Our little flock of seven has undergone some subtle changes this month.
She has taken a long time to recover from her second Bumble Foot surgery. The infection was considerable and the wound to find healthy flesh was quite deep. She had a course and a half of antibiotics and regular trips to the vet every 2-3 days to have her wound curetted and filled with a betadine manuka honey solution. In the past week, the healthy new flesh has granulated to fill the large void and now the flesh on the bottom of the foot is making a surface scab.
She went from being 3kg in March (dog attack) to 2.2Kg just before 2nd surgery, and she is currently at 1.8Kg. So she has lost more than a third of her body weight. That's a huge loss for a large bird like Wash. She is also moulting and no longer laying. Everyday this week I have bathed and sprayed her foot with Veterycin before applying a spray on skin. She still has a slight limp.
She has come through her moult and her plumage is looking rather lovely. When she is not doing her own thing, she spends time hanging out with Washington keeping to her pace. She has not resumed laying since the dog attack in early March.
Scruffy is no longer well, Scruffy. Her bedraggled appearance from the beginning of the year is gone and she is looking rather lovely and her feathers have a green glossy tinge. She has gained weight and would be one of the two heaviest chickens in the flock now. She lays every 1-2 days and her eggs are HUGE!
Has nearly finished his moult and his tail feathers are growing back.
A top layer - every 1-2 days with lovely dark brown eggs. Her plumage is the glossiest and most defined. Her new nick name is Miss Glossy. She is fiercely independent and is first out each morning and last to roost each night.
Freckles has been the biggest surprise. We honestly thought that he was an Ancona rooster. He has long legs and a lean body. I mean he flies over the 6' high fence. He is unpredictable and a bit skitty. When we got back from our school holidays, Freckles had grown a large floppy comb and some wattle. We feared the worst. A second rooster in the flock. Then these small white eggs started showing up the nesting box with Obama's huge ones and Bluey's chocolate brown ones. We could NOT work out to whom they belonged. The kids and I were perplexed. Did they belong to Freckles or Roosevelt? Then Frances caught Freckles in the nesting box one morning.
So, the rooster turned out to be a hen.
She has grown into a lovely hen and must be very close to laying her first egg. This month her wattle and comb have grown larger and are turning red. She is also the most curious of the chickens and runs to see anything new. She also loves to chase the rainbow lorikeets from the food.
I do want to expand the flock but I do feel that the chicken house needs to be upgraded or perhaps expanded. I am keen to get some day old chickens so that the kids can raise them but we would need to construct a nursery for them and later a protected section of the hen house.
I am also interested on adopting a couple of ex-battery hens but they would also need a special care mini coop with lower roosts to help them transition to the free range flock.