Sunday, March 15, 2015

Chicken Sickness

Well, it's been a week since we put Cecelia down already. Over this past week, I had to isolate two more birds. Snowball had rattly sounding breathing, so I pulled her into the sick wing. Snowball's breathing sounds much better today, so the antibiotics must be helping her. The other chickens seem like they are recovered, but I need to keep them separated so I don't get their eggs mixed up with the good eggs. Chickens on antibiotics lay eggs with antibiotic residue in them, and we don't want that in our food.

On Thursday, I also found Sally being lethargic, hiding in the nesting boxes with very rattly sounding breathing. I examined her a bit further and found that she has a bunch of fluid build up in her abdomen. Poor girl. She looks uncomfortable. She was pretty alert all week and has had a good appetite, though. Eric and I have been spoiling her with cottage cheese and she is SO HAPPY when we bring that to her. With the fluid build up, I've done some reading that I can just drain it, but you have to do it under sterile conditions. I could do this as I bought sterile needles/syringes, but I will just wait and see if she will reabsorb it. When chickens get water belly, it's not necessarily an immediate death sentence for them. She likely has heart failure or circulatory issues. After reading posts about other people's chickens, I'm feeling hopeful that she should make a decent recovery. She has been given 3 shots of antibiotic and she seems much better than what she was on Thursday and Friday. I plan to move her over to the sick wing at the coop tomorrow as long as she is still recovering. Her raspy breath went away and she is very alert and has quite the appetite.

Sally in the TLC Kennel

The baby birds got moved to the garage today because they are making the office so dusty. I picked up some new sawdust for them, cleaned out their brooder, and got them all set up in the garage. I took Steve outside again and he didn't appreciate the wind. The poor little guy was shivering and crawled on my lap to warm up. He walks a little funny and it makes me worry that he's getting too much to eat or something. He is growing so fast! He grew a ton over the weekend and he's not such a tiny baby anymore. The chicks are looking pretty shabby because they are getting their big chicken feathers in.

I plan on going to the poultry seminar at Runnings in a couple of weeks. It looks like it will have some good beginner information. Plus, I think they will have a sale on chickens that day. I want to get meat birds and raise them in the sick wing once I get the birds all better and the sick wing cleaned out. I'd love to have some fresh, tasty chicken for the freezer.

I got to spend the weekend away from home with my BFF Kim and it was great to get away. My handsome husband took care of all the birds and cleaned the house for me. I'm grateful that he did that for me. The birds are a lot of work right now with having so many sick ones and little babies to give special attention to. He's the best husband a girl could ask for.

I'm getting so antsy to get into the garden. I already have a list started of things that I want to plant. Eric has been busy in his garage working on his new tiller. He bought a tiller for the front of our old John Deere lawn mower and he's getting that all ready. We raked leaves out of the yard today and burned them in the garden. It was a nice day to be outside working.

We have a buyer for our house in Arkansas, so as long as that goes through successfully, we should be selling the house in April. That makes me motivated to do some home improvements. We need to build some front steps/deck for the house, complete the bathroom upstairs, reshingle the garage roof, add rain gutters on the house, and I would like to put up some flower beds in the front of the house so I can plant things without Jack digging them up. I want to start beautifying the house so we can increase our chances of selling it in the next couple of years. I've enlisted Kim and Mitch to help with the deck. I hope we can get it done in a weekend.

Steve and I outside enjoying the day!

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