Vera was adopted in March 2020 and from day one had a respiratory condition. Medication and lots of fresh air helped and despite this initially easing, she got worse very quickly. One day David and Sarah, Vera’s proud keepers, found her in a really bad way, stretching her neck out and struggling for every single breath she took. She was taken to the vet for treatment and fearing the worst, they said goodbye to the sweet little hen that had touched their hearts in the short time Vera had been with them.
Several minutes later and one steroid injection administered, Vera emerged a transformed hen! In the journey to the vet, every wheezing breath was a struggle with Vera fighting for air to get into her constricted airways, but on the way back home she only did this a few times – the steroid had saved her life and made a massive difference to her breathing. The next few days she continued to improve, taking steroids daily and she’s still on these pills every second day to keep on top of this. A hen’s airways are tiny – around 1-2mm in diameter – and any scarring or inflammation can have a significant impact so to help loosen these passages Vera was held beside a steaming shower. After around two weeks Vera was a different hen – the wheezing had all but gone and she had a new zest for life.
“Without doubt, Vera is one of the most energetic, friendly and mischievous little hens that we’ve ever known. She’s always on the go – the first hen to leap out of their shed in the morning and one of the last to go in at night and every scratch she makes or step she takes is done at speed and with vigour!”
A nest box isn’t good enough for Vera. Every day she had her routine where she’ll wait for the gate to be opened and sprint up the path to the barn where she’ll then expect the door to be opened for her. She’ll navigate to and then leap into her large bin filled with straw where she’d then spend her time laying an egg before jumping out and getting on with her day. However, David and Sarah noticed that sometimes even though Vera was going to her usual nesting place, no egg was being laid, and this became more frequent. To prevent any internal laying problems, Vera was given a Suprelorin implant by their nearest hen-friendly vet to take her off-lay and even though this has stopped her laying behaviour, she’s still got a spark in her eye and this doesn’t stop her from enjoying herself.
She is everywhere! Whether it’s ‘helping’ with gardening, digging up veg beds, Vera will be busy all day long, following both David and Sarah around – happily spending her time doing her own thing close by them or in with the other hens when it suits her. In the beginning, she was in a smaller pen with a 1.5m tall fence that she soon worked out how to fly over and even today she’ll leap over obstacles that other hens wouldn’t even attempt. Vera’s a small hen compared to some of her flock mates but her feathers have recently grown back and she’s all set for whatever each day brings.
Vera has come from the brink, and thanks to a knowledgeable vet and a steroid injection with regular medication, she has the most amazing energy and enthusiasm and is now making the most of every minute of her free-range retirement.
This wonderful story from David highlights how amazing these hens can be once they are just given a chance. It shows that a transformation doesn’t have to be a physical one, it can also be something as simple as hen health care that can change a hen for the better!
Don’t forget to submit your hen’s transformation story to the form below!