Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Time for a much needed update on the ladies! I've gotten some questions recently about the status of the bare bums and if I was able to stop the one who decided all bums were fair game. The short answer is yes.
The truth of the matter is, I failed basic chicken keeping 101. I failed the most basic step of properly checking them over. I was one day away from giving two of them up because I thought I wasn't going to be able to stop the constant plucking of the feathers.
The most important thing I can tell you about owning chickens is..give those ladies a total body scan. Pick each and every single one of them up and look them over from head to toe. Had I done this eons ago they wouldn't be where they are at right now. What they had was poultry lice and I should have caught this ages ago. It never ever should have gotten to the point of them being so uncomfortable that they were going at each other constantly. My husband picked one of them up as we were deciding what to do when it happened. A teenie weenie bug fell onto my husbands shirt. We leaned in,looked at it,put the hen down, and did the creepy get it off me dance. We looked the image up and knew what it was right away.
We bought a simple spray and started treatment right away. The bickering stopped and the feathers are rapidly growing back. I felt so guilty about missing the basic step of checking them over and being a new owner is no excuse. Check your hens over..and check again if the problem doesn't stop. No more bum pecking,no more bickering,and no more laziness when it comes to their upkeep. They are doing just fine in every sense of the word. They never stopped laying or eating or anything else. They were just grouchy and I don't blame them. They are getting extra protein,tons of looking over, and they are getting so used to me now that they all run up to me like dogs..in fact one of them literally leaps up and down like one.
The only thing that's been different with their egg laying is,one morning I collected this teeeeeenie weenie egg. The 20 cent euro coin is similar to the American 5 cent coin. It was so adorable and contained nothing more than an egg white. Then about a week or so later someone was feeling extra ambitious and laid two eggs that day..a total of 8 eggs in one day :) The ladies are fine and happier now and I'm happier because of it.