eyes and pretend you are not there...

Then you gently try to pry open the eye as the chicken twists and turns, refusing to cooperate...

After missing the target several times and getting medicine on her beak, neck and wattles...finally success!  Since holding the chicken upright against the body didn't work so well, you try flipping the chicken on her back and holding her between your legs to get the other eye.  It is important that the chicken have a friend nearby for moral support.

Note to self:  chickens do not like being on their backs.  You wouldn't believe how a chicken can twist and curl and tuck her neck when being forced to endure eye drop torture!

 
But like all animals, they are quick to forgive...

especially when the reward at the end is a bowl of canned cat food!

You might be wondering why we are going through the ordeal of giving Poppy eye drops.  Well, if you know anything about me, you know how I obsess worry about my critters.  Last week I noticed Poppy squinting one eye pretty much constantly, and she was acting a little off.  She would lie in the middle of the yard by herself while her buddies were out foraging.  She would fluff herself up and tuck her head under her wing, looking very pitiful.  So, after flushing her eye with warm water and watching as it didn't get better, we made the decision to take her to the vet...two vets, actually.  Our regular vet admitted she knew nothing about birds, but she was willing to take a look at Poppy.  She did a stain of the eye (boy, was that fun!), which showed nothing in the eye.  She sent us home with antibiotic ointment and told us to go see a bird specialist if it didn't improve in a couple of days. Administering the ointment was a piece of cake compared to eye drops!  As luck would have it (or not), the eye didn't get better on the ointment, so a visit to the bird specialist was in order.  Apparently, the bird specialist vets don't see many bird eye problems because they were completely stumped by Poppy's case.  Several hours and many dollars later, the best they could do was send us home with steroid drops to put in BOTH eyes TWICE a day!  I am glad to report that the drops seem to be working and my sweet Poppy seems to be getting back to her old self.  Now, I just need to find a part-time job to pay for the vet bill!

4 comments:

basicliving@backtobasicliving.com said...

Oh dear! Chickens can really shake things up, can't they???? When I need to do something around a chicken's head, I flip them on their back and cradle them in my arms, (belly side up - like holding a baby), tilting the head lower than her heart - like closer to the ground. Within a couple of minutes it makes her pass out. Then I can do what I need to her head area before righting her and waking her up. I'm not sure that makes sense - but it's really very easy. You can practice before needing to administer meds. Just pick one up, flip her on her belly in your arms, and make sure her head is lower than her heart. Talk to her softly and pretty soon she should be fast asleep. Then slowly and gently raise her head above her heart and turn her over in your arms and she'll wake up. I hope those eye drops do the trick for your hen. Poor girl! She's sure lucky to have such loving and caring parents.

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

I don't believe I would even attempt to put drops in a chicken's eyes. I hope Poppy is improving.

morningbrayfarm said...

You two are the best chicken parents in the whole world! Poor Miss Poppy was totally looking like she was sitting there thinking, "This isn't happening to me... this isn't happening to me... this isn't happening to me..."

And, who would've ever thunk it? Canned cat food?!

Razzberry Corner said...

Lol, I've been here before. But I can't say I've given a chicken eye drops - I did the antibiotic eye ointment. Like you said, it didn't seem as bad as the drops! I always reward the birds with treats for enduring treatments. My one bird, Raspberry, still loves the canned corn I used to reward her with after her daily bumblefoot treatments. I have one bird, Ginger, who loves canned cat food!