At last I think that Freckles and Dandelion are showing improvement. I have only heard the occasional sneeze today and I can’t hear Dandelion’s breathing any longer. This is the most pleasing change for me. I have listened to her periodically throughout the day and haven’t been able to hear her breathing. Goodness knows what she makes of me hunkering down next to her and putting my ear to her beak!
Maybe this time it just took longer for the tylan to have an effect, possibly due to the girls drinking less water and also their sneezing, which may take longer to stop.
Freckles had a dust bath today and left a pile of feathers behind so that is probably an added reason that she isn’t laying.
Cinnamon laid an egg today, which is our first egg in a week, which was when she laid her last one. Throughout November she has laid once a week. Freckles stopped laying half way through November but with mycoplasma and moulting that isn’t surprising. Dandelion hasn’t laid at all this month, same reasons apply and Apricot hasn’t laid for three months but has had pins coming through on her head for all of that time.
What I have read about seramas is that they moult a little all year round and therefore continue to lay all year round. This is our first winter with seramas that are laying (Freckles and Rusty hadn’t started laying last year and Caramel and Pebbles never laid, which we later realised, was because of the mycoplasma) so this is the first year of testing that theory. I think that what this means is that they don’t completely stop like Emerald and Speckles, who stop at the end of summer and begin again in spring but it doesn’t mean that they carry on as they do in summer. It seems to mean that they moult a bit more than the rest of the year and take a break from laying but can lay an occasional egg or just lay a lot less rather than stopping all together.
The mycoplasma will have stopped Freckles and Dandelion laying but Cinnamon has only laid occasionally and Apricot hasn’t laid for the longest so I think that seramas, winter laying, is probably sporadic rather than stopping completely.
I was quite pleased to see all the little girls in the small shelter today as I hope this means that they will take refuge in there when it is cold. The small shelter is definitely the more popular one. We think it’s probably because it is lighter as it has plastic sides and the larger one has wooden sides.
And more good news! When I checked the girls at bedtime Freckles was once more in the middle of the girls. She is facing the opposite way to last night but is in almost the same position.
I am so pleased to see this. I think this will now be the new habit. She must have realised, at last, that it is better to snuggle up to the flock than to sleep alone. We lightly suggested that perhaps she now realises that Rusty isn’t coming back so it’s time to stop waiting for her. She has been gone nearly two months now.
This is very tongue in cheek as it is more likely to be the onset of winter, but for whatever reason, I am pleased with her change of habit.
I am feeling so much more optimistic today about Freckles and Dandelion. Hopefully we have turned the corner once more and they are back on the road to good health.