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Bluey knows her name!

1 Dec

Bluey, our splash pekin hen, knows her name! Although recovering from ‘Bumblefoot’, she is in high spirits and can race at high speeds if someone calls her! Here she is seen sprinting across the run, hoping my daughter has some tasty treats for her!

Floella our Jack Russell is wanting so much to join in the fun too by bringing a golf ball to the front of the run to see if Bluey wants to play “FETCH!”

I think Bluey is not impressed and puts Floella in her place by a good peck on the snout!

 

 

Bluey has Bumblefoot

17 Nov

Panic has struck me! How could I have not noticed? My poor little pekin, Bluey has suspected Bumblefoot!

This is something I have not come across yet whilst keeping hens.

Keep feet dry and clean!

Keep feet dry and clean!

 

Bumblefoot is a bacterial infection caused by the staphylococcus bacterium that is actually found normally on the skin. The bacteria can enter the skin of a hen if she wounds the pads of her feet such as jumping off high perches, rough splinted perches and some kinds of bedding particularly if damp. Bumblefoot may also be passed onto a chick through the egg.

Immediate attention is needed with this inflamed and painful bacterial infection. If left, the infection will spread and could possibly rupture through the top of a hens foot.  If you are able, you can start treatment at home straight away. You may however need antibiotics to get rid of the infection totally as it can easily come back if the core of the abscess is not completely removed.  You will need patience and determination!

The signs of Bumblefoot…

The black scab indicates Bumblefoot

The black scab indicates Bumblefoot

 

  • A hen may limp.
  • The foot may feel hot to touch and appear swollen.
  • An abscess with a black scab may appear on the pad of the foot.
  • The hen may appear sorry for herself and not move around much.

Treatment I have found helpful in FIGHTING Bumblefoot…

  • Where gloves to protect yourself! The bacteria can infect you if you have an open cut!
  • Soak the hens infected foot in hand hot water to which you have added some Epsom Salts. The Epsom Salts help to soften the scab and draw the pus to the surface.
Enjoying a foot spa!

Enjoying a foot spa!

 

  • Gently whilst talking to your hen and making sure she is not suffering any stress, rub the scab with your finger or thumb in circular movements.
  • Keep soaking her feet and replacing the water so it remains quite hot all the time.
  • This procedure took me 2 hours but eventually the scab softened and came away with some pus to leave a hole.
  • Ensure the hole is clean and dry. Spray with a small animal/poultry antiseptic to ensure the area is clean. I used Vetericyn Wound and Skin Care.
Wrapped in towels to dry those feathers!

Wrapped in towels to dry those feathers!

 

  • Apply a poultice. I used Animalintex Poultice which contains Boric Acid to help draw out any further infection. You can also use magnesium sulphate which you can get from the pharmacy.
  • Apply a pad of cotton wool on top of the poultice and wrap the hens foot in Vetrap to secure. DO NOT WRAP TIGHTLY. Just enough to keep the poultice in place and the foot clean. Do not use red vetrap! Hens are attracted to red and may pull off the bandaging!
Bandaging the feet using Vetwrap

Bandaging the feet using Vetwrap

 

  • Repeat this entire procedure every couple of days until the pad of the foot is healed and shows no signs of redness.
  • Check your other hens in the flock just in case you have others suffering from this infection.
  • You may have to carry this procedure out for 2 to 3 weeks so you need to be patient. If after this time, you still have a problem, go back to your vets as you may need a further course of antibiotics or the vet may suggest it may need lancing to get the last of the infection out.

Bluey is still receiving treatment for her Bumblefoot infection. One foot has healed over but the skin holds a pinkish tone which the vet recommended I keep an eye on. I do not really want to go down the route of it being lanced so I am trying to be really vigilant on applying a poultice and bandaging. She is quite happy in the run with the other hens and as you can see from the post “Bluey Knows her name“, she can run in her purple socks quite well!!

There is an excellent YouTube video on how to bandage a hens foot which can be a tricky thing to do! It really is easier if you have 2 of you but if not, try a towel over the hens head which can calm her. Check she can  breathe ok and talk calmly to her. Once you have mastered it once, it does get easier!

 

 

Broody in November??

10 Nov

The nights are drawing in…

Leaves are showing the golden shades of Autumn and dawn brings a chill to the air.

So I hear myself say…

“How is it I have 2 broody pekins in November?”

 

Dom Perignon who is only 8 months old has layed well this Summer. She is a light buff pekin quite champagne like in colour, daughter to Lemony Splicket and Zippy. She is already showing similarities to her mother. Dom even sounds like her mother. She has been broody now for a couple of weeks despite the weather turning quite cold!

Bluey, the sweet little splash pekin is also fancying her chances of a winter hatch. This is her 2nd time of broodiness this year but sadly again, there are no fertile eggs under her. Maybe next Spring will see her mothering her newly hatched chicks…

 

I am so wanting chicks for Christmas

I am so wanting chicks for Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sandy’s 1st Egg!

9 Aug

Sandy our 18 week old Pekin hen has today laid her first egg!

Sandy (also known as Dom Perrignon due to her lovely champagne colouring!) hatched out at Easter,  her parents being Zippy and Lemony Splicket. I sensed it would not be long before this little hen would lay. She has shown all the signs by reddening of face and comb. Early this morning she kept coming in and out of the hen house and was very curious as though looking for a nice comfy spot!

Her first egg weighs in at a whopping 26g!! Hmmm that will make a fantastically huge omelette!  Compared to our usual bantams which weigh around 40g, Sandy’s egg is very petite but a lovely brown colour which surprised me as most of my pekins lay a pale cream tinted egg. The shell has a lovely smooth and even sheen so we will be fighting over it for dippy egg and soldiers for breakfast (hmmm may need a few of these petite eggs to fill hungry tums!) Hopefully, as Sandy matures, her eggs will increase in size to match the other bantams but for now, all I need to say is…….

CONGRATULATIONS  SANDY!!

 

Sandy's 26g egg!

Sandy’s 26g egg!

 

Here is Sandy, looking very beautiful on my shoulder!

Sandy loves basil leaves!

Sandy loves basil leaves!

 

Bungles Chicks – 4 weeks old!

4 Aug

Bungle, the millefleur pekin hen is doing a splendid job bringing up her 4 week old little chicks.

It’s the most amazing experience watching your broody hen raise little chicks. From the day you put those precious little eggs under your broody to the day those little ones peep from under mum’s feathers to say hello to the big wide world is a miracle and fills your heart with delight!

So far, I have had 100% fertility and hatch rate out of my own eggs. Not bad at all I don’t think but really I need to say thank you to Mr Lemony Splicket and all my little hennies for doing such a wonderful job at creating such wonderful little chicks.

Raising chicks under a broody hen seems better for the little chicks too. They seem to develop much quicker, learn all the tricks of the trade from their wonderful mum and seem to make good healthy strong girls and boys and you don’t have to worry about that heat lamp! Mum does all the temperature gauging! Just fresh water with a little apple cider vinegar (helps prevent coccidiosis which can be a killer in chicks), a good healthy chick crumb (I feed garvo mini pellets which can be fed until laying) and clean dry bedding is all you need to think about when you have a broody hen taking care of you little precious chicks.

Here are some pictures of my recent hatched chicks. Sometimes, if the weather allows, Bungle loves to take them on a guided tour around the garden but I have to watch them…little chicks are very quick and quite flighty. Mum is never far away however. She has certainly disciplined her chicks very well!

 

You may see from the pictures that it looks like Mr Lemony Splicket has given us 1 little girl and 3 little boys!

Hopefully I have found a loving home for the little lady but I am seeking 3 loving homes for the baby Splicket Juniors if anyone is interested?

If you are serious then please take a look at the ‘Own Your Own Goofy Chicken‘ page

Happy Birthday Bungle, Bluey and Lemony Splicket!

2 Aug

Happy Birthday today to my pretty Pekins, Bungle, Bluey and handsome Pekin, Lemony Splicket!

A year ago I searched all over to find some day old chicks for my broody hen Zippy who had been desperate to hatch her own eggs which sadly failed. She was delighted when the 3 little chicks arrived and were placed under her, raising them like her own.

Now, a year old today, Bungle has her own little chicks to care for, Bluey had a short spell of broodiness but now laying well again and Lemony Splicket is charming all the ladies as well as being in fine voice…and producing 6 chicks of his own!

Lemony Splicket strutting his stuff!

Lemony Splicket strutting his stuff!

 

Bungle looking well, now with chicks of her own!

Bungle looking well, now with chicks of her own!

 

A small pekin but with a very loud call when she sees me or wants something!

A small pekin but with a very loud call when she sees me or wants something!

They certainly have changed since being little chicks. Bungle, who we thought was a cockerel, turned out to be a hen and Lemony Splicket turned out to be the cockerel! Bluey still was the smallest but has always been the loudest (even louder than Lemony Splicket)

Bungle hatches her first Chicks!

6 Jul

Congratulations to Bungle, the millefleur pekin who

successfully hatched 4 pekin chicks on 4th July!

Bungle began showing signs of broodiness on 17th May and it was clear those powerful hormones had taken over and this little lady was not going to give in until she had some fertile eggs placed under her!

A broody hen is a very determined hen. Her behavior can sometimes dramatically change from a sweet little angel to a squawking  and shrieking little terror, raising her tail and fluffling out her feathers should you attempt to go anywhere near her. She also spends hours in the nest box, making sure no other hen can enter to try and lay an egg. She lies flat like a pancake, her eyes focused as though in a trance. And worst of all, a broody hen will  most likely stop laying any tasty eggs for you! I have had 2 different experiences with 2 different  kinds of broodies.  Zippy was a very placid and gentle broody whereas Bungle was the terror broody!

"How much longer do I have to wait?"

Zippy, ‘The Determined but Placid  Broody Hen’

 

After many desperate attempts to try and break Bungle’s broodiness,  I finally realized that the hens have beaten me again…

I made up a soft straw nest in our rabbit hutch, perfect for a broody to sit on eggs in peace. Bungle was placed in the hutch for a couple of days with some pot eggs to see if she would settle which she did without a doubt.  Around tea-time on 13th June, I carefully put 4 eggs under Bungle.  These had been laid previously by Kojak, the buff pekin, the father being the one and only Lemony Splicket of course!

 

 

Bye Bye Ducklings!

24 Jun

It’s been rather a busy time of late here at the Goofy Chicken HQ. A couple of weeks ago, we said farewell to our 2 Runner ducklings which were reared by our broody pekin hen, Zippy.

Zippy’s adopted ducklings have grown twice her size and she was getting rather tired of being drenched by the little dabblers! Fortunately, for Zippy, the Runners have moved into their new home complete with a much larger and deeper paddling pool to dabble and play in. They love it and the owners apparently have great fun trying to get them into their coop for bedtime…

After all the worry over the  young Runners becoming too attached to their mummy Zippy, all has turned out well. There is only just one last thing to mention and that is how well the adorable Zippy did raising these ducklings, bless her! Well that’s pekin bantams for you…they make the most wonderful and loving mothers of all.

Here are some reminder pictures of Zippy and her adopted young, always close by.

 

 

 

Please Help Ex Battery Hens

2 Jun

I regularly receive the newsletter from the British Hen Welfare Trust and came across this upsetting article regarding Ex Battery hens in India.

Apparently India is the 3rd largest country for producing eggs but sadly about 70% of these eggs come from caged hens who have less than an A4 size sheet of paper in which to live.  These hens do not have access to dust bathing areas, the freedom to forage and scratch or to feel the sun on their backs.

They do not live the life of a chicken.

If you would like to help these hens find a life they deserve, please visit the page.

https://action.hsi.org/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=104&ea.campaign.id=19993

 

“I swear I saw a worm over there Elvie!”

 

Always first at the gate!!

 

You can’t beat a communal dust bath!

 

“This is such a nice holiday place!”

 

“Lets catch some rays!”

 

POKAAAAARRR Im sure that cat is watching us!

 

“Look at me now!!”

 

“Strike a Pose!”

 

As you can see, these ex battery hens are full of character and have such a sweet nature!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zippy and Ducklings have fun outside!

26 May

The little Runner Ducklings are growing at an incredible rate!

Today saw some glorious sunshine and it is time to let the little ones and Mummy Zippy out into the sunshine for some fun!

I think Zippy is grateful she can get a little break as these fast growing ducklings are quite a handful!