the beaky report: not really scissor beak after all
If you know us in RL, you know that we are trying to rehome our hen Beaky, cleverly named for her malformed beak. We took her to the vet where we rendezvoused with her prospective new mama and learned that she had lice (the hen, not the new mama), which was a deal-postponer for the new (maybe) mama, and quite understandably. We did learn that she had broken her beak and that there is nothing to be done for her other than some trimming. I got tutored in trimming and we got some good feeding ideas.
On the way home we bought some poultry dusting powder (Prozap Garden & Poultry Dust) and then caught, dangled upside down, and powdered all 17 birds, which is no small task. That was two days ago. Today we inspected, and saw no lice.
To feed her, we add some water to the regular chicken feed to make a thin mash. (I know my regular readers are probably not interested, but I am posting the details for the hen care-giver who may be reading and needs to know. I know I would have appreciated some info.) We then lure her into the abandoned chicken ark and serve her her mash. She can eat it, as she can lap it up with her tongue; her beak has no pinching abilities whatsoever. We close her in there so that the big girls cannot pester her. After about an hour, we let her out, if we are home. If we aren't, so be it. It's a nice ark and being confined in it beats starving.
We are still hoping that the prospective new mama will be able to take her. We'll do a lice check in a few weeks and we'll know more then.
And just so you know, lice are species specific. These lice eat feathers. As none of us have feathers, we are not in danger of infestations. Still, the minute the vet mentioned lice, my skin started to crawl. I felt really negligient that she even had lice. For some reason I thought that by sprinkling Diatomaceous Earth around their hen-house I was parasite-proofing them. Apparently not.