So I came home mid day yesterday to meet my friend H. She is trained as a vet tech and she met me to discuss the duck foot issue. The duck was no better. After a thorough exam, she found a thorn in the joint above the foot. The joint was swollen and warm. The diagnosis, joint infection. The remedy, 1/2 ml of Tylosin (an antibiotic safe for birds) twice a day. Lots of water and treats, special time in the garden doing things she likes and warm compresses twice a day. I love that part of the treatment plan includes "special time". The good news is that it isn't a slipped tendon, which could have been REALLY bad news. The duck, I am pretty sure now that it is Louisa, just got her second dose of antibiotics. No change as of yet, but hopefully we will see the swelling go down soon. Have you ever tried to give antibiotics to a duck? No? Apparently neither has anyone else as there is very little about the logistics of getting liquid into a duck. With cats, you can brave teeth and claws and pry the mouth open, or at least you can start there. Or better yet, bury a pill in a treat. With ducks, the lower bill fits snugly inside the upper bill. I tried Open Sesame, but that didn't work. The other complicating factor is that you don't want to shoot liquid into the mouth b/c it can get into the lungs, which is very bad indeed. Birds don't do well with liquid in their lungs. Even antibiotics. So, although I am relieved to have some idea what is going on (and eternally completely and totally grateful to H for coming to our rescue), it is hardly the end of the anxiety. I did manage to dose this morning on my own, and remarkably, the duck doesn't seem to hold a grudge. I am putting the liquid in her mouth at the front of the bill so that she can swallow it. I think that is the right thing to do, though I am still concerned I might get the liquid down the lungs. And, I am afraid that too much time has passed and getting her to use the leg again is going to be difficult. Hoping that when she feels better she will give it a try again. We may still need the physical therapist.
In other news, I put my spring seeds in this week. Broccoli raab, mustard, lettuce, spinach, beets, chard, kale, turnips and parsley. I may need to water today. It has been so sunny and the weather SO delightful. Truly, it is the perfect time to be in C'ville. The flowers are making up for lost time and blooming without regard to standard timing. We have the earliest of crocuses still blooming with the daffodils.
The bees are flying. They don't seem to be taking any of the syrup I have left for them though. This is an independent lot, I must say. I think I may need to re-queen this fall ... That is going to take some research and a little hand holding I am sure. Have you ever tried to find the queen
We have a large project of rock moving happening this weekend, so I expect I will be pretty much incapacitated for the majority of next week. Oof. The SB has been moving lots of things around to get ready for the installation of some gabion walls that are coming via "the network". Seems like we find salamanders under just about everything. Which is nice. I don't know where they have been hiding in the last years of drought, but we have seen more in the last 6 months than we have in the previous 5 years. We loves us some salamanders here at the Urban Farm. The first two on this page is mostly what we see....
This time of year, especially, I think of the goats. I think of what an excellent thing it would be to have a dairy goat. I don't know that it will ever happen, but I dream on. Right now, I think that chickens might be the next step. The ducks don't do that well with kitchen scraps, and it would be nice to pass those along to some chickens. Though I guess we could get into some worms. They are definitely not as cute as some exotic chickens though. I have entered a couple of drawings for free chicken coops. I figure, if I win, it will be A Sign. I don't know what we will do with more bird poop though. Truly, a garden can hold only so much... Any interest in a load of poopy straw, just email me.