28 July 2013

Chicken dusting

Hello friends! I know I haven't posted lately. My excuses are that it's school holidays, it's mid-winter, which is when I tend to get a little crazy and also hibernatey (totally a word). Also, I haven't had much to blog about. Plus my health is still somewhat crappy (I'll post an update if anyone is interested in more details). But I'm posting today and wanted to share our adventures in chicken dusting.

Noah's chicken Kiki was looking quite miserable for a few days. Like, a caricature of misery. Like, if you had looked up "miserable" in the dictionary I'm pretty sure you would have seen a photo of her. She'd kind of follow the others, but then stand off to the side all hunched up, with her neck pulled in, with half closed eyes. She wasn't really interested in eating or scratching or doing anything much at all. Just wretched.

She had no other symptoms so Grant caught her and inspected her to see what was up and lo and behold, he found poultry lice. Yuck! Also, poor baby!

I went and bought some powder to treat her and the others (although none of the others, nor the coop, was infested, thank goodness).

We simply plucked them one by one off their roost after they'd gone to bed, then I cradled each chicken on her back my lap and Grant rubbed the powder into her skin under her wings, on her chest and neck and around her vent. Daniel and Noah took photos.

Kiki was super docile, and seemed to enjoy the treatment (or maybe she'd just lost the will to live by then).

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Don't be like us - wear masks or a handerchief tied around your face! We started out with masks but they were cheap crappy ones and kept slipping and obscuring vision so we took them off and paid for it by coughing all evening. (No other lasting effects, thank goodness.)

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Doris was up next and after Kiki (who has been off her food) I was startled at her heft! Let's just say she's not just the fluffiest chicken, she's also the "fluffiest" (when "fluffy" is a euphemism for "fat"). She was more skittish than Kiki, but she's always been the most nervous anyway. But even she settled down for a cuddle and a treatment and didn't put up a fuss.

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It was actually quite nice to cuddle with the girls. They don't usually let us pick them up, which is one of the disadvantages of buying pullets instead of raising chicks.

Next up was Tulip. She was nervous too but, like Doris, submitted to treatment without much fuss.

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Marble, who is top of the pecking order, had seen her flock disappear and reappear one by one and was good and nervous by the time her turn came. She made a bit of fuss but was okay about submitting to the treatment.

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UPDATE: We did this last Monday and checked them today (Sunday) and they are all clear of lice, including Kiki.

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