Friday, November 9, 2012

Gnarly Bunch - Chapter 12 - 9/29/12


Did a one week raid on the coop tonight to check progress on all the gleet, lice, skin mites, scale mites, etc.  I'm adding bumblefoot to that list.... I guess their feet were so dirty when they arrived that I didn't catch this, but seeing clean feet tonight I noticed that several of them have had bumblefoot at one time or another.  Several feet with the callous, dark scab and evidence of a deep wound bed... none currently inflamed and no chickens limping, so I won't get too enthused with that little item. 

GOOD:  Not one single bird has lice or skin mites now.... not one.  Clean as a whistle! I know... I'm stunned also.  Just a few days ago we had checked and there were three that still had a good showing of lice and skin mites.  Now there are none. 

GOOD:  Lots and lots of feather regrowth going on.... many, many pin feathers.  Even in the places that were bald from gleet and lice damage.

GOOD:   All birds that had previously been noted to have had pretty bad gleet were showing signs of gleet free skin, no new fungal growth at base of feathers, no bad smell from the gleet.  All that was left was NuStock residue that could be combed out or flaked off easily.  No balls of fungus!!! 

I don't know if you have ever smelled or seen this stuff but it smells like pure rotten meat and it looks like runny, oozy, diarrhea water on the feathers and the fungal knobs at the base of the feathers look like crusty little balls of poop… but they aren't.  They cannot be washed off like you could do with poop but would have to be soaked, scraped and pulled off forcibly.
GOOD:   Scale mite is not progressing and some scales on a few birds are grooving up in a ridge in preparation of falling off, with new growth underneath.... that fast.  I know.  This NuStock is some kind of miracle.  It did it that fast last time I used this stuff and I was so duly impressed that I've been singing the praises of this stuff ever since. 

BAD:   Found one chicken that we had missed medicating around her vent with the NuStock upon arrival.  She had lots of good feathering there and we just missed her... no evidence on her skin or feathers that we had applied NuStock previously.  She had gleet really bad... I mean stinking, wet, horrible won't forget that smell anytime too soon bad.   Clipped the wet feathers away from her vent and cleansed the whole site with straight ACV (apple cider vinegar).  I know... harsh.  But it was all I had on hand at the time and it did a good job.  She had bleeding ulcerations on the inside lip of her vent which were consistent with what I had read about gleet. 

We cleaned it good and applied NuStock to the whole vent area and the surrounding tissues.  I even applied some right up inside the vent on the ulcerated areas.  We'll check this bird in a week and see if there is any progress. 

BAD:  Everyone's still too skinny but that is to be expected in only a week.  Some feel like they've added a few ounces but not enough to really make a difference. 

If you had ever told me that I would be down on my knees at midnight, combing and clipping bird butts I'd have told you that it may happen in some kind of parallel universe... but not in this one.  

Overall I am very, very pleased with the progress made in one week on these birds... no lice, no skin mites, improved scale mite damage, drastic decrease in gleet symptoms, good feather regrowth starting, clean and healthy looking feet, cleaner and healthier looking feathers, improved comb and leg coloring. 

Everything I've read about gleet would suggest that it could not be resolved that fast and that it was systemic and all through the alimentary canal.  All I know is that the birds that had it that got NuStock treatment to their vents and their swollen, reddened abdomens have shown marked improvement with no signs of gleet around the vent and the swellings are about half the size they were.  The one bird that didn't get any NS on her vent still has active gleet... I don't know what to make of all that but I will not be surprised to check her in a week and find that gleet gone. 

Gnarly Bunch - Chapter 13 - 10/1/12


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