Saturday, March 14, 2015

Lucy, My White Crested Blue Polish, Recovers Thanks to Lakeside Animal Hospital

On Tuesday morning we discovered that our white crested blue polish chicken, Lucy, was not acting normal. Normally the spunkiest of the bunch she was sitting in the corner with her head facing the wall, panting and not eating or drinking. This was so unlike her that we took her to the most amazing animal hospital I have ever been to, Lakeside Animal Hospital. They immediately began to examine her and determines that they did not know what was wrong and the most appropriate course of action would be to hospitalize Lucy, force feed her, give her antibiotics and provide her with oxygen.

That night everyone was convinced she was not going to make it, she was pale, not eating and not responding to humans. It was awful, she was nothing like the Lucy we knew. I wanted her to be OK more than anything. She continued on oxygen but surprising began to eat a recovery formula provided by Harrison's Bird Foods. Here is a link to Lakeside Animal Hospital's facebook with a video of Lucy beginning to recover:

Over the next three days she continued to recover surprising everyone and today we brought her home and are continuing to feed her antibiotics. I can not thank Lakeside Animal Hospital enough for being so helpful, generous and amazing to both us and Lucy, it is absolutely amazing that she recovered and I am so grateful. Here are pictures - she is currently staying in the house in a crate until she is well enough to be re-introduced to the flock of 6 chickens.

Before any of this happened, as I should have posted sooner, we got our first eggs. Three of the chickens, Ricardo (Golden Buff), Mertz (Golden Buff) and Ricky (Black Frizzle Cochin Bantam) are all laying eggs. Below is a picture of the cartoon of fresh eggs (it took them a week to lay this many). 


So far they have laid 2 1/2 dozen and it turns out the egg laying process is quite funny. My chickens hop into their nesting boxes and dig a little hole in the hay. Then then lay down and make insanely loud squawking noises for about 1/2 an hour, they also continuously stand up and look under them to see if the egg has appeared. 

Ricky, who I mentioned above as laying, just started to lay this week while Lucy was in the hospital. Being a bantam her eggs are... well... smaller than the others. I know he has tried his best but as you can see in the picture below compared to Metzes egg her egg size leaves much to be desired!

Stay tuned - I am going to continue to post about Lucy's recovery, the chickens eggs and advice and stories about taking care of and raising healthy backyard chickens. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Chickens and Snow

Well, today Richmond got its first snow of the year. It was not much - maybe an inch - nothing like what they got in the north east but it was enough to make the chickens happy. Here are some pictures:

Should we come outside?


More exploring...

And more exploring...

Do chicken's feet get cold?

Fred poses for the camera 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Chicken Food Recipe

Banana, Carrot and Yogurt Oatmeal for Chickens:

You will need:

- 1 large carrot
- 1 cup oats
- 1 brown banana
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt


Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Grate one large carrot and place it in the pot. Boil for approximately 10 minutes or until very soft. Drain and place aside. Place 1 cup oats and 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat then add drained carrots and cook for another 3 minutes. Mash one brown banana (it can be yellow but older bananas are better) and add this to the oatmeal. Add 1/2 of plain yogurt to the oatmeal and stir. Cook 1 minute longer and take outside for all chickens to enjoy. Mine particularly love this on cold mornings!

Do chickens appreciate art?

I am not a painter - but every trimester at school we do a long term project called Exploratory where we get to choose something we are interested in and pursue it. I have decided I would like to learn how to paint - so I am painting my chickens. I am not an expert and I have a long way to go but here are the paintings I have done so far:

I am thinking I will hang them up in the chicken coop along with the 2015 calendar already there!

Winter Weather

I am sorry I have not posted in so long - I have been really busy! Due to a small miracle I finished the coop over winter break. It now has an inside and an outside section and a ramp in between! There is lots of hay to keep them warm, a hanging feeder and a hanging waterer. The chickens moved outside a week ago - of course that was right in time for the brutally cold weather. So far they have been doing fine. Every morning I take them oatmeal - I highly recommend it. Today I made my chickens rice, spinach and banana (make sure you cook it all VERY well). They really enjoyed both of these treats!

I have also acquired some petroleum jelly to rub on their combs and wattles. This protects them from moisture in the air so the combs and wattles do not freeze - that is always a good thing! Currently they are happy and outside - here are some updated pictures:

The dogs (Lucy and Sadie) LOVE the chickens

A chickens point of view

The dogs again

Lucy (a white crested blue polish chicken) 
Ethel has a big personality!

Headed outside

Ricky (a black frizzled cochin bantam) heads down the ramp

Four of the six chickens

Fred likes the camera!

Ethel heading outside

I will keep everyone updated on how the chickens like the winter weather! If you read this and have any comments about chickens or the blog in general that would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!