Friday, June 7, 2013

Something I've Never Seen Before!

Okay, I saw something tonight I have NEVER seen before. 
I have a bunch of red hens, and they all look alike, except that several have longer legs than the others. 
They are all production reds, as far as I know, as Rhodies have darker feathers in my experience. 

So tonight, I'm filling the pool in Swamplandia, and I notice a chicken clumping along oddly, next to me. 

I watched her for a minute, and then took a good look at her feet. 

Can you SEE them? 

Biggify if you need to! 

Each toe was encased in a solid capsule of dried MUD. 

On two of her toes, the capsule was large. 

I caught her (easily) and brought her in the house, over the heads of Ranger and Lilly, and got Keith up to help me. 

I don't have pictures, but here's what we did.  (MY NEW CAMERA... the one bought the week of the reunion... has failed, just like the one before.  Canon will be getting a letter with both cameras this week). 

We held her close to us, and talked to her gently, and soaked her feet in an old bowl of warm water.  Then Keith began to pick at the toes on the left foot, while I held her.  It took almost fifteen minutes to get the capsules loose and be able to pick them off.  Except for one squirm, she was very good, and talked to us while we did it. 

That one big squirm caused a nasty mess in the kitchen, but oh, well. 

I carried her back out to the henhouse, and put her down... and she walked a couple of steps, realized she wasn't encumbered, and ran to the roost happily. 

That's a new one on me, each capsule was round, just like you see above. 


The ducks are moving next week, as soon as Chris comes to help me. 

It was a gorgeous day, notwithstanding this mess... and the catmint is blooming away in the garden. 
As I went by it, I noticed it was teaming with Croation bees.  (Our neighbors, the Spehars, are from Croatia, and keep several hives)

I hope this video will load, because the sight was lovely. 

PS If the cameraperson could keep her camera still while she was shooting a video, it would be a lot easier to see the bees working away, there were probably 50 of them. 
Turn the sound up though, so you can enjoy the birdsong! 


  1. It's good you spotted the problem. Now you'll know to watch for it in wet weather.

  2. How are Croatian bees different than regular ol' honeybees?

    Glad you saved the hen from her "ball and chain"!

  3. Poor chickie, she must have been very thankful to get that mud off her feet. We have cat mint here too and it is also blooming. I didn't know that there was a difference in honey bees, but they do love the blooms. Not so many here.

  4. Gosh that's some mud pack that chicken had! Good job you noticed, must have been pretty annoying to walk with, never seen that before!

  5. I'm sure your hen was feeling much lighter on her feet! It's good you noticed it...she could have lost some toes eventually, if you hand't got the mud pack off. If only our animals really knew and understood all that we do for them! :)

  6. Now that's what I love about you, the trouble you take to help a helpless one feel better. The genuine care you feel for these critters you live with. they are so lucky. And the video was pretty. I've never heard of those bees before.

  7. To all: The "Croation" honeybees are a joke... our good neighbors the Spehars immigrated here from Croatia. They live just east of us, and have (now)three very large ponds at the foot of our hill. Every year, Mr. Spehar grows a huge garden, and a big patch of corn on their hillside. He also keeps beehives, and so, I call these the "Croation" bees!

  8. I'm so glad you got it off and fixed the problem! I had to sell all my ducks (had about 10 of them) years ago when I was preparing for another surgery, but I had been keeping them with the chickens and swore never again! Now my guys are not with the chickens and it's easier. I bet she was grateful for your help! :) Oh the joys of critters, surprising us with all these things "we've never seen before" ;)

  9. I just haven't seen the bees this year like in the years before.

    That's weird about her toes.


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