Saturday, January 7, 2012

the mystery egg

One of my young barred rock hens laid a monster of an egg the other day.

I was sure it was a double-yolker!

Imagine my surprise when I cracked it open and found this... egg within an egg!

It was rubbery and pretty disgusting - the stuff horror stories are made of!

I had to open it up, of course...

I didn't think it could get any worse and then realised how wrong I was!

How awful is this shit? LOL!!

That hen has some s'plainin' to do!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Yey! Silkie babies on the way... 

In the top condo Blossom is sitting on 8 developing eggs, due in 2 weeks. 
In the bottom condo Angie is sitting on 3 developing eggs, due next week. 

Can't wait to see the cute fuzzbutts!

Angie on her three eggs...
This is her first time being a momma, she sure is determined!

Blossom on her 8 eggs, she's a pro -
I think this is her 4th hatch in 2 years :)

I'll post pics when the babies arrive!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I keep forgetting to post!


Time flies like a chicken running towards the treat bucket!

Yep, that's fast - LOL!

Almost everyone's in deep molt right now,
there are feathers everywhere and prickly-looking chooks
not laying any eggs...

I know, a necessary evil - but I still don't like it!

Brrrr winter's on the way.

Here's the flock of banties this morning -
I have been very fortunate to find a super awesome loving home
for Moose, our 5 month old white Jersey Giant cockerel.

He leaves Sunday...

I'm sad and will miss him a lot, but 4 roosters in one pen is just too much :(

I hope to get lots of news and maybe someday
some fertile eggs from my friend who's taking him -
that way I can hatch Moose chicks and 
hopefully keep some Moose daughters!

How's everyone coping with fall so far?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Good morning!

It's warm, it's sunny, it's the weekend - w00t!

The flocks are all sunbathing outside (bar two hens that have leg sprains and are still confined...), we are entering molt season and thus very few eggs are going in the daily basket but that's all right - life is good!

Wishing you all a lovely day!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

lookin' good!

Crossing fingers and knock on wood, it looks like all of my sick banties have recovered from the terrible illnesses that suddenly plagued them two weeks ago.

If I had gotten home from my vacation on time, I could have saved my poor sweet Una (the only hen that died) but alas, it was not to be... I don't feel safe leaving them for a whole week anymore :-(

I have to thank this miracle product called Oxine (AH) for clearing up some of the nastiest lung gurglies ever, and Tylan-200 injectable for the other infection.

A friend of mine recommended the Oxine, I had never heard of it before.

Did some research online and flock owners are raving about it left and right - I knew it was my last chance to save my babies so I called the company HQ in the States who pointed me to their Canadian distributor, who then called me after business hours as my message was quite desperate. Lovely man, awesome service. The next morning they put a bottle on the UPS truck for me and I had it in my hands 24 hours later.

The treatment for "percolator lung" is to put your sick bird in a small, enclosed space (I used a small plastic pet carrier and draped a towel over it to cover the holes) and fog the inside for a good hour or so once a day using a cool mist air humidifier - or an ultrasonic one if you can afford it.

The bird is forced to breath in the the gently misted air which contains the spore-killing Oxine, plus it gives them a nice "spa" treatment between bouts of quarantaine. Keep them warm and offer Sulmet in their drinking water, protein-rich wet foods and their grains.

Now if only there was a miracle product to treat sprained legs...

Yep, a hen from one coop and a pullet from the other both suffered leg injuries the same day last week, it's a never-ending run of bad luck. One has a sprained ankle and the other has something wrong with her hip.

Besides quarantine in tight quarters and twice-daily doses of Arnica (a homeopathic treatment), any advice on treating such injuries? I gave them small doses of aspirin the first few days but don't want to damage their tummies so I stopped... Still no improvement after a week. :-/

My poor babies!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

if you can spare some good joojoo...

My flock of banties, never sick a day in their lives before, got struck down with a terrible virus a few days ago.

I can't seem to get it under control, they are falling sick one after the other at a terrible speed. One of my sweet hens died two days after she started having difficulty breathing (liquid in the lungs, turned to bloody phlegm - she died choking...), three more are struggling to stay alive and nothing I give them is working.

There are two different strains hitting at once.

One I can control with Tylan-200 injectable, the other isn't responding to anything (Tylan-200, Procaine Penicillin, Sulmet) - even when I catch it early, isolate and keep the pullet warm. They stop eating and drinking, lose weight quickly, exhibit feverish chills and oh, the thick mucous bloody coughs are horrible :-(

Please have a good thought for my poor babies...

I love them all so damn much, this is breaking my heart :-(

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Our big boy Moose is already 3.5 months old now!

He's a Jersey Giant but I don't think
he will attain "giant" size as he's from a hatchery.

We still find him hot stuff though ;-)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

hangin' out on the front porch

I didn't know the video would turn out so narrow, LOL!

Next time I'll film in landscape mode and not in portrait mode.

But still, it gives you an idea of the dirty faces
we have to live with on muddy days like these!

Gotta love 'em :-)

Saturday, August 13, 2011


I love receiving my weekly Healthy Chickens Bulletin - go check it out, it's free and super easy to sign up for! Each e-issue delivered to your email inbox contains valuable information, tip and tricks, answers to common questions we chicken hobbyists face every day, jokes and cartoons.

Love it :-)

In other news my total flock is now reduced to 53 and seems to be holding steady for now...

Except that I'm pretty sure one of my two 6-week old bantam white cochins, Storm, is a boy... which means I'll have to rehome him before winter... huge sniff :-(

And Oh My Goodness - is it already mid-August?!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

better days :-)

Well, we survived last week's red mite nightmare, coop relocations, flock integrations, chook rehomings and a massive heat wave + a mini-hurricane, so I guess we can survive just about anything!

I now have only two flocks - the sleeping quarters are a bit tight but they're at least dry and bug-free so the birds will just have to endure. They are outside all day anyways, it's not so bad.

24 birds in one coop, 30 in the other - and that's it.

No more for a long time, my flocks are closed.

Every day I inspect for mites and so far so good, only had about two dozen under one sleeping plank a couple days ago, I squashed them then sprayed with permethrin so hoping I got them all. They were probably left-over eggs that hatched and had a first feeding, hah! Dead now. Fuckers.

Lovely breeze out today - can't wait to let the big girls free-range again...

Does anyone know how long it takes to reprogram a chicken's GPS?

I don't want them to wander around lost at bed-time since the coop where they used to live has been locked up and condemned... I want them to head to their new coop.

Guess we'll have to test it at some point...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

the year of CRAP

Name 15 awful things that can happen to a chicken owner, with red mites in the coop being the Worst Thing Possible, and I've been hit with absolutely everything the past year.

I'm so fed up.

Exhausted physically, mentally and financially.

It's not much fun anymore, even if I love those chooks with all my heart.

Death #4 since the beginning of July in progress this morning, my Sweetie is in a coma and will cross the bridge today after weeks of declining health. I'm thinking liver failure as her face is yellow, but for sure she is anemic from the blood-sucking vampire mites.

I'm not sure I even want to go on being a chicken mama, since I obviously stink at it.

So. Tired.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Oliver Mongfoot

Isn't he just the most handsome roo? :-)

Oliver will turn 6 months old on July 20th
and he's still growing -
hims gonna be a big boy!

His mom is a pure white silkie
and his dad is a partride frizzled silkie.

I can't wait to get babies from him one day :-)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

hot chickens!

Yep, the dog days of summer are here - HOT!

What do you do to help keep your flocks cool in this weather?

Mine free-range so have plenty of access to shade and cool dirt, the ones penned up all have the same in their giant runs. I put out bowls of fresh cold water and offer them treats of fresh fruit, but mostly that's all I can do.

I don't trust fans in the coops, too scared of a fire risk :-/

They pant, they hold their wings off their body and mutter but so far
knock on wood, everyone's still accounted for...

Miss Daisy, my latest white leghorn addition:

She's 6 months old and lays like a dream :-)

Lucky she's white, it's my big fat black hens that are suffering
through this summer - although they are all affected.

At least it's not freezing!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

more losses :-(

RIP Dizzy, our awesome white leghorn girl... just a year and a half old, found her cold and stiff on the coop floor Sunday morning - no idea why she died, she seemed fine the day before. Her skin was almost purple, her legs stretched out straight from her body, wings tight on her side, neck bent towards her chest and eyes closed. No broken neck, no signs bodily damage.

Any idea what could have caused her death?

RIP sweet Holly, our gorgeous buff orpington hen (July 18, 2010 - June 22, 2011).

Holly got sick this spring along with quite a few other hens, some sort of pneumonia. Three girls died before I got my hands on penicillin, which didn't eradicate the illness but allowed a return to normal life for the survivors.

Except Holly fell sick again about 3 weeks ago and this time meds didn't do a thing - she stopped eating and drinking and never managed to shake it. After 10 days in isolation I stopped treatment and put her back with her flock so she could have a few nice last days in the sun...

Three days ago she crawled under our back deck and never left.

She was waiting for death, which came and took her away sometime during the night.

Even an expected and in this case a welcomed death for a sick and suffering creature strikes a blow. Holly was our big silly fluffernutter, the cartoon of the flock, gentle as a feather duster but three times cuter.

Not a happy day :-(

Sunday, June 19, 2011

i can haz chicks!

Fourteen chicks, in fact :-D

I love these little stinkers!

Can you spot the breeds?