Brooklyn girl now raising chickens in Wisconsin

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by pfarrell442, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. pfarrell442

    pfarrell442 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 31, 2013
    Hey all. A year ago my husband and I built a chicken coop in the courtyard of our farmstead. We decided on 6 chicks for the size of the coop and the number of eggs we could handle a week. Three White Rocks and three Leghorns. We lost one White Rock, our biggest at around 8 pounds, to a hawk. All 6 were roaming the yard when the hawk came for our Gregory Peck. The stress of the event taught me a lot about chickens and how sensitive they are. We also keep a keen eye on our 5.... Dolores, Agnes, CutiePie, ClaimJumper and WilmaRudolph.

    We feed them well with oatmeal mixed with yogurt, honey and apples each morning. We pick up overstock apples from a local orchard and buy bulk yogurt at costco. I usually share my breakfast with my girls. They have such different characters.

    We have been having a little trouble with Dolores lately. She is the lowest in the pecking order and often skitters away when another chicken heads her way. I think they've picked on her so much she just avoids them altogether. I think she gets less food too. So i feed her separately once or twice a day. ... yogurt and mealworms or real worms. we both go wormin' in the garden after rain falls. it's such fun.... the other girls are invited in the garden once Dolores has a good amount on her own.

    About 6 weeks ago Dolores looked quite ill. Falling asleep in the coop whislt trying to lay an egg. I removed her gently and she was pretty lethargic. I did my online homework and realized she may have an egg stuck. I figured out she was well into the 48th hour and i took drastic measures... late on the third night i wrapped her in a towel. covered her chest and wings. then i lowered her into the kitchen sink filled with warm water. i swabbed her back end and eventually had to insert a finger into her vent. i was in about a knuckle and a half and felt something like an index card edge. something i could actually flick with my fingertip.... i worked it carefully to the opening keeping an eye on Dolores' face. she was not in distress. Once i pulled a bit of this white mass... really like a wet index card, outside her opening i saw it was something rolled. I was wearing a headset flashlight to get a better look. I pulled on the white "card" and eventually out came 3.5 inches of rolled shell. it was tightly rolled and i floated in the water. Dolores was not alarmed and i can actually say she seemed quite relieved. i used my free hand to unroll the thing and it was a bit mess with a little blood. not to be gross but it smelled bad too. i think Dolores would have gone into toxic shock had that not come out of her.

    i let her stay in the warm bath a minute longer and then dried her off. we both wrapped up in dry terry towels and she laid on my chest as i watched the TV on mute. eventually we both we up to bed. i put her in her laundry basket fort (she'd been sleeping by our bed for 2 nights already) and she fell fast asleep. the next morning i awoke to Dolores chirping in her basket. she was back to normal and wide awake for the first time in days.

    Since that time i keep a close eye on her. she has passed a rubber egg, missed a few days, and yesterday she had another eggshell stuck... today she laid fine. all her shelled eggs have a wrinkle on the shell. her shells have always been porcelain thin. i can tell her eggs from the others. i am feeding her separately. i think she's getting enough calcium. there is oyster shell in the coop. they girls all eat Layena, get veggy scraps and i just added a vitamin boost to their water. the only thing i can think is Dolores is stressed from getting picked on and she may be scared away from the food. i will be going to our state fair soon to ask a chicken vet their opinions.... for now it's me and my girls with a special place for Dolores.
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, pfarrell442, and [​IMG]! Great to have you aboard! Wow! You are a great chicken mom! I'd say Delores is one lucky girl!!! Best wishes to you and your flock!
  3. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    My Coop

    Mr MKK FARMS Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Sep 27, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! Glad you joined us! [​IMG]
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    [​IMG] you are a hero. Not many people would have done that even if they knew they had to
  6. pfarrell442

    pfarrell442 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 31, 2013
    My husband was amazed i did what i did. I told him i would do the same for him if he needed it. You just learn what you can through all means possible, cause no harm and do what you can do.

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