Wednesday, 5 May 2010
Poultry keeping - the highs and lows
It has been a mixed sort of day today, poultry wise. Despite all my efforts the 'incubator' chicks are still feather pecking. I have covered as many angles as I can think of, extra space, straw flooring, a sand dust bath, greens to peck at and the occasional small handful of scattered grain. The door of the shed is closed to stop any shafts of sunlight, the heat lamp has been raised and at times when warm outside, turned off for short periods. I am at a loss at what to do next. I have ordered a 'natural remedy' anti pecking spray, in the meantime all the chicks are sporting blue backs and tails from the antibiotic spray I use on all the livestock at various times.
As I watch and worry over them I can't help but be aware of the irony that a good percentage of the chicks appear to be cockerels and next week or so, when I am completely sure they will be culled.
One of the broody's chicks is also giving cause for concern. She has injured her foot/leg. It looks slightly bruised and a little swollen just above the middle toe. She is carrying it and only placing it on the ground every now and then. I am not sure how it happened but I think most probably she got caught by the hen, scratching and dust bathing. I don't think it is broken. I will watch her closely to make sure she isn't suffering and that over the next day or so it improves. If it doesn't I'm afraid she will also have to be culled.
Definitely the lows of poultry keeping. On the high - all 9 eggs under the broody Indian Game candled fertile today.