October 6, 2012

An E-collar on a chicken?

Our new adventure as a family is owning chickens. I have always wanted chickens. The benefits are numerous! Take away the obvious, fresh, organic eggs,  chickens provide so much more. They are natural pest eradicators,  make great compost for the garden, and make for great entertainment.
But what happens when your chicken friends get sick?

Never in a thousand years did imagine I would be spending hours scouring the web, reading books, asking other chicken owners about what was wrong with my chicken. There is a ton of information out there regarding chicken health. My conclusion to our problem was I needed to stop my chicken from scratching and wiping her eye. This is easier said then done.
 Immediately I thought of using an E-collar. An E-collar is short for an Elizabethan collar. Taken from Queen Elizabeth's use of wide, circular collars on her dresses. Veterinarians use these as a deterrent when animals have surgery, or a wound. The collar or "cone" is applied around the neck just like a regular collar. It essentially stops the animal's access to the site for healing purposes.

Here is where I came into a problem. Our chicken is only 8 weeks old. The neck area of our young lady is about the same size of diameter as my middle finger give or take. After calling every pet store, feed store, and vet's office in Toledo, I could not find a collar small enough. My industrious wheels started turning. I could make it! My first attempt was to use a Dixie cup. However, our girl was not having it. It blocked too much of her eyesight. Back to the drawing board...

Finally, I came up with one that worked for both of us. I used a lid to one of our food storage containers. For some reason there is always a lid floating around in my cupboard with out a its long lost container. All I used was the lid, scissors and tape. Voila! An E-collar for a chicken.

Scissors, Lid, Scotch tape

Draw a circle on the lid. I used another lid as a template. Then cut out circle.

Once you cut out the circle from your template, you will cut a straight line from the edge into the middle. There you will cut a smaller circle to fit your chicken's neck. Try to make your cuts as smooth as possible so that there are no jagged edges. I then taped around the edges just in case. Once this is done, put the collar on the chicken's neck. Make sure the fit is snug, but not too tight. Tape the straight edges closed.

Luna with her E-collar on!

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