Anticipation for the arrival of my chickens is growing, actually if I’m truthful, I’m basically busting at the seams. They arrive on Tuesday morning and the coop has to get done this weekend. Rain or shine. Unfortunately, it looks like more rain than anything, but that’s what happens when you leave it to the last minute – Einstein style. I will try to post pictures of the coops progress as the weekend goes by.
I’m reading ‘Raising Chickens a For Dummies’. I love these books, especially the style of writing; Simplistic. Anyways, there’s a section on parasites, internal and external. I pretty much had a nervous breakdown at the thought of mites, lice, ticks, scaly leg mites, worms etc. on Friday when I was reading that horror chapter. I actually had a sudden twinge of regret. Then one of my dogs farted while laying at my feet and it came to me as we all evacuated the room, that the same issues are possible and in some cases likely with dogs, except dogs are kept in our homes. So I settled quickly with the anxiety and I have DE for the mites etc and a tub for them to sand bathe in … I think I got the external parasites covered. Or rather they’ll take care of it themselves with the sand and DE.
The most disturbing bug listed was bedbugs and bat bugs. Wtf!?!? Apparently bedbugs are the human prey version of bat bugs. They said basically kill your chickens and burn the coop down and be careful to not carry them into your home. Ok, seriously? Bedbugs an issue in a coop? I never would of taken my though process there, but it’s obviously been an issue for it to show up in a few books. I guess if they were ‘tenants’ somewhere and they had bedbugs over ‘there’ they would bring them with them but I’m pretty sure bedbugs aren’t going to be an issue for us. Bat bugs on the other hand I guess could be a possible issue … Currently they aren’t and I’m not expecting it to be a problem. All this bug talk is making me super itchy.
I’m picking up some preventative ingredients for the chickens and internal parasites. I need Apple cider vinegar to add to their water (helps rid and prevent intestinal worms), probiotics to add to their feed for their immune system, vitamins and minerals to add to their water for the first week they are here. Stress from being moved to their new home can lower their immune systems and I don’t mind giving them a little boost of nutrients to help them through until they are settled. If they get/have parasites I will add the food grade DE to their food intake (maximum 2%) and do my absolute best to take care of it naturally.
Some people are totally mortified that I am not giving the babies a medicated feed. Gasp! I know. I’m just not interested in the whole medicated feed as a preventative step. If you have a medical issue, yes, treating it is necessary but using antibiotics just as a preventative doesn’t fly with me. All my research leads to medicated feeds preventing the body from making immunities and also, then their poop doesn’t have the necessary bacteria to break down into the good bacteria etc., needed for a successful deep litter method in their coop. Even if they get/have worms, there are more natural ways to deal with it. By the time the egg or meat is being presented, the given antibiotics will of left the body, but that doesn’t change my way of thinking. My commitment to having backyard chickens is for a healthier happier chicken that produces healthier eggs and meat.
Now down to the important stuff. I’ve finally decided on a name for my Rooster. 😁 The Fonz, or Fonzy for short. Its been recommended so many times to me to not name my meat girls, this way when I’m eating dinner I won’t think, oh Roxanne, you were so sweet. I’m naming my rooster because I won’t be eating him, unless he’s a complete asshole, then him and his rooster attitude will be in the soup pot. My primary egg layers, the Plymouth Rocks, I’ll likely name as I plan on keeping them around for a few years – as long as they are good layers (approx 2-4 years). Remember every chicken has a job to do…this isn’t a petting zoo.
I’m also considering adding 2 ducks to my flock. They would be Muscoveys. They actually ‘hunt’ flies and mosquitos. A definite bonus for our place. Mosquitos ruin our summers here. We basically can’t and don’t access the majority of our property or else you’ll be covered from head to toe in mosquitoes bites. Its absolutely brutal. The Muscoveys would be a definite asset for fly and mosquito control and they would just bunk with the chickens in the coop and they also roost like chickens.
They would arrive later in July, so I’m taking the time to really think about it and make sure it’s the right choice for us. The good thing is this breed of duck doesn’t need a pond, they are free ranging, but they’d just need a bucket to plunk their heads into. We have a river that sometimes gets very shallow and dry in some spots, especially when we have had a very dry spring like this year, but when it’s dry and to make them happy I would get them a little kitty pool. The hard part is keeping the dogs out of the pool!
Oh the dogs. This is going to likely be my biggest immediate challenge when the chicks arrive. Teaching the dogs the chickens aren’t a free buffet. I’m definitely alpha but I’m not always outside so I’ll have to make sure I’m always on aleft for the first few weeks. Miss Cinder is a ‘free ranger’ and she’ll be the one I have to train first. Drake will want to play, but any running chicken is ‘fair game’ to an untrained dog and more often then not, also a trained dog. Diligence will be the secret to my success. The babies won’t be free ranging for about a month, but the 6 week olds will have access to the fenced pen area within 24 hours.
On a more personal note my blood sugar/glucose is out of control. I have no idea what is going on. I’m exercising every day, feel better, eating like a super star, yet I’m off the charts. Disturbing to say the least. I’ve lost 5 lbs in the last few weeks, it’s not the fastest results, but it is better than nothing.The one thing I’ve done is not taken in as much H2O. I make my own ice tea and put it in with lemons and it’s refreshing and delicious and I’ve been drinking that during the day instead. 1L of ice tea has a tsp of organic sugar cane so the sugar content shouldn’t be an issue. That is the only major difference that I’ve done lately. So today I’m back in ice water for hydration. I’ve even removed honey from my tea the last few days. I’ve passed on servings of watermelon, grapes, berries, cantaloup etc., after dinner to help things get back in line, even though they are all my favourite things. It’s not having any positive effects yet. For some reason between lunch and dinner I’m shooting up to 8.1-8.5 for my before dinner reading. Then it drops to 5.5, 2 hours after dinner, then back up over 6 before bed and over the 6 before-bed-reading for each morning. This has me very confused!!! I think it’s time to get into a diabetes clinic and get some help understanding before I pull all of my hair out.