The Story So Far
At 7:45am on Tuesday morning, a fox entered our garden and killed Rosemary, our Light Sussex Hen. Bluebell (pictured) was also attacked but mercifully managed to escape despite losing a great many feathers.
Why I Decided To Take Bluebell To The Vets
Having carefully observed Bluebell for 48 hours I was concerned by her general lethargy, feathers constantly plumped up and poor food and water intake. Having sought the counsel of my local hen experts, it was decided that Bluebell’s best chance of survival was a course of antibiotics.
After a thorough examination by the vet, it became obvious that poor Bluebell was far more critically injured than I’d first anticipated. The wound to her back where the fox had grabbed her was large and bloody, with signs of infection, and was only apparent after her feathers were expertly drawn back by the vet. Unfortunately, Bluebell hadn’t allowed me to examine her like this, otherwise I would have sought medical attention sooner. The vet administered a shot of antibiotics, followed by a strong painkiller, and I now have to inject her night and day for the next five days. Although she had appeared to eat and drink, she has not consumed nearly enough and the next 48 hours are critical.
My husband is still coming to terms with the fact that I took the hen to the vets, but having nursed this hen back to health in January, I’m not about to give up on her now! Just in case you’re wondering my vet’s bill came to £40!
Tonight, the swat team are out in the neighbouring paddock flushing out the foxes.
Please keep your fingers crossed for Bluebell.
A Happy Ending
I’m delighted to report, a month later, Bluebell has made a full recovery and so far the fox has not come back for my other hens. After the initial attack, my husband reinforced our pen and I kept my hens in their coup and run for several days. Due to the time of year I now only release the girls into our garden when the dog and I are present. Luckily due to the weather and my enthusiasm for gardening this is quite alot!
No Eggs from Bluebell for a month
Unfortunately, because the antibiotics used are not approved by the Health Standards Agency we haven’t been able to eat Bluebell’s eggs for a month, while the medication works it way through her system. I’m now counting down the days until we can do so!