Our lights had been flickering so we called the power company. The transformer for our house (and our neighbors!) is right next to the chicken coop and is COVERED in trees!! So last week the tree guys came out and chopped a bunch of trees down and topped some others. This was GREAT! I was planning on extending the run anyway and already had the fencing, so I found out what day they were coming and ripped half of the run down so they could get in there and spray painted lines on trees to let them know where I'd like the stumps cut. Now the chickens have a lot more room and even have some underbrush to play in and trample! The guys mulched up all of the branches they cut down and it has made a GREAT ground cover for the run!
Check it out...
They LOOOOVE to sunbathe!
No, that black one isn't dead... She's having a sun bath!
Can you find the camo chicken in this picture? I've named him Rambo!
In other news, the little chicken with the infected eye is looking LOTS better! I've posted a new picture of him in my online album if you want to see :)
Well, some of the boys have started crowing! I got a video of it this morning. The first crow is from the big silver easter egger (off screen) who I was hoping beyond hope was a hen... Nope! The second one to crow is the little guy with the big comb, then his brother with the smaller comb. They aren't very melodious... actually they sort of sound like dying sheep... hopefully they'll get better!
The other crower... In other news, the rabbits have bred! We'll see if we get some babies in a month. Cross your fingers! :)
I met with a local "rabbit guy" who found me a very nice pair of New Zealands! They are both about a year old and are proven breeders. Cher has already had 2 litters and is a great mom. She has a number tattooed in her ear which will make it easier to tell her apart from Sonny. She settled right in and only gave me a couple of irritated foot stomps.
Sonny on the other hand... Well, he wants to see me dead! I swear he's the rabbit from Monty Python's Holy Grail... He already clawed me pretty thoroughly. When I put him in his cage I saw blood on his foot and thought he had hurt himself! Nope, it was mine!! Oh well, he's still very handsome... Even if he gives me constant dirty looks...
So about 10 days ago I noticed that one of the younger cockerels was squinting. Then I saw another one closing his eye. I thought that they were fighting (like boys do) and had poked each other. But, as the days went on I noticed that the eyes were bubbly and getting a little crusty.
I grabbed the 2 perps and separated them, each in their own little dog crate. I added vitamins and antibiotics to their water and hoped for the best.
Over the next 2 days there really wasn't any improvement. I also noticed 2 more chicks with the same thing - so they were removed from the main coop and added to the dog crates.
Thanks to the EXCELLENT people on the BYC Forum (see links to the right) I was able to discuss the problem with people who had "been there" and found out what to do. I went to Tractor Supply and got some injectable Tylan 50 (anti-microbial, bacterial, biotic) and some terrimycin eye ointment. Because of the forum I knew that 1/2cc was the normal dose for a chicken - so I gave my little ones 1/4cc once a day for 5 days. I also flushed their eyes with saline and applied the ointment daily. I saw almost an IMMEDIATE improvement!!! I was so happy!
Now I won't post pics of the sick chickens... because some of them are pretty gross - but if you want to see what it looks like click here. Here is a pic of one of the easter-egger cockerels when he was almost all better :) Now I've released 3 of them back to the flock - they look GREAT! But, I'm keeping the Lakenvelder cockerel for a while longer. The infection is gone, but he has a big scab over his right eye and I need to get it open so it doesn't heal shut. He still has a ways to go. I'll keep you updated!!
When I started this blog I lived in Western Pennsylvania in the middle of Amish country. I went to college for agriculture and have worked with animals all my life. As of the beginning of 2009 I had to leave that place behind.
I am now in Upstate New York and I am scheming to buy some property of my own. Watch out when I do! As of the Spring of 2010 I am renting in a rural area. This will allow me to restart my mini-farm... But I'm going to have to hold off on the larger critters for a while!
This blog is to document my experiences with my flock of chickens (and whatever else I end up with!). I hope you enjoy it!