A yogurt treat

Today I gave the girls some yogurt as a treat. Marmite and Smoke are still broody so I lifted them out of the nest boxes and put them on the patio before bringing the yogurt dishes in and putting them on the patio too. It’s a great way of getting some photos of all the girls together.

The girls have some yogurt

They love yogurt

Since Marmite and Smoke have been broody I have noticed that Salmon and Spangle hang out together and Marmite and Smoke stay together when I lift them out of the nest boxes. You can see this in the photo above.

They splash the yogurt around

I am keeping an eye on Salmon’s crop to make sure she is eating properly and as you can see in the photo above she has a full crop, a curved lopsided bulge, on her right side.

Salmon has some days of sounding worse and some days of sounding slightly better. She is still lively and always runs to the treats.

I am thinking of giving another five days ( only ) of tylan to see if this time it would clear the wheezing. I feel that there is nothing to lose. Marmite and Smoke won’t get much as they are broody but that doesn’t matter as they are the healthiest two seramas.

It would be so good if Salmon could get clear of the wheezing before winter really sets in. I think that it’s worth a try.

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I gave the girls tylan in the water for a full three weeks and Salmon was still wheezing at the end of this. It’s now been a week and a half since I stopped the tylan and Salmon seems no better but no worse.

I worry about the fact that she is still wheezing and I can tell where she is when she is nearby by the sound of her. But she appears fine in every other way. She is doing all the usual chicken things. She runs to the treats, she is eating well, she is pecking and scratching and she is dust bathing. Today I took a couple of photos of her dust bathing.

Salmon having a dust bath

Dust bathing contortions

There is plenty of space but the girls seem to like to dust bath up against the wire. You can see several dust bath holes. I always think it must be rather cold dust bathing at this of year but it doesn’t seem to put them off.

I don’t know what to do about Salmon. I haven’t had this happen before. In the past the girls either got better after tylan or rapidly reached a point where I knew there was no coming back. I have read that untreated myco won’t go away and the bird will die. Yet Salmon looks and behaves like a healthy girl but with a wheeze.

I was thinking of taking her to the vet this week but last time she got very stressed and I am reluctant to put her through that if there is nothing that can be done for her. I think that I will ring the vet and see if I can get a phone call appointment and ask her advice.

That is my new vet of course. I know exactly what my old vet would tell me and I don’t want to have Salmon put to sleep while she still has quality of life. My new vet said that it is all about quality of life and an unhappy bird doesn’t dust bath.

In other news both Marmite and Smoke are broody. I lift them from the nest box three times a day to give them a break and I lift them again at bedtime and put them on the perch in the chicken shed. Marmite has now been broody for two weeks and Smoke has been broody for one week.

Two broody girls together

I said to my husband that they are crazy going broody at this time of the year. He said maybe not as they are sitting cosy in a nest box all day instead of being out in the run in the cold! At least they have each other to keep warm.

Oh well, they will decide when they have had enough, I guess. Ebony is still laying the odd egg but has slowed right down so I think eggs are about to stop altogether any time now. I don’t imagine that Marmite and Smoke will lay again this year either. Time to start buying eggs again which are never as good as our lovely eggs.

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I have never had a girl who has changed in appearance as much as Spangle. When we first got her last August she reminded me of a turnstone. She had blocks of brown feathers on her back and brown tail feathers.

As she went through her partial baby moult she lost some of the brown feathers on her back and only had a few remaining brown tail feathers. This year after her first proper moult she has lost nearly all of her brown feathers and now has an all white tail. I think she has become more beautiful with this transformation. She no longer bares any resemblance to a turnstone.

Spangle on the right when we first got the amigos in August 2018

Spangle on the right of the photo

Spangle in the foreground

Perching in November 2018

Spangle checks out the new chicken shed in June 2019

Spangle has one remaining brown tail feather in September 2019

Spangle today –  November 2019

Spangle’s right side

Spangle’s left side

Spangle’s back

Spangle is like a cygnet turning into a swan. She has become a beautiful, mostly white feathered, girl. She has a lovely nature to match. She is a gentle and friendly girl and the easiest to photograph because she doesn’t mind how close I get to her and she doesn’t flinch when I photograph her.

I only have to bob down on the patio area and Spangle runs to me. She is easy to stroke and to pick up. Spangle is a lovely character and a beautiful girl.

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Monday was day twenty one of tylan in the water. I am so disappointed that Salmon is still wheezing after three weeks of tylan. I can’t go on using it beyond three weeks and I feel if it hasn’t cleared up the wheezing now then it’s never going to.

I have to prepare myself that we may lose Salmon this winter. At the moment apart from the wheezing she looks absolutely fine so we will just have to wait and see how it goes with her.

Salmon on Monday

Marmite is still broody and I am lifting her from the nest box at the end of each day and placing her on the bedtime perch.

Broody Marmite

Ebony and Smoke are still laying so we are getting enough eggs for the weekend breakfasts. I keep thinking the eggs will stop at any time so any eggs we get are a bonus.

Smoke today

Speckles continues to look well despite her age. Spangle still squeaks and sneezes but otherwise seems fine.

Spangle today

Salmon today

Spangle close up


I will just have to hope for the best with getting these little girls through the winter.

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Marmite is broody

I have had the feeling, over the last few days, that Marmite was about to go broody. She has laid fifteen eggs in twenty five days which is pretty good going. The last few days she has spent longer in the nest box and started making the clucking sound.

Last night at bedtime when I checked on the girls the automatic door was just closing and Marmite was in the nest box. I lifted her to the bedtime perch.

This morning Smoke wanted to lay her egg in the same nest box that Marmite was occupying so she decided to share.

Smoke and Marmite share a nest box

Notice the difference in their tails. Smokes has the normal, together, tail and Marmite has the, fanned out, broody tail. As soon as Smoke had laid her egg Marmite promptly sat on it and shouted loudly when I removed it.

Being broody in November is ridiculous!

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A fish treat for the girls

As the girls are still growing their new feathers I thought a protein treat of fish would be good for them.

A fish treat for the girls

The girls enjoy their treat

A group shot of the flock

It’s easier to get a group shot now there are only seven girls. The girls have been having tylan in the water for two and a half weeks now. I am going to keep them on it for three weeks as Salmon still has a slight wheeze although it has improved.

It concerns me that it is taking so long for Salmon to stop wheezing altogether and I worry that I may still lose her yet. Apart from the wheeze she looks normal and is active, doing all the usual chicken things and eating well.

I dread the thought of losing any more girls but there is nothing else I can do for them. I just have to hope that Salmon can shake this off. I am keeping everything crossed.

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A tribute to Jasmine

Sadly we lost our lovely Jasmine yesterday. She was our last silky girl. We had her for only a year and a half. Six months ago she had been diagnosed, by the vet, with a heart murmur so at least we had her for another six months.

Jasmine was a feisty character and was top girl of the little girls and was so friendly and so pretty. She will be very much missed.

Jasmine on the right with Sienna in the middle and Blue on the left, last July

Jasmine and Sienna at bedtime, these two were always together until we lost Sienna

Jasmine and Sienna

Jasmine the ball of fluff, this April

Jasmine dust bathing

Jasmine looking in the nest box

Jasmine in the nest box

Angry Jasmine when broody

Jasmine last week

Jasmine was such a pretty girl and a lovely character. Goodbye sweet Jasmine.

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Jasmine has gone

Jasmine perched on the edge of the cat box for about an hour looking as if she was dozing. She then  had a bit of a last hurrah. She had a wonder around the bathroom. I put her in front of her dish of treats and she looked like she might eat some.

I then realised she was picking up seeds and dropping them again. I realised that when I thought she was coming to the treats she probably wasn’t actually eating them.

I picked her up and she felt very thin underneath her fluffy feathers. I could feel a crackle in her breast and hear a crackle in her breathing.

I put her back in the cat box and she settled but her breathing her was very very shallow. When I next checked on her she was on her side and I knew that she was gone.

My lovely husband said that he would bury her for me. Sadly the chicken’s strip is filling up. This has been a heartbreaking year for losing girls. This is five this year and now we are down to seven. Jasmine was our last silky girl.

Jasmine has gone

My husband planted an aquilegia seedling on top of Jasmine. I suppose Jasmine was on borrowed time with her heart murmur. She was diagnosed with a heart murmur in May this year so we have had her for another six months. We are not sure if it was her heart or the dreaded myco but she was struggling to breath.

Jasmine was such a feisty little girl and I will miss her terribly. I will do a tribute to her tomorrow when I have looked through my photos. Jasmine was such a lovely little character. We have had her for a year and a half which is much too short a time. Goodbye sweet little Jasmine.

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Jasmine is very poorly

Jasmine has gone down hill over the last few days. She gives me hope when she runs to the treats but the rest of the time she sits hunched with her eyes closing.

Jasmine looks poorly

Her flock mates watch over her

I know that I am soon going to have to make a decision over Jasmine as I can’t let her suffer.

This morning it was frosty and I decided to bring Jasmine in in the warm. I wanted to give her a last chance of a bit of comfort and some treats before taking her to the vets to be put to sleep.

Jasmine inside with a dish of treats

I wondered if it would be less stressful to leave her out of the cat box.

Jasmine in the bathroom

I then decided to give Jasmine the choice in case she would be more comfortable in the cat box. Jasmine chose to perch on the edge of the cat box.

Jasmine has the choice of in or out of the cat box

I will try to get an appointment at the vets. I hate to give up on her but she is struggling with her breathing. Her breaths are shallow and laboured. I think her heart problem couldn’t cope with the moult and  the cold.

Jasmine is giving little squeaks as she breaths and I know it is time for her to go. I am so upset that I am going to leave this here for now and will return later with an update.

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Dust bathing and loose feathers

Yesterday afternoon Salmon and Spangle were sharing a dust bath. The girls don’t dust bath as much at this time of year but it is a great way to shake off those loose feathers. I don’t always catch them dust bathing but find dust holes with little piles of feathers in them.

Salmon and Spangle share a dust bath

Spangle is surrounded by feathers

Spangle had two remaining tail feathers in her last photograph and now has one remaining tail feather. Salmon has some loose tail feathers.

Spangle has just one tail feather hanging on

Salmon has some loose tail feathers

The photo doesn’t show it clearly but some of Salmon’s tail feathers are sticking out to the side. The new tail feathers are already underneath so both girls will soon be back to normal.

Jasmine, meanwhile, had a very loose wing feather.

Jasmine has a very loose wing feather

As Jasmine passed me I touched the feather and it came out. It wasn’t attached but just being held by the other feathers. I look forward to the girls getting through the moult and back to normal.

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