Last night I wrote about bumblefoot in chickens. Oooops. I meant scaly leg mites. Yes, the smallest chickens in the little henhouse have scaly leg mites. We went through this with Butch at one point, and used Campho Phenique and vaseline to kill them all. Butch regained his soft nice legs.
I DO have two chickens I suspect of having bumblefoot, but I have to get the mite infection off them first.
And, to tell on myself here... this is usually an indication of a dirty coop.
You can see the scaly buildup in this picture. (and the long nails I was cutting)
So.... Saturday, despite the fact it is supposed to be raining here, I am going to be cleaning out the little henhouse. It is an unsual building. We bedded it with straw originally, but then over succeeding generations of chickens raised in there, the bedding reduced to dirt, spilled grain, reduced to dirt again, and that is what the bedding is now. We have never (I have never, as the chickens are mostly mine) scraped it to the bare wood and cleaned it good, but I will be doing that, now.
The birds in there now do not really use the roosts at night, they sleep flat on the bedding, in the corners. I am really worried about the littler birds, because I have no where to put them. I have a four by four pen in the big henyard where the juveniles lived last year, but all the birds in that flock like to go into it for shade during the day, as it is tarped and cool in there.
The bedding in the little henhouse will be good to put on the garden, so I am looking forward to that. I think I can also do it fairly quickly, as I will rake the stuff out the two back popholes into the yard carts. I expect I'll be having some turkey help, as well.
I'll re-bed with straw. The only reason I haven't before is that the eggs will be hidden in it, and I'll have to crawl in and out.
The addition of three of the hens to this yard (the fourth died last week, remember) has skewed everyone's egg laying. The hens for months layed in the rabbit hutch, and now, no one is using it. I am not sure if a snake has visited it or what, but no one is laying there. The few eggs I am getting out of 3 Welsummers, a Rock and the three "new" old hens are being laid in the henhouse corners. My two Naughty Girls have not layed this week, either.
There is a look into the cavern of the little henhouse, with the the two cleanout doors in the back showing. The waterer is up on a brick base. You can see the litter in this picture.
Two nights ago, the farmers at Cranky Puppy Farm did a good post about dusting for mites... and you can read it here
One step at a time for me, first
rebedding, and getting the feet cleaned up.
I'm going to have to re-home the big roosters in the little henyard so peace can reign in there again. I put the turkeys out with the bigger flock during the day, and once the two big boys are gone, I think things will settle down. I sure hate to do it, but there is just too much hen-tormenting going on now.
I have to brag about this:
But you know I'm actually bragging about Keith. He has babied his vegetables this year, and it is paying off for him. The little plants he planted 3 weeks ago are going gangbusters in their barrels, and this Early Girl is now up past the second tier of the support.