Friday, November 9, 2012

Gnarly Bunch - Chapter 22 - 10/11/12 & 10/12/12



10/11/12

Gnarly Bunch Update:  Two eggs...and that Little Red Hen, the New Hampshire of 6 yrs of age, is my daily layer!  During molt, no less.  What a trooper!  One medium, brown and speckled egg each day containing an enormous orange yolk.... can't beat that. 

Made storm windows for the coop today from small PVC pipe, duct tape and plastic.... didn't turn out badly, if I do say so myself.  Still vying for the Redneck Coop Contest winner...

Sold the old truck and they came to pick it up today.... there goes my killing truck and processing table.  Also took away Mildred's (the Partridge Rock hen) nighttime roosting spot and the chicken lounge/dusting spot for the flock.  Whatever will we all do??? 

As mentioned before, did foot care on old Middle Sister and hope to see good results so that I won't have to cull her until I see if she will be laying come spring.  She is putting on weight...much heavier when I lifted her today than previously. 

10/12/12
Funny little update on the Gnarly Bunch:  Middle Sister, the hen with the holes in her feet and inflammation from it all, was acting much more spry and active today since her doctoring of yesterday.  Saw her killing a baby snake and running and running to keep the others off her find!  She had her neck out of her back and had very much the normal movement of a chicken, instead of the hunched sort of stance and walking she has been doing. 

I'm thinking I will take the packing out of her feet tonight and let those glands close up and diminish without a foreign body inside them.  I have a feeling that the ol' hen is out of the woods... and back into the real woods. 

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Will be doing another check tonight of the Gnarly Bunch on legs, butts and on MS feet to remove her packing.  I want to really look at her feet... today I was watching her and I could swear the swelling had gone down a little, but it could have been wishful thinking on my part. 

I'm learning how to not put out so much food for this small flock and I believe I've gotten the portions right now... no feed left after the meal.  The ferment is very fermented at this point because I am not using it up as quickly, so I must learn to not ferment so much at one time.  I think having a 1/4 of the bucket full at all times should keep me fresher on feed and keep it from getting that super fermented smell going on.  Of course, the more it ferments the more beneficial enzymes are present in the feed, so that's not a problem. 

The chickens have made amazing weight gains on the FF and some more than others.  The very skinny birds upon arrival are the most remarkably improved on weight gain.  The Speckled Sussex, who has never been filled out even when in my old flock, is now a butterball... I mean she is almost perfectly round in her body!  The skinniest bird of all, Turkey, is putting on weight so quickly that she looks like a whole other bird... when she arrived she was so narrow in the butt and her keel that I felt she must have some Bantam blood in her but now I see that she was just a half starved Dominique.  The rooster has gained so much that he lumbers from side to side when he runs... just like old times.  We used to call him Thunderbuns! 

Gnarly Bunch - Chapter 23 - 10/13/12
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