True stories of a small flock of remarkable individuals -- and other critters.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


I didn’t think about Dorrie’s wandering because the ladies do like to scratch in those leaves at the shady edge of the yard.

But a few hours later, back at the coop, I found Dorrie standing hunched in the corner.  She was barely awake, and she was drooling.    
This was especially odd.

It didn’t take long for me to guess what was wrong.  
My wild foxgloves were in glorious bloom.   
Dorrie must have eaten some of this highly toxic plant.

I left her in the care of her flock while I went to do a bit of quick research.  Back in the kitchen I Googled madly. I found some good info.  
It was interesting that the human symptoms of foxglove poisoning matched Dorrie’s symptoms.  Perhaps the treatment would be the same as well?   
I contacted some Facebook chicken-fanatic friends for advice.

Activated Charcoal was the consensus -- the same treatment as for humans.  Of course I didn’t have any activated charcoal lying around. I didn’t even know what it was, and by that time it was way too late at night to hop into the car and go hunting for it.

In desperation I brought Dorrie into the house and fed her a watery swill of ground-up charcoal from my fireplace.   I had no problem getting it down her throat as she was virtually catatonic.   

I put her to bed in the kitchen and hoped for the best.

The next morning Dorrie was no better.  The plain charcoal had had no effect.  I needed to find activated charcoal, quick.

My dear friend Beth, who normally sleeps in on Saturdays, actually answered her phone when I called at 7am, god-bless-her.   And, yes, as a matter of fact, she did have a packet of activated charcoal. 

I fetched the precious remedy from Beth, brought it back and mixed up the potion.

I squeezed about three tablespoons of the stuff into Dorrie.  
That seemed like a good amount to me.

We took a quick little selfie together,
and then I returned her to the coop.  

The flock gathered around Dorrie where she stood hunched, drowsy and drooling.
Now all we could do was wait.
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 
But we didn’t wait long!

In only three hours, Dorrie was honest-to-goodness back from the dead, flitting around with the flock like nothing had ever happened!

Don’t you just love a miraculously happy ending? 

I let the girls out for some celebratory free-ranging.
This time, we stayed on the right side of the yard.  Plenty of weeds, none of them poisonous.
 .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
And now I’m at the kitchen table eyeing this precious little packet of activated charcoal, this magical elixir…
Maybe I’ll sprinkle some on my toast. 
I wonder how it would taste in my coffee…..


  1. Glad Dorrie is ok! I love the selfie - she looks so cute...even if she is drunk on foxglove.

  2. This is the kind of Action Adventure story I like... one with a happy ending!

  3. Our little piglet got into some slug bait and I credit activated charcoal with saving his life too. Good stuff to have around!

  4. OMG, how scary. I supposed I need to add some activated charcoal to my chicken first aid kit.

  5. Just in case you need it again, activated charcoal is used in fish tank filters - so you'll easily be able to find it a pet/fish stores. The other quick place to find it is in drinking water filters. If you have one of those Brita water pitchers, you could steal its filter and crack it open - there will be activated charcoal inside.

    1. Maggie, that's so good to know. I called the 24-hour supermarket and asked if they had activated charcoal. The told me they didn't. Now I know I can always pick it up in a Brita filter there!

    2. Maggie,
      That is a wonderful tip to tuck away! I have a Brita water pitcher, of course.

  6. So glad you both survived this.

  7. Yayyy Dorrie. Lauren I keep activated charcoal in my cabinet at all times. You saved one of your Chicks Again... Great to see your active Blog Again. Way to go.

  8. Laurie RettingerJune 24, 2015 at 6:45 PM

    Actually, Nature's Way makes an activated charcoal capsule and I've always been able to find it at our local CVS or Walgreens - white bottle with a green cap on top. Wouldn't be without it for tummy aches that might be food related, and it's very easy to take it this way! So happy to hear your sweet girl recovered!!

  9. Thank goodness, I've grown rather attached to her. Glad you are back!!

  10. A happy ending! Yay, Dorrie! <3

  11. Oh my goodness! So pleased she recovered xx

  12. Always excited to see a post from you and now one with a happy ending and very good advice too. What a win, win, win event. Thank you.

  13. In a pinch, epsom salts also detoxifies. I used it years ago when Buffy got into the vetch. Glad to hear that Dorrie recovered!

  14. I am so excited to learn about activated charcoal... I had no idea. Your blogs are fun to read AND they are making me a smarter and better chicken momma. Love to you and all your flock <3

  15. Great post with a happy ending. I actually think your fireplace ash would have worked, but she probably would have needed a far greater amount. Great suggestions also about the Brita water filters having it - also coffee machine filters have it in them too. In a pinch blackstrap molasses is also a detoxifier and can help flush toxins. Good quick thinking on your part Lauren!

  16. More Posts Please. Reading about your Flock goes great with morning coffee. Your passion is INSPIRING! Thank You

  17. Whew! Glad that she is doing well and thanks for the health care that Dorrie provided for all of us chicken lovers!

  18. Love this!!! Love the pictures!! LOVE the happy ending or beginning.........just love it! 👍 😍

  19. So glad that Dorrie is okay and that she was able to hang in there until you could get the activated charcoal from your friend! A lesson for us never know when you will need some activated charcoal!! :-)

  20. You can brush your teeth with it for very white teeth, believe it or not!! Glad your baby is ok!

  21. Another tip; in a pinch, you can use the burnt scrapings of burnt toast. The charred bits can also absorb toxins. So glad your Chickey Baby is OK!

  22. So good to hear from you again and to have a happy ending. Good to know about activated charcoal too.

  23. Hurray!!! Dorrie came back from the dead!!! *giggle* So glad she made it through this, bless her heart. No more foxgloves for you, girl.

  24. Lauren....Great story. I put activated charcoal on my shopping list. I guess it's something we all might need someday for ourselves or our pets. Who Knew?
    Thanks....xo, Rosemary

  25. What a delightful blog. I love chickens! ....Well I've never had any but like them in a graphic way. Met Lisa G. today with my favorite Chicken necklace on...of course your name and blog came up! Sweet story

  26. this was a such a fabulous broccoli yoghurt and its recipe is really simple i have to save this page for making this recipe. thanks. online food delivery restaurant

  27. I like your blog, chicken, drawing, mayhem, broodiness, oh my

  28. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


  29. Hi,
    Very nice post, impressive. its quite different from other posts. Thanks for sharing.
    Bangla Choti

  30. I just discovered your posts, and they are beautiful. Thank you.

  31. I am very much happy to share to every viewers that is reading this,I want to inform the whole public of how I got help for my herpes, I wanted this since 6 months ago, I have also taken treatment from some doctor,few weeks back I came on the net to see if I will be able to get any information as to cure my herpes, on my search I saw various testimony of people who was helped by a great man called Dr Akhigbe and without any hesitation, I contacted him, I wrote to him and and he guided me, I asked him for solutions and he started the remedies for me and indeed 3 weeks after I started using the medicine, I was completely happy as it worked for me.I went to the hospital for check up and indeed I was declared negative from my disease, and I also waited again for two weeks and went back to another hospital for check up to be fully sure and to my great surprise I was still declared negative, and I decided to share this great opportunity to those people out there fighting this sickness, You can contact him now for your medicine to cure your diseases, contact his Email; or Whatsapp +2348142454860. website.

    Dr Akhigbe also cure diseases like..
    Chronic Disease
    External infection
    Nausea, Vomiting or Diarrhea
    Heart Disease
    Kidney Disease
    Eating Disorder
    Back Pain. etc
    contact him for your solution.

  32. Useful article, thank you for sharing the article!!!

    Website: chia sẻ những câu nói mỉa mai người khác hay stt một mình vẫn ổn và giải thích hiện tượng chim sẻ bay vào nhà là điềm gì.

  33. This is the kind of Action Adventure story I like... one with a happy ending !

  34. I'm figuring December, January and February... by March I'm usually mentally done with Winter and will break out some Spring-y stuff whether Mother Nature cooperates or not. get you pussychicken.

  35. Good-day viewers that is reading this article, i want to share to the world how this great man save me from HERPES VIRUS 1/2 3years back i was battling with this terrible and disastrous disease which was so detesting,well on my aid of looking for solution all my effort conceived nothing, I was devastated but one day out of great enthusiasm i saw this intrigue testimonies about Dr Itohan so afterwards i contacted Dr Itohan on his emails: (greatcureman@gmail com) I explained myself to him and i obeyed all his instruction without protesting any further he assured me that all will be fine and that was it,i was totally cure when i used the herbal medicine that was sent to me,Thank so much sir Dr Itohan for your help, Dr Itohan also cures several diseases such as EBV,VAGINITIS, LOW SPERM COUNT, ALL KIND OF STDS, HIV AIDS, HEPATITIS B & C, DIABETES,CANCERS  And many more diseases, incase you are going through this same infections don't hesitate to contact him right  now and get cured.He's a good man and can also advice you on how to handle your marital issues thanks
    reach his mobile or  whatsapp Him on +2348152855846