Our compost bins are built out of discarded pallets that were picked up at the landfill. These are constructed of thin, wooden slats that are unsanded and rough in texture. Their design allows excellent airflow which promotes quicker composting of raw materials and their price just can't be beat! These pallets are also used in our hay sheds, feed stalls and storage areas. Repurposing of materials plays a large role in our efforts to improve sustainability and reduce waste.
Our Silver Laced Wyandotte hens are stunning with their black and white plumage. They came to our flock as part of the annual 4-H Poultry Chain project. They are spunky, hardy and incredibly self-reliant. Being rather aloof in nature, they prefer to spend their days doing their own thing which frequently involves digging in the compost piles. One of these beauties sustained a nasty injury while doing just that.
A couple of weeks later, we noticed she had developed some swelling in that foot. We caught her again and found a large, black scab on the underside of her footpad. We washed the foot with vinegar water and then soaked it in salt water to loosen the scab and disinfect the area. Using a clean scalpel, we removed the scab and a large, hard mass which left a gaping hole behind.
This is known as bumblefoot and is a rather common condition in poultry of all kinds. It is most often caused by an injury to the foot where bacteria from the soil (usually staph) enters the wound and causes infection. Symptoms include swelling, limping and even death if left untreated.
The most common method of treatment involves oral antibiotics and cleansing of the wound using iodine and antibiotic creams. The eggs are then considered unsafe for human consumption and are discarded for a period of time. If the bird is of a meat variety, drug withdrawal periods must be followed in an effort to allow the meds sufficient time to clear the animals system.
We do NOT use antibiotics in the treatment of our animals as we believe their use to be detrimental to the animal's health. This hen had a serious infection and she despised being handled. What we were to do?
Here is our completely natural treatment plan:
1. The foot was washed then soaked in warm salt water to clease the area and disinfect the wound.
2. The clean wound was then packed with slippery elm powder and covered with gauze.
3. Vetwrap was used to hold this in place.while keeping it dry and clean. The bird was then returned to the flock.
4. Extra garlic and ACV was then added to the water supply to naturally boost the immune system's response.
5. Packing was removed and the procedure was repeated every 48 hrs until healing was achieved.
The hen healed completely. This method of treatment helped her body heal naturally, with no medications, no side effects, no withdrawal periods, no chemical residues, with no additional stress and her immune system became stronger.
This is the goal of using herbal treatments: WORK WITH THE BODY TO HELP IT HEAL ITSELF.
More information on the products we used:
Salt, sodium chloride, is an effective disinfectant. When dissolved in water, it becomes a completely natural sanitizer. It is commonly used in swimming pools in place of traditional chlorine. We use non-iodized, kosher salt with no additives and sea salt.
Slippery elm is the powdered, inner bark from the ULMACEAE species of plant. It is one of the most valuable medicines in the herbal world and was an important plant to both the American Indians and the Pioneers. As a poultice, it is one of the greatest remedies for healing abscesses, boils, and soothing injured or inflamed areas. It naturally provides speedy healing and strengthening of tissues. For more information on this amazing herbal medicine and its many uses, please refer to the book 'School of Natural Healing' written by Dr. John R. Christopher. The book is a classic and one of our most used resources.
THE FOLLOWING PICTURES PORTRAY A GRAPHIC VISION OF THE NATURE OF THIS CONDITION. USE CAUTION WHEN VIEWING.