May 15, 2015 - 2:34 PM
KELOWNA – There’s not much Dr. Steve Wilson of the Lakeshore Animal Clinic wouldn’t do for a sick pet. Even one that only cost $1.50.
Wilson has 50 hens and ten roosters living on his acreage in Kelowna. Many of them are so old they barely lay eggs and while most farmers would have them in a pot already, that's not how he does things.
“We get so much joy from our chickens,” he says. “They really are pets so we don’t eat them we let them live out their lives.”
One of his birds, Vanessa, is a four-year-old Sex-sal-link hen. When he noticed her behaving abnormally, he decided to pack her up and take her in to his animal clinic on Lakeshore Drive.
“She was uncomfortable and trying to push,” he says. “We could see that she was trying to pass an egg and was just really uncomfortable.”
He ordered X-rays of the bird and confirmed that she was egg-bound, a medical condition where the egg becomes stuck inside. It is potentially life threatening.
Few vets even bother learning how to help a sick or injured chicken because a new one costs less than $2 and most people eat them at around 18 months, let alone doing hundreds of dollars worth of medical procedures.
“That’s the first chicken we’ve had come into the clinic,” he says. “There are costs associated with going to the vet but I had the means to give her a bit of relief.”
After the X-ray, he gave Vanessa some pain medication and kept her under observation for the day. When he took her home that night, he did what few chicken owners would.
“I administered some lubricant and we warmed her up and it came out on its own,” he says. “Now she’s doing great.”
Vanessa is now back at home and Dr. Wilson says he wouldn’t hesitate to do it all over again.
“I just really like them,” he says. “They’re fun to see pecking around your yard and they’re quite friendly. They come running up to see you and they like to interact. And of course it’s a fresh egg for breakfast every morning.”
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