Friday, January 25, 2008

caged drama!

No, this isn't where i put the kids when they won't do their school work(hey not a bad idea though!)-we have a sick hen and i had to get the isolation "cage" out. it's actually the first time we've had to use it. I'm overwhelmed with busyness. so, i'm just going to post a rough draft for my february article of "The Chicken Chronicles"- for those of you who don't know i write a monthly column for our local paper on my inexperienced adventures in raising chickens- by the way liam loved the cage and said he wanted to sleep in it.(?????) here's the article:

After an uneventful holiday “chicken” season, this month seems to be quite the opposite. There’s a lot going on here at the Rebel Hen Ranch. Many of you noticed that our rooster “Insulator” was not included in the list of holiday greetings wishers. I chose not to include him as I was trying to detach myself from him as we found someone to take him. Only-it wasn’t to give home a good home it was for holiday feasting purposes. We just needed to catch and deliver-well, to tell ya truth-I’ve grown kind of attached to this fella since finding him a taker-and so have the kids. Insulator is quite the guy! He finds his girls’ food- makes a delightful chirping sound which they run to him and he lets them eat first-before he ever takes a bite! He keeps them all round up in a tidy group and crows proudly-announcing to the world that he has the best “chicks” around-and they are all his! So, I keep making excuses as to not catching him while I figure out what to do with him as I promised Hubby no roosters!

I’ve also been busy with coop repairs- trying to keep the girls warm and dry during all these storms. The storms haven’t affected egg production though-they are laying like crazy! We had eight eggs yesterday! The girls are averaging about 5-7 eggs a day. The wild turkeys continue to be a nuisance. My new wrist rocket doesn’t help much-they keep coming back to eat the expensive organic chicken feed!!!

We had another bad predator scare the other day- no wild beasts this time. A neighbor's dog was chasing the girls madly around our house. Fortunately I looked out the window before we had another chicken massacre.My throat hurt the rest of the day from screaming and yelling so loud. Heavy sigh of relief!

On a sadder note-as I sat down to write this article earlier today my youngest son came running in to tell me “Ruth” was sick. She looked terrible!-pale comb and foamy frothy eyes. I knew I had to separate her from the rest of the flock. Luckily a few years back I bought an old collapsible dog cage-I had no use for it at the time. Best 5 bucks I ever spent! We brought it in the laundry room- filled it with straw, a roost stick, food and vitamin/electrolyte laced water. The boys and I caught “Ruth” easily and brought her inside. I dosed her eyes with homeopathic pink eye remedy by Similasan as I knew it couldn’t hurt. We put her in the cage and she seemed real content to be out of the elements. I’ve been reading up in my “Chicken Health Handbook” by Gail Damerow-it could be many things-but the frothy eye seems to be listed under “Chronic Respitory Disease” which is common and usually not fatal-but I’m going to do more research to see what’s going on with her. I’m hoping it’s just a cold due to all the wild wet weather.

As I finish writing this I’ve noticed her eyes are no longer foamy and she is resting peacefully. I may try and give her some Echinacea as it always helps us when we are sick…….Stay tuned for the next exciting adventures of “The Chicken Chronicles.” May all be well!

did you notice her freaky eye syndrome?


Beryl said...

My best wishes to Ruth! I'll bet she is faking it so that she has a nice warm place out of the crummy weather:-)

soxchik said...

So are you going to make a hot water bottle cover for Ruth??????? Just being silly.