Cheeks is making a comeback. I got her antibiotics and baby aspirin last week and started the daily regime of shoving them down her beak.
I was hoping I wouldn’t have to force feed her, so I tried everything to entice her to eat on her own, hoping her appetite would improve when the infection in her foot was controlled – kale, spinach, quinoa, beef fat, oatmeal, rice, coconut oil, raw egg, cooked almonds, cheese, cream – all things a well chicken would go crazy over. Rather surprisingly, the only thing she would eat on her own was roasted unsalted sunflower seeds (and later, pie crust).
Force feeding it was, unfortunately. I whipped up a blend of oatmeal, raw egg, and fruit juice. I thus serendipitously nailed the recipe for replica vomit. Should you ever need such a thing, you’re welcome.
For a couple of days, I held her on my lap morning and night, her head in one hand, forcing her beak open like a baby bird, and squirted in the mock vomit. She’d cough, sneeze, struggle, and shake her head, spraying me with it with every move, but it got in her. Then I’d hold her and coax her to drink water, and offer some sunflower seeds. I’d hold her some more and we’d birdwatch and I’d work some with her on my lap. That’s how we discovered that she’d also enthusiastically eat pie crust. Not the pie (pumpkin)- just the crust.
The force feeding seems to have worked, though, as her energy and attitude are up.
You can see her amputated middle toe.
I took to setting her on top of a Rubbermaid where she could see outside for bit after breakfast (while I wiped down myself and surroundings and cleaned her box). She seemed pleased, ate sunflower seeds off the windowsill, and yesterday stood for quite a while on one foot giving herself a good going over, combing all her feathers. She’s grown back in well after molting. When she seemed tired I put her back in her banana box where she had a long nap and she was lively again around lunch time. She was also energetically scritching around in her box last night, and ate a tiny bit of chicken feed – a promising development.
I really hope that force feeding is soon over.