What I Do for My Hens…

I gave Buffy a bath today. I’ve got a dog grooming sink (4 foot x 1 1/2 feet) in my laundry room (instead of a utility sink, clever, huh?) See April 9th’s blog for a photo of Buffy in a bath. This time the tub was filled with sudsy warm water. The lice leave a crusty white crud at the base of vent feathers. I wanted to get that off. It took three changes of water and quite a bit of time. Then it took 45 minutes to blow dry her! She rather liked that part. Buff Orpingtons have a lot of fluffy feathers.

Later I cut up tiny pieces of organic beef and fed it to Snowball and Buffy. Buffy loved it. Snowball was looking almost too tired to eat.

Then, I took them out to the asparagus patch for a dirt bath. The dirt is loose and warm. All the hens love this spot. I don’t have a lot of asparagus for obvious reasons. Buffy settled in to get dirt onto every inch of skin. Hens hate being squeaky clean! But Snowball fell asleep standing up, which was just too sad for me to see.

I found a bug and tempted Snowball with it. She half-heartedly pecked at it. I broke it in half. (Really, what we do for our pets!) She ate it. Then another (after I had broken that one, too.) After awhile she was eating heartedly and looking bright-eyed. Hopefully, all of the protein and the de-lousing will get Snowball back to her old self.

But here’s the thing. Often, it’s only the ill animals that get severe lice infestations. The others have the energy to dust bathe and are more immune. So, I don’t know Snowball’s prognosis. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and I’ll keep you informed.

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