Monday, August 13, 2012

Incubating Grandchickens

I hadn't planned to incubate again til spring, but I got sucked in. A couple of my friends decided to do a hatch along, and since I moved Warren, my french black copper marans in with the "big girls", all their eggs have been fertile.  So, I decided to give it a go. The eggs from my lavender ameraucana are tiny though, so I have doubt as to how well they're going to work. Two were actually in the fridge for a couple days. All are around 30 grams, which is pretty tiny for a large fowl hen. She's only been laying about two weeks or so, so they're brand new.

So, I set four lavender ameraucana eggs and three brown eggs. I know one came from the partridge rock. Not sure who the other two are from. The FBCM rooster is the daddy to all.  I set them on Saturday, Aug 11, and expect they'll hatch around Sept 1.

Speaking of lavender ameraucanas, my other one has fallen sick. At first, I thought it was an injury, but as time has gone on, I think it's more serious. It's been speculated by vets that she has encephalitis, brought on either by Botulism or possibly West Nile Virus. Considering their food sources, I think West Nile is a more logical explanation. She's been on antibiotics a few days, but there has been little improvement. She can't walk. It's heartbreaking to watch. She's still eating and drinking, but I'm not too hopeful about her chances of survival.  Here's how it went down: A week ago, I went to check to make sure everything was going well, and everyone was bedding down for the night. I found the lavender in one of the nest boxes which is really weird- they never sleep in the nest boxes. I was concerned, but not too much. The next morning, she was still in the nest box. I got her out, and discovered she couldn't stand. It seemed like her left side was way more affected that her right side. I separated her from the rest, thinking that maybe the rooster had hurt her- she's only about half the size of him. However, as the day went on, things got worse and worse and she couldn't stand up.

She went on antibiotics a few days ago, and initially seemed to get a little better, but I just haven't seen much improvement in the last few days. I hate the idea of euthanizing her, but she doesn't seem happy or healthy.

I'm concerned that maybe the vet is wrong, and she has something contagious. I'd hate for that to be the case, because that means my entire flock is in danger.  However, West Nile is really scary because that means that not only is my flock in danger, but my family as well.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry about your girl! Since she is still eating drinking, maybe she will pull through. I've read that an Epsom salt flush is good for botulism. Hope she gets better!