Monday, 5 May 2008

Lydia Updates, Week 2 (merged)

These were originally separate posts, one for each day.
MONDAY 5th MAY 2008

I can't believe it's been a whole week.

This morning she was again very reluctant to come out of the coop. I know why, it's because she has to negotiate the ramp to get down. Today, as soon as I had opened the pop hole to let the others out, i could see that she was really hesitating, so I took the back of the Cube off and picked her up myself.

Brought her into the house, gave her her penicillin on a quarter grape, then offered chick crumb which she started eating. Also offered growers pellets, which she refused. The chick crumbs take ages to eat, so although she spent a long time at the bowl, the amount she consumed was miniscule. She was also easily distracted, so I ended up having to hold the bowl while she ate. After hours, well, twenty minutes, by which time I was lying on the floor, DH came down and offered to take over.

He spent another 20 mins with her encouraging her to eat and drink. He's so good with her, and so patient. I've lost count of the hours he's now spent sitting or lying on the floor with her over the last week.

Eventually she was finished, but the quantity she had actually consumed was still very small.She's still bright eyed, and seems ok in herself, but has gone back to sitting in the Run. She's not hunched up or anything. I'll phone the Vet tomorrow and get some more penicillin.

1700 Brought her in at 12.30 for penicillin and food. Another long, slow session, with not a lot eaten really. She also ate a miniscule amount of Growers porridge. Back in at 16.30 for penicillin and food. Same old, same old. At the end of this session when she refused to eat or drink anymore I offered her mixed corn which she ate with gusto. I also put down some Growers pellets mixed in natural yoghurt, and she ate some of that too. Back out again, one more try before chooky bedtime.

Oh, the other two girls are getting a bit concerned that Lydia keeps coming into the house. I don't know if they are concerned or jealous. Anyway, I gave them a bowl of layers porridge to eat while she was in this time, out of site of the kitchen so Lydia couldn't see. They gobbled it up.

TUESDAY 6th MAY 2008
Sorry, I couldn't post last night, I was too upset.

She ate hardly anything, drank a little water, and had lost more weight. She wouldn't even eat grapes. When the others had gone to bed she just sat under the ramp, and I lifterd her up and posted her through the nest box.

This morning, she wouldn't eat and did a slighly sloppy poo, followed by something that looked like bits of poo in glue. She drank a bit. I phoned the Vet and got a 940 appointment.

Vet suggested trying a different antibiotic, so she's on a fairly large dose of Baytril. Brought her home, gave her the first dose in a quarter grape, and then offered various piles of food. She ate some mixed corn, drank some water, and I also put down a bit of roast potato, and she ate some of that.

Girls had a lovely afternoon out in the garden. Lydia happily setled in a shady place. Still not eating much. In the evening gave her the antibiotic, then tried to get her to eat. She ate some mixed corn and some peas, drank a little, then wanted to go back out.

Fairly large weight loss.

7.10 Opened up early as DH is going to work, and the girls were making a racket. Brought Lydia in and have spent the last 40 minutes trying to get her to eat anything so I can give her her tablet. She wouldn't even eat the quarter grape. I cut the half tablet into quarters, and tried stuffing it in a pea, a piece of sweetcorn, a piece of grape. She wasn't having any of it.

Eventually at 6.55 she ate a piece of grape and spat out the tablet. I persisted with a pea again, and eventuallyshe ate it. Ten minutes later she finally ate a second pea, so she's had her morning dose. She wasn't interested in anything else, not even water. I've let her go back to the run and will try again later.

9,45 Decided against bringing Lydia into the house for feeding. Instead I made up Layers porridge (yes, Layers not growers) in three bowls and took it out to the run. Scarlett and Delilah were delighted. Lydia was hesitant but did eventually decided to peck at some. A little later, Delilah and Scarlett had retired to the nest box, and Lydia was still slowly pecking at the porridge. At this stage, I don't really care what she eats, I just want her to eat something - and I was thinking she might eat if she sees the others eating. I can't risk putting Growers porridge out for the others (remember the softee last week?), so it has to be layers.

12.30 A little more porridge, a little corn and some grass. She's also had a dustbath. She's now sitting in the shade having a doze.

18,50 Well, she ate some corn, a tomato, lots of grass, and a small amount of porridge earlier this afternoon. Just brought her in to adninister Baytril tablet, and she won't eat anything. Not a grape, not a corn kernel, not a pea. Eventually she ate a pea, and we walked her back to the run. Inside, the Baytril was presumably setting to work (it was already dissolving in the grape/kernel/pea), and she ate some grit and some porridge.

I didn't weigh her. I know I should have done, I just couldn't face it.

Tommorow we'll do what we did today: bring her in twice a day to give her the Baytril tablet, and put fresh porridge in the Run several times a day in the hope that the others eating it will entice her.

This morning she came down the ramp, albeit slowly.

I went to get her in to give her her anibiotic, and it was a dreadful palaver. I had cut the half tablet into two, on the basis that if one dissolved I would still have the other half. She wouldn't eat anything. Not a pea, not a sweetcorn kernel. She just started honking like a duck.

In the end I opened a tin of sweetcorn (previously she had been eating defrosted frozen) and she ate that with the pill in.

Mid morning I put some pellet porridge in the run. It was all gone when I went back, but I only saw her eat a little of it.

Let them out at about noon as it was so lovely, and she ate some grass. About 1pm I put down some cream of pellet soup (pellet porridge which is blitzed to smooth consistency, and then has natural yoghurt stirred through) which she deigned to eat. A bit. The others ate a lot.

Had to get them in for a while when we went out, she came when I rang the bell and ate a little mixed corn.

Second serving of pellet soup, I didn't put yoghurt in this time and she ate hardly any. She did try to eat my finger; I was sitting on the grass leaning on my hands and she toddled up and put her beak around my finger. Maybe I need to try and get some live mealworms from somewhere?

1815 Just got back from PetsAtHome: they had some live mealworms in stock and didn't shut until 6. Went out into the garden to give Lydia her antibiotic - which she ate in some tinned sweetcorn - and then she hungrily ate the mixed corn. I noticed that all the afternoon soup had gone, don't know how much of that she ate. Then I offered mealworms. Yummy yummy. She ate loads. They are an excellent source of protein, and are a bit fattening so normally it's best not to give too many, but I was so pleased to see her eat something that I let her have quite a lot. Delilah and Scarlett had plenty too.

FRIDAY 9th MAY 2008
I can't believe this.

Last night she was quite bright and chirpy and, if you didn't know she was ill, you wouldn't know she was ill.

This morning she took a few sips of water and then nothing. She refused to look at sweetcorn, meaworms, anything. After struggling for some time in the Run, we brought her in, put her in a box. She refused anything. We left her alone for a while.

For the next three hours I kept trying to get her to take something. Anything. I syringed water into her beak, which she accepted. This tells me she's really poorly, as she normally won't let me do this. Wityh a chicken, you can't really force feed her, she'd probably have a heart attack.

At just before 10am she gave in and ate the sweetcorn kernel which contained the antibiotic. I carried her back to the run, and she jsut stayed sitting on the floor in what can best be described as her broody pose. I went out a few mins later, hoping the antibiotic would have kicked in, and put some mealworms in front of her. And a but later, some cream of pellet soup for her and the other girls. Nothing.

She doesn't look distressed, she's not hunched up, but she really looks like she's slipping away now.

SATURDAY 10th and SUNDAY 11th MAY 2008
Saturday Awful, awful, awful. Lydia wouldn't eat anything that we could hide the pill in, so we had to "force" a sweetcorn kernel in. She drank some, and then wandered back to the Run. We were out all day, so I had put extra Avipro-laced water out, put out mealworms, veggies, etc. Back in the evening, another pill, same routine. Afterwards I let them all out for an hour to eat grass etc, and she seemed relatively perky.

Sunday She was reasonably well when she came out of the coop this morning, scratching around. Same old, same old with the pill. She ate a cherry tomato and some pasta. DH got the pill in, and she's back in the Run now.

Let them all out at lunchtime, Lydia settled in a shady spot. Gave them some corn, which they all ate; some grapes, they all ate; some porridge, they all had some although Lydia only managed a beakful or two.

Went out to administer pill, hidden in grape. Managed to trick Lydia into eating it, so no trauma tonight.

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