I thought it might be good to do some portraits of the girls. They are at various stages of moulting.
Salmon, Spangle and Sugar have been dropping a few feathers but don’t look much different. Sugar is a little scruffy on her breast feathers.
Gold is dropping feathers and has loose breast feathers which has caused her to have a break in laying. Snowflake has lost her ragged tail and for the first time has proper tail feathers. She still has some tatty wing feathers. She has dropped her feathers much more slowly and is still laying. Storm still looks pristine but I think she is like the seramas in that she will drop a few feathers at a time.
Dot was the first to moult and now looks pristine and is laying quite well now.
Saffron hasn’t started to moult at all and still looks pristine. Diamond has moulted fairly heavily and looks quite tatty. She has lost some of her black tail feathers and her black necklace is loose looking. She has pins on her head.
In other news Sugar has gone broody again. This time she had only laid six eggs in ten days. She has gone from eight eggs to seven eggs to six eggs! I will put her in the broody crate tonight and try to nip it in the bud straight away. We now have just Snowflake and Dot laying and are having to top up with shop bought eggs again.
The news on Diamond is that I now believe her symptoms were all down to gape worm and not a heart problem. Since she has finished her double dose of flubenvet all her symptoms have disappeared apart from just an occasional squeak/hiccup/cough sound. This is getting less and less and I think maybe her trachea was damaged by the gape worms and is now healing.
Gape worm isn’t common and I think we were very unlucky to have a bird come in with this. I was convinced it was a heart problem because of the sound she was making and her laboured breathing which were much more obvious than gaping.
It was the day I finished giving the fubenvet that I became certain it was gape worm. She was sitting with very laboured, open beak, breathing and making the sound much more frequently along with a groan/gurgling sound. Then she started shaking her head and stretching her neck.
I immediately started Diamond back on the flubenvet with double the dose and that very day she instantly improved. I will soon be starting to repeat the worming for the whole flock with just Diamond having a double dose.
The advice on the internet for gape worm is to repeat between fourteen and seventeen days. To cover all angles I will start to repeat at fourteen days but continue for ten days instead of seven to cover both time scales. I will give the whole flock the normal dose in dishes of mash and then give Diamond her extra dose in a dish of chopped tomato just for her.
I am hopeful that this will get rid of gape worm completely and that Diamond should then be a healthy bird. I hope I will then be able to continue worming twice a year as usual.
At the end of the day I put Sugar in broody jail. I thought I would show how well the spare perch works in the crate. Sugar is happy to use the perch while in here.
Hopefully the usual two nights will be enough to break her of her broodiness.