Lice and Mites

Hi there chicken keepers, or fans of keeping chickens, today has been de-lousing day for the girls, after the death of poor Nellie, I thought I should give the girls an M.O.T or fitness check, they do have a few lice but nothing major, however just to be on the safe side, I bought some powder to exterminate the little blighters.

Buying the powder was the easy bit, applying to the girls is alot harder, the first patient, (the easiest to catch) was Daisy, the whole process obviously scared her a bit, but I had some warning, a shot across my bow’s, so to speak and I managed to lift her up before she deposited on my lap, next in line was Gloria, again easy to catch, she gets lots of stroking, I think she just thought it was another cuddle with dust this time, after I had finished her, she didn’t want to get off of my lap, Nancy was next, and was alot of trouble, kicking and moaning, it’s what I expected from her, the last to recieve the treatment so far today was Betty, the Wyandotte, and she was a perfect patient, she just lay there while I covered her in strange white powder, as if she was at the hairdressers.

The other three, Renee, Daphne and Manuella were so wary of me by the time had treated the other four, that I think I’ll have to wait til tea time. When their faces willl be down in the trough.

Managed to get Manuella and Daphne last night before bed time, well in thruth I had to pluck Daphne from the coop, poor girl.

Manuella De Minorca Lays

Manuella first 2 eggsHi there keepers, the day has arrived, well it must have been two days ago now, for I found two little white eggs under the coop this afternoon, while cleaning. Manuella’s first eggs ever, I feel so honoured, however in my haste to retrieve the new little eggs, I forgot to leave one behind, to ensure her that her nest is safe.

At about 2.30 this afternoon I heard a commotion from the garden, apon investigating I found it to be Manuella, clucking near the coop, in her distinctive honking sound, more goose like than chicken if you ask me, I realised what I had done, and tried to replace an egg, but she wouldn’t have it, she tossed it out of the nest twice, so I took it back upstairs, I say nest, but really it’s just mud under the coop, so I furnished her with some straw, and on returning from the supermarket she was busy in there, arranging her new improved straw nest, and a new egg was layed.

They are so neat looking, about 2/3 the size of the shavers eggs, like a boutique egg. We shall have them with breakfast tomorrow. Keeping chickens can be so rewarding.

Gloria’s Stash Discovered

Hi there keepers, well it’s a strange week, firstly Nellie’s been very unwell, close to going to the big field in the sky, I fear that it was my fault, I accidently fed the girls some mouldy feed, it’s must of been only a few bits, but that’s clearly all it takes, Daphne has also been slightly under the weather, but no where near as bad as poor Nellie.

Then to compound matters, it turns out that Dorothy isn’t a girl, she is actually a Donovan, so obviously a rooster now when you look at her, but again as was with the case, with Maria the Minorca, who turned out to be Manuel,  as some of you may remember, Dorothy or Donovan is of a breed ( Light Sussex), that wwe only have the one of, so nothing to compere with, until I looked on the international worldwide web (Googled it), quite clearly a rooster we have.

What first bought this fact to my attention was that Dorothy seemed to be trying to mount poor Nellie who did not have the strength to fight him off,due to her food poisoning.

Some of this is now history, however the good news is I found Gloria’s nest, just on the other side of the neighbours fence, in a corner of over grown weeds, I love finding the nest full of eggs, 15 in total, and all in good order, it was in a nice cool spot. Good old reliable Gloria.

General Update

Hi there keepers, it’s been all go on the chicken run, what with the untimely demise of Nellie, and the disappearance of the new Nora ( light sussex), while trying to finish the coop, and keep the girls off of the freshly sown grass seed, juggling act springs to mind, I think it’s the owners that become like their animals, for sometimes I feel like I’m running around like a chicken.

Fortunately we found Nora first thing this morning, in the neighbours garden, as she is a full sized hen, she’s pretty big, it was hard really , it was like seeing a big white pillow floating through the undergrowth of next doors garden, as she is not familiar with us yet, we had to shepherd her back to the run with a piece of bamboo.

Both Manuella the Minorca and Betty the Wyandotte, went over to say hello to Nora thinking it was their friend Dorothy, but soon found out differently as Nora launched into an attack om these strangers.

Being back out at the breeders, the lovely Raewyn, gave me new enthusiasm, there are so many amazing looking breeds, some of the bantams are fascinating little birds. I can see us getting more soon, also I’m hoping for Nora to lay an egg today, as she has come from a run with a rooster present, there’s is every chance the eggs will be fertile. Nora was in the show birds run, so she is from good stock.

Hopefully things will now settle down again on the run.

Nellie R.I.P

Nellie died 22 March 2009 R.I.PDear reader, poor Nellie has passed away, she literally fell off the perch in the coop last night and didn’t recover, very sad, she seemed so unwell, I didn’t think she would make it, but we were hoping for the best. We gave her a burial in the garden and said a few words.

Daphne has made a full recovery, also Dorothy has been taken back to the breeder as she was a he, however we have lost his replacemant already, I placed the new hen in the run and left all the others out in the garden, but when I went out to shue them into the coop, Nora was gone, I think she was scared off by Nancy, it was getting dark so I hope she hasn’t gne too far and I’ll be able to find her in the morning.

Nellie’s Not Well

Hi there, we have been a bit concerned over the past few days, as Nellie is really not well, she just seems to sit all day sleeping, infact yesterday she fell asleep beside the drinking trough, which look a little like someone  sick with a bucket beside them. She finished moulting about two weeks ago, and she seemed to be ok after that, I did notice some of the feed had gone a little mouldy after it had got a little wet, but only a handful was mouldy, and after all that should be penicillin?

She is taking herself into the coop each night, then gets up and heads straight for the water trough, it just she’s not eating very much at all if nothing. I haven’t the available funds to take her to the vet, so I’m hoping she will recover with loving tender care.

Nancy’s Back

Hi there keepers, just a quick update on the broody hen Nancy, it seems she has decided to return, it has been about 6 weeks since she set up home in Mani’s garden, well behind his shed to be precise. I have been over and physically pushed her out of the nest, trying to get her to come back, as she wasn’t eating, just sitting there with no eggs under her. Recently she has been coming over for feeds, and yesterday she came over the fence, and hung about all day, it was only at sunset she thought about going back to mani’s shed, but I caught her and put her in the tempory holding pen, (a welsh dresser that lives on the back deck), and this morning she seems to have resumed her place in the flock, bossing every one else around, however I think she has been knocked back a bit in the order, Dorothy the biggest hen now, doesn’t seemed too bothered by Nancy’s low grumbles.

Chicken Stir-Crazy

Hi there keepers, It’s been a little while since I last wrote anything, I ‘ve been having difficulties, stuck in a bit of a trough, haven’t wanted to do anything, at all. I have Bi-polar disorder, the new term for manic depression, enough of me, back to the chickens.

Not alot has been happening really, status quo, Nancy is still living next door, behind Mani’s shed, she is not even laying anymore,  Dorothy the Light Sussex, is slowly taking over, as she is by far the biggest bird, it’s funny to watch her run, as she is still running like a gangley teenager.

The new coop is coming along, Manuella the Minorca has taken to roosting on the top floor already, at present the old coop is within the new coop, I built the new one around the old one then took the roof and one of the sides walls off, there are still a few areas that need work, the roof isn’t completely waterproof yet, I got lulled into thinking ‘ It’s summer I’ll do the roof last, but it rained hard the other night and the girls looked very wet when they came out in the morning. Roof now temporarily fixed, but waiting for roll of waterproof material to materialise.

The council, have finally seen my point of veiw over the damage done to my enviroment after their sewage works were completed, basically they cut down two huge willow trees, scraped away two large areas of vegetation and topsoil, on either side of the creek, then to fix all of that they threw down some grass seed and straw one the other side of the creek, and that was their effort to restore my enviroment. they are now going to replant three native trees and fix up the the bottom of my garden. This was all made more difficult by the fact that the guy I was dealing with at the council was the water engineer for sewage, after asking him to bring a gardener with him next visit, things started to get through to him, as if the arborist was a translator, from non-council speak into council speak, basically they don’t listen to you, in some condesending fashion of ‘ you wouldn’t understand what is involved, it not just planting 3 trees you know’, well yes it is.

thanks to those regulars who hung in there when there was nothing new to read, hopefully I’ll be able to more soon.