The Adventures Of Coop & The Gang

Worms, Worms, Worms December 31, 2011

Well, I’ve been a little neglectful for the online side of Coop & the Gang in the last month and what a month. Following on from our earlier post wiggly worms…it happened.

Just as I thought we were settling down following lice & with the light change I’d hoped the girls were settling into a routine to see them through the darker days. On my return home from my mornings duties, Flo was getting the usual abuse & Doris was pecking mash off her beak & I thought I saw something funny in coop. A lot of rather odd looking spaghetti lengths loosely held together with some brown.

Little fork in hand, I enter coop & smuggle it out of the way, I let the girls snuffle around while I tidied up & found some treats. I found our wormer and mixed up a small amount with feed, corn & some meal worms for interest. At this point it was confirmed not to be Doris…she pooped on my carpet. It was however Flo or Mave who deposited some more spaghetti hoops on the back step. You can google yourself chicken poo with worms its gross, but I didnt find anything that came close to what we encountered.

Knowing full well that worms can destroy a hen we had medication in our kit and were 6 monthly dosing so I was surprised & a little dissapointed to see we had worms. They’d not let me know, maybe Maves moult was just covering the fact she looked dishevelled with dry mangled feathers? She’s always had a boney keel but she was putting weight back on & no one had muck around their vent which always gives a way internal issues.

A drop in egg production is a noticeable sign of worms, but also of winter. No one looked or felt underweight, depressed or full of worms. So, how did they get them? Well worms lay eggs, chickens pass eggs. Slugs & soil help the eggs hatch & the chicken eats the eggs or larvae and we get worms.

I sanitise the ground we keep coop on, I keep feed dry…we are unfortunate the Coop is in the boggy part of the garden where the soak away from the front ends, but coop is for the most part dry. We have many garden visitors who dont help, it only takes one unwormed animal to pass by and we are slug and wormy heavy…& my girls can snuffle out a slug or a worm at 10 paces. They’ll tear around the garden just to ensure its theirs and despite a constant supply of fresh water they do like the rain waters that gathers in oddest places I’ve never even realised I need to tip out.

Flubenvent mixed up with crumb & mash & a tiny spot of oil, smaller feeds mean the girls can’t selectively feed on non medicated food in the garden & some added nutrients in the water for seven days and no further suspicious looking passings passed, it seemed out worming routine worked and was doing exactly what it was meant to. Phew, they do like to keep me on my toes!


Eggs & Poo, Consistency Inconsistent June 5, 2011

Filed under: Keeping Chickwans — Coop & The Gang @ 5:44 am
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Its been another week for Coop & The Gang and I think we’ve had just about everything. I’ve been busy, they’ve been busy, I’ve been unwell, I thought Mave was unwell but all in all things seem to have settled down nicely.

They’ve survived a night on their own without the bed time routine, which says more about their hardyness than mine. Sleeping in my old room at my parents house waking up every few hours hoping my girls wouldbe okay. We came home to eggs, so they were fine.

Thats the next noteable point of the week. We have consistency in laying. 2 a day from Flo & Dorris. Everyday. Half a dozen eggs gifted to neighbours, half a dozen on the side & eggs precariously gathering in the gaps. Our biggest egg from our smallest hen turned out to be a double yolker & our tiny egg from Doris had a tiny yolk. Everything is cuter when its smaller!

Our poor Mave, she was our first to lay but hasn’t in a week. I was starting to think something was wrong. When she came to us she’d had her beak clipped which really should have screamed meanie at us but at the time meant nothing. We call her Mave Bottomtooth the 3rd & make the noise. She’s always had a touch of the sneezes but no other symptoms so we figured it was because her beak was clipped her nose is so much closer to whatever it is she’s snuffling so if its dusty she’ll sneeze.

The worry started with a poo, we were having corn from the back step & Mave stepped back & there was an awful smell & this off coloured more runny type poo.

Turns out Chickens do two kinds of poo, fecal & cecal. The Ceacum is at the point the small intestine reaches the large one & it contains bacteria and enzymes used to break down vegetation & once a day the contents is excreted. Nice. But nothing to worry about.

Then on Friday night we had a bit of a scare she was sneezing a lot more, a bit snotty & it smelt. With a two man attack & she was up in our arms. I attack her with kitchen paper & picked her nose. It was gross but she was bunged up with bits from her snuffling. She sneezed a couple more times & we let her on her way. The sneeze count is down & she graced us with an egg. We had free play in the garden yesterday & she took herself back to Coop snuggled down in the nest box & left a dark speckedly egg.

We’ve bought a mineral supplement for the water to help boost the immunity on our flock & we’ll see if that improves. Im the mean time while there are 4 hands about we’re happy to assist. Her comb is a good size & colour, she’s in good nick & eating & drinking just fine.

We have a second feeder & drinker on the way just to make our routine that bit more flexible but I think this is mostly how its going to be. They are grateful for as much or as little time as you can spare them, a very flexible addition to a less than typical family!