Saturday, November 21, 2009

company comin' to the hippychickenfarmer universe

the big day is here!

today, hippychick, she being me, shares a bit about her experiences with raising chickens, raising bees, living with creatures and urban homesteading. i can't say i know much but i do know some and i'm willing to share at least that much. good morning to all you austin backyard chicken folk - i'm looking forward to your visit.

it's been raining in these parts for a good two plus days which makes me happy and proves quite positive for the health of the garden. the condition under feet is mushy so i plan to head out real soon and lay another 10 or 20 barrows of wood chips around.

recent news from around and about
  • a local tree trimming company dropped off a good 10-12 yards of chipped trimmings - for free! i am now on their map when working in and around town. they trim another's trees, they check in with me and if i've got space they drop off the trimmings for no charge, it's great! *warning - make sure you are working with a certified and recognized arborist - you do not want chippings from diseased trees in your pile. and even if they are certified and recognized, ask the question. if you do not - you might yourself harm your own micro-environment.
  • the meaties have arrived - 26 in total (the extra 1 was a bonus!) and are now happily nested in a cozy brooder located in the garage barn right next to the victory chicken baby chickens in their own cozy cozy brooder.
  • the chicken coops have been decorated with seasonal lights - the garage barn coop is cheered with glowing red lights and the original crazy coop caper coop is decorated with multi-colored l.e.d. energy saving lights. the coops look festive yet lovely.
  • i am treating three little chickeny girls with bothersome eye infections. i noticed their eyes watering a week back and kept a daily watch on the girls. *this is a good reason to look your chickeny chickens in the eye when declaring your early morning salutations. The weeping eyes continued and i then noticed the development of sleepy eye crust about the edge of the eyes. so i thought it best to take action. i have treated their eyes with neosporin once a day (morning) for three days now and their eyes are showing great results. one of the three is fully recovered. one is a day away from recovery and the third might have one or two more days of treatment before i feel comfortable claiming full recovery. all three have displayed a liking of the daily love and cuddling.
  • how did the eye infections start? i am not sure but i suspect that it might have been triggered by the round of foul pox traveling through the flock. foul pox is transmitted by mosquitoes and it's been a bad mosquito season down here - part of the reason for my mulching efforts which helps to control mosquito populations by removing open water areas and by supporting microorganisms and insects that eat mosquitoes and mosquito larvae. foul pox once in a flock transfers quickly from chicken to chicken by contact. it moves through the flock in a matter of a few weeks. most chickens survive quite well as the virus rests primarily on the exterior parts of the chicken. one will notice dark wart like lesions on combs and wattles. the virus can kill a chicken if the virus travels inside the chickens' mouth and/or throat and lungs. your chicken will show signs of asthma type wheezing and slow lethargic movements. it is hard to bring a chicken back when this ill. i keep b12 on hand and at the earliest sign treat all water the chickens are drinking with b12. i have not lost a chicken to the virus and the good news is that once the chickens make it through the virus they gain immunity to the virus. so hang tight but pay close attention and do not hesitate to seek the advise of a professional veterinarian if you feel it best to do so. your flock should be clear of the pox in a matter of a few weeks, if you see the foul pox lingering, you should seek the advice of a specialist.
Dry pox starts as small whitish foci that develop into wart-like nodules. The nodules eventually are sloughed and scab formation precedes final healing. Lesions are most commonly seen on the featherless parts of the body (comb, wattles, ear lobes, eyes, and sometimes the feet).

Wet pox is associated with the oral cavity and the upper respiratory tract, particularly the larynx and trachea. The lesions are diphtheritic in character and involve the mucous membranes to such a degree that when removed, an ulcerated or eroded area is left.

  • what are the effects of foul pox? there are several and they vary. foul pox may slow down egg production as the infected girls are using their body energy to recover. foul pox may send some girls into molt which in turn will slow down egg production. foul pox may not effect egg production at all for others. foul pox, if the wet version may cause your girls and boys to fall ill which in turn will require quick response on the part of the chicken keeper.
in other news
  • the eggs are selling. it has become common for the doorbell to ring in the evening when i am at home and i have learned, when i am not at home. some folk left a note asking about the eggs but did not include a return phone number or email or any way for making return contact. i will begin delivering eggs to a local market next week which is very exciting. there are new egg cartons on the way - as soon as they arrive, we will be in the market business. the egg cartons are nothing schmancy, recycled pulp cartons of which i will place my own designed hippychickenfarmer stickers on and a sticker claiming that the eggs are ungraded and of varied sizes.
time to get things together for this afternoon - looks like a mornings work in the rain as it has yet to clear out. i'm not complaining. it would be nice to have sun this afternoon - fingers are crossed.

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