Friday, November 9, 2012

Gnarly Bunch - Chapter 16 - 10/5/12


Well... got some gross pics for you all, so here's the warning ~ 


Believe it or not, this looks about 100% better than it did last week when we first found it and treated it.  Last week we didn't get a good wash on it like we did this week, so most of that caked on crust is from last week's drainage that didn't get cleaned off the feathers very well. 

This is crusted gleet drainage and residue on feathers and vent with scabbed ulcers at the corners of the vent.  We clipped those feathers last week and had treated with NuStock.  Last week you couldn't even see the flesh or the rims of the vent due to the brown, gelatinous, caked on mess and the smell was atrocious!!!     Tonight?  No smell!!!! 

Here is the same area washed in Dakin's solution and warm, soapy water.  The ulcers have healed tremendously and there was no bleeding when it was washed this time.  If anyone is interested...this is what a vent looks like on a hen that is laying.  Loose, moist, pink, fleshy. 

Happy Vent.....

Mad Vent    

Treated Vent...happy once again!  Treated with NuStock and Bag Balm to form a moisture barrier and to keep the NS where it belongs. 

I had help in holding and this is always a help.  We laid her on her back on a clean towel, right outside the coop on top of the feed can. Forty something temps out all the while.  Had my coop light out there for good lighting.  Wrapped the towel over her head and had my mom, AKA The Ol' Bat, to hold her feet and the towel in place.  I just had a basin of the warm Dakin's and a few rags there and just soaked and gently rubbed that caked-on area.  After soaking I just kept rubbing and and rinsing until I started to see skin and healthy feathers under all that gloop.  I also used a large toothed comb to comb some of the moistened crud out of her feathering. 

After the area was clean, I took dry rags and dried the skin and feathers as best I could, sort of sponging it out of her tail feathers.  Then I combed her again....The Bat and I were chuckling over the faces her vent was making and how much she seemed to enjoy all the attention.  We were also laughing at how we never thought we'd ever be soaping up and combing a chicken's butt in all our born days.... guess there is a first time for everything, huh? 

After getting her toweled dry, I took pics of the clean butt and then applied NuStock right up into the vent, as well as all around the vent and any pink and exposed skin and followed that with a generous slathering of bag balm to seal it all in. 

No hair dryer and with a coop that is almost completely open air at the moment (mid to low 40s)... she did fine and was strutting her stuff the next day as usual.  Birds that are well acclimated to the outside temps are pretty tough and it was only her butt that was wet.  She snuggled right up between her flock mates and carried on with her life.  No sissy birds here! 

The improvement made in just one week is nothing short of miraculous on this hen....last week the smell and sight would make you gag.  This week it shows vast improvement, no smell, healing is going on.  I really didn't know the extent of the power of this NuStock but I am on a real quick learning curve.... good stuff X10. 

Here's some pics of the progress of scale mite treatment...once again, NuStock to the rescue!  Two weeks after the initial application of NS, the old, damaged scales are starting to lift off and slough.  When these finally come off, there will be supple, new scales underneath...yay!  The rest of the flock are showing varying degrees of sloughing of scales.     

Toby's leg with scales starting to lift towards sloughing.... they chopped off his beautiful 3 inch spurs!   I figured I'd get questions about that big, ugly knob on his leg so that is what it is... the stump of his spur. 

Almost forgot to add another thing we did tonight... the black star hen is no more.  I won't go into details (in this post), but during the cull several things were noted that only reinforced the choice to eliminate this bird.  Good cull. 

I know it's hard to understand for most folks. Intensive flock management holds so many aspects and I feel it's important for people to understand the long term effects of the choices we make.  By eliminating the poor characteristics of one bird from the flock, it can mean so much to the other flock members.  It also helps me to keep my flock goals in line.  I cull for certain traits that I have found gives me the ultimate yard flock... peaceful, calm, no picking of feathers or excessive fighting, good socialization within the flock, good laying, good mothering, good health, thrifty on feed, good survival and foraging instincts. 


Mad Vent Is Watching You!


  1. hahahaha, that last pic is just messed up, Bee! I still have my fingers crossed for the Gnarly Bunch. You have been a life saver for them, and I'm learning a lot from your blog. Thanks for taking the time to post.

  2. How to prevent leg mites?


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