Monday, November 8, 2010

Can You Hear Me Screaming?

Tonight I got home late and brought 100 lbs of chicken feed, 50 lbs of llama feed and 80 lbs of hay in.  I noticed some of my layers had been picked on and I checked them out.  I almost wish I didn't.

My two best layers have bloody butts.  The other chickens must have picked on them and blood dripped from their vents where they lay the eggs.  Chickens, being the descendants of dinosaurs, are a bit on the heartless side and will eat each other if they think it is in their best interest. 

I had been feeding them leftovers, bread from the bakery that is considered out of date, veggies and hay for about 3 days before getting more of the feed.  I wonder if that had anything to do with it, although they did have some feed left.  You can never tell if they're truly starving or just being normal -- feeding them makes them wolf down (chicken down?) the feed until they practically burst. 

So I used blue kote and now I look like I got into a fight with Barney the Dinosaur.  I separated the severely injured bird and put her in a cage.  The other bird got blue kote but I left in the pen.  One of the barred rocks has a ring of feathers removed on her neck, so I blue koted that as well.  Blue kote is an antiseptic with a blue/purple dye that makes the bloody areas look uninviting.  (Birds peck at the color red but do not react to blue.)

Dang.  What am I going to do for eggs?  Half my birds aren't laying because of the temperatures and lack of sunlight.  The others are getting into pecking fights for no apparent reason.  Sigh.

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