Monday, November 23, 2009

chickenmama's homesteading creature care

on sundays when all feed supply stores and vets are closed one must buck up and rise to the occasion of caring for one's own homesteading creatures. for me, it's two ailing apenzellar spitzhauben girls and once brown speckled sussex girl. they are suffering watering eyes and stuffy beaks due to the effects of foul pox gone too close to their seeing and smelling places.

the spitzhaubens are much worse off than the sussex as i believe i caught the sussex early early. the spitshaubens each had one eye crusty and closed completely for a good 24 hours. their nasal passage was also crusty - the babies were looking rough and had difficulty finding their way back into their house at night. the sussex, she has a single eye watering and should recover in a matter of days.

i must admit - i was feeling on edge yesterday. i was not the coolest cucumber. i spent a good while researching like crazy. i knew instinctively it was a result of the foul pox the flock had been going through. these girls just took it harder than the rest, a whole lot harder. i knew i had limited time to act. luckily i had some good goods in the chicken first aide kit. so i turned to self and said to self...

if you were all crusty and stuffed up, what would you do? sounds simple doesn't it? well maybe so but when one is worried for her loved ones, one does not always turn to simple at the start. once i got there - to the simple - the cool cucumber self kicked in and chickenmama docta got to work.

here's what i've been doing to help my girls
  • i prepped a steamy inhalant of eucalyptus oil in hot water - this loosened up their nasal passages. i gently dobbed away the gook with a q-tip as it drained. this has worked well for the ladies. i do this every evening and morning.
  • i found a saline eye spray prepared for children. it emits a fine saline spray. i use this to cleanse the area before and after the compress.
  • next is a warm compress of water with eucalyptus oil - i hold this over the crusty eye area *make sure it's not too hot* - this has been a miracle worker - their eyes are now open and no longer crusted shut - they are still watery but i keep an eye on them and if necessary place a compress in the eye area several to three four times a day. the compress has also been helpful in the removal of pox - they have started to fall off on their own.
  • iodine - using a q-tip i place itty daubs of iodine on the pox - this helps to dry them up
  • vet rx for poultry - this is a natural oil based treatment for poultry - i drip this over the beaks of the birds and place a few drops under each wing. the mix includes menthol and helps keep nasal passages open.
  • neosporin (do not use the neosporin with pain relief on birds - just plain old neosporin) - i daubbed a bit of neosporin around the eye area and under the chin. anywhere i saw any pox action.
  • cod liver oil - 1ml for each girl - more is not better - too much can harm the bird
  • b12 liquid - 1 ml for each girl - more is not better - too much can harm the bird
  • spoon feeding of crushed blueberries in natural no sugar added applesauce - they gobble this up quite well once their nasal passages are cleared up.
the girls know what's going on. they know i'm doing all of this to help and do not fuss or squack or meddle. they are excellent patients, each and every one. chickenmama could not ask for more.

this process seems to be working. i am going to check in at the feed store to see if there is any other process or comfort i can offer. the recovery is slow and the getting there requires a good deal of my attentions but i love my girls so i will do whatever it takes. it looks as if they'll pull through, each day is a little bit better. fingers are crossed. i've got a couple a three trooper girls - love my chickenygirls xoxoxoxoxoxox

baby picture above of the girls at just 5 -6 weeks old - ahhhhhhh

* A good online board for when you need help fast….like the EASY CHICKEN for instance, haha!!
* Alcohol
* Apple Cider Vinegar
* Auromycin/terramycin-tetracycline type antibiotics-follow label directions. Use if the whole flock might have the sniffles.
* Baby shampoo- for chicks, when they get wet on the bottom and get that sticky chick start gunk underneath. Just be sure to hold their little heads above the water.
* Bag Balm - for leg mites, also use on comb and wattles to aid in frostbite prevention.
* Ball Pickling Lime-for wounds. It dries it up and deters infection and flies.
* Betadine Solution-for cuts and scrapes
* Bleach-use for cleaning every thing, including visitors
* Blood Stop Powder (Quick Stop),Sugar, (it also helps in fighting infection.),Styptic Powder or flour to stop blood flow.
* Boots, coveralls, or coats that you do NOT wear anywhere but to the coop. Sanitize the boots with Lysol (or other disinfectant virucide) once a week.
* Camphophenique- topical antiseptic
* Cat Food-Dry, 30-40% Protein, used to increase protein to ward off feather eating & cannibalism. Usually protein problem, use only a couple of times a week when necessary. Dry cat food can also be used during molt to up protein levels to aid in new feather production.
* Cat Claw nail clippers for trimming toe nails
* Cayenne pepper-natural wormer-also used as feed top dress when birds are sneezing or turkeys present with sulphur yellow poop indicating blackhead or similar bug.
* Colloidal Silver-added to water to help fight off infections.
* Corona (small yellow and black can) for any cuts, bruises, or other injuries.
* Cotton balls, Cotton swabs and/or Q-Tips
* Diabetic syringes-used for giving injections. Can also be used without needle to administer oral medications.
* Digital Camera
* DE Diatomaceous Earth
* Dubbing shears-sharp (1 pr each, curved and straight)
* Epsom Salt - flush for botulism
* Eyedropper
* Eye ointment with saline solution
* First Aid Tape
* Fish oil gel caps-for general good health. Squirt it on feed. Can also use tuna as a healthy treat.
* Fishzole - for blackhead (turkeys & pea fowl)
* Gallamycin injectable- A 1/2cc dose will cure a sick bird over night, cool stuff!
* Garlic-feed additive
* Gun powder/for attitude, camp ax/for too much attitude
* Hydrolyzed garden lime in powder form for treating runs & surrounding areas if blackhead is prevalent in your area. This changes the PH & helps remove risk of blackhead.
* Iodine stuff w/tea tree oil in it. Good stuff for wounds
* Ivomec Eprinex Cattle Pour-On-1/4 cc for bantam and 1/2 cc for large sized fowl. Use a syringe with needle removed and administer directly to the chickens skin (not feathers) at the back of the neck, right behind the head.
*Levamisole- (tetramisole) treats Capillary worms, Gape worms, Wide variety of nematodes-10 ml per gallon of water-1 day only. Affects the nervous system of the parasite, paralyzing the worm.
* Molasses - flush for botulism
* Neosporin-cuts
* Oxine for treating birds & coops in event of any nasty outbreak. Also use it to clean the brooders & incubator.
* Oyster shell-crushed, available free choice for added calcium
* Pam cooking spray or some other spray on oil, olive oil for leg mites and scale problems
*Panacur - general wormer-follow label directions
* Pedialyte-used to restore electrolytes and hydration to dehydrated chickens
* Penicillin - injectable
* Pipe stem cleaners - for making shoes for chicks with curled toes caused by incubation problem & for treating splay leg.
* Razorblades
* Red Cell-small bottle (*Red Cell should be available at any feed store that sells stuff for horses and cows. Red Cell is a blood fortifier and should be used very sparingly as too much is bad, but for an injured animal it really gives a boost.) .
* Rifle with a long distance scope for sneaky dogs and raccoons!
* SAND play sand, very important for them to dust and help keep down the buggies! Chickens need to dust bathe to get rid of “stickies” on their feathers.
* Sevin Dust 5% - over Bag Balm when treating for leg mites. 5% Sevin is also 'lightly' added to sand for dusting & after coops & nestboxes are cleaned before new shavings. Sevin dust is an effective parasite control.
* Sewing needle & cotton quilting thread, for administering stitches
*Sulmet - coccidiostat to treat coccidiosis-use exactly according to label directions. (various brands:Albon, Corid, Corid Amprovine, Di-Methox, Sulfaquinoxoline, Sulmet Oblet, Bovatec Premix, & Deccox) –Only treat for Cocci if fecal exam warrants. Coccidostats are very hard on the chickens system.
* Surgical gloves - makes cleanup easy
* Sweet PDZ - this helps in runs & under raised cages. Neutralizes ammonia smell fast. It's bio-degradable & non caustic unlike lime.
* Terramycin eye ointment
* Tweezers
* Tylan - powder form very effective
* Tylan 50-injectable- reserved for pets only when all else has failed & culling the next step
* Vaccinate for Coryza and ILT if you exhibit your birds at shows
* Vet Rx-for colds, sniffles, congestions, general respiratory aid
* Vetwrap
* Virucidal cleaner-Use for cleaning every thing, including visitors
*Vitamins & Electrolytes powder (or Gatorade)
* Vitamin K tablets- tablets are given 1/2 hour before dubbing to minimize blood loss, and K and Colloidal Silver (a great antibiotic for people and animals, both internal and external) is available at health food stores or vitamin shops.
* Wazine 17 (piperazine) - wormer for Round worms-follow label directions
* WD 40-spray the coop with it for buggies.
* Wonder Dust – Antibiotic dust-the first thing I grab for injuries, usually nothing else needed once I use this and I've treated some very nasty injuries.

In addition to the helpful list of items to keep on hand, here are some general words of wisdom from The Easy Chicken Folks.

*There are some things on the list I wouldn’t bother keeping on hand for the small poultry farm. For example Tylan 50, its very expensive, expires, must be refrigerated, and is an injection in most cases. If you were too need it you could buy it, or improvise with a different product.

*Back up food and water! Most people forget about this! I keep a weeks supply of food in the garage, also don’t forget to keep swapping it for fresh feed so it will not go bad. I also have 50 gal drums that are already filled with water serving another purpose, but if I ever need to get water I would have plenty.

*Add a little vinegar to waters to keep algae and other critters from growing in the water-1 Tablespoon per gallon. It also helps with the digestion and calcium intake.

*Also sprinkle garlic powder over food and use colloidal silver in water to help fight off infections.

*I use apple cider vinegar with 'mother' in it. Besides cutting down on algae, 1 Tablespoon per gallon helps the chickens absorb nutrients, like calcium, easier.

*I do add both cayenne & garlic to my feed along with Red Cell for horses (selenium) 2 Tablespoon each per 50lbs. Be careful using the Red Cell. Too much can build up toxicity in the birds.

*Meds should be stored in a cool, dark, dry spot. (basement) When opened some things have a very short shelf life. Most of the powder forms V&E will last around 7-10 days once the pkg is opened. I no longer use these, I've switched to pedialyte

*I keep track of who is treated for what, how, why, length of treatment and any reoccurrences. If a bird has recurring problems then I will cull it and I don't mean cull as in sell to someone else. If you hatch eggs even for entertainment then you are in essence breeders and have responsibilities. You do not want a sick bird procreating chicks for you. No matter how pretty, it does not belong in your gene pool to be passed on to neighbors & customers when you sell extra chicks & birds. If you have a favorite that has problems then do not allow it to breed.

*New birds are quarantined for a minimum of 1 month and that is not a guarantee you won't have problems. But it does help.


1 comment:

Lori Tetrick said...

I posted the easy chicken medicine chest on our Austin BYP Meetup site several weeks ago when I ran across it - full of great tips & helpful hints for maintaining a healthy flock. Great post and reference.