Putting Poultice on a Chicken
I’ve said this before, and I’m saying it again: my human is, in one word…quirky. It’s not a scary quirky, like she hears voices or runs naked around the farm calling on extinct Greek gods and goddesses. Her quirkiness is in her obsession with foods, healing, and the poultice.
She is obsessed with poultices.
Got an insect bite? Put a poultice on it. Got a splinter in your foot that won’t come out? Put a poultice on it. A sore paw, put poultice on it. A horse with sore feet, put poultice on it. When Peter had the tractor accident last fall, she practically bathed him in poultice. He kind of looked like something in a claymation movie.
Still, never did I expect to see her actually put a poultice on…
One morning, Peter told my human that one of the hens was limping. She followed him out to the chicken house, with me right behind her, to where the hens were outside pecking at their breakfast. He pointed to an Orpington hen who was noticeably hobbling.
We canines are not allowed into the chicken area without permission, so Thunderbear, Crockett, Buckaroo and I sat outside the fence.
Buckaroo wasted no time in playing the odds. “Any bets she’ll want to treat that leg?” he asked.
“It’ll be poultice,” Thunderbear said.
Crockett voted for another often-used healing salve: coconut oil.
Buckaroo opted for the manuka honey treatment.
I considered the options as I watched Peter pick the hen up and my human run her hands over the bird’s foot and leg. The hen was not thrilled to be held captive. I assessed the options — poultice, coconut oil, and manuka honey — none of which I thought she could apply to a squawking bird. I voted for her spray bottle of diluted comfrey oil.
“It’s an abscess,” she announced.
Peter looked at her quizzically.
“I’ll need to put a poultice on it,” she said.
Thunderbear licked his lips. “Time to pay up, gents.”
“Do you think she’ll use Vetwrap?” Crockett wondered.
My human went inside the house and came back with a jar of Traumera, but no Vetwrap. She scooped some out with her fingers, and as the hen struggled in Peter’s arms, she applied it to the injured foot and leg, all the while making hen-clucking noises.
“She sounds ridiculous,” Buckaroo whispered.
“At least she’s not crowing like the rooster,” Crockett said.
With the hen’s leg and foot fully slathered with poultice, Peter set down the squawking, irritated bird and off she hobbled.
“Now I’ve seen everything,” Buckaroo said.
The following morning, my human and Peter went out to the chicken house to check on the hen. We canines waited outside the enclosure. Once again, my human slathered that hen’s foot and leg with poultice, and wouldn’t you know it, when Peter set the hen down again, that chicken was walking better. By day three of the treatment, the hen was running around.
I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised. After all, I’ve lived with my human for ten years and have seen her mad-scientist experiments first hand, often as the test subject.
The moral of the story: if you have a variety of animals around, keep some poultice on hand because you never know when it may come in handy. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, yes… Traumera also works on tick bites. Just ask Peter.