Most things unknown and new to you sort of send you into a massive search for answers…
I’m not sure if all chicken folks are like me but, I know all my hens personally. Crabby, Pecky, Maw, What-What, Lucy, Grumbles, and the list goes on… I have 35 hens. You don’t think I’m going to write out all their names do ya?
Personality Matters with hens. If you don’t find some redeeming quality you day-dream of Chicken-n-Dumplings. Even Maw with her bossy personality has her function in the group. She’s like your worst teacher in school; Always pushing you around. However, she keeps order. Even Pecky behaves around her because she’s learned Maw pecks harder…
Then there’s Mucky-Butt. The hen is called such because of yesterdays event. After making many trips outside to see the girls, I kept noticing a hen which didn’t seem on her “A” game. So, I put her on the watch list.
Sure nuff, by about 3:30 PM I noticed she just wasn’t doing good. So much so, that I could just reach down and pick her up. She’s never been mean, but she’s not the cuddly type chicken. And she didn’t want any bread! That’s the kicker to me. No hen hates bread! It’s sacrilegious! I looked in her face and it just said, “I’m tired”. Then of course checking the business end of the hen found she had a Mucky-Butt. And upon further inspection, her craw was also quite hard. Sort of like a peach would if you squeeze it. The normal feel should be similar to a rolled up sock; squishy and yielding.
Now, Mucky-Butt is a bad thing to have if you are a hen. It means something is just not right in the rest of your body. It always shows up in the …Mucky-Butt (Mucky-Butt, Gosh that’s funny. It almost makes the rest I need to type endurable).
I went on a mad search on the Internet for anything which might help me figure out what’s wrong with Mucky-Butt. It really didn’t take that long, because it seems that there is a World of knowledge about chickens in the forums. Goodie! But, what to do? So… finally I lucked up on a site which even had photos of what to look for in the situations she’s discussing. Not a pretty sight! However, like any problem it has symptoms and some of those are quite visual (shudder).
True to form, Mucky-Butt had the classic symptoms of Mucky-Butt! – No, not really. It’s an intestinal yeast infection… but I like Mucky-Butt better. Yes, there are even other possibilities but she didn’t seem to have any of those. I was taking the high road on this one and treating her for intestinal yeast infection. The worst that could happen is that she didn’t respond to the suggested treatment and I’m out a lot of effort. The hen’s dignity shot to hell, but if it worked, I saved a sweet little hen who poops out eggs!
So, the treatment is – 1 tsp. Epsom Salts and 1/2 cup water. Administered orally, with an infant medication syringe or infant snot sucker. (It’s at this moment I’m thinking, “Oh God… help”). She didn’t say if the whole mess was to go into the yap or not! She also said, “After this to administer Olive Oil with the same Syringe”. Um… How much? 1? 2? and Which End??? …. Gezz, I hate blank spots in directions. Oh well, if I don’t do something, she’s a goner…
Oh wait! It gets better…
The third step to this travesty of events, is cleaning the Mucky-Butt. Daz right! The Mucky-Butt! You knew that was coming didn’t ya? Sigh… It seems they need to have the vent cleaned and freed of any mucus or debris (poop and gunk).
I should probably put a disclaimer here about how horrible the rump end of chicken smells when they have advanced Mucky-Butt. It is horrible. Trust me here. I could send you a ‘scratch n sniff’ if you aren’t persuaded, but lets just go with my word on it OK? How the poor little hen existed with that stuff going on back there, I have no idea.
The lady went on to say that she gave her hens a warm bath in a washtub. They looked so sweet and passive in her photos. I didn’t see that passive thing as my reality, so I opted for my hand-held shower massage sprayer and her rump-end facing the tub with her front-end in my lap wrapped in a towel.
The ongoing scene in my head which I feared would transpire, didn’t! I figured once that warm water hit her Mucky-Butt she’d come unglued like an old Maytag washer on overload. She didn’t… She honestly stayed quite still and calm. I was worried I was strangling her with my tight grip on her upper body so I peaked in a bit and made sure her eyes weren’t bulging. No, she was just fine. Breathing regularly and seemed in no real distress.
But, my god at her bottom… Bless her heart. It was red and had a couple sores on her poop-shoot, plus her vent hole. After reading on this condition it said the infection causes raw spots on those areas. (Yes other conditions do. I know this).
(As I type this, I’m looking at Mucky-Butt trying to shoot out an egg. Yes, she’s in my office…)
The lady in the article said, that the Epsom salts and the olive oil helped lubricated the insides and moves out all impurities from the digestive track. She also said, that giving a diet of yogurt or probiotic would help restore the health of the intestines. Then she went on to say that some hens would not eat the offering (Oh great). However my worry was unfounded. Mucky-Butt gobbled it up like it was nectar of the Gods.
With all of the above remedies administered all I could do is give her some water and make her comfy in a pet carrier for the night. An hour later she was pecking her food tray for more yogurt. So I got her more and mixed it with cottage cheese. She liked that too…
She made it through the night just fine and met me with a ‘cluck-cluck’ this morning. And she’s eating really well. Her color is much better and her eyes don’t look tired. Well not as tired.
(YEAH The egg is out!! This is good. It means her vent isn’t impacted with unlaid or busted eggs.)
So, I guess being as this lady helped me immeasurably in saving Mucky-Butt, I should add in a link to her site. So here ya go – http://hencam.com/henblog/ Thank you Terry Golson 🙂 You rock! I love your blog too!