Today I was pleasantly surprised to find two eggs in one of the nesting boxes. Huzzah! Legolas has laid her first egg ever. I figured Frodo was the first to start laying again from the consistency of the eggs after the first one and her general noisiness. “I’ve been a busy girl! Look what I did!” I can definitely tell the difference between the two eggs. Legolas’ first egg is small and narrow, typical of a new layer, and pale. Frodo’s first egg was slightly paler and smaller but the rest have been the usual lovely light brown Frodo eggs. She’s a good ‘un when she’s laying. In another day or two we would be able to eat the eggs after the withholding period for the medicated chick starter has elapsed, but, typically, that is not to be.
There have been a small number of slightly bloody poops in the coop, not as bad as what Legolas and Gimli did when they were pullets and I lost Gimli to coccidiosis, but enough to get my radar up. Since none of the chickens were lethargic I held off for a few days while keeping an eye on them. I have been expecting coccidiosis to rear it’s head since I transitioned them off the medicated feed and the weather has been ridiculously wet for weeks, a ripe condition for coccidiosis. The young chickens have to have a run-in with it in order for their bodies to learn to cope with it, but there’s a fine line between pushing through it and not being able to handle too much of it. This morning the poop in the coop looked like there was more than one chicken with bloody poops and, although none of them seem lethargic (although it’s hard to tell in this weather), Mr Bingley had a bit of the tail-down thing going on. I cannot risk losing my dear Mr Bingley! And so, I treated their water with Baycox, which has an egg withholding period of 10 days. Blagh. Oh well, keeping my chickens alive and healthy is more important than missing out on some eggs. Some decent sunshine would be really good right about now.
In other chicken news, the other day I had just finished giving The Little Fulla his afternoon tea when I spotted a dog by the chicken pen. It was the red sausage dog that I have only seen twice before, but it was right in the corner of my garden by my chicken fence. NOT MY FEATHER CHILDREN! I rushed out the door with such tenacity that I forgot about the metal child safety gate, which I rammed through so hard I forced it out of its locked position. Somehow, I was ok, but the gate is not quite the same now. God help anyone who ever tries to mess with my human child. I chased that dog off our property like a madman. Sure, it’s just a Dachshund, so it can’t get over the chicken fence, but it could still dig or force its way in if it tried hard enough. I haven’t seen it since but if it comes back there’s going to be trouble. I’ve heard too many stories about what dogs can do to chickens. I am on high alert.