Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Chicken Tales

Spring is finally coming to Calamity Acres, I'm sure of it. 

I am greeted by birdsong every morning when I step aside, though 
the mornings are still crisp and chilly. 

By afternoon, I change from the Carhartt to my lighter jean jacket. 

I am getting more done around the place, though still plagued with the med-related muscle weakness. 

Monday, I had to make a run to Leavenworth to pick up some 
things I had had to have altered.  

Look what I saw as I started back through the countryside!  My first 
vulture of the year, you know I love them.  

I got home and actually saw another above Calamity Acres that afternoon. 

They're baaaacccckkkk! 

Lilly Ann has torn her ACL slightly, and went to the vet yesterday. 
She is NOT a surgical candidate at her age, so we are medicating and keeping her 
quiet.  So far, she is doing well.  

That's the cat/raccoon bowl, she was guarding it Sunday night. 

Pretty demure looking, huh?  She has to be muzzled tightly at the vet, 
she will not tolerate anyone to do anything to her, and that included me and Keith. 

Raccoon-proofing, every night. 
The bird seed is in that can for the wild birds.  
It's expensive, and one night when it rained, the coons knocked the lid off. 

This is one of my two partridge (color) cochins. 
She will be a year old in May, she has only just started laying. 
She is, as of this morning, on four eggs.  Gone broody, not even a year old. 

These noises are the noises she will make to the babies when they are born.... she is still getting up in the morning to run out, go to the bathroom, and eat and drink.  As the days wear on, she will stop doing that.  IF she does, indeed, stay on the eggs, I'll have to move her to the feed room where the other hens cannot bother her.  

There are the eggs this morning, hidden behind and under the next box.  Two are hers, the brown, and two are another hen's. 

This is a sick chicken, and here let me make some comments that are not 
going to make me popular with the chicken community on Instagram. 

This is a sick hen.  See the hunched appearance, the closed eyes... 
in fact, I checked her for a crop impaction,  but it did not seem as if she had one. 
I gave her a 50/50 chance of making it through the day on Monday. 

This was yesterday, she was still up... her crop area looks kind of big to me, but 
does not feel hard.  Her eyes are open, and she was walking around, but mainly stood RIGHT UNDER the warming lamp, a brooder light. 

 Last night. 
The lowest roost. 

I honestly did not think she would make it through the night.  Sometimes chickens just die.  They are remarkable at hiding illness, it's to prevent them being preyed upon. 

This was her and a friend this morning as I started cleaning the henhouse. 

However, I stopped after fifteen minutes, I had the hens who were trying to lay in a tizzy fit. 

Okay, here's what I have to say about the hens. 

I have some upper respiratory in this flock, these all came from the Ag Hall, and 
they had it there.  I had it in my old flock, too. 
I guess if I was really being STRICT, I would cull (kill) everyone who "barked". (the sound they make when they are coughing) I'm not. 

My plan is to finish cleaning the hen house this afternoon, and then to clean the water fountain thoroughly, and add antibiotics to their water to help them get over this. 
I think the hot/cold weather changes are exacerbating it. 

I also found this this morning, and this DID dismay me. 
I am going to catch and soak her after I go to a meeting early this afternoon. 
I have NO idea what's going on here, and don't like it.  I think the antibiotics are 
going to help a bunch of birds. 

The majority of the flock and Ferdinand, the rooster, are out all over the place every day, ranging down into the pasture and all over the yard.  It's a delight to see them. 

(taken through the front window) 

I see a lot of first time chicken and duck owners bringing their birds in the house.  They snuggle the birds, and I always wonder... do they wash their hands?  You just never know 
what you are bringing in the house, and I try to wash my hands without getting unduly 
upset about zoonotic disease.  I don't think I would ever keep any in the house, 
at least not this house, where there is no basement or mud room. 

Darn raccoons. 

If you enlargen this, you will see perfect possum footprints on the right, I 
found these on the deck this morning. 

Our beautiful sunrise this morning. 

God is good.