Friday, November 13, 2015

Bumblefoot Adventures

During the wonderful scaly leg mite adventure, I discovered that Henny Penny had bumblefoot, which is an infection that poultry can get from having a scratch or whatever on their tootsie. This is evident by a big round bubble on their foot and by a dark brown or black scab on the bottom. See her foot below.  

DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT A VET. I AM A CHICKEN LADY WHO IS DOING WHAT I CAN TO TAKE CARE OF MY OWN CHICKENS. THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE. TALK TO YOUR VETERINARIAN IF YOU THINK YOUR CHICKEN MAY BE SICK. COPYING WHAT I BLOG ABOUT MAY RESULT IN INJURY OR DEATH OR YOUR CHICKEN AND FOR THIS, I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE. 
I had picked up several surgical supplies earlier in the week in order to remove the infection. Per researching the internet, you will find that if nothing is done with bumblefoot, the infection will move to other tissues and could eventually kill Henny Penny. I can't let that happen! There are a few different routes one could take to treat bumblefoot. The first route is to contact an avian vet! We do not have any of those anywhere near where I live. I believe the closest is in the Twin Cities and I'll be darned if I am driving a chicken that far. You can also remove the infection yourself by soaking the foot, taking a scalpel to it and getting it out, or you can continually treat it with antibiotic ointment and re-bandage every few days- which only sometimes can be successful. 

I decided on route #2 first. I gathered my supplies and then gave Henny Penny a nice spa treatment by soaking her tootsies in warm water with epsom salts. And yes....my chicken came inside my house for this. SHHHHHH. Don't tell Eric!

Chicken selfie!

Soak soak soak!
 After she took her soak, I disinfected with iodine and went to work. The infection was way too deep in her foot and I couldn't get it out successfully, so I stopped what I was doing and put antibiotics on her owie and bandaged her up. I also gave her a shot of Tylan-50 for good measure, which I know was probably overkill. Tylan-50 is used for bad respiratory bacterial infections and such. Her little tootsie is all bandaged up and she is currently separated from the other girls. I checked in on her yesterday and she has been up moving around and scratching as usual. I will re-apply antibiotic and a new bandage this morning for her. 
All bandaged up!
On Monday, I traded Dylan the duck for 5 new hens and brought the lovely ladies home with me. I kept them separate for the night in the 6-foot tall dog kennel by the house and unfortunately two of the hens, Brunhilda and one of the Easter Eggers escaped and were escorted to chicken heaven by the neighbor's bulldog, Zeus. 
RIP, Easter Egger.

Ugh. I knew right away that next day that two had gone missing and was looking all over for them and had posted a missing chicken ad on FB (LOL. Don't judge me!). Last night, the neighbor came over and told my husband that his dog dragged some chickens home and that he believed he owed some money for them. I have a little faith restored in humanity. It's a nice feeling to know that there are some good, honest people still out there. I know there are several in these small communities, but it's nice for the confirmation. 

The other three new ones are working on establishing the pecking order. The Barred Rock is trying to be queen bee in the coop. She's a fighter and is trying to show everyone who is boss. I currently have a contest for naming one of my new Easter Eggers. Get over to my page and get your name idea submitted before Sunday night so voting can begin on Monday!

Kickin' some dust up. These are the three newbies.

I just love this one's feathers. She's a beauty.

New girls checking out the coop

NAME THIS GIRL FOR FREE EGGS!



This past week has been pretty shitty to say the least. My 28-year-old cousin Jeff died in a terrible accident, leaving behind a young wife, and baby girl, Quinn. My grandpa was admitted to the ICU last night for internal bleeding. My dear friend Jan's (the owner of Lucky's Place No-Kill Feline Rescue) pancreatic cancer is back. And on top of it, another friend of mine, Krista Robertson's son who has Congenital Heart Disease, has now been added to the waiting list for a heart transplant. This little guy is only TWO years old!  If you have some time, please spare a positive thought, prayer, vibe or even if you could, cash to help with medical bills. Information can be found below:

To help support my cousin Jeff's 8-month-old daughter:
https://www.gofundme.com/babyquinncollege

To support Lucky's Place No-Kill Feline Rescue:
http://luckysplace.org/donate/

To help support Colten's heart transplant medical bills:
https://www.gofundme.com/5a8rjquc


Thank you for reading and don't forget to get your name idea in for the free egg contest!!!!







Sunday, November 8, 2015

Scaly Leg Mites

A few of the ladies have really rough looking legs and their coop has been in horrendous need of cleaning. I did some internet research and all the signs point to scaly leg mites, so I treated the affected ladies with Ivermectin and rubbed their legs down with vaseline afterwards. THAT was an interesting task!

First of all, I cleaned the coop out and then dipped the girls in the pesticide/water mix. I put the girls who were treated in a separate side of the coop to dry off. After they dried off, I went in and they got a *fabulous* foot massage and moisturizing spa treatment with vaseline and then they were let loose back with the rest of the flock.

I put down some fluffy, fresh clean sawdust for them to run around in. They also got some brand new, fresh sand to dust bathe in to prevent more mites. Hopefully this will take care of it. I'll likely have to retreat or at least put more vaseline on later this week.

The egg production has been REALLY low over the last several weeks so there has been hardly any eggs lately.

Charlie had been "free ranging" for several weeks and something finally ate him. I TOLD him this would happen. Every time I went out there, I tried to catch him to put him back into the safety of the run, but he wouldn't listen. What a shame. He was such a handsome rooster, too.

I posted a want ad on Facebook looking for used Halloween pumpkins and that was a hit. I hauled away pumpkins and the chickens and ducks "recycled" them for free of charge! They loved them! I have a giant pile outside of the run. Some people who believe in organic chicken-keeping say that pumpkin seeds are a natural de-wormer. Pumpkins, watermelons, and squash are also a very healthy snack for the chickens to eat in addition to their normal "chicken food".

Last week, Eric and I ate one of the ducks that I raised and butchered myself this spring. That was rewarding...and TASTY. I decided that I will be raising ducklings this spring for butcher and to sell to family/friends. I still need to figure out how to torch the tiny little feathers off the duck. Actually, Eric and I didn't eat the skin because it really was WAY too fatty, but I suppose consumers wouldn't want to see teeny feathers in the skin. I'll figure it out.

I made broth out of the leftover carcass and threw it back to the birds and they picked it bone dry, It's amazing what they eat. They really needed the protein though because of all the hard work they are doing molting and re-growing feathers.

Well, that's all for now!