Mar 28, 2013

My Chickens: Edna gets ENDed.

As I said, I was right: Edna wouldn't last long...................One morning.... I was back out there, feeding Chester the menacing rooster, then I headed to the hen house. I opened the door and the chicks, guineas, and new(old)hens all tumbled out...all but Edna. I didn't notice at first, because I was too busy feeding the others, but when I put them back in, I certainly noticed the smell! It wasn't pleasant at all. It was dead chicken.   I had to get her out, of course, so I locked the others out and looked around.  Finally, I spotted her gruesome body behind the nesting boxes. I must say, I was a little disgusted. Well, maybe I was a lot disgusted as well as grossed out.(Because, although I look at roadkill and don't care a bit about the sight, this smelled. )   I pinched my nose and looked closer. All signs said she had died in her sleep: her closed eyes, curled toes, and puffed feathers.  It was possible she had fallen off the perch and rolled back there. I put plastic bags over my hands and buried her in the woods. I had a feeling this was only the beginning. If she had died of old age, then it was fine. But if she had END,(exotic Newkastleton[?] disease) I was in trouble. Big trouble. END is caused when too many birds(any bird)are together and not properly cleaned up after.(Hey, I did my best.) It wipes out the whole flock, one at a time, even vaccinated birds can get it. The signs are drooping wings and other things like swollen combs and eyes. I let the guineas and chickens back in, watching them closely. Oh, no!  The chick named Wessy had drooping wings!!! Come to think of it, so did Hawkins! And Gorgeous! (One of the new(old)hens.)   I should of cleaned more! But who can keep up with almost forty chickens(not to mention two guineas)all in one small hen house? I'd have to clean it out every day! That's impossible!  I scooped up Wessy. Whoa!  He was thin, and light as a feather! (One of the signs is also loosing weigh. Sorry; forgot to tell you.)  I fed them a little more before going in. And, yes, it was only the very beginning of something big. And dreadful.              
Soon I will write about The Flock Dwindles. And if your chickens are ill, this website may help. Click here for help.

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