Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Is It Tuesday Already?

Good Tuesday morning! The sun has graced us with its presence not only this morning, but all day yesterday. It was heavenly to be out in its warmth. Today should be even better as the weather guessers are predicting a high in the sixties.

Here we are and New Years Eve is right around the corner. I am ready for the new year to start. The days are already noticably longer, maybe only by minutes, but I caught myself coming in at 6:10 and I used to not be able to see my hand in front of my face it was so dark by that time. So we are on our way, I am leaning hard towards Spring. ;)

Fern, I am glad you got the card, sorry it was late! This year was the first year I got my Christmas cards out late. Time just slips away and before you know it, your cards are late! Paula, did you get a warm light set up for your kitty? Glad I gave you an idea for her. :) John, I am sorry to hear you have had so much loss in your life already. Bless your heart...sending out a big hug to you.

Now on to what has been going on around here. After Christmas day we had a few days of recuperation time. A friend of Ians stopped in for the day yesterday. They went riding around in Jays Cooper. Ian and Jay both have small cars that are sporty and fun to drive, so they like to take a cruise sometimes. They ended up coming back with Jay a new Iphone. Ian said he helped Jay spend money. ;)

I spent the day outside of course, since the weather was nice. Everyone was glad to see me as usual. I took a bucket, some Dawn dish liquid and some dish scrub brushes and got everyones waterers cleaned and filled. Got everyone filled up with fresh food. I turned on the heat lamps before going in at dark for the first time in a week. The weather has been so mild we haven't needed it. Last night it did get down to the freezing mark though.

We don't have any major plans for New Years Eve. Shelbys friend Tiffany and Karen, her mother, are coming to spend the night Wednesday night. They will leave on Thursday and then Patti, my older sister, and her youngest daughter with her boyfriend will come. I hope it doesnt rain on Friday. They forecast is calling for it. She hates driving in the rain as much as I do. They will stay Friday through Sunday for a nice long visit this time.

Then thats going to be it for a while. I have enjoyed and I am enjoying all the company we have gotten. We didnt have any for a long time because the gas prices were so high that no one could afford to go anywhere.

I had an incident in the pretties pen area. I don't know what gets into chickens heads sometimes. They lose their mind temporarily or something. A perfect example of this is when I had four beautiful white bantam frizzle cochin pullets. They grew up together. One day, three of them decided to gang up on one and kill the other. They pecked at her backside and ate her from her backside down to the bone. I know this is distasteful, but it happened. It us not unheard of, but no one really knows what triggers it. I have talked with others and they have had it happen.

This time, it was one of my Golden Phoenix pullets I found, huddled in the corner of the roosting pen. Her head tucked tight in the corner she was clearly in distress and frightened and in pain beyond imagination. I pulled her out of the pen. My poor girl. No one was around her so I don't even know who the culprit, or culprits were. I suspect two of the Golden Phoenix cockerals, but have no proof. She was very traumatized. I carried her into the house and cleaned up her head where they had pulled on her comb until it was torn half off her head. Then I cleaned her backside. They had pulled out all her back feathers in an area as big as my fist and then didnt stop there but had begun to peck open wounds into her back. You could see under the two small holes where the muscle was. I cleaned her up with a damp washcloth and took Neosporin and thickly coated her back with it, filling in the holes with the antibiotic. I coated her comb and the top of her head too. She was put into a holding pen and placed on the porch to rest that night. The next morning I put in fresh water and food for her. She was thirsty, but not ready to eat yet. By that afternoon she had a little appetite and ate some. By yesterday she was eating and drinking and didnt seem to be in too much pain (the antibiotic ointment has a pain reliever in it). Until her back is completely healed I can't put her back out there though. Any visible wounds would be obsessed over by the other chickens and pecked at. Last night I brought her in the house and she is warm and doing good this morning.

I have a lot of animals. When one gets hurt or sick, they always recieve individual attention. I do everything I can for whoever needs care. Here on our little farm, everyone matters. Here area few pictures of my pretty girl I took this morning, recovering nicely.


In the second picture you can see the torn half of the comb is black. I imagine she is going to lose this half of her comb. The third picture does not show the full back area, I spared you of that. Her feathers surrounding the area help to cover the bare wounded area. She is not cowering and upset anymore, she seems to be in good spirits. Now its just going to be a long healing process.

Now, I am going to go and get me a cup of coffee and do some visiting. :) I haven't had a lot of time to sit down and relax lately, but I think between today and tomorrow I will see if I can't catch up and come by to see everyone on their journals. :)


Donna said...

My mom always said overcrowding was the cause of cannibalism in chickens. Oh, and she felt if you kept oyster shell in with the chickens they weren't so likely to peck one another, although that really doesn't make sense to me.

Kelly said...

I thought about mentioning that overcrowding can make this occur, but you know most all my chickens are free range. My layers are free range, as are the ones in this area. The penned area they are in is more to keep the horse and emus out. They can go out, but the big guys can't come in.

Goatfarmer said...

I dont know why they attack each other. may be missing minerals they need. My grandmother would feed them raw hamburger meat or sauagae. Doona mention oyster shells I think its because they have a mineral they need in them. I would try them. Weather has been real nice but still muddy from the rain

Kelly said...

I feed a complete layer feed that is sixteen percent protein. All the ones in this group are still young, and only a couple of the hens are laying, and that is sporadic. None of them are old enough to go through their first molt to need the oyster shell either. The oyster shell is supposed to be for calcium from what I have read. I think they just get it in their head to obsess, and can't stop themselves once they start. Crazy.

Lisa said...

Poor girl, I can see she is in excellent hands with you taking special care of her. Isn't it amazing even with the number of animals we have how we can still be a constant care nurse when needed. I know you do everything you can to keep your animals happy & comfortable.

We must be having the same weather today, it is brilliantly sunny but windy and I am loving it. I noticed the days are just a hint longer too. I can't wait until spring either - once the initial mud gets out of the way it's all good.

I wish you guys a very happy new year and a blessed 2009 for everyone, including all the animals.

Thank you for the card, it came the day after christmas so actually it was a nice surprise. Christmas seems to go so fast.
Love ya kiddo~

Just Bill said...

Kelly, never knew chickins could be so mean or nasty.
Have a fine 2009, Bill

madcobug said...

I have no idea why they do that. When we raised layers when they were about two weeks old the company sent out a group of people with those machines they debeak them with. It just got the tip of their beaks. Sometimes they let to many get by them and later they would start that pecking the hind ends of others then I had to call the company and they would have to do the job again and get the ones they missed. Helen

Beth said...

Aww, bless her heart. Keep giving her that TLC--it sounds like she's responding well. I know it's nature and all, but I still hate to see a creature in such distress. :(

Both Ken and I get a daily weather email from one of our local TV stations. I'm enjoying watching the time of daylight creep up! So far it's only a minute or so a day, but at least it's progress!

Hugs, Beth

Anonymous said...

I laughed at the "I have a lot of animals" :-). You sure do, Kelly.
The attacking each other is disheartening, and I have heard of it due to overcrowding, but I also read your reply to that.

Anonymous said...

Opps, it's Mary(just mary). My name came up as frank...long time no see, but I will be back more often.

Tina said...

oh, that is rough! poor girl!!!!

Paula said...

Oh that poor baby. Thank goodness she has you to tend her. No I haven't bought the light yet. Its been warm and John thinks Susie won't sleep under a light. She is so set in her ways. If it gets real cold I may try it or see if his daughter has an extra one I can borrow to see how it goes. Thanks for your concern.

JoHn'S wOrLd said...

Thank you for the kind words..I settled in with my chinease food,Happily reading your blog.Took a big bite then began to read about your poor Chicken.Needless to say Im done with dinner for the night.LOL

Janie said...

Awwww poor chicken. Hope they don't do that anymore to her. Hope you all is going well for you now. Blessings, Janie

breakaway said...

OH OUCH! That poor girl! Looks like you took really good care of her. I have learned that you can add aspirin to the water for pain. I'm not sure of the dosage but can find out for you. It helps a lot. Keep us informed as to how she is doing. Mine have not done that YET...I'm waiting for the time. One thing that I have a prob with right now is my hens eating each others' feathers! They all are looking so terrible right now! LOL Especially the cochin hen I hatched from you. Her neck is totally bare now from the others eating her feathers. AND the top of her head from the rooster mating her! UGH poor girl! She just can't win! I can't wait for spring so they want to go back outside. They have been staying in the hen house all cooped up.