Aoxa-sorry about the roo. I miss Macaroni a LOT. The coop is not the same without him even though we have the other rooster. This may sound strange, but some animals just seem to have a little something extra, and you can see it in their eyes. I could see it in my ridgeback mix that we had. Now my shepherd mix Jack, he was the best dog I ever knew, but when you looked at Fred there was something extra there that is hard to pinpoint. It was the same with Mac. The other roo, he is just a bird. A good bird. But it's not the same. I know I sound loony so I'll stop now. Sorry about Carlton, there is nothing you could have done.
Someone said something about so many people losing birds to the cold. Mac either had a bad infection due to frostbite that could not have been helped other than moving him indoors for the entire winter. That comb was his downfall. I applied Vaseline, but wet is frozen where I live, and that's that. It was either an infection or like Delisha said, he had some other ailment. If it was a different ailment, the infection from the frostbite lowered his immune system and he succumbed to the other thing. It has been just as cold and all my other birds are zipping around in the coop with no other symptoms of goopy eyes or coughing or anything else. I'm still watching. I think good nutrition is important in the cold as well, for healthy immune systems.
Leah's mom- (I wonder if you'll see this?) I was going to post that link, but we have changed a lot inside the coop and I was going to ask mod permission to clean up the original thread. I don't like the blurry photos, I would take some photos out, and we did some things differently than we had originally planned.
Regarding hawks- we have really aggressive red tails here. One dive bombed ME this summer. I chucked a pine cone at the branch it was sitting on, and it hit the branch just to the left of its foot, and it didn't move. It came back for a few days and then left but it will be back.
Mountain lions/cougars or bigger cats than bobcats- people keep saying we have them in the adirondacks, but the DEC says we don't. I haven't seen a mink or weasel, but we do have pine martens and fishers. My husband tried to rescue a squirrel from pine marten once, and it went after him! Glad he was wearing steel toe boots, lol. They are aggressive little buggers! A bald eagle nests close to my yard, we see her perched in the tall pines from time to time. We have gray foxes, red foxes, coyotes, raccoons, falcons, and countless owls. I think an owl is what got my other roo last year. Even with all the wild critters, I haven't had a predator loss since last may. *knocks on wood*
Regarding herbs- I know that thyme has antiseptic properties. Thymol is used in the seventh generation wipes and other natural disinfectant cleaning products. My mother-in-law said she used to make a tea with thyme leaves. She would have her daughter sip it, but also would apply the cooled tea topically to her cold sores and they just shriveled up and healed very quickly. I see my chickens have a few bites of my thyme plant once in a while, they must know when they need it. I don't know if I would add antiseptic herbs to my chicken's food every day as a preventative, but only when they need a boost like in the cold weather or at the beginning of the breeding season. I have such a variety of wild plants that my birds like to sample, I am sure that Mother Nature gives them what they need. But when the ground is covered in ice, they can't get it on their own. That's when I feed them extra greens and add top dressings to the food.
I am going to try grated ginger in the spring. I have a few birds that seem to be a bit on the thin side.
Edited by off-grid hen - 1/26/13 at 6:19am