A bit of a pity party, but I have had one heck of a time with my chickens the past few weeks. I joined this website to really be able to talk about my flock without irritating my family and friends too bad. Once I joined, I learned SOOOO much and started paying more and more attention to my birds as I learned more about them. This whole obsession started with my boyfriend keeping 5 hens and a rooster for eggs and for his daughter's amusement. He bought 10 or 20 chicks last year and one of the dogs got them all. That dog has recently been hit on the highway, so that is no longer an issue. My boyfriend and his daughter neglected to collect eggs for a while last summer, so another hen was added to the flock! I was living long distance, but moved here in October and with more exposure to his flock, I began to fall in love! Once winter hit, the egg production went down and I became more obsessed trying to learn why. Then one day a few weeks ago, we went to a local auction for fun and left with 5 barnyard mixed hens of who know what ages! After I brought them home and slowly integrated them into the flock (WITHOUT QUARANTINING THEM!) I soon learned that I should have quarantined my silly mutts. I also learned that the coop is not big enough, which my boyfriend and I 100% disagree on. He is the carpenter and I really want his help expanding the coop, but he has made it clear I'm on my own. Luckily I have my BYC friends to get me through! So, last week I started examining my hens to see who is laying based on the appearance of their vents. By the second examination I realized we had lice among our flock! I was so grossed out, but after a few days I figured out the beauty of permethrin spray and got rid of the bugs and now just need to kill all the eggs as they hatch. A day after that was handled, one of my hens started looking pretty awful. I thought she was broody or had a reaction to all the spray I used. She passed within hours and I was unable to help her sweet soul. With the help of my friends here at BYC, I was able to take some stool samples to the local Colroado State University Vet lab and they did a float test for me. While I awaited the results, I tried to isolated the chicken with the odd looking stool. It may be more than one, but it has taken me 3 days to figure out who has it the worst! She is now in isolation, but I think the roo has it too. Test results came back today and it looks like they have traces of tapeworms and a good amount of roundworms. More yuck! It feels like the more I mess with them the more I have problems. The reality is buying hens from the auction is a terrible idea, but we will make it through! The bright side of all of it is I have a beautiful weekend ahead of me! I bring home my new Golden Laced Wyandottes in a few hours and feel very prepared for whatever they throw at me! I plan on spending the weekend treating for worms and a second round of permethrin, cleaning cleaning cleaning!, building a new recess spot for my chicks that hasn't been contaminated, remodeling the coop to expand and loving on my silly, gross, time consuming chickens. They really have caused me some stress, but they are also the one thing I can count on to brighten my day! That's my story for now! Looking forward to smoother days ahead!