Yesterday morning (Sunday) my husband was taking Duncan to see a GP because he had trouble walking after a viral infection last week. But as they were heading out the driveway Dean heard a commotion and saw our rooster and some chickens running across the front lawn.
Then he saw two dogs. Then he saw our Isa Brown Breanna lying in a mass of feathers in the grass. He chased the dogs off through the fence opening (just our gate is not yet attached). And went back thinking that Bree was torn to pieces. Amazingly she was still breathing but bloodied.
He ran back to tell me and I grabbed a towel. He scooped her up and gave her to Duncan to hold in the back of the car. Duncan was crying but I told him to keep calm, keep her quiet and support her head which she could not do. Tristan was sent along because Duncan cannot walk.
They headed off to find a weekend vet and I cancelled his GP appointment. Then Frances and I went looking for the rest of the chickens. We could not find our Light Sussex Washington. we did a few rounds of the property calling her name. I went back to where the feathers were laying on the ground and followed the fence line until I came to another clump of feathers. I feared the worst.
But miraculously Washington had scrambled into some low lying bushes. I grabbed another towel and a box and Frances and I headed off to meet the others at the vet.
WARNING - photo of wounds below
The vet was calm, film and very confident. He cleaned off their wounds and gave them a 50/50 chance of survival. Breanna is the worst off. She had a gash on her neck and down her side that look nasty. She was taken home by the vet and actually survived the night. She will be in until Wednesday to recover. Hopefully she will not need surgery.
Washington had a couple of teeth marks around her bottom and has lost all but one tail feather. She was given an antibiotic injection and sent home with us. We decided to line our bathtub with newspaper and sugar cane mulch and she survived the night also. We fed her with a syringe but by the morning she was standing up to drink from a bowl and eat some scrambled eggs and spaghetti as well as grains. She even went to the pen for a few hours to see her friends and laid an egg in the curtained nesting box (first one in about a month that we have found). She went to the vet for another injection this afternoon and was taken out the back to see Breanna.
Breanna perked right up upon seeing her and they started cooing to each other. It was rather sweet. So we decided to leave them together to help Bree in her recovery (I guess chickens are really companion birds and we can't underestimate the mental health benefits of friends). Bree might need some stitches for her neck wound and a drain as all her loose skin makes drainage of fluids difficult.
We did finally get Duncan to the weekend GP and he is suffering from acute childhood myositis - a disorder of mid-childhood, typically affecting boys. Symptoms include calf pain and difficulty walking after a viral illness. He had a blood test today and will see our regular GP tomorrow.
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