Today, Thursday, has been a day for chicken troubles. River came in this morning saying that three of our 100, two and a half week old meat birds were dead and that several sounded wheezy. This is not a good sign, things like this can wipe out a flock pretty quickly. I did a little research and reached out to a poultry group I am part of on Facebook. What I have done so far is change the bedding, (I paid T and a buddy $5 each to clean the coop, totally worth it). I added Vet RX and Apple Cider Vinegar to the water and so far no more dead chicks, but I still heard some wheezing so we aren’t out of the woods.
From my research it would seem it is either a bacterial lung infection which could be caused by some sort of stress or drafts. Drafts is my best guess as nights have been chilly even though days have been hot and perhaps we should have been closing the window sooner in the evening. Or it could be gapeworm. Treatment for gapeworm is generally a dewormer for every chicken. I also read that Apple Cider vinegar can help. I went with the ACV as I am still not sure which it is.
We went to Mitchell Field in Harpswell today, this is a beautiful spot that includes a community garden and had a jetty we could fish from. It was a great spot to catch small squid. They are removing the jetty, apparently it wasnt safe anymore, where will we fish for squid now? As a person with celiac it is hard for me to find fried food so making our own fried calamari and clams is a treat.
It was low tide so there was a large beach and the boys had a fabulous time looking around the rock strewn beach, finding crabs, baby eels and shrimp, and some mussels. It was a fantastic morning!
When we got home, the laying hens were out, for the fourth time in a few days. Even though I have staked the bottom of the fence and it is now about 8 feet tall, they are still digging out under the fence. This is incredibly frustrating. Before we got home they managed to destroy our beautiful bean plants that were looking so nice and we’re beautully mulched and started to dig up some tomatoes and strawberries and a couple garlic plants that were in the middle of the bed not close to other plants.
I spent some time nailing boards to the bottom of the fence. As soon as I was done the chickens were at it again, so I started putting rocks on both sides of the boards. I think this will end up being the solution, rocks both in and outside the fence. There are many large tree roots in this area so we can not easily dig the fence in deeper and add a barrier in the ground. It isn’t pretty, which is disappointing as we have been working so hard to keep it tidy and nicish looking.
The greatest frustration is all the work we have been doing We have to do over. Tomorrow the boys are going to be hauling rocks in the morning. That is our goal, rocks around the entire fence perimeter. Wish us luck!