Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hen Gleat

What is it, you ask?

I didn't know either, though I had a suspicion.  Cheyenne, one of the readers of this blog, suggested that is what was happening to Nanny.  I got a good picture of the front of her tonight when I got home.  No, she doesn't spend all her time in the rafters, but I was sad to see her frontside:
She looks worse than last night.  Hen "gleet", as I looked it up, is a large systemic infection that is incurable and eventually kills the hen.  Cheyenne suggested smelling her vent and nostrils, but she was up on the roost before I could get in the henhouse tonight.  Keith got home at mid-afternoon and checked the birds, finding starlings in the henhouse again despite the warmer temps.  I have worried about the spread of infection because of them, and the sodden bedding that I just changed two weeks ago. 
I suspect we are losing Nanny.
This one is going, too:

Dovey and her sister Rosewitha have raised many a fine chick for me, they were the best of mothers.  Rosewitha is still roosting in the rafters, but Dovey has lost almost all her toes.  I have found her twice this week in the dark corner between the ramp to the pophole and the wall.  Keith and I talked about it this evening, and it's the circle of life... they are both five, and we suspect their life lines have run out.  They won't be put down unless they are suffering, though.  I'll really hate to see them go, we have had Nanny since the get-go.
I found this in the yard this morning:

I was very sorry to see it, too, a red-winged blackbird.  They are the harbingers of spring for us.
I suspect Lilly, she can catch them out of the sky, we are not kidding you.  There was a junco dead on the side deck, as well.

Last night, little Josie snuck out the door every time I let the dogs in and out.  I spent the evening getting her back in.  We are so afraid to let her out because of Gwen's death.  I noticed when I got in bed with the pugs that Josie, who usually sleeps with us, was not at my feet.  In the middle of the night when I got up to let Hannah out, Josie ran in the door.
I've waited a week too late.... she appears to be in heat, and got out tonight for 30 minutes.  When I got her back in, she began pacing, and is still doing so.  She is in the kitchen by the door, walking back and forth and crying.  Josie rarely makes noise, her meow is the quietest I've ever heard, but I hear it tonight. We'll try to get her to Dr. Tom Friday to do what we should have done a month ago.


  1. Best of luck with your animals. LOL Mary G.

  2. This is the down side of farming and animals. It is sad when you lose them.

  3. Hi Mary Ann, Sorry to be a harbinger of doom!
    Before I was a blogger, my wife and I, ran a successful Poultry Business, which we sold just over a year ago.
    Anyway, may I suggest the following. By smelling the nostrils of the healthy looking birds, that will show which are free from the illness. Once one bird gets it, the chances of the others becoming infected are quite good.
    So may I suggest the following, that will ameliorate the problem.
    You probably do most of these things anyway, keep the litter clean, daily.
    Use a good proprietary disinfectant, to wipe the nest boxes down with, when you change the litter, check the hens skin. Push back the feathers, and look for, what appears to be scurf, or flaky skin. This could be a mite. There are mites that infect poultry, to the extent that the hen dies.
    \but Hen Gleet, needs to be wiped out. You must thoroughly clean and disinfect all utensils and remove any feed left on the floor after feeding. All this sounds like overkill, but I can assure you that winter is the worst time for Gleet, it spreads because of bird proximity.
    Select the infected birds, and here you will not like me. You must destroy all infected birds, (sorry) as they will die a lingering death, and spread more disease. If it helps, keep a second seperate hen house, so that you dont run out of eggs, and where your breeding stock can be kept.

  4. Cheyenne, will write you directly, I appeciate this.


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