It has been a bit of a sad time around the ‘farm’ lately. As anyone knows who lives in Queensland, or who is in Australia and watches the news it has been raining almost nonstop in this state for weeks now. This creates some conditions which are not great for keeping chickens as the chickens do not cope well with high humidity for extended periods. It makes them susceptible to all kinds of respiratory problems, it breeds molds which can be toxic to them, and young poultry in particular are very vulnerable to a parasitic disease called Coccidiosis.
My chickens are no exception to this, and no matter how hard I have tried to keep them dry and healthy, I have, nontheless lost a couple to the weather conditions. On top of having to sell some, and give others away, this has reduced my flock size quite dramatically. I am down from my one time grand total of 38 birds, to 8. This will make it easier when it comes time for me to move. I will have just four hens to take with me. Three hens will stay here and the one remaining rooster is sold, pending pickup.
It’s still bittersweet though. Especially the latest death. I lost a little Gold Laced Bantam Wyandotte this morning to a suspected red back spider bite. This doesn’t happen very often. I have seen a total of four red back spiders in my lifetime, and given that I am turning 50 this year, that is not a bad ‘strike rate.’ So, to lose and animal to the bite of this spider (the equivalent in the USA would be the black widow) is kind of a shock, but the evidence all pointed to it. There was a messy web, where I found the poor little pullet, cold and lethargic. There was no sign of the spider, however and I suspect the hen ate it. There’s karma for you!
I have made that part of the coop off limits anyway for now until I can get in there and spray some permethrin around to make sure no other nasties might be waiting to reduce my flock any further.
To all my Aussie friends, be careful where you poke your fingers. Redbacks are notorious for lurking in dark corners!
- I Have Become A Victim Of Chicken Math (montanadolphin.wordpress.com)
- Backyard Chickens and Salmonella (deafchefatlarge.com)
- A sad tale (nanachicken.wordpress.com)