Friday, April 29, 2011

It's... better?

Quick update...

We lost our beloved little Jasper yesterday to some unknown long-term illness, I'm reasonably sure he and his sister Sookie (who passed away a couple months ago) were inbred, leading to genetic weaknesses that never gave them a chance to mature into strong adults...

He was a gorgeous, slate-grey silkie and he will be terribly missed.

RIP my sweet cuddle-bug :-(

Still have some sick hens, some are learning to live with their wheezy lungs and others have good days and bad days, however everyone is now free-ranging except the silkies, who will be moved to their summer pen tomorrow if all goes well.

If chickens could smile, I'd have been blinded by shiny toothless grins today!

It's a LOT of hard work (my back, arms and fingertips are KILLING me tonight from an afternoon of securing bird netting with zip ties, LOL) but oh so well worth it.

We're all set until next winter, woo!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What's next, flying locusts?

The technoflocks have fallen victim to a host of plagues, and they just won't go away! Everyone was fine all winter and now that the main flock is out free-ranging: MISERY!

-Mysterious viral and highly contagious respiratory disease, not responding to treatment, wet coughing with mucus, water in lungs. Lost some sweet girls and a baby chick :(

-Mysterious secondary upper respiratory infection causing swollen sinuses, bubbly eyes that swell shut with gunk. Affected hens respond to treatment but it's slow.

-Found some tiny lice on the silkies, must be transmitted by mice entering the barn - treated everyone with Ivermectin.

-Found roundworms in the main flock's poop, treated everyone with Piperazine - even the girls in quarantine who are on meds.

-Spring molt has started so there are feathers everywhere and egg production is dropping significantly.

I can't wait for all this crap to be over and done with... I want my pretty, happy and healthy hens back, please! I've lost 9 flock members since the beginning of the year, enough already!! :-(

Saturday, April 16, 2011


My beloved Paloma was fine a few days ago,
happy and free-ranging with her flock - 
and this morning I had to watch her die in front of me, 
drowned from thick fluid in her lungs 
after struggling miserably to breathe the past two days.

All this because I had no access to the proper meds to save her.

I am devastated.

I brought this sweet girl home at 8 weeks of age on November 30th, 2009, 
and watched her grow into a huge, beautiful and gentle soul 
with the softest feathers and most demure disposition. 

And now suddenly, she is gone.

And three more girls are sick with the same respiratory ailment
after being fine the whole winter long.

I'm almost ready to throw in the towel,
I can't take any more hits like this, 
it hurts too much.

Good forever night, angel...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring bliss

If a photo is worth a thousand words,
then a video is priceless :-)


Saturday, April 9, 2011

chicken paradise!

The long-awaited day, finally here!

After five months of being sequestered in the barn (even if their living quarters were pretty ritzy), Ti-Lou's flock got to feel the warm sunshine on their feathers again!

Vegas and I prepped the summer coop and moved everyone, boy what a job - but worth every ache and pain :-D

You couldn't find happier chickens even if you tried, LOL.

Tomorrow morning the pen doors open wide, can't wait to see the flock scattered all over the yard again... my busy little gardeners! The grass is only starting to grow in spots so I hope they don't wreck anything, otherwise I'll have to keep them penned up for another couple of weeks.

*fingers crossed*

Two more flocks to move and we're all set until November - w00t!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Aren't they sweet?

Not the best video ever
(those darn heat lamps!)
but here are The Lucky Seven!

I loves them :-)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Miracle babies!

Could you, would you believe it??

On day 24 of setting, mama Blossom has hatched five chicks to date with the final two having pipped their shells this afternoon, so there may be as many as seven lovely new babies by tomorrow morning!

All this when I thought all was doomed since the chicks were due three days ago - and to think, I almost tossed the eggs having assumed the babies were all still-born - OMG!!

So far we have a bantam frizzled cochin, a bantam black cochin and three silkies, with two more silkies on the way. They are terribly cute, quiet and incredibly adorable - I'll take a little video tomorrow, you just have to see for yourselves!

I bought a bottle of rosé wine to celebrate this miracle!