Sick chickens and sandy beaches

The chickens are sick.

I noticed over the last few days that someone has had diarrhea. I wrote it off to too much lettuce. But then last night I noticed bloody, mucusy stool.

Rats. Someone is sick.

I don’t know much about chicken illnesses, but after a little reading and searching I think the girls have coccidia. Yesterday they were all acting fine, but today Coco is very lethargic and just not acting right. She hasn’t even tried to bite me in 24 hours.

The rest of the flock is hanging around inside the coop, except for Mimi and Gidget, who are enjoying having the run to themselves. Otherwise, the enthusiam level at Camp Cluck is in the negative numbers.

So guess what happens when you have sick chickens? You take them to a chicken vet.

It’s not like I haven’t already spent enough money at the vet or had enough animal problems. With Bandit biting the mailman and then having a peeing spree in the house … well, I don’t really need sick chickens, too.

And my vets don’t see chickens, so we’re off to a new vet. They can do a stool sample, but to prescribe treatment they actually have to see an animal. So Coco is going to the vet this afternoon. If one chicken is sick, they all get treated, and since she’s acting the strangest, she gets to have the adventure.

As for the sandy beaches …

The chicken run stinks. I mean, the stench has been so bad back there after it rains I can’t believe the neighbors haven’t complained. I think what happened is that some chicken feed got rained on, and then sunk into the dirt, and everytime it rains, it stinks more and more.

David thought it needed better drainage so he spent the morning removing stinky dirt, adding fresh dirt, and adding sand to help drain. I told him to do whatever he thought would make the smell go away.

I have absolutely no idea if the sand is good for the chickens or not. But at this point I wasn’t going to argue with the guy who reminds me repeatedly that he used to work on a hunting preserve with a gazillion game birds. (You can read his bio on his hunting blog.)

He also has a good idea to build a little food shelter/platform so the birds can dine al fresco, which they like, without making a mess that stinks up the place. I know it’ll become a much more complicated project than it needs to be, so I’m staying out of it. I know he’ll make something lovely.

For now, I’ve got some sick birds on my hands.

Visit my new blog, Notes From The Funny Farm, and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter!

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