I noticed Cheese (our drake Pekin) leg looking a little swollen and after an investigation he has bumblefoot on both feet. (“Bumblefoot is characterized by swelling, sometimes redness and often a characteristic black or brown scab on the bottom of the foot. Left untreated, serious cases of bumble foot can be fatal as the infection can spread to other tissues and bones.” – The Chicken Chick) So Wednesday night he had a little surgery and spent his night on the porch. Today while the hens went out I was able to grab Quackers and check her out (she’s had a limp for about two years now so I’m always hesitant to chase after her but it needed to be done) and she has a small bumble in one foot and now reunited together on the porch as things heal up. Bumblefoot is treated by soaking the infected foot to loosen the large black scab and then remove some of it, exposing healthy tissue underneath (blood is a good sign after cutting) drying and covering it to keep it clean. This procedure is done for however many days it takes until the black scab/bumble to be completely removed.
Over the summer our bantams mated with an average rooster and we had chicks for the first time ever! After some drama and an unfortunate animal attack, we lost one mother hen and chick, but these two survivors are now living in our garage. We had two bantam hens sitting on the eggs and it appears both were successful in mating. So this black one is a day younger than the yellow and it’s beginning to seem like I am the owner of yet another rooster; this one will be called Napoleon. So he, the yellow chick called Sunshine and their mother Bonita are currently living in the garage until we are able to get them a coop away from the old coop where a predator got in.
For our anniversary Ryan and I took a trip to a bee keeper farm and learned about beekeeping! This sourwood tree gives the most amazing honey and we hope to add bees and these trees in the future.
We’re busy preparing for a large season in the Spring and Summer! We’ve just ordered our Barred Plymouth Rock hens and the chicks are expected to arrive April 2nd. Garden planning has also begun and I expect a large garden and harvest with taking off last year to care for a baby. We hope to also have some landscaping done to include some large shade trees.
Catterson Farms has taken a bit of a break this year with our produce as we’re figuring out how to manage two small children and one with a few special needs. We did not plant a garden this year, nor did we purchase any new chickens.
Our ducks: Sadly after a lot of sickness back and forth, one duck passed away. We had tried everything we could but no local vet was willing to see a duck. So we came up with our own things, including antibiotics but in the end the duck died. We thought this was the male duck “Donald” but it turns out we had sexed them wrong – as expected. So our Daisy turned out to be a Donald and currently lives in an old chicken coop. Did you know how absolutely disgusting ducks are? Seriously, the worst. And this is only one duck. I cannot imagine more. Yuck.
Chickens: We’ve lost three total this season. We suspect due to a fungus. We’re upping our care and changing some things around to better care for them.
We have a new member of the family – not a baby but a puppy! We’ve had two corgis in the past – Bonnie we raised from a puppy and Luna who was rescued, they both passed away within the last two years and we miss them a lot. We still have our other dogs but there’s nothing like a corgi. Amazingly, we found a local breeder (TN Corgis) and picked out Pippin. He’s absolutely the opposite of our two laid back corgis. It’s as if we have four children instead of three! We hope to have him be as amazing as Luna was but I think it’s going to take far more training.
The Spring will bring more hens – hopefully some Silver Laced or Barred Rock – those are my favorites.We still have eggs but the volume has reduced and our bantam’s are producing more than our RHRs.
Introducing our first and main flock. Our rooster D’artagnan, also known as Darty. He was given to us by a co-worker because he was being beaten up by another rooster. Now he’s a little bit of a handful himself. Sigh. (Thus the gloves) We identify them by the colored rings on their feet. Currently Gertrude lives alone. Last September she was attacked by our newly rescued hound Randy. He somehow got into the coop and nearly killed her. He had her in his mouth until I was able to get him to release her. She spent about a month in the CICU (Chicken Intensive Care Unit, aka laundry room). I was unable to re-introduce her to the flock so she and D’artagnan spent the winter together in a small house for heat. We’ve since moved D’artagnan into the coop with the other six hens because he was mating with Gert too frequently and her feathers had been removed and her back was looking rather raw from feather removal on her back. She will be the mother to flock two, I hope. They’ll soon be introduced as they’re about 7-8 weeks old at this point and big enough to defend themselves but the Bantams are tiny so I’m not sure about their introduction.
Blanche (She’s the winner of our Chicken Bachelor. YouTube it.)
Gertie – our friendliest hen
Gertie and our youngest son
Update: Gertie has been moved to the coop with the new hens and after a few days they’ve all accommodated quite well. The other day as I was leaving I noticed Gertie kick them all out so she could go inside the coop. In the other coop we have the three black sex-link and three bantams. D’artagnan has been moved to the single coop due to his overworking the ISA Browns and causing them to have a lot of their feathers removed!
We *think* this is our female bantam so we call her Bonita in honor of our late tiny corgi Bonnie.
We *think* these are our two Bantam roosters , so we call them Juanito and Pollito.
A few weeks ago we welcomed a few new members to our flock. Three Bantams and three Black Sex Link chicks. What I think we’ve ended up with is B.B. Red Old English Game Bantams – it appears two roosters and a hen. She is smaller and very different pattern from the other two so it’s honestly just process of elimination. The Black Sex Link chicks are a combination between Wyandotta and Rhode Island Red (according to TSC). They all appear to be hens (based on information I read about identifying white marks on their bodies). They are currently stinking up my laundry room and extremely skiddish. Like seriously, maybe it’s because we haven’t handeled them as much as our ISA Browns (hello three month old baby) or the breed? It was a spur of the moment decision to get Bantams because I didn’t know they laid small eggs or were small hens until I texted my husband what I got and he replied with “do Bantams lay eggs?” Oops. Next year we’ll just make sure to get more egg laying hens.
Our first batch of hens are a year old now and all are doing well. Gertie lives alone due to the fact she was attacked by our hound rescue Randy and nearly died. I spent a month tending to her in the CICU (aka our laundry room) and was unable to reintroduce her to the flock. She will (hopefully) be mama to our newcomers. Our Roo, D’artagnan (think three musketeers) is a real rooster – a jerk. We’re working on him. Last year he was given to us as a rescue because a co-worker had two roos and he was on the loosing end. He was so sweet and wanted to stay constantly on my arm but then he grew up. As soon as possible there will be updated pictures and pictures of the newcomers.