Chicken Illness and a Hawk Scare
There has been a bit of chicken drama the last couple of months. Our three youngest chickens are still settling in and we have dealt with worms and what we believe was fowl pox. We think all the chickens should be laying, but only one seems to be doing so. We also had a scare when a hawk was chasing down one of the chickens.
We are trying to get in the habit of de-worming twice a year, but before we had the chance to do the fall rounds, there was evidence of worms in the flock. Since we had some Panacur leftover from the vet, we used that. I would like to find another option, but haven’t figured out what would be best for our girls.
It seemed we had gotten rid of the worms, but soon we started seeing black spots on some of the girls. From what we read, it seemed like fowl pox. We understood that there really wasn’t a cure for it and that flocks had a good chance at survival if it was the dry kind over the wet kind. Thankfully, we did not see any indication of respiratory issues, but I was quite nervous over the whole situation.
We did however want to help the girls out with their immune systems. We worried about secondary issues. We immediately started giving them colloidal silver in the water and giving them vitamins. Our Serama Nailie never did show any symptoms, and our Andalusian Andie, had just one small spot on her. We put balm on the girls spots to facilitate healing. We were happy to see that they all improved and they remained active.
Our one layer Katana did seem to stop laying for a short time, but started back up after not too long a time; she is a Blue Rosecomb bantam. Everything I read says that she should be laying once a week, but she lays more than that. She is super productive. The other two girls that we brought home at the same time should be laying, but we see no indication of it.
Our puppy, Nudnik, likes to run at the girls. When he does they disperse and holler. One day I heard the girls yelling as if he was coming after them, but he was in the house with me. I looked out and saw what looked like Nailie fly across the yard. She ended up under a camper top, but quickly flew back out, but I noticed she was not alone.
At first I thought it was our Beared D’anver Sage, but soon realized it was not her and it was actually a hawk. It could not figure out how to get out from under the camper. This was the closest that I had been to a hawk. I was unsure the best way to handle it because I know they are protected, but of course I want my girls protected as well.
We are wanting to train our dog to protect the chickens, but I worry he is too young to distinguish between the hawk and the chickens. I tried to get the hawk out and I hope that it was traumatized enough that it would not want to return to our homestead. It was definitely scary.
It took a little time to find all the girls and make sure that they were okay. I am so thankful that they were. We quit feeding birds so that we were less likely to attract hawks, but birds still do visit. I guess I had let my guard down some and need to get more vigilant again. I am hoping no more hawks any time soon. I want all the girls to be healthy and to give us eggs.
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