Celebrating diversity and making lemonade...

Celebrating diversity and making lemonade...

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Quarantining a sick or injured chicken...

 In the Coop    

When a chicken gets sick or injured, it is important to try and quarantine it right away.  Chickens are good at hiding their sickness.  They cannot show weakness or they will be at the bottom of the pecking order and may even be killed by her flock mates.  The flock cannot appear to have any weak members or it puts everyone at risk of attack by predators.  We have a quarantine cage in the chicken barn.  If a chicken gets hurt/sick, we put her in the cage so the other chickens can't get to her.  

We actually have a couple of quarantine cages, just in case we need to separate a couple different chickens at one time.  A sickness can spread through the coop quickly so it is important to remove any infected chicken right away.  Here is a list of symptoms of a chicken that may be sick: runny or liquid poop, wheezing, rasping, sneezing or ‘coughing’, pale comb, lack of appetite, bad smell, or swelling of the wattles or comb.  Of course, some of these may be hard to identify if you have many, many chickens.  We have been pretty lucky, knock on wood, mostly we have had to use the quarantine cages for injuries and not illnesses...maybe that is not so lucky...I don't know...
Make sure that the sick/hurt chicken has plenty of water.  This is a pic of Atilla the Hen, she was attacked by a raccoon in November 2020 and I thought she was as good as dead but she healed and is back with the flock!
If a chicken gets hurt and there is blood, the other chickens will peck at it.  They LOVE to peck at red things.  In fact, the nipples on the nipple waterers are always red colored to encourage the chickens to peck at it and that is how they learn to get a drink.  I made up some antibiotic ointment to put on the chickens if they are hurt.  Here is the recipe from Backyard Poultry magazine:

Antibiotic Ointment
3 oz calendula infused oil
0.5 oz beeswax
10 drops tea tree essential oil
10 drops oregano essential oil
10 drops Vitamin E
1 Tbsp honey
Melt the beeswax in the oil.  Turn off heat and add essential oils, vitamin E and honey.  Stir well and then quickly pour into tins to let set up.  

I also keep some Vetericyn Plus Poultry Spray on hand in case an injury is larger and a spray would be better than rubbing ointment into it.

Keeping this blog shorter. Spring has sprung this past week and there is MUCH to do.  I was busy yesterday on the farm and then took a minute to look around and noticed that the grass is really starting to green up!  I am expanding the flower area and we have a BIG surprise coming to the farm next week!  I will post about it on the Facebook and will have a blog post all about the surprise in a couple weeks.  So eggcited!!!

Getting seeds of vegetable and flowers started!  Here is a pic of some lettuce, arugula, and spinach that I have started.  I am so excited that all these plants have been started from seeds that I saved from last year!
Looking forward to longer and warmer days!

Have an eggcellent day!
~ Denise

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Using Beeswax and Herbal Salves

 In the Kitchen

In the fall, after growing and drying herbs and flowers, I like to make up some herbal infused oils.  Then, I use these oils to make salves.  It is relatively easy to make an infused oil.  All you need is some dried herbs and a carrier oil.  I usually just use olive oil.  Place the dried herbs in a jar and then pour the oil in and make sure to cover all the herbs.  Also, make sure that the herbs are super dry.  If there is any moisture in them, they may cause you oil to go rancid.  Here is a jar of dried calendula flower petals...
I added the oil.  Make sure all the herb/flower is covered by the oil.  Then, let it sit for 6 weeks.  
Strain and you have an herbal in fused oil!  I used some of this calendula oil to make an antibacterial ointment salve for the chickens and ducks.
To turn your infused oil into a salve, you need to add something to "thicken" it up.  You can add beeswax to do this!  For every 8 ounces of oil, add 1-ounce beeswax (by weight).  Beeswax has its own medicinal properties!  Click on pic to read more about beeswax...we use beeswax from the bees on our farm!
Here is a pic of the calendula oil and pieces of beeswax in a make shift double boiler.  Then, once all the beeswax is melted, you stir it well and pour into containers.
I use the calendula oil to make a Wound Healing Salve...
This infographic explains some of the benefits of calendula.  If you click on the pic, it will take you to an article about calendula.  I like it mostly for its antimicrobial properties.  We use it on minor cuts and scrapes.  Also, I had a pain in my shoulder and rubbed some in and it really helped the pain to go away...maybe that was its anti-inflammatory properties working...
I also make a comfrey salve in the same way with dried comfrey leaves.  Comfrey has been used in traditional medicine for at least 2000 years. It is also called bone knit or knitbone because of its amazing healing properties.  Comfrey is used to heal injuries such as sprains, strains, bruises, and burns.  You should NOT use comfrey on puncture wounds or the surface will heal too fast, not allowing the deeper puncture to heal properly. 

I have also used our beeswax to make chapstick.  It has some shea butter and coconut oil in the chapstick to make your lips nice and soft.  
I just added these items for sale in our online store.  You can click on this pic to go to the store...
Spring is in the air!  Get outside and enjoy!