Update 11/10/09: Paco has moved outside with the flock again. We miss his cheerful presence in the house, but we do sleep better without the crowing at 3:30 am.
Update 10/23/09: Paco has finished his meds and is now spending his days outside with the rest of the flock. He still likes to come inside to sleep at night, however, so we have left his carrier set up in the living room for him. He walks in just as it is getting dark, has a good snooze, gets up to eat a few times during the night, and then heads out again in the morning.
Update 10/15/09: Paco is spending most of his time hanging out in the living room now. He has started eating on his own, and has several good crowing sessions each day. No, the bunnies don’t appreciate his vocal talents!
Paco has a vet appointment today. Fingers crossed that he is still on track to be back with the rest of the flock next Tues.
At Friendly Farms, there is a flock of about twenty feral chickens living in the area. When we moved in, they lived primarily at the neighbors. When the neighbors moved out and new folks moved in, the chickens didn’t appreciate the new dog and so they moved over to our side of the fence. This flock sleeps in a large ivy bush adjacent to the house and does a great job eradicating the snails and bugs they encounter. Our earwig population has taken a big dive with these birds on the job!
So, on Saturday, this guy comes up to our front door and lets us know he isn’t feeling so well. In fact he lay down in front of the steps and was just too weak to deal with us, the potential predators. So Lori & I sprang into action.
Do you know how difficult it is to find a chicken doctor on a Saturday afternoon? We called several locations in Monterey, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara counties. Saturday afternoon is not the best time to find a specialist in this field! Our good friend Mia came to the rescue with the suggestion to call East Lake Animal Clinic in Watsonville. Dr. Casper was on duty, and he quickly sized up the situation. Paco was given a thorough exam and given a hopeful prognosis. The poor guy is carrying around a lot of fluid in his lower air sac and needs R & R as well as antibiotics to set him straight.
For the next eight or so days, Paco is a house guest here at the farm. He is living in a large carrier in our living room. The bunnies have gotten used to his presence and he hasn’t caused much of a stir – yet (he did start crowing this morning). He is being fed through a feeding tube twice daily. Lori makes up a tasty mash of strained veggies mixed with Exact baby bird feed. He also gets his meds (Baytril) with the mix. Here you see him out for a quick stroll. He has been making one pass around the living room and then he goes back to sleep. Please send your good wishes for Paco’s speedy recovery. We’ll keep you posted on how it goes!