Yesterday I was phoned by a well known rescue organisation to say they had 4 hens (actually 1 is a rooster, possibly 2 of them), and a goose. Would I mind taking them. I arrived to fetch them. The chickens had food, and there was a very small amount of water which would have been fine for the chicks. The goose was a different story. Her leg was injured, there was no food for her, and the water dish was too small and shallow for her to get her bill in.
I picked her up. She was very frightened, but seemed to like being in my arms. She was de hydrated, and her mouth was dry and smelly. This was distressing.
I got them all back to my home, and immedietly gave Miss Goosey a large bowl of water and some mushy food to sift through. She immedietly drank and ate a little. Her leg was clearly very sore.
It was late aftrenoon, and I felt her leg needed to be looked at sooner rather than later. I took her to mysister, a well known wildlife rehabilitator and bird expert.
Her leg was not dislocated or broken, but very painful, and it seems a recent injury. Probably through mishandling in capture and transportation earlier that day to welfare organisation. Miss Goosey was very relaxed with us, and very tired. We settled her on a towel on the floor with food and water for examination. She talked to us constantly.
My sister then suggested a warmish bath for Miss Goosey.
1. to help with rehydration
2. to relax her and warm her up
3. to allow her to get weight off sore leg
4. warmth of water to ease leg discomfort and bring down inflammation
5. to give her opportunity to clean up and boost spirits after hectic day
Nursing animals in the prescence of my sister with her compassion and vast experince is such a pleasure, and such an amazing growth opportunity. It was exactly what Miss Goosey needed. She stayed in for a good half hour preening, relaxing, getting water on her feathers, talking constantly, playing.
Her leg was defnitely a little less sore post bath, but she was tired.
We made a doughnut of towels for her to keep weight off leg, and she went to sleep. This is very valuable nursing for water birds.
I started getting sad and angry later in the evening. This was clearly a loved pet, handed over to a welfare organisation for care for whatever reason. In one day this organisation (who does do good work), managed to hurt her leg, dehydrate her, and deny her food. It would have taken one minute to fill a tub with water for her, and put some dog food mixed with warm water down for her. To handle her a little less roughly. It was not necessary for Miss Goosey to have such an unpleasant experience.
We now go about finding a good free range home for her with some other geese.
The 4 chickens are doing well, although the one has a big wound on neck – it looks quite grim, and seems to have some sort of fungus around it. A trip to our vet seems like the best option!