|Posted by Judy King on June 17, 2011 at 3:08 PM|
So much has happened since my last entry that I hardly know where to start. We have been hatching babies although not in the numbers that I had hoped. We've had some great hatches...and some not so great hatches. I guess I'll go to my grave wondering why. When nothing changes in the incubator or hatcher and yet some are 100% hatches and others are 25% it does make one scratch their head.
We have been SO pleased with the babies as they have grown out. As always, some are "better" than others quality-wise, but all are loved! Right now it looks like we will have 8-10 ready for our fall and winter shows. We are really looking forward to showing some in Georgia this spring as well. The Newnan, Ga. show last year was so much fun and such a great facility!! We'll definitely be back there with birds to show and some to sell.
We've had some sadness as we lost 4 of our juveniles over a few months period from some unknown bug. We did have one of them necropsied and there were some things that showed up, but nothing extraordinary for poultry, so we really aren't sure exactly what caused her death. The symptoms were the same for all of them and even though I'm not certain, I feel like it was an unusual cocci species. No bloody stool, no diarrhea...just "humpy" as we call it, then gradually eating and drinking less and finally dying. Antibiotics haven't made any difference, but in a couple of them, there wasn't enough time to really tell.
This I know...."When you have livestock, you're going to have deadstock". As my mom used to say..."You can put that in your pipe and smoke it!!"
We are being extraordinarily clean, including spraying down the pens with oxine, stripping them weekly instead of every couple of weeks, using DE and Sevin under the shavings for mite and moisture control. We're dusting everyone monthly now and using the Ivomec pour-on at the same time. We're worming every two months now with a rotating system using valbazen, fenbendazole and levazole. We've also started incorporating the use of Corid (amprollium) on a preventative basis for 2 days every 2 months to help keep the colonization of cocci in the silkies intestines down to a manageable level.
Broodies, broodies everywhere....They are just born to hatch eggs and be mamas!! We are using the "broody jail" on a continual basis at this time. This is a large hanging dog crate that has a hardware cloth bottom added. The secret for "assisting them out of their broodiness" has been to give them a nice soak in a bucket of cool water, then put them in jail with a fan on them. This seems to lower their body temperature enough that they snap out of their brood pretty quickly. I'm sure our hot weather isn't helping matters.
Speaking of hot weather...it's been scorching lately. We put up a misting system just under the eave of the barn that mists water into the front part of their turnout paddocks. They are LOVING it!!! They run out, get wet and then run back inside the pen under the fans. I love watching them.
We had a carpenter build us a new portable coop that is a double decker. Youngest babies on the top and the bottom is for our older pullets that are not in a breeding pen yet. The three girls in there now just started laying yesterday!! They are part of the girls we will show this fall, so we are going to keep them out of the breeding pen and just artificially inseminate them until after the show season.
On a personal note...my daughter Robin is getting married in November, so the wedding plans are starting to crank up. We are all excited for this wonderful time in her life, but things won't be the same without her here. I'll post more about the wedding plans over the next couple of months.
I'll try to be more diligent and post a new entry at least every week or two. Please be sure to check our sales page. We can't ship until the fall when it's cooler, but will be taking a couple of trips to the North Carolina area. If you are interested in birds and can meet us somewhere along the way...let us know!