It was a tough weekend. I ended up putting Winona into the dog crate as a temporary sick coop and placed her in the shed. I really didn’t think it would come to this nor did I think I would need an infirmary any time soon. All my birds are young, healthy, and I don’t hang around other chickens collecting germs. Plus, I had no problems with my first flock several years ago. But this has taught me I need a sick coop as soon as I have chickens. The rest of the flock is, as far as I can tell, healthy as horses. More on them in a moment.
When Winona was too sick to come downstairs to eat or drink, that’s when I moved her. If I brought her water, she’d drink it. I gave her chick food, but I’m not sure if she touched it. In the sick coop, she is not eating at all (I tempted her with soft carrots and strawberries) and I don’t know if she’s even drinking. I’m very sad for her. I’m also seeing the need to learn to butcher chickens so I can take sick girls out of their misery. All in all, it’s been a downer.
Then to top it off, I lost one of the keets. I was so thrilled when I brought them outside over the weekend. They seemed to be enjoying themselves, as much as their little high-strung selves can. When I went to bring them in, three of them flung (yes flung!) themselves against the fence, screaming to get away. Once I gently put them in the box to go back inside, I went to capture the 4th. This little bugger went to the far end of the run and squeezed out through the fence. (It’s a different fence that what is in the back of the run – same style, slightly wider – that the other three hurled themselves upon.) Wonderful.
He ran to the garden bed without the coop, and squeezed through again. I chased him around the chicken yard a few times (yes, it was comical!). I thought if I gave him a break, he’d calm down. So I brought the others back to their home and came out with the box, hoping to capture him. And he was no where to be found. And still hasn’t been found. I tried flushing him out of some brush, but he obviously wasn’t there. I’m trying to image the little thing hiding so well, and being able to eat, that he’ll live wild and free but the reality is he probably contributed to the circle of life.
So it’s been a sucky poultry weekend. And the keets are currently banned from going outside again for awhile. We’ll have to revise the fencing a bit. Which is a shame because the weather has become better and enjoyable. A great opportunity to acclimate.
And, while I definitely understand their benefit in pest control, I’m starting not to like them so much. Chickens are definitely much calmer and practically train themselves. Hopefully, the guineas will become calmer with age.
To top of the fun, the quints have learned to escape. They jump/fly/helicopter right over the fence. Brownie is generally left behind so she and Beulah are becoming friends. I’ve given up trying to lock them in. They wander the yard so we get the benefit of their bug eating and naturally-produced fertilizer. It’s another fencing issue I hope to address this weekend.
I think I’ll end there and mull over necessary improvements so I don’t run into these problems again. I hope you all had a better weekend than I did!