Janet the Good Chicken (WARNING: GROSS)
Wednesday morning started off as many mornings do. I was sitting in the yard talking to the chickens and ducks. Then I realized Janet wasn’t with us. She was late waking up, so I went to check on her.
WARNING: HIGH GROSS FACTOR. TURN BACK NOW IF YOU DON’T WANT TO HEAR GROSS STUFF. Janet was just stepping out of the coop and looked fine, but I picked her up to have a closer look anyway. Janet has a pretty gross chronic condition. She had a bad recurring prolapse before we adopted her, and it left her with chronic poopy butt. She just constantly has poop leaking onto her butt feathers, but she doesn’t seem to mind much. I used to clean her off a few times a week, but the urates would scald her skin and make it raw, so it was better for a while to just let her stay kind of poopy so it would be more comfortable for her. It’s worked well for nearly 2 years.
Unfortunately, that was a bad idea this spring. Janet’s poopy butt attracted flies and when I picked her up Wednesday morning her backside was covered in… wait for it… MAGGOTS.
Now, if you’re like me, this is just too much to deal with before morning coffee. Or ever. I mean it was seriously disgusting. Moving, living, crawling eew. I can’t even… blech. So I ran Janet into the house and she did not even mind me holding her nearly upside down in the sink to wash and pick off maggots one by one. Wash and wait and see one crawl and pick it off. Wait again and see another one. Wash and pick. It took about 10 minutes and Janet was of course grateful for the help, the poor thing. Maggots squirm and try to crawl away out of reach, or back up the sides of the sink. They are truly disgusting. Blech.
I called the vet and took Janet in for the day to make sure she would be okay. Maggots can be serious if they get inside, eating tissue and causing infection. They were prepared to remove more maggots but thankfully, I got every single one. Janet will need to be on antibiotics for a week as a precaution, but she is feeling much, much better already. They found she had a little bumble on one of her feet, so poor Janet also has a foot bandage for the next few weeks. It’s minor, but good to clean up.
I’m so sorry I didn’t think that this might happen to Janet. She’s had this chronic condition for years and Flapper had a similar issue, so I didn’t think much of it. We never had a problem like that before. But we’ll have to be careful to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Janet used to fight and fuss when I’d clean her off in the sink. But I’ve cleaned her off three times since yesterday morning and she could not be more calm and grateful. She gets a handful of cat kibble for her trouble and I get to kiss her on the face feathers.
You know how if you have several cats and you take one to the vet, when you get home the other cats treat the vet cat like an alien intruder? Chickens are the same way. Olly and Olivia attacked Janet when she got home, and she ran to me for help. So I was her bouncer last night, but luckily today everyone is back to getting along fine.
Janet has never been super friendly, but she is more friendly now than ever. She is so trusting to let me pick her up and flip her around to wash her off. She is patient and sweet and gentle, and I’m so happy she’s feeling fine just a day after that gross, gross morning.
In other news, Carol is seriously nesting now. Cindy is nesting too, but she isn’t quite as serious about it as Carol. As you can hear, Carol does not want anyone near her nesting box. THAT MEANS YOU, CINDY BUTTONS!
Oh I almost forgot! Simon ended the maggot day by getting poop stuck to his butt fur. So the whole day really came full circle to be completely craptastic from beginning to end. Well played, furry and feathered family. Well played.
Quacks and clucks,
Tiff and the flock