Goats, rabbits, chickens (pages)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sick Chicken and Goat Quarters

Day before yesterday I noticed a hen standing alone, feathers all plumped out like a little puff ball. Upon examination she had just a touch of diarrhea and didn't look right in her face. You know how you can tell your child is sick by their expression? It's the same with animals--if you take the time to get to know them.

I put her in sick bay and started a health regime. First I put organic apple cider vinegar in her water. I routinely put it in all the chicken waters--probably once or twice a week. I use approximately a teaspoon per gallon.

Then I fixed her feed. I used a base of oatstraw--the herb kind not the straw kind. I added diatomaceous earth (the computer just tried to change that to semiautomatic earth!), molasses and probiotics. At first she didn't want to eat, but after I got her started she pecked away. I stayed with her to encourage eating for awhile; she also drank some of the ACV water.

I let her have peace, quiet and privacy overnight and this morning she was rearing to get out and hunt for worms so I think she' going to be fine.

Cali Cat's kittens are seven weeks old now so it's time to find homes. We have their mother, (of course) and their grandmother--Katy Scarlet O'Hara. They are the most loving cats we have ever had...it seems to run in the family!

Daisy (left)-- my Queen and primary milker and Button who is fresh now but wasn't in this photo.

I'm having to rearrange my goat quarters. I have two stalls and have been keeping Daisy (the Queen) and Button (her daughter) in them at night. They both have beautiful long horns and can be a bit bully-ish. Plus, Button's baby, Zipper, is 3 months old and it's time for him to share the milk with me. So, I separate Button and Zipper during the night, milk Button in the mornings and let Zipper have it the rest of the day.

This is Polly--what a cutie patootie.

Polly and Becky--two of my Tiny Trio-- are "kidspecting" the last week of June and the first week of July. I want them to have the two stalls for kidding and maternity leave. So, I am gradually moving Daisy and Button out, and Polly and Becky in.

Neither Polly nor Becky have horns (I'll save the pro/con-horn story for another day) and they are very small so are easily intimidated. Betty, the third goat in my Tiny Trio is not pregnant but since the three of them have always been together, I let them all sleep in the stall.

Becky and Betty--BFFs.

It would not be large enough to house them during waking hours, but is plenty big for all of them to sleep. I've seen them sleeping and even when they have wide open spaces they always cuddle up together.

By the time the kids arrive in about 4 weeks I will have Polly in one stall and Becky in the other stall; Daisy and Button will be out in the common areas and Zipper will be in the not-yet-completed MAN quarters. I may let Betty stay in with Becky even when she has her baby. They are so affectionate toward one another. They will lay down with their bodies touching and one will lay her head on the other. They are inseparable. Polly stays pretty close to them, but Becky and Betty seem to be bonded in spirit. I'm thinking that Becky may be less stressed during childbirth if Betty is in with her. I don't know... we'll see.

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