Monday, January 16, 2012

the hospital

The hello's and goodbye's continue on here.

Update at the Crow Hospital:

Patient One:
Happy, the white Indian runner duck, recovered from her gander attack, and was returned to the flock after a few weeks in the hospital. She had recovered beautifully and has been out for a awhile now. Today, Happy passed away from an unknown cause. I found her lagging behind the flock. I brought her in and gave her a warm bath and vitamins. She ate and drank and sat in front of the heater. She got sleepy. I held her and could tell I was loosing her. I begged her not to die yet, but she did in my arms looking up at me. I cried, more like sobbed. I asked Rusty to open her up and see if he could find out how or why she died. I needed to know if she had a parasite overload, or if she had swallowed something. I worried for the rest of the flock. Rusty came in and gave me the report. She appeared normal on the inside. He also marveled at the anatomy of a runner duck and shared his amazement of how much they differ from other bird. Rusty was impressed with the muscle of the Indian Runner gizzard. He told me about the crece, inside the digestive track and how it operates. I guess chickens have them too. Nothing was inflamed or enlarged, nothing looked out of order with her insides. However, he could not tell me why she died. I wasn't stuck on the why. I just was stuck on losing her. We had "saved" her before. All that energy poured into that beat up girl and tonight she just slipped away in my arms. A white feathered beauty wrapped in a white fluffy towel. She was there, and then she was gone. My kids were nervous seeing my red face and puffy eyes. I am usually the person who accepts death, and comforts myself and others with a certain amount of ease. Not this time. I am still tearing up. Deep breath.

Patient Two:
I broke Rain, the silver Indian runner duck's leg by opening the barn door with her leg under it. Snapped the femur in half. We gave her injections, set the bone, splinted the leg, wrapped her, and immobilized her. She has been in the house for at least a month. She recovered, began standing on the leg, so I moved her to the nursery area at the top floor of my barn. She leaped/flew/escaped somehow down to the lower floor. I found her hobbling but making good time with the flock outside. I snatched her up and now she is in the new brooder room. I have yet to assess the damage, but she is not putting weight on that leg anymore. I am kind of mad at her right now.

Patient Three:
Squint, the penciled colored Indian runner duck. Bitten or mouthed by Lady Gaga the pig. He was the perfect patient. He took his medicine, ate, drank and hung out with Rain, but he fell asleep one night and did not wake up. Rain continued on healing without him. We all miss Squint. I think Rain did the most. Maybe that is why she was so desperate to get out. The nursery will now be getting an overhaul. Floor to ceiling wire. Just in the event that I have to keep another a duck that supposed doesn't fly. RIP Crickmeister. RIP Lady Gaga.

Patient Four:
Marie Antoinette, the BC Maran hen who suffered a prolasped oviduct aka, blown vent. I think from the size of her eggs. She lay some giant eggs for a young hen. She was washed in warm water in the vent area, and given an injection. I used local honey and pushed all her insides back in and held it there until I could feel the muscle contract. Marie continues her recovery in the house up the hill. Her sister had the same problem, but I did not make it to her in time. She died on the way to the house. Too much blood loss. Marie is going to be fine though. I am not sue if she will be able to lay again without a re-occurrence.

Patient Five:
Braveheart, the Tom Turkey and his lady friend were "played" with by my dog Tonka. I have no idea why Tonka decided to dig his way into the turkey pen. There are ducks and chickens everywhere! But I caught him in the act. He got in trouble and was shunned for several hours. Tom was plucked and had some broken skin so he got an injection, was blue-koted, and now resides inside the house up the hill with his lady friend. She lost a few feathers, but was more in shock than anything else. The turkeys are doing well, and are visiting all the residents up on the hill. They are so sweet.

Patient Six:
Knuckles, the adopted mixed breed hen was walking on one of her knuckles. Upon further inspection of her foot was wrapped in fishing line, so much so, it was embedded in her leg. We pulled the line out, and she got an injection and a shoe to help promote her foot to lay correctly. She kicks off her shoe and the foot looks like it i back to normal, then it pops back to the knuckle walking. Yesterday I made a shoe of super strength! She still has it on, and i happy as can be hanging out with Marie.

The maternity unit at Crow's Hospital has been busy. Tonight, both Marie's and her sister's eggs are hatching in the incubator. We have a litter of American Tan rabbits and a litter of American Chinchilla rabbits on their way. Hopefully. The American Chinchillas are listed as critically endangered by the ALBC.

new brooder room, built by Rusty
Rain with the young ducklings and chicks
marie and knuckles

blackie, braveheart and his lady fiend, crash the call duck pad

hospital security

Hot chick photos are on their way. Stay tuned.



  1. I love your heart and compassion and am sorry for your losses. You made Happy's last moments calm and loving - who could ask for more.

    Thinking of Knuckles and Rain . . . do you have any plaster or fierglass casting? Coban? We throw away end pieces and I'd be happy to forward them on.

    Wishing you peace and happiness. Hugs to Rusty

    1. Happy made her last moments beautiful for me too.

      I do not that that sort of technology at this hospital. That might work for us, or for the next :knock on wood: emergency. Thank you. I would love to add that to my doctor bag. You are so sweet.

  2. I absolutely DREAD any of my animals dying. They are so totally dependent on us, that their demise makes us feel as if we've failed them. Of course we haven't, but it's difficult to convince ourselves of that.

    Very sorry to hear of your loss.

    1. Thanks Cro. I just HATE it. That is exactly how I feel. The more animals, the more I have to look at that square in the face.

  3. Ceca, not crece - I had forgotten about those in my comparative anatomy days. At first I thought, well there's the problem, large intestine dead-ends, twice! But of course she would never have gotten past a couple of days old on yolk without a straight pipe large intestine. So I carefully followed it through. The gizzard was amazing. I used to eat chicken gizzards, but nothing had prepared me for the marvel of muscle that was a runner duck gizzard.

    1. Leave it to me to switch it up. Now the whole world of science is trying to find out what a crece is on a duck. CECA. Thank you. I will adjust the above. Thanks for looking at her. I know it was not fun. Or maybe it was?

  4. It's SO hard to have your animals die. I am especially sorry about Rain. How frustrating to put so much into saving her just to have her slip away before your eyes. What a busy hospital you have!

    1. Ah Sylvanna, it is so hard. It helps talking about it and hearing from others. It really does. We have a busy little village here! Thanks for your support. :-)

  5. runners arre such delicate little characters arnt they?
    I have found that once injured they can get slightly depressed and open themselves up for further infections
    so sorry

  6. Thanks John. They are nervous little ducks for sure. I am amazed Happy made it through the last bout, only to heal and suddenly just give up. She looked healthy as could be. Thanks for your post. xx

  7. Dear Florence

    Sorry to hear of your losses on the ward. Even your super nurse skills and loving care can't save them all. You are so caring. It wasn't down to you.

    Touch wood, I have only so far lost one hen with a broken internal egg. The hardest part was watching her friend (they were inseparable) walk around completey lost and vacant without her.


    1. Dear Chris,

      Thank you for your condolences. I guess I need to go back to medical school. Although it seems I am getting schooled here plenty.

      Good news. Knuckles has once again kicked off her shoe but is now using the foot deliberately placing her toes flat.

      Braveheart and his woman are loving indoor life.

      Dear Lordy! Broken internal egg? "Touch wood" (we knock on it here) that I will never see that come through the ward. So sad to have a walking reminder and fellow mourner to have to witness. Poor little hen.

      I think I need to open a psych ward here at the Hospital.

  8. YES! A psych ward with medicinal marijuana!


    1. I did not know that used medical Marijuana for psychological purposes. I have heard it can be used in spiritual quests. Perhaps a hospital chapel?

    2. ROFL! We can't buy it here but we can grow it now. I'm just sayin . . .
      And Crow, pain can be physical or psychological :::wink wink::: what ever gets the job done.
      You already have that chapel built in your mind, don't you? :-)
      Linda xox

  9. Yes a chapel... a big red tent... where women from all faiths can gather to create, sing, dance, cry... And men too sometimes. Women of the red tent love All. If I build it they will come. :-) How to keep the chickens from pooing on the Turkish rugs and silk pillows... hmmm.

    Rusty is a botanist, if you need a consult on your weed garden. ;-)

    1. ROFL. You made me laugh out loud. No weeds yet. It's hard to know the right thing to do :-)
      I can't wait to see your big rent tent in person. Oh yes, I WILL be there :-)


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