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Monday, January 25, 2010

Grape Season

Delicious Grapes

Here is the latest obsession for the girls. Everything that is up to a certain height has been eaten. They have been jumping up to reach the lower grapes with no thought for whether they will land on two feet or end up caught in the fence instead. This is possibly how the girls are hurting their feet, but how I can stop them when they're growing up their enclosure is beyond me.

The grapes are delicious though. I have been spending the evening eating them straight off the vine, spitting out the seeds and the few sour ones for the girls to eat. They'll be getting all the small ones as we reach the end of grape season as well, so it is a good thing they like them so much.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Harriet Rejoins the Coop

Eating Apples
Harriet eats an apple

So you can see that Harriets week as an indoor chicken has done her very well. She told me she was ready to go back outside on the 11th when she jumped out of her little cardboard surrounded corner, however since it was over 40°C we kept her inside until the cool change came through the next day.

She continued limping for a couple of days and slept on the floor of the coop for 2 days before hopping back to the perch. Her toe is still a little fat, but not as swollen and the scales are flexible again now. I believe the problem was a broken toe.

Today I haven't noticed her tiptoe and she runs around and is inclusive with the other chickens. She is so fast now that she is usually hard on the tail of Gladys who squeezes through the backdoor when we come inside. I think she wonders why she can't come back to her inside area whenever she wants to.

Hazel has also been a worry for a couple of days as she now has a limp. She has a sore on the bottom of her foot so she is getting the foot baths now. It is healing up nicely and she still wants to perch with the others. I don't know what she has managed to hurt herself on, but I don't think it is anything to worry about.

Elsie eating an apple
Elsie eating an apple

Today I cut up an apple and the girls are trying to work out how to eat it. They absolutely love fruit. Infact I've found that all of the lower grape bunches on our vines have bite marks and I caught Doris jumping up to get at them yesterday.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Inside Chook

The Patient
The Patient

Harriet was isolated yesterday so we could keep an eye on her. After a couple of hours she seemed to feel better and was trying to walk around so we put her back with the girls in a shady corner of their pen where she could still be isolated but close to the others.

After researching just about everything that could be wrong with chicken legs over the last couple of days I had a terrible thought that perhaps she may be egg bound and was ready to take her to the vet. Isolation was initially to see if she would lay an egg which would cancel that out. From what I've read and from what others have said I don't think that is the case though. She is bright enough and is eating (and pooping). She doesn't have a swollen abdomen or any mess around her vent.

This morning I don't think she'd moved, but when I offered food she was interested yet the others got over enthusiastic through the divider fence. I brought her inside where she ate and drank under the airconditioner and noticed that her middle toe on her left food is swollen.

She is now camped out in the corner of my sewing room happily sitting in a box with straw. She has also had a foot spa (soak in warm salty water) and aloe applied to her sore foot.

I hope that is the issue and we can get her back on two feet again soon!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Cutest photo ever!
Gladys having a Cuddle

Happy New Year everyone!!

It was over 40 degrees yesterday, but it is much cooler today so the girls are busy enjoying themselves in the nice weather... except for Harriet who seems to have done something to her foot/feet and is limping around though I can't see anything wrong from the outside. She is spending a lot of time sleeping under the tree and won't move so I guess I will be checking on her every hour today to make sure she has enough water and she may get a special meal seperate from everyone else today.

Hazel surprised me when I was patting Gladys. She came up to me clucking and had a lovely pat while standing super still and lapping up the attention. Usually everyone except Gladys will want to walk away after a couple of strokes. She got a lovely cuddle and even closed her eyes while in my arms. They're all very cuddly chickens today.