Hi all - long time. I think the forum changed and I stopped getting notifications, or something.
Like all other chook owners in Perth, I'm desperately trying to keep the young 'uns cool - putting frozen bottles in their water, throwing out frozen watermelon quarters, dashing out every hour to put the newly-rigged-up chook sprinkler on for a few minutes. The poor dears are still panting away, but what else can you do? (They have plenty of dense shade and places to dust bathe.)
And there's no relief in sight, with the forecast 40/41/39/42/40/38/38. Gah.
In other news, my "babies" are now big chooks - three months old, and nearly as large as my layers. The babies are blue Australorps and Barnevelders. My five layers, Australorps and Leghorn hybrids, are producing 4-5 eggs a day; we're hoping the new ones will start laying around about as the others go into winter moult. I keep doing the "pullet or cockerel?" squint, and my answers keep coming out optimistic, but only time will tell! Of the seven, there's one very obvious boy, one likely boy, but I'm hoping against hope that the three Barnies who all look similar to each other will all turn out to be pullets.
We did have to cull one Australorp already - his legs didn't work properly, and we tried a few things but they didn't get better. All the current ones, however, look hale and hearty, if only they can survive this stinking heatwave.
Any other tips on helping them with their heat resilience? I add bird multivitamins to their water a couple times a week already.