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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.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The dangers of pesticides

Good Morning Everyone!
Back in June (2010) I had another bout of chicken mites, this time the tiny white ones that were running a muck throughout the hen house. Man, I just hate those things, they are creepy & the only way I know they are there is they end up all over me...brrrrrrr! Someone had recommended I use the pesticide '7 Dust' to kill them & that it could be used on the chickens with careful applying the last time we got mites. It worked wonderfully & quickly with only one dusting of it on the chickens & in the coop. Even though I hate chemicals of any kind, I couldn't stand the fact they were sucking the life out of my chickens...so I bit the bullet & gave in. This time I did the same thing, cleaned out the whole coop & using a bottle I put it in the cracks & everywhere there was wood. I had my husband help me again with the girls so we got it done quickly & carefully. Less than a week later one of my girls 'Miss Christie' looked very very pale even though she is a Buff Orpington, she also would just stand in one place & not move which really worried me. Anytime my chickens show any type of oddness, I bring them into the house where I can watch them & give them first aid. She was not eating or drinking water & was quickly losing weight. She fought me when I tried to feed her with a syringe & finally got out the turkey baster. By this time her crop area was very small, so I couldn't put a lot of food down her at once without her throwing a lot of it up. This went on for 3 weeks with the turkey baster because she would not eat. Well, one day I picked her up & she started pecking like she was looking for food. I got a small dish of food made up for her & put it in front of her. She couldn't find it even though I had it right next to her beak. Oh, I forgot to mention that her pupils were very small & had been for the entire time I had her in the house. Plus I noticed earlier that her eyes didn't move or follow things like they should. Now I can not prove the 7 Dust did this but before I put this on her & in the coop she could see & now she can't. I ended up ordering & shipping 150lbs of the food grade earth someone had told me about. Miss Christie is still skin & bones but I have her eating sometimes up to 8 oz or more of feed a day. I make it moist with baby food, yogurt or mashed fruits & put it right in front of her beak while I hold her. I can move it so she actually hits the food & can fill her little crop up, I also do this with water. Sometimes it's like feeding a fussy baby as her head goes everywhere & I wear a lot of the food, but she is eating & that is all that matters to me. I now get so excited when I have to clean out her cage more than once a day because she is actually giving me messes to clean up. In the beginning I was lucky to get 3 poop's a day from her. My house is a wreck, things that need to get done aren't, but you know what? I don't care. Not everyone has the time or ability to do what I am doing & I am very happy each day she lives. Pippi La'Roo (frizzle rooster) climbs up in my lap when I am feeding her & makes cooing noises which make her eat more. I have also learned that sometimes if I massage her crop gently she will eat more as well, I don't have to do that much anymore since she is doing well on her own. I tore down an old bent up ferret cage & made a nice large domed cage for her in the dining room. The other 2 girls in the house have not accepted her, so I keep her in there when I am not able to hold her. Each day I have to stop what i am doing to put her feed together but I sit in my nice comfortable rocking chair & talk to her while she eats. It's very relaxing & in a odd way comforting. When she is done, I wipe her face for her & she closes her eyes & sleeps on my chest while I rock. Often Pippi La'Roo will jump on the the back of the rocker & Madeline will jump up & sit in my lap as well. It's hard to want to get up when you have 3 chickens who want to just relax & maybe nap with you. I have only falling asleep once with all of them with me because Pippi La'Roo likes to poop on my neck, which isn't the greatest feeling.....that's one of the reasons I keep plenty of paper napkins right next to me at all times!
Until next time have a great chicken Day!

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