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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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)

50 Shades of Lemon…the Sequel

9 Mar

Bluey, the pretty splash pekin has been feeling rather left out just lately. Despite, hours pruning her silvery blue feathers to try and capture the eye of the handsome Lemony Splicket, she has sadly decided that she is just not his kind of chick.

One day my Prince will come!

 

If only little Bluey was able to take a look in the mirror, she would have seen her pale comb change over the days that followed. It wasn’t long before her cheeks flushed and her delicate little comb and wattles reddened. A sign she was getting ready to lay her first egg.

On Saturday 9th March, Bluey seemed much more vocal than of late. Also, she began to notice that the most incredibly handsome Lemony Splicket was paying her much more attention than usual. He seemed to be following her around and standing over her proud and strong.

Later on that day, Bluey made her way into the coop and layed her first egg, much to Lemony Splickets delight. She is now as popular as Bungle and Zippy and Lemony Splicket is very enthusiastic over his new female admirer.

Such a handsome fellow!

 

Surprise Eggs!!!

7 Feb

Well, it’s been a while since Zippy has laid an egg…

To be precise, the last egg she laid was in May before deciding to go broody for the rest of the laying season to which she raised 3 baby pekins, Bluey, Bungle and a handsome cockerel named Lemony Splicket.

Now the days are slightly getting longer, Zippy left me a little surprise this morning…

A beautiful peach coloured egg, smooth with a slight sheen.

And at lunch another egg appeared!?? This could not be the youngsters Bluey or Bungle  just yet surely!  Turns out, Zippy had laid yesterday and the little ones kept it hid whilst they slept huddled in the nest box!!

Is Spring coming, I ask you?!! I truly hope so!

To make things even better, Maize Moo, the Lemon Millifleur Sablepoot has been acting very excitable of late…She too has decided to leave me a surprise in the nest box! A beautiful creamy white egg.

Yummy, if I am lucky, I may get enough for Pancake Day!!

 

 

Good Morning Everyone!

15 Nov

Well what a dreary, foggy morning it is out there! However, there is always something to put a smile on your face! Despite the gloomy weather, all hens were in high spirits and just want to say hello!

“Good Morning!”

“Hello, How are you today?”

“OOh tis a bit foggy today!”

“My babies are all grown up!”

“Still can’t find my doodle!”

“Hello Everyone!”

“Hi-ya!!”

“Hello there!”

“Hi! I’m Maize Moo!”

 

 

 

Let’s all have a good prune!!

22 Oct

Well, there is nothing like it!

Pruning feathers is quite a social event and Zippy taught the little chicks how to prune from day 1. Today however, Lemony Splicket, Bluey and Zippy in particular enjoy some time together preening and cleaning their fine feathers.

Bungle, however, is a little distracted and just wants to have mummy Zippy’s attention all to herself! However, Zippy ignores Bungle’s little pecks and Bungle decides to join the others, roosting next to Lemony Splicket who is already becoming a little charmer. Hmmm, he looks quite proud of himself with 2 females perched either side of him!

The Swinging Lettuce…

22 Oct

Today the growing chicks had a new treat. Something rather new and strange dangled above their little heads. Lemony Splicket, Bungle and Bluey were quite curious of the green swinging thing.

Zippy, their mother, thought this lesson was one the chicks could learn themselves and so left them to discover the purpose of this strange looking green thing themselves…

Eventually, Bungle grew courage and pecked a little off, taking a quick sideways step as the green swinging thing flew away from her and then towards her with such speed.

Hmmm not so bad she thought! Soon the others were enjoying the sweet, crisp taste although it did require some beak to eye co-ordination!!

Bluey was a little distracted from the green swinging thing. She is determined to see what is outside her run! She is like a lightening bolt and as soon as she hears the door of the run open, she shoots out and takes a nibble of grass. I can see already, she is going to be a real crazy character!

Lemony Splicket, on the other hand, was still unsure of the strange green swinging thing… He was either being a true gentleman and letting the ladies have their turn first,or he was just being a bit of a coward!

You would not believe how much entertainment a little gem lettuce could give!

Dust-bathing Fun!

27 Sep

A few warm sunny days brings out the little chicks! Mummy Zippy is still mothering her babies at 5 weeks old and has been giving them some advice on how to dustbath. Bluey is sat huddled underneath, close to Zippy. Bungle the millifleur is seen in the dustbath and Lemony Splicket is testing the water! Can you spot any potential cockerels yet or do we have all hens?

“C’mon! Who’s joining me in this!?”

Nothing more fun than having a good dust bath all together!

Here they all are at  8 weeks old, growing stronger each day…