In case you are wondering “What’s with the weird title Emmalina?” allow me to explain. My lovely french friend Emmanuelle has an overwhelming phobia about any feathery creatures and so, being the good pal I am, I promised to fully announce any chicken related blog posts so that she can avoid them and run away from her computer very quickly.
So now you know.
Anyhoo, for the last couple of days my thoughts have been very occupied by our chicken companions. We have a poorly girl in seclusion in the basement and a case of Runny-Bottom-Poorly-Chicken-itis. That’s latin I think, no need to look it up. So I’ve been searching books (which actually weren’t a lot of help and basically said ‘kill it’) and the internet (actually helpful, less killing) to find a treatment and in fact a diagnosis. What I have concluded is that my chicken has a case of worms. Apparently, and again the books were all quite silent on this subject, I should have been worming my chickens regularly and I haven’t been. Ooops.
One of the problems I have is that in Canada the medications seem to be only available through vets, which means doing a screen on the droppings, a consult and buying the meds. A pricey option for a chicken that cost us $10 and hasn’t laid an egg for a few months. But I don’t want to give up on her and I certainly don’t want my other birds getting sick, so I started researching some options for a future chicken health strategy that would lead to happy chickens and lots of healthy eggs. That is when I found it.
There is another world out there. A world where things don’t end in -cyclene or -tocin, where you can make remedies from kitchen ingredients and find products made from herbal ingredients that won’t kill your dog if they accidentally ingest some of the dosed animals droppings (this is a real concern, as is the safety of the children); they also don’t render the eggs inedible or poison the meat of an animal that might be on our table at some point. Basically I found my peeps, people who have recipes for chicken carrot smoothies, recommend apple cider vinegar for overall animal health and who use herbal products that don’t terrify me just from looking at the packet.
In our family life we try and stick with natural remedies, chiropractic and good health management to avoid sickness, it’s good to know that this approach can extend to members of the animal kingdom too. While I would never refuse to use a pharmaceutical remedy if one is necessary I would prefer to avoid unnecessary use. For more information on why a herbal approach is important when treating animals have a look at this lecture given by an holistic vet in the UK.
I’ve read quite a few people recently who’ve said that they look for the meaning in illness or problems, why is this happening and what are we meant to learn? I feel like this challenge is giving me the opportunity to develop a vision of health for our farm and the animals that live here that will influence so many elements of what we do in the future. Our goal is to produce enough food for ourselves (and some friends too!) to support a healthier life, that includes the ways that we prevent and approach disease in ourselves and our livestock.
Well those are my chicken thoughts for now, I’ll keep you posted about the well being of Runny Bum as she is affectionately known. Hopefully she’ll survive this episode, unless of course the Avian Assassin/Chicken Chiropractor has his way (Warning: This blogpost might make bubbles come out of your nose from excessive laughing). In the meantime she is enjoying a little holiday in the Basement Hotel and, judging by the weather outside, she’s probably feeling pretty happy right now.