Just before Christmas I went up to the hens as usual to let them out for the day and pick up the early eggs. Usually there’s two in the morning and one or two later in the day. This day there were two eggs first thing but one was a little small and the other was huge – more like a goose egg than a hen’s egg.
When I cracked the big egg into the pan it was a double yolker. The dictionary definition of Serendipity is a happy accident, mine is a double yolk egg.
We’ve both been down with rotten colds over the holiday, just about getting better now. I can’t say I’ve fancied getting up, let alone going outside but when you’ve got animals you’ve got responsibility. They’re a bit like kids, you might feel like death warmed up but they’ve still got to be fed and looked after.
I must admit I’d have killed for a lie-in some days but the nearest I got was go up to the coop, let them out and then back in for a cup of tea and doze off for an hour in the chair.
Happily the Eglu Cube is really easy to clean out. Up to the compost bin with the droppings tray and then a wash down with the jet washer. Leave it to dry off and put back together again. 10 minutes work and half an hour for a tea break whilst it dries.
Poorly Bob Hen
When we got the new flock from the auction the three Nova Browns were pretty obviously well looked after pets. Extremely tame and friendly. The two Greys however were not pets so much as surplus stock.
Bob had obviously been suffering from too much attention from the cockerel but Chocky was in good condition. I don’t think we’d have bid but we heard someone say he’d bid for them an cull the one in bad condition. OK, we’re softies.
Well with tonic in the water, seaweed supplement weekly in the mash and TLC she feathered up nicely and soon seemed as happy as any of the others in the flock. She’s never been a dominant bird, usually last to a treat and not challenging at all.
Then I noticed she seemed hesitant about coming out of the coop in the morning. I took a good look at her and one eye was closed. We treated the eye and it got better but then we noticed she’d got Scaly Leg. Problem there is that it’s a disease caused by mites and usually spreads quickly so we had to treat the whole flock.
With Bob showing symptoms, we’ve been putting vaseline on her legs to help the healing process. Usually she’s a bit of fun to catch but yesterday it wasn’t too hard. Today she’s been really down. Just standing in that hunched up way that poorly hens have.
I walked up behind her and she only made a token protest when I picked her up. Not a good sign. Her crop didn’t seem particularly full – I’m sure she’s off her feed. Even mixed corn doesn’t get a reaction.
I put her back down an she let rip with a watery stream of smelly green diarrhoea. The other’s are going normally, it’s just Bob. There was no blood in it so I don’t think it’s Coccidiosis but it’s possible. It could be worms. I’ve seen no sign of worms in the droppings but that’s not definitive. Possibly she’s eaten something the others haven’t that disagrees with her. We’ll treat the flock for both worms and Coccidiosis though, just in case.
My gut feeling is that she’s one her way out. When I open the coop I wouldn’t be surprised to find she’s passed away. I’ve had that feeling about animals before and too often I’ve been right. I hope not, though.