Sunday, September 28, 2008

Winter is on the way...

Winter is very quickly coming to Northern NY. In just 3 days the trees are various shades of red, brown, yellow and orange. In my opinion, the prettiest time of the year in our region. According to an online almanac this is supposed to be a "horrible" winter for us this year. We are really a month ahead of where we usually are with our rainy season taking most of the leaves off the trees. This time of year when most people are taking stock of their harvest, it is a great time to ponder the things we love and don't love so much. Also, I've noticed that this season brings out the worst in many folks.

My hens are doing well so far. Eric has (mostly) fixed the bottom of the cemetary livestock fence so the chickens cannot slip underneath it. So, we've been letting them out for a few hours a day. The last two days have been rainy and quite dreary. Watching them preening under our Mulberry and Norfolk Spruces when it rains is my form of exciting entertainment. Phoebe and Scroungy hang very close together. Everytime I go outside to check on them Phoebe puts her head down and runs straight for me. It's the cutest thing to watch! Scroungy while flapping her wings following suit. The other flock of 10 loves to dust bathe underneath the Sassafrass trees. It's a beautiful site to see all of them grazing by our backyard fence. They will also spend hours foraging for black oil sunflower seeds underneath our bird feeders. It's Phoebe's favorite place. Ole Meanie loves to run the length of the yard, flapping her wings. She just loves to be outside.

Oh..almost forgot... Ole' Bitty, after 6 weeks of broodiness, has finally decided to least part time! At times she will retreat back to the nest and her plastic egg. I wanted to get her a few chicks, but and Meyer's were the only hatcheries that 3 was the minimum order and they were out of the breeds I wanted. Hopefully, she'll go broody again this spring.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Successful Impacted Crop

This is Ole' Meanie. She was the hen we'd been treating for an impacted crop. She is officially back in the coop with the general population! Yeahhh!! Thank God! I was so very worried that we were going to lose her. Her crop is back down to normal and she has slowly but, surely worked her way back into the pecking order. Girl, one of the hens she used to pick on quite a bit is having fun now that Ole' Meanie is below her in the pecking order. Seems like turn about is fair play even in the chicken world.

One funny thing is that Ole' Meanie started to crow while she was being kept inside the house. Every morning when I'd take the blanket off her cage, she'd puff up and try crow. She'd only get out a very bad imitation- imagine Roseanne Barr singing the "Star Spangled Banner". My husband now calls her affectionately, "Bob"!

I filled out a questionaire today for a lady named Ashley Adams. I think her pen name is Ashley English. Supposedly, she's writing a book about New Domesticalities, due out in 2010. Hopefully, I'll get chosen for a profile in the book about my chickens. I'd love to score a free book! Plus you KNOW that my chickens are beautiful and each one is a star. Especially, Weezy and Phoebe, they are my chicken divas...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Breaking Ole' Bitty

Chicks this late in the season??? If Ole' Bitty has her say... she won't stop being broody. We're going on 5 weeks! I guess I'll have to get a few hatching eggs and hope I don't get any roosters--eck!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Impacted crop

My poor Ole'Meanie has an impacted crop. Eric and I have been tring to break it up for a few days. Tomorrow, she goes back to our excellent vet Dr. Dewey of the North Country Animal Health Center. We've been running a tube down into her crop and injecting warm water with a syringe that attaches to the top of the tube and massaging the crop.

This will help to break up the mass of blockage. Then we use the syringe to suck back up the water after we massage her crop. Usually, this will bring up some of the yucky stuff in the blockage. We do this 2-3 times.

Then we mix up some baby bird hand feeding formula very thinly and inject a syringe full of this into her crop, along with her medicine .4 ml of Baytril and 1/2 tsp of ProBios to prevent sour crop (thrush). I also added some mineral oil to help lubricate her insides.

In the last 2 days she seems to have more energy and her droppings are thicker and are looking more normal.

Tho, her crop is still impacted as it's huge. I've been feeding her watered down layer crumbles and mashed scrambled eggs. Also free choice water with some vitamin/electrolyte mix in it.

She's got another vet appointment Monday at 2:30PM. She will probably have to have surgery. I hope to see it done, as many expert poultrymen do this simple operation at home with some Ambesol to numb the crop. As there are no nerve endings in the crop, my vet said that it can be done at home in an emergency.

I have been asking the Lord to save my Ole'Meanie. She has lost so much weight, so I pray she will survive the surgery if they do have to do it tomorrow. We're going to give her one more crop washing and food injection tonight so she'll have some more strength.

Wish us luck and your prayers are appreciated.