Red Bucket Farm is an urban farm on a quarter acre property in an average residential neighborhood. We are located in Wisconsin, USDA Zone 5. We focus on chickens, bees, orchard fruit, and raised garden beds for fruits and veggies. We hope to reduce our footprint on the planet by growing some of our food, reducing our use of fossil fuels, and gardening with sustainable practices. Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Chicken Ailments

In the midst of all the flurry over the honeybees, one of our laying hens has been slightly ill. Hyacinth the Easter Egger had diarrhea last week beginning on Thursday. She seemed pretty normal, but by Sunday she was beginning to lose energy.

I learned that Hyacinth very likely has coccidiosis, an intestinal parasite that is carried through the feces. An animal can build resistance to coccidiosis or it can just as easily perish. A friend recommended that I treat her with Amprolium, which is administered in her water and would benefit all the laying hens.

By the time I made it to the farm supply store on Monday morning, all the girls seemed happy and normal again. I've still got the amprolium for next time, but right now I feel lucky that everybody is fine.

We realized that when we fenced in the chicken yard last month, we included our compost bins inside the chicken yard. After all, the girls are excellent at constantly turning over the compost, and they enjoy the kitchen scraps. Unfortunately, they also are more exposed to their own waste in the compost bin. Last night we relocated the icky compost outside the the chicken yard.

Meanwhile, one of the baby chicks, Squill the Speckled Sussex, has curley toe. Her outside toe on both feet curls out rather than facing forward. This could be genetic. It might progress and cripple her, or it might not.
We splinted her toe with a popsicle stick and medical tape. This might have worked if the other baby chicks hadn't immediately decided to attack her and the splint. Ultimately, we decided to live with the curley toe untreated and hope for the best. So far, so good.

Many thanks to my friend Myron, who is always compassionate and knowledgeable about these things.

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