Sunday, 20 May 2012

Does my bum look big in This
Poor Doris had a prolapse, in layman's terms her bum fell out!
I let the hens out of the coop for a run and her bits had fallen out of her vent. My first reaction was oh my god, what on earth is that because she had  a swelling the size of a Golf ball hanging out of her. Ahhhhh the internet must have the answer? After much surfing I came across and this seemed to have all the instructions I needed.
Admittedly I was a bit short on some of the Materials
*Flexiguard bandage (equestrian product), or any bandage that sticks to itself and has elastic material? Nope but I do have a crepe Bandage and a safety pin
*Haemorrhoid cream, thats ok big tube of Preperation H upstairs
*Surgical pad? Oh dear, Sadly I seem to have a rather inadequate first aid kit. But… i do have a panty Liner.
*Surgical gloves? luckily I am good at improvising so one of the dogs poo bags worn over my hand will have to do.   Poor Doris, Her bum Fell out!Right equipment gathered, what next. It seems I must stick my finger in Poor Doris and poke her prolapse in. OOOOOH I am not sure I can do this,but what are the alternatives? Another hefty Vet bill or Wring her neck? Not sure I can do this either, so back to the internet. After some lengthy research and having read many smallholders forums it would seem that this is not an  uncommon event in the chicken world and  many have home helped their hens.
Don't worry Doris I will be very gentle.
So there  I was, Knelt on the lawn on an unseasonably Warm October day.Hen between my Knees with its head up my skirt so she doesn't struggle, Poo bag, generously lubricated with the preparation H on Hand with Nurse Monty happily leaping around eager to assist.                                                                         Monty thought he might like to helpRight, Gently push the prolapse back in inserting your finger a few centimetres. I took a deep breath and went for it,. Doris wriggled a bit but actually it wasn't too bad, nowhere near as gruesome as i had expected. Doris did her damdest to push both the lump and my finger back out which was a bit weird, but I began to feel quite confident that I could do this, but every time I took my finger out the prolapse came back out.
Back to the little Hen instructions, if only I had fully read these in the first place. Push it in then hold the vent closed for five minutes.
OK back in the kneel, Chicken, Skirt formation, I poke Poor Doris's  bits back inside her and hold closed the vent, Which from this position I can only describe as looking like A female Chicken Foreskin, if you get the picture? Stage two requires that I put more Ointment on the pad hold it in place over the vent while securely bandaging it in place so that the prolapse is unable to escape. This, the web site suggests is a four handed procedure, I unfortunately only have Two and a very unhelpful Canine Nurse. Now as anyone who has tried it will tell you, Bandaging a chicken is not easy. The Bandage unravelled all over the place, Doris was doing her Squawking best to escape my clutches and me two hands short when Nurse Monty decides to chase an imaginary cat out of the Garden, pulls a muscle in his leg and Joins the cacophony, Yelping and squealing in pain. Summoning as calm a voice as I could manage I persuaded him to lay down until I could get to him. Having secured Doris’s  truss with a big safety pin I stood back and couldn't help but giggle as she staggered about in her new Pants! It Would seem that without Her wings for balance she cant stand properly and every few steps resulted in her laying on her side unable to get back up. For her own Protection I put her in a Big Cardboard box and the next Morning took off her bandages in case she needed to lay an egg. Not quite healed but improved we kept her on her own for the day in case the other, somewhat brutal hens, decided to peck at her. Any wound or scratch seems to be fare game to them.
I am now pleased to report that after a repeat procedure the next night Doris is now Fixed! Monty is still Nursing a sprained leg as he will Not stop charging about, but now is on a course of very expensive anti-inflammatory  stuff from the Vet.
Today I am a Chicken Fixer! Maralyn

Is there a good way to die? I have just finished reading a great book " The time Travelers Wife" and if you haven't read this or might be planning to, stop blogging now, in which a guy called Henry flits to and fro through time, popping in and out of his soul mates life. Henry's soul mate Claire first meets Henry when she is about six and he is a grown man, there must be a reason why Henry is drawn to her as he has no choice where his time travel takes him ,so it must be some kind of Kismet. Their relationship ,purely platonic at this time, twists and turns along untill they finally meet when they are both in real-time and are adult. Their love, although encapsulated in this bizarre scenario is so believable that you naturally expect a happy ending. During a recent bout of insomnia I decided to read the next chapter of this romance and was surprised to find myself sobbing into its pages, never has a book moved me so. Henry has realised that he has never time traveled and met Claire as an old woman, he realises, and you would need to read the book to truly understand how likely this is, that during his travels he has died. He knows the year, which is some time off but is unable to tell Claire! I can't begin to tell you how unbelievably sad this part of the book is but it did leave me with a burning question, would I want to know when I Was going to die so I could prepare for my own demise or would I like to just slip away unexpectedly?
Oddly while at the hairdresser's today this subject came up. My hairdressers father had recently died from leukaemia and she was about to run the London marathon in his honour, this is going to be tough for the poor woman as she hadn't expected to be accepted on her first application and is now training like mad. Had he been ill for long? No she said, he had only been diagnosed about six weeks before and wished he hadn't known what he had.
On the other hand the mother of a close friend died last year of a heart attack, Carole had been fit and active, a non smoker and appeared to be in the best of health. Her family were devastated! So many things unsaid, so many gaps in their lives that Carole usually filled and they had not had time to consider the impact that her leaving them would have. But she would have hated a long slow death, so I suppose we should rejoice that she was spared that and remember her vitality and how she shaped the life that we still live in her memory.
In contrast, some people battle on with long illnesses for what seems like a lifetime. My sister in law Sue was diagnosed with a terminal tumour on her kidney, she was very brave and struggled on for many months. Unfortunately, or so it appeared to me, she was unable, even though she knew her time was short,to enjoy the remainder of her life as she was totally absorbed with looking for a cure, strange Australian herbs, visualisation, spiritual healing, hoping for not the impossible but the unlikely. Perhaps understandable as she had a young daughter who needed her, but very sad that her final days where so....that she could not have had more fun.
A good friend, Verinda, was cured of breast cancer, but I felt she was always waiting for its return. Unfortunately she was right and many years later it has returned. Verinda however seems relieved, I saw her recently and it was as if all her cares had fallen away, she looked so well and vibrant, full of life she seemed to have looked death in the eye and challenged it to spoil her fun. She will be missed, I hope I am as brave when my time comes.
Like many I have seen elderly parents fade away, I think welcoming an end of days. So many ways to leave, so many different paths and doorways, which one will be chosen for each of us? If you could choose , How would you like to go?

While frantically trying, with little success, to de-clutter I came across a verse I wrote nearly twenty years ago. I had thought it lost, it had been a long time since I had seen it so I shall share it here before I misplace it again.

Spring and the first buds bloom                                                     
Like the tender flutter in a mothers womb.
They gently unfurl their fronds and buds,
As a new life forms from its parents love.
Boldly they burst out, vibrant, bright,
That perfect child like springs new light.

Then summertime, so strong so sweet,
This new life now must find its feet.
As nature displays her fruits with such pride,
She feels not the seed of doubt hidden there inside.
The summers sun so warm and healing,
Like a balm to the wounds of the ripe fruits leaving.

Mellow Autumn creeps slowly around,
While the debris of life's labours are thrown to the ground.
Her naked arms, coldly hung by fog,
Where once she received such unquestioning love.
With blankets of dew and tears of rain,
How could such precious pleasure become such raw pain?

With quiet time for thought and rest,
Winters crisp season should be the best.
But frozen fingers of ice like jabbing needles,
Open the wound of hurt she feels.
Gently, a flutter, a tiny bird takes shelter in her barren boughs.
Winters glimmer of hope, a cry unheard,
Someone does still need her now.

Spring again, the grass will grow
Courting birds will sing, such thankful fellows.
The fruits of her fruit are born of her anew
Again life returns, once again the dew.
This timid sun warms away her doubt
That springs gentle pleasures will again be felt.