Over the last 5 weeks or so we have continued to add raw egg yolk into Ellie's bottles. The chickens where these eggs were coming from had been switched to soy and corn free feed 6 weeks prior, which seemed reasonable since I could not find information anywhere on how long the corn or soy would stay in the chicken's body. We have not given her anything else new because we have been waiting for the egg to adjust and for her to return to baseline, though we have increased some of her supplements a little bit. As we have waited, she has not gotten better, but instead she has gotten worse.
She started out with improved stool, showing proof that she needed the nutrients. But over time it has progressed through the stages slowly - looser stool, to diarrhea, to funky smell, to acidic burn her butt, to this week turning red and showing signs of blood. I was horrified. It has been a LONG TIME since we saw red poop.
God does work in some mysterious ways, because in the meantime our egg guy went missing and we have been looking to source out more eggs. Enter two local families who verified the need for soy and corn free feed from day one, and I then researched to write a post on allergens in meats for my website. We made the decision to have our own backyard chickens, which led me to a local farm that raises heritage chickens, soy and corn free. She has been an amazing resource and we pick up 5 chicks and a couple dozen fertile eggs tomorrow morning. This then created the need for feed, to which I contacted the supplier that was recommended by one of our favorite local farms. (Jubilee Farm) is growing our meat chickens. I asked the feed supplier my question of feed and how long it might stay in the chickens system, like I have asked about 5 MILLION other farmers who have known nothing and guessed anywhere from 2 weeks to 8 weeks. The result? She discussed with her nutritionist and used her own knowledge and experience to tell me that it takes an egg over 3 months to grow and mature, and that there is most likely no way to remove soy or corn feed from a chicken's muscle once fed it. They then pointed me towards the USDA organic chicken regulations for more information.
DOH! ok...so. ALL of that to say...did you see that long chain of connections that I was led through in order to get that little bit of information? If I had gotten it in the beginning, I am not sure we would even be working on our own backyard coop. And DUH....I did not even think of checking already established regulations. Sometimes the government can be a resource? Who would have guessed? ;)
So in summary, we were still feeding Ellie traces of soy and corn. We pulled the eggs and are restarting new ones today that are free of corn and soy for generations. And I will need to rewrite my resource article on the website because there is more information out there than I had previously found.
I just keep reminding myself that we are only four months in. It took us a month to wean her from her formula completely, and then get started on GAPS, leaving four months that we have been working on healing her. These set backs are minor, but a whole-heck-of-a-lot-of work!