If someone had told us one year ago that our “girls” would be wearing clothes, I would have laughed. Today as they roam about the yard, one has on camo, one is in denim, and two are in bright pink. They have begun wearing chicken aprons, or saddles, to protect them from the clawing of the rooster Jerry who has been the cause of their feather loss….. his repeated mountings each day have taken a toll on the girls. We did not buy an apron yet for Little Spotty, for she alone is still in full feather – Bruce thinks it is because she runs from Jerry and spends large parts of each day inside the hen house.
In the matters of chicken health, we also have had some illnesses. Dot began sneezing and coughing one Friday, something I would have thought chickens incapable of. We watched her over the weekend, and aside from that she seemed fine. Over a matter of about ten days she became “cured,” just like humans having to wait the seven to ten days for a cold to leave.
More concerning was Violet’s 24-hour bug. Her first symptom was the poop covering her rear feathers. Then she spent the afternoon and evening quite listless, not walking to food as the others did, even barely pecking at the special treat of berry-covered pie crust. We had decided that if she did not put herself in the hen house that evening, there was a reason and we would leave her be. However, at the last moment she went inside. She seemed so lethargic that we were sure she would be a cold, dead body when we opened the hen house in the morning.
Morning? Surprise – the same old Violet, running, frolicking, eating just as well as everyone else.