I am trying to stay positive and deal with the problems in the flock to the best of my ability. Last night was the second time of treating for the scaly mite. I brushed the spray into the scales on the feet and legs of Dot, Salmon and Sugar while my husband held them for me. It’s a two person job.
Star seems to be improving very slowly. I am keeping the steps shallow by moving the soil back towards the steps every few days. Star spends a lot of time sitting but that’s good because she is resting her ankle. She is eating well and pooping, preening and dust bathing.
We are on day four of the double dose of flubenvet. I have managed to get all the girls to take their dose apart from Sugar. I am still breaking her from her broody spell but I think she is nearly through it now. She wouldn’t eat for the first three days of giving the flubenvet but had about half a portion (a single dose) today. Hopefully tonight will be her last night in the broody crate and she should be through it by tomorrow. I will then try to get her to have more flubenvet. She has been sitting in a nest box for the last three weeks so is unlikely to have picked up the gape worm.
Storm and Salmon are easy to dose as once separated they quickly clear their dish of chopped tomato and flubenvet powder. Dot and Gold are more difficult as they don’t like being separated and I have to try to put their dish in front of them when they are away from the other girls. Storm and Salmon would swoop in and take theirs given the chance.
I put a dish in front of Star when she was the only girl on the patio area and she soon cleared her dish. Sugar is the difficult one at the moment.
I am poop picking many times a day at the moment and have found a gape worm both yesterday and today so I hope that means the flubenvet is working and they are being expelled. I still can’t tell which girl has them.
I talked to my eldest son about the situation as he used to keep chickens and he knows how besotted I am with them. He used his favourite phrase “prepare for the worst and hope for the best”. He said that there are things that are out of my control and I can’t magic this away or turn back time so I have to be prepared to lose some or all of the girls and possibly end my chicken keeping. But at the same time he said he knows I will do my very best and that I must make the most of any time I have with the flock now and hope that I can get them through this.
I decided to start by taking a few group photos of the girls having some spinach together.
I constantly research everything I can find on the internet about gape worm. The survival rate isn’t good and I have only found one case so far of someone in America treating one girl and getting her back to normal. It was on the reddit forum and there was no follow up as to whether the flock stayed clear.
I then asked google the question “can gape worm be cured in chickens?” and it said that it could if it was caught early enough. I have to hope that I have, catching it early, on my side this time. The ongoing problem is that once the eggs are in the soil the girls could get infected again in the future.
I will have to keep a good stock of flubenvet at all times and remain forever vigilant from now on. I had no idea that gape worm was so difficult to treat until this happened to us and I started researching it.
Only time will tell how this will go but I am trying to remain positive.