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I am a 50+ yr old stay at home wife of a scientist/Military man.  I raise chickens for eggs, rescue dogs & cats & spoil them all.  I am a silver/metal smith & stained glass artist.  I, at one time was an secondary art teacher & Social Studies teacher.  I am sorta a eclectic earth mother who recycles everything I can get my hands on.  Enjoy working with power tools & even built my own 10ft by 6ft chicken coop.  am pretty much interested in learning everything I can thur books, magazines & friends. I enjoy veggie gardening & doing gardens just for the chickens. I also sew & love making pioneer style comfortable clothes for myself & adding vintage lace when I can find it. I am pretty easygoing, but need my coffee first before I am ready to face the world & day.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Well, I finally got the mites under control when my rooster, Cashmire blocked the coop entrance & wouldn't let one of my hens in. She was very quiet, slow & not quite right, so I brought her into the dining room ER playpen. She ate & drank her water, but just seemed a tad bit off. For us chicken people, we know when one of our hens isn't doing right. Two days passed when I had to start forcing food & water down her with a syringe & knew she may not make it. Well she didn't I am sad to say. Since I have done autopies on some of my other hens, I decided I needed to find out what went wrong with her. I waited until the next morning after refrigerating her to do the actually autopsy. I grabbed both of my animal/chicken medical books & started. Most of us eat chicken & never think about what they look like unless covered in BBQ sauce. But I find it interesting of how the inside of a bird looks. Everything is neatly organized & so much of it in a small place. Anyway, as I was saying, everything looked good & healthy, no dead spots, worms, tears ect. Then I found her heart, instead of the beautiful ruby red color & firm, it was pinkish & 2-3 times the size it should be & mushy like warm jello. Sorry if I just made you hate jello, but that's what it reminded me of. The poor girl didn't have a chance with that heart she had been born with. It made me wonder if the hens my neighbor & I had bought as day old chicks were all of the same mother or coop. See she had 3 die suddenly & this was my second one from this batch. They were also either Red Sexlinks or Rhode Island reds that we lost. None of the black Sexlinks seem to have this genetic flaw that we have noticed. Sadly it is not something you can prepare for when you buy day old chicks or even hatch your own. Though I personally do not like cutting up my chickens to see what is wrong with them, I am glad I have the ability (stomach) to do so. I have learned many things by doing this....gizzard bound caused by long grass, sinus infection that went to the brain & this adnormal heart. One of my dear friends called me the Poultry CSI, in jest. She is right though because everything I learn helps me & may help others. Now are a happier note, 3 of the new girls are laying soft brown colored eggs. All the other girls have yet to start laying, which may be a good thing. 12 hens X 7 days is a lot of eggs for 2 people to eat! Thank goodness my neighbors love eggs, I will be keeping them well stocked. Well until next time, may you have a wonderful chicken day!

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