Sunday, August 31, 2014

Dogs, Chickens, and the vet

Thursday my sister, her husband, and her dog came over.  My brother-in-law wanted to let the dog out.  I knew the chickens were locked up, so I said sure.  The dog made a bee line for the chickens.  I knew the dog couldn't get the chickens, the dog knew, but the chickens had missed the memo.  They reacted as any bird would, jumping into flight.  However, in their enclosed run, they hit the hardware cloth.  I had three bleeding chickens and a sick heart.

I cleaned off the blood with wet q-tips and put the triple antibiotic cream on their wounds.  Two had cut themselves right above the beak at the base of the comb.  Betsy the barred rock wasn't so lucky.  She had chipped the end off of her beak and was bleeding at the top of her beak.  But she seemed OK.  The next evening, her beak started bleeding again after she pecked at some hardboiled egg I had given them. 

I decided to take her to Creekside Animal hospital.  I don't know enough about chickens to know if it was serious or not.  It was Saturday and they were closed Sunday and Monday (for Labor Day).  I packed Betsy up in a Lowes medium sized moving box with bedding in the bottom.  $80 later, I had a chicken with a fixed beak.  We worked out that she must be worth about $18 a pound.

I don't regret taking her to the vet although I do wish I had asked some of my neighbors who had chickens, because I think at least one of them has fixed something like that before. 

On the way there, my little four-year-old prayed that "Betsy wouldn't die and she wouldn't get eaten."  After that, how could we not pay :)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Nesting box woes

Sunny, my gold sexlink, started laying about a week ago.  Her first egg was in the middle of the run.  Hurray, I thought, I have an egg.  

The second egg was layed in the corner of the coop, by the nesting box.  

I put an empty ice cream bucket in the corner to discourage her from laying there.  She layed in the other, far away corner.  I put the ice cream bucket in that corner.  Then I did some nesting box renovation.  I put a lip across the front of the nesting box and filled it with several inches of pine shavings.  I put a fake wooden egg in it.

The next day, success.  An egg sitting right next to the wooden one.

First egg

I got my first egg about a week ago.  Sunny, a 17-week-old gold sexlink laid her first egg.  She's layed an egg a day for the past week.