Sunday, January 29, 2017

Poultry First Aid Essentials

What do you need in your Poultry First Aid Kit?

Here's a short video explaining what I keep on hand and why.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Dealing with Bumblefoot

So... what is bumblefoot anyway?

Bumblefoot is an infection of the foot (No joke; shocking isn't it?).  Most often it is caused by staph infection. When a chicken gets an abrasion on the bottom pad of its foot, often caused by a splinter or by scratching on the ground, the abrasion can allow bacteria to enter the foot pad.

The tell tale sign of bumblefoot is a dark, crusty scab on the bottom of the foot that doesn't go away on its own.  It is often followed by swelling of the foot, then toes, then up the leg.  Hopefully, you can catch it and address it before it gets that far.  Bumblefoot, like any infection, can be fatal if allowed to spread to the blood stream.

So... I noticed Wilma, my White Leghorn, was limping a bit and had a swollen foot pad. I was pretty confident as to what I would find when inspecting the bottom of her foot. Yep, you guessed it... that dark, crusty scab.

Well, first I had to give her a bath to determine what was dried mud and what was not.  It's been so rainy here lately.  After a nice (in my opinion, not her's) bath and foot inspection, it was easy to see the scab and surrounding hard, swollen area.  On a side note, when a chicken has a pocket of infection, it is generally hard and calcified.

Wilma, post bath and ready her foot inspection.

So, next in the process is to get together the required tools and sanitize them. Cuticle scissors work best for me, along with some tweezers.  I lift the edge of the scab with the scissors and kind of sweep under it feeling for a lump while squeezing gently on the foot pad. The kernel will often pop out or at least begin to rise to the surface. Sometimes it comes out in one big piece, sometimes a few small pieces... sometimes both.

Removing the kernel
"The Kernel" and smaller pieces of kernels
So, after all this is done, I flush the wound with peroxide and treat with triple antibiotic ointment WITHOUT PAIN RELIEVER (very important... pain reliever is toxic to chickens), cover in a gauze pad and sports wrap and give her a quick blow dry since she's still wet from her bath. I follow that with a treatment of Lavender Comb and Wattle Salve since it has a calming effect and give her a few treats as a reward for being such a good girl!

Special thanks to The Chicken Chick for all the great information, instruction and encouragement she provides on how to deal with just about everything chicken related... and also a special thanks to my husband who never freaks out when a sick or injured chicken is brought in the house for special treatment!

Long Time No See

Yes, it has been WAY too long since I've updated my blog.  Please forgive me.  There has been so much happening on farm that I just lost track of the blog for a while, but I hope to change that this year.

The coming year, it is my desire to include more usable content on the blog... the first of which will follow later today.  In the mean time, please follow our Facebook page to catch up on all that has happened over the past several months.

Feathers and Fun on Facebook

Monday, June 20, 2016

Got any ham?

We've added a couple of Isbar hens to our flock recently, and one of them just started laying.  She lays a beautiful, sage green egg...

   so we are all set for Green Eggs & Ham!

House Guest

We had a brief house guest last week.  Ms. Thing had a bloody nose, so I brought her in to doctor it up and let her hang out for a little while in the A/C.

Gus didn't quite know what to make of our temporary house guest.

And then there were two...

Several weeks ago we added three little Marans to our flock.  We named them Bessie Smith, Ella Fitzgerald, and Etta James.

Not long after that, we determined that Bessie Smith was likely a BOY, and has since been called Mr. Smith (although I often call him Romeo, because he loves to love).

left to right:  Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, and Bessie (Mr.) Smith
Now that they are all just a little bit older, Ella Fitzgerald (below center) now known as Fitz, has started crowing too!

I'm holding out hope that Etta remains a girl!

Enjoying Farm Life

So... it's been a while.  We've definitely been busy!

In May, we moved to our new location.  A quaint and very rural piece of property just outside Nolensville, TN.  We've been busy adding buildings and chicken coops and are soon to add MORE CHICKENS!  I have 7 eggs in the incubator now (only 4 appear to be fully developed); they should hatch mid-week.  We will also be adding another large coop, the largest we've ever had... a 14' duplex coop made by Heritage Ways Farm in the next few days.  We'll also have our self-serve Egg Shack open in the next few days as well.  Just a few signs to put up and we're ready to go!

In the past few weeks our little farm has been added to the Local Hens website as well as Pick TN Products.  Getting approval from the Dept of Agriculture was certainly exciting!

On a more somber note, we said, "Goodbye" to Bud, our Lavender Orpington Rooster last week.  He laid his head down next to his favorite hen and went to sleep forever.  He was such a sweet gentleman; it was shocking and hard to see him pass, but I believe it was for the better in the long run. We suspect he had neurological problems from the time he was born.

So, here are a few pictures of the coops and the Swedish Flower Hen flock.  They'll be more to come as we get things moving along.