The Chicken Health Handbook
The Chicken Health Handbook by Gail Damerow
This is the sort of book you hope you never need. It is good to have on hand for when things go wrong. I recommend relaxing & reading this while things are going great. You wont remember everything you read, but odds are when the chicken poop hits the fan, you'll at least recall reading about it & will be able to act rather than react.
Thankfully, I have only had to use this book a handful of times over the years. The most memorable time was the first time we had a health issue. We were still newbies back then. The condition was commonly known as Bumble Foot where an abscess that is typically hot & inflamed forms on the foot. Bumble Foot is a bacterial disease caused by S. aureus & is relatively common. Our antibiotic free solution then & now, is to cut out the thick cheesy core & then keep it from re-infecting. This happened to us with an older hen we acquired from the livestock auction back when we still did silly things like buy old hens at livestock auctions! She was a lovely Silver Laced Wyandotte we named Myrtle after Moaning Myrtle in Harry Potter.
With John holding Myrtle & the me doing the surgery, I created a small incision. Then with gentle force, I squeezed out the disgusting, thick, white cheesy mass & a little blood. I then cleaned her foot with rubbing alcohol, coated the wound in organic raw honey, & then wrapped it securely in clean gauze. Myrtle was then placed in an old large parrot cage where she could interact with the other girls in her flock, but not be able to scratch about, dirtying her bandage or inadvertently removing it. Each day we removed the bandage, checked the wound, cleaned it if needed, added fresh raw organic honey & re-wrapped it until she was healed. When introducing her back to the flock, it was as if she never left thanks to keeping her in the parrot cage with the girls. No reestablishing the pecking order. No stress for Myrtle.
To give you an idea of what else to expect out this book, it includes the following Chapters:
I have this book to thank for helping us deal with Myrtle's Bumble Foot along with my knowledge of herbal, holistic, & natural remedies. I believe the best health care is integrated. Now, more than a decade later we are old hands at these things & don't even blink an eye.
FYI: There is a newer version of this book. I haven't read it, but it might be better than the original.
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