Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October chill in the air

OK, so it's not surprising that October chill is in the air, considering that it is, in fact, October. The low temperature was 34 this morning, and it was frosty down in the lower pasture where the pigs currently live. It's gorgeous and sunny now, though. I'm going to finish up some new nest boxes and put a roost in one of the coops for the young Nankins that are ready for it by now.

A strange thing happened yesterday afternoon: One of the Cochin banties was sitting on the old split-rail fence, wheezing, sneezing and generally sounding pretty terrible. David caught her after chasing her around for a while, and brought her inside. She was gasping and didn't seem interested in eating or drinking anything. We decided to keep her warm and dry and see what happened. Just a few hours later, she was quiet, not wheezing or making that painful-sounding noise. We kept her in overnight, and she was quiet all night, then seemed pretty perky this morning. David let her out the back door, and she seems to be OK so far. We're guessing she either ate something that slightly poisoned her, or possibly had some kind of allergic reaction to something. Very strange.

This is a good example of why it is a good idea to regularly walk among your birds, looking for little signs of trouble like coughing, sneezing, odd behavior, abnormal-looking poop, that kind of thing. With the number of birds we have, it would be pretty easy for something to spread around if we didn't catch it early enough. It's also a good reminder that one thing that you can easily do to help ensure your flock's health is to make sure their feeders and drinkers are kept clean.

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