I should have know better than to try to take a day from farming. It started out OK. I was spinning Hershey and watching some good football games in the morning. Apart from the Seahawks, I root for the underdogs (except Pittsburgh, of course) so the morning games showed some promise. Indy, our calf, though did not eat great in the morning and had some diarrhea but otherwise seemed all right. The Seahawks played rather poorly and then the Sunday Night football game was quite sad.
I went to feed Indy in the evening, and she would not eat at all. I chased her in the dark finallly into the barn and then a pen. I caught her and finally got her to eat half a bottle. She felt hot so I got a thermometer, and her temperature was 104.7. She was breathing a little fast but I had just chased her for a while. She otherwise seemed OK and was peeing well. I called the vet for advise, and they thought I should get her checked out. I was a hunging widow, had no truck so the vet made a farm call. He thought she was still breathing fast and suspected pneumonia. She had quite a bout of diarrhea for him too. He gave her shots of an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory and took a stool sample. An hour later I tried to feed her again, and she was not interested. So much for my Fiber Day. I did not get Hershey’s fleece spun and no weaving occurred.
This morning Indy took 1/2 bottle well but the second half was a struggle. No further diarrhea, and she otherwise seemed OK. The vet called saying her fecal exam was normal so he suspected pneumonia was the only diagnosis and she should recover. She suggested keeping her in the pen for 1-2 more days. She has been bellering about this but I told her the vet said it was in her own best interest.
I did the animal chores and threw a couple of apples to the goats. Out from the barn pops out 5 chicks and their mama. I have no idea where these hens are making their nests. I chased them into the pen with Indy to keep them out of the mud and away from goats’ hooves. This photo is a summary of my morning.
These chick are cute but there are two problems. One is that out of our 5 rooster, 2 are Phoenix and one is a bantam. These breed are not good for egg or meat production. So there is a really good chance these chicks are a waste of our time and energy. The other issue is that it is mid-October. What was this hen thinking, hatching eggs this late in the year? Completely irresponsible.
After situating the chicks and Indy I took on goat fall maintenance. This involves trimming hooves, giving wormer, providing copper supplements and checking body condition before the winter. There is some hoof scald in some of the goats, but no rot or hoof separation. I am going to try treating the whole flock with Dr. Naylor’s and hold off on zinc foot bathes for now. I tried the marshmallow technique of giving copper oxide particles. It did not work well for us. Only one goat took the marshmallow. The rest I had to shove it in their mouths and give grain after to try to get them to swallow it. I ended up getting bit pretty bad by one goat. So I think I will go back to copper capsules and a vaginal dispenser (since I cannot find a bolus gun that fits gelatin capsules well). Pretty much everyone was in good condition and color. If anyone has any good ideas for treating hoof scald or giving copper bolus, please let me know. I do not feel like I am making good progress.
Because of my trying to take a day off of farming some of our goats suffered one more day of hoof pain, chicks were unattended and Indy got sick. I am so tired but guess I cannot take a break.
I had two hens go seriously broody last month and thought the same thing, Donna – what the heck are you thinking, hen? The days are getting shorter! Crazy birds!
They are crazy.