Thursday, December 27, 2012

Dealing With Chicken Injuries

My poor Wyandotte was attacked by two little dogs.  They ripped out her tail feathers and as you can see her neck feathers.  It was really raw from them ripping them out in chunks.

To avoid terrible stress on my chicken I isolated her from the flock in a cat carrier.  I put her in a quiet, draft free place and left her there undisturbed with water, checking her twice daily to be sure she was drinking and her wound was clean.

I took her from the flock because frequently the other chickens will pick on an injured chicken.

She seemed OK, but did not eat during the  two days of isolation.  YOu may need to keep your hen apart for longer, but I felt she actually wanted the comfort and familiarity of her pen.  Before returning her I cleaned the wounds with water and a clean towel.

I purchased a can of spray wound disinfectant with aloe.  The stream on it was powerful enough to shoot 12+".  This was really handy in the pen in the days that followed as she really didn't want anyone near her.  I could spray the would without having to restrain her very much.  I did watch her to make sure she was eating and not being picked on.  I sprayed the wound twice daily with the disinfectant.

Over the next few weeks she healed and began getting around as usual.  I am sad to say that not many of the feathers have grown back.  This is particularly disappointing as she was my prettiest hen.  As a matter of fact, I used to pick her up and tell her how I loved her neck feathers!

Tips for hurt hens:

  • Clean wound carefully
  • Add disinfectant spray or polysporin/bag balm
  • Isolate from hens until she is strong enough to rejoin hens
  • Keep her in clean environment
  • Leave her alone! (she really is stressed by you touching her)
  • Make sure she has access to water and food
  • Once back with her pen mates, make sure they don't pick on her
  • Retreat open wounds daily
  • Let nature heal her

Friday, December 7, 2012

Baked Delicata

Delicata is a wonderful squash that not many folks are familiar with. It is truly superb in that it is lightly sweet, unlike butternut.  Because of this you can make it savory or sweet.

To bake delicate simply split in half and seed, just like you see at the left.  Rub the flesh of the squash with olive or coconut oil.  Add desired spices, place flesh side down in baking dish, and bake at 375 until fork tender (about 45 minutes).

Possible spice rubs:

1 ts curry, 1/2 ts salt, 1/8 ts cayenne

sprinkle with salt and pepper

salt and cumin are one of my favorite

1/2 ts salt, 1/8 ts cayenne, 1 tbs brown sugar

1/2 ts garlic powder. 1/2 ts onion powder, salt and pepper

sprinkle with salt and brown sugar

1/2 ts ground mustard, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/8 ts garlic powder, 1/8 pepper, sprinkle with salt

Get creative.  Delicata will lend itself to whatever you spice it with.  Remove it from the oven, cut into 3 pieces and serve with skin.  The flesh should come out easily with a fork so nothing special is needed.  What a wonderful alternative to potatoes!