After chores I sit outside just to soak up the farm. It's so peaceful, sipping my yerba mate tea, cuddling Cassie (Miniature Australian Shepherd), watching the chickens and trying to make room on my lap for various cats and either my computer or a book. Of late the mornings have been so chilly I need to wrap up a bit. Then when the chickens finish feeding they stop by my chair for a visit on their way to free-ranging. Even now they are all around me. Randy, our young Araucana rooster is practicing the art of being a gentleman by calling hens to him so he can share some tidbit found in the grass. All of my young roosters are beginning to behave like men instead of adolescent boys. The hens are grateful.
My main rooster, Jack (half Cochin) no longer has his beautiful long tail and is crippled from the dog attack. I kept waiting for him to get better but he has gotten worse. Upon examination I cannot see anything wrong, no open wounds, no apparent dislocations. It breaks my heart to see him try to keep up. But, he still crows, eats well and mates, so his spirit is strong. I decided to isolate him in the brooder house/pen. I put his three remaining Mables (Red Sex Link/Red Star) in with him to ease the pain of confinement. I'm giving him comfrey/nettle tea--he actually loves it--and soaking the offending leg/foot in comfrey. I put herb salve all over his leg and foot but he promptly removed it. I'm hoping he gets better before the weather turns cold. If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.