One for the freezer


I dropped a piece of paper on the floor in the garage and almost picked this up instead.

Does anyone else keep snake heads in the freezer?  We have a section of the freezer reserved for baggies with snake heads.

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Goodbye, Mrs. Pickles

I asked the vet to put Mrs. Pickles to sleep this morning. I also asked her to send Mrs. Pickles’ remains to the state lab for a necropsy.  It will be interesting to finally know what the problem was.

If the vet ever wants to write a case report, I want the necropsy report to be there for her.  I have pictures that were taken every 1-4 days going back 6 months, weekly weight records for the past 4 months, and the vet has her records from the past 6 months of regular visits.  It would be a nice report, even if it’s never published.

Mrs. Pickles was our smart girl and contributing to science is how we will honor her.  Leaving her with the vet & knowing what would happen to her was heartbreaking.  We will box and bury some feathers in our little chicken cemetery.

Unusual Fowl Pox

Mrs. Pickles still has fowl pox.  She develops a lesion and it falls off about once a month.  This has been going on for 6 months.  I need advice.

In photos from October, a spot is clearly visible (although tiny) in the same place a lesion appeared in December.  Is it just a spot where the skin was already damaged or is it the beginning of a lesion?  There are two spots which appear on the bottom of her eyelid in previous photos that are now becoming nasty lesions.  Those spots were not present on photos from September.

Does anyone else have a case of recurrent fowl pox in their flock?  With only one chicken?  With lesions around the eye?  With the worst lesions just one side of the face?  With lesions that appear to be of two different types?  With some lesions developing two months after they appear as tiny specks?

At this point, I’m frustrated.

Studies about fowl pox in backyard flocks are nearly absent from the literature because they aren’t considered economically important.  What about being socially important?  I guess backyard flocks are not visible or numerous enough to contribute much value to science.

Please add anything to this list of terms I’ve searched for in various combinations & hopefully it will guide someone to this post:

  • Atypical
  • Avian pox
  • Avianpox
  • Avipox
  • Back yard
  • Backyard
  • Develop
  • Differ
  • Distribution
  • Eye
  • Face
  • Facial
  • Flock
  • Form
  • Fowl pox
  • Fowlpox
  • Heal
  • Incubation
  • Lesion
  • Non commercial
  • Non-commercial
  • Noncommercial
  • Ocular
  • Oculo-nasal
  • Oculonasal
  • Outcome
  • Pain
  • Periocular
  • Periorbital
  • Progress
  • Resolution
  • Scab
  • Scar
  • Similar
  • Spot
  • Stage
  • Strain
  • Swelling
  • Time
  • Treatment
  • Type
  • Unusual
  • Variety
  • Varieties

… and then there were 9

Mother had egg yolk peritonitis and today I asked the vet to put her to sleep.

It’s been said you’ll know when it’s time to euthanize your pet. There will be something different in its eyes.  That’s probably true.  I also think we don’t usually stare into their eyes enough to know what normal really is.  Maybe we’re looking for a yes, maybe a no.  Either way, by the time we’re looking, the answer is often there.

I’m thankful for every moment I gazed into Mother’s eyes when she was well. She had beautiful eyes and I spent a lot of time looking at them. When she looked at me this morning, I knew it was time.

Chicken teeth


Sorry about the condition of my fingers. Broken foot = no pedicures = no time for just a manicure. Clearly I need to take the time.

I don’t usually write about the health of my chickens because there are always photos which people might find disgusting.  If there is ever a demand for photos of the stages of healing for bumblefoot or the development & resolution of fowl pox lesions, I have excellent contributions organized and waiting.

If you’d like to see pages devoted to those conditions, leave a message in the comments below.  WordPress might not approve though.

Even my mom became tired of looking at pictures of bumblefoot on my girls.  That was a little disapponting.  She is the only one besides me in our family who examines such photos and comments, “How interesting!”

Right now, Mrs. Pickles has what the vet narrowed down to recurrent fowl pox with a weakened immune system to go with it.  The vet, much to my delight, appreciated the Dropbox folder of photos showing what happened to poor Mrs. Pickles’ face on a daily basis.  This was especially helpful because the vet needed to consult with other vets and could send them the link to view the pictures.

It’s from Mrs. Pickles’ sick visits that the vet’s front desk staff know how many chicken-themed shirts are in my wardrobe.  Mrs. Pickles has been in and out of the office for the past 5 months.

What about the cost?!  Am I crazy?!

It has not been outrageously expensive, nor has it been a waste of money.  I am happy to pay the vet for an hour of her time.  I know exactly how much my time is worth & that’s how I look at it.  An hour is a very long time to spend with a veterinarian for a single office visit.

It also gives me an opportunity to bring in other chickens for a fecal test.  Ordinarily, I wouldn’t make the 1.5-hour round trip for that (although I should).  This brings the cost of a visit down too because the vet will see both for a single charge.

Our chickens have also needed prescription medication. There’s only one way to get a safe, reliable, and legal prescription: a veterinarians’s diagnosis and prescription only if needed.

Back to Mrs. Pickles: Right now she has a really nasty lesion forming on the edge of her eyelid.  I’ve taken pictures of her face, but thought it might be helpful to take a photo of the inside of her mouth.  I wanted to have something to upload for the vet to see, just in case something was abnormal.  I’d also never looked in a chicken’s mouth for more than a few seconds.  Chickens don’t have teeth, so ai was alarmed to see the inside of Mrs. Pickles’ mouth.  They’re not teeth, but are some sort of cartilage to help keep food on it’s way to the crop.

I hope this has been helpful.  If you’d like to see the photo collection, I’m happy to share and ask WordPress if those sort of pages would make my blog rated for adults only.

There are chickens on this rug!


 When visiting a close friend of our family, I asked about the rug in her living room.  She told me she bought it from a man in the Riyadh souk in the 1970s.  He explained it was from a bedouin tribe and that the symbols told a story.  She promised to return the next day to hear the story.  The next day, the man was gone.  She never saw him again.

I promised to find information about her rug.

It shouldn’t be surprising how much information on the Internet isn’t cited, but I was surprised.  It seems when one document is posted, it’s used by a lot of people who aren’t bothered by accuracy or ownership.  Sadly, one of those is used in schools.

Anyhow, after emailing too many people to count about where to start with the rug, I finally received a reply.

Someone in Kuwait at the secretariat of the West Asia sub-region of the Asia Pacific region of the World Crafts Council tracked down someone who submitted an entry to a UNESCO crafts contest.  That person sent me the email.  Long story short, I have a primary source whose name I didn’t ask permission to use.  If anyone would like her name, please leave a message in the comments.  I’m happy to share that way.  I don’t want to be part of the uncited Internet junk.

The rug is an embroidered kilim, made by the Ma’dan people in Iraq and given as a wedding present.  The symbols do tell a story of good wishes and protection.  There are chickens depicted on rug too, but the woman didn’t mention those.