Treating Various Injuries

I have tried various things with injuries and eye infections, usually involving treatment of that bird with either oral or topical antibiotics. As of 2006, I was introduced to BAM (Biologically Active Microorganism), which is made by Harry Arakaki of Organa Agricultural Hawaii, Inc. Now whatever kind of injury it is, I put BAM on it. If I bird has an eye infection, I put a drop of straight BAM right in the eye. Chickens get this yukky solid yellow build up in infected areas including the eye. It is a little gross but the yukky yellow has gotta come out. If the eye has been serious infected for some time, either the original injury or the infection may have destroyed the eye and the ultimately the eyeball is pretty much disintegrated and comes out when I am taking the yukky yellow stuff out. If I’m lucky, the yukky yellow stuff is built up around the eyeball but can be worked out if I massage the closed eye. I put some BAM in the eye, then check the eye and reclean and re-treat each day till the eye stays clean. In one hen, her eye was so badly infected that I thought for the longest time that the eyeball was destroyed. I used the clean and BAM method till the eye stayed clean each day. When I checked her a week or so later, to my surprise, the swelling had gone and she had an eyeball which was only slightly clouded. Update 2006, I now use the analgesic cotton swabs sold for use by humans for mouth pain. I use the swab to anesthetize the eye area so I can clean it more aggressively in the beginning. This makes the bird more comfortable and calm while I am working on it and allows me to make a lot faster progress in removing the crud that is impeding the healing. Before I used the swabs, I had one bird that I worked on for 6 weeks. I supposed that perhaps his eyeballs were destroyed but finally I cleared away the material and found the eyeballs intact on both sides. His eyes are free of infection now, the eyes look clear and uncloudy, and the pupils adjust to light levels, but the bird acts as though it can’t see.

Before I had BAM…. Muffin acquired a injury from other chickens picking her feathers from her back. Before I clued into what was happening, the sore developed into an ugly, raised inflamed area bigger about 1-1/4″ in diameter. I scraped some granular material out of it but everything I did seemed to be making the wound larger. There was no foul material in there, but it was obviously not healing well. I put Muffin on twice daily Baytril injections, and started warm compressing the sore. The sore did not seem to improve, and I wondered if it was getting uglier. Finally, I decided that it was time for experimentation. I started applying a comfrey leaf poultice on Muffin’s sore twice daily. I microwave the comfrey leaf in a little water for about 40 seconds. Then I take the warm leaf and squish is over the sore so juice goes down into the sore. Then I applied Farnum’s Tri-Care Horse Ointment over the top of the comfrey leaf to glue it in place. I also switched to Agricmycin in Muffin’s water. The wound gradually shrank in size but I was not able to fully resolve the problem and eventually Muffin succumbed. Today, I would use BAM to irrigate the wound. Now if I see that hens are picking the feathers off another hen’s back, I make a duct tape cover over the bare back to protect her and try to relocate her to a cage where the others don’t pick her feathers.

One thing that they warn about with comfrey is to be careful with deep injuries that the top layers do not heal over an unhealed bottom layer.

With the dear little General, his wife, Florence, literally hen-pecked his legs. She pecked at his joints, particularly, his hocks and ankles. It took me a day or so to figure out what was going on. Some days after I separated them, little General began to hold up his right leg. I examined it and was dismayed to find that I could see bone on his hocks. I now wrap the injury in a microwaved comfrey leaf and cover this with an eleastic adhesive bandage. The wound did recover and little General regained the use of his leg. If I were doing this now (2006), I would have treated the wound with BAM.