About 6 weeks ago a dramatic event took place in the hen’s Coop.
We heard all our birds inside getting scared and flying around crazily, so we went to look out the window and all we could see were the hens quietly grouped together outside, nothing else. Then 5 or 10 minutes later it happened again! So we looked outside again and yet could not see anything wrong, but having doubts and wanting to know if everything was okay, Patrick went outside.
All the hens were quietly in a corner outside not moving, but hearing a noise inside the Coop Patrick went inside to look. He heard a whining below the sheet behind the open door (so that not too much cold air gets in!), after catching Muguette (the hen) without really detailing her conditions, he realized there a was a Red Tail Hawk prisoner inside and trying to get out!
After bringing Muguette to Claudine he went back to catch and release the hawk, which was a young one. That probably explains his mistake of getting prisoner in the Coop instead of flying away with her!
After looking at her, Claudine was horrified at the sight of the poor little bantam Hen’s condition. She was open on a circumference as large as a hand and was having a lot of her chest eaten alive by the hawk! It was obvious that without being at least seen and sutured by a vet she would not make it to the next day.
Of course it was on a Sunday and our regular vet was closed and unreachable! After many phone calls and refusal of opened vet’s clinics (for reason that they don’t see farm animals!!) we finally had the great luck to reach one vet in Vermont that accepted us to come to the clinic to see our hen.
After seeing her, the doctor could not say if she was going to survive as the opening was so large and a lot of her chest muscles had been eaten out, but he was willing to try. So he spent about an hour cleaning her and suturing her as well as he possibly could. We went home with our little precious bundle wrapped in a blanket, praying for her recovery.
Muguette slowly recovered from her trauma. She was in shock for some time with only a small appetite, but by 2 weeks, she looked okay and we went back to the clinic to have the stitches removed.
Alas we discovered over there that she had developed an infection inside and we could not take off the stitches. Consequently the doctor had to clean her,removing a lot of puss inside and enlarge the spot where the infection was. So we went back home with the mission of having to flush, scrap the puss and cover the area with some type of unguent. Of course she had to go back on the antibiotic for 2 weeks.
We were devastated but still optimistic and were determined to fight against the infection and clearing of all these dead tissues!
After 4 weeks of intense cleaning and applying the right unguent in her opening, we seemed to have overcome the infection and Muguette’s appetite and vitality was back to almost normal. Unfortunately the opening (though clean) is not closing because of the size and the slow granulation process in birds. As we cannot leave it open like that forever, we are going to have to have a second surgery to cut and try to join the sides of the skin around the open wound.
We are very hopefull for her life because Muguette has shown such incredible courage and patience until now and she has developed a very strong connection with both of us. She is a remarkable and sweet young hen and it would be disastrous if we could not do the surgery because of missing funds. Which is what we are fighting for, right now!
Please consider making a donation to help pay for Mugette’s surgery and after-care costs.
Claudine & Patrick Veistroffer,
Cloa’s Ark Animal Sanctuary