Monday, September 19, 2011

Scaly Leg Mite Nightmare!

While I was offline for the past month, life went on at full force here at Razzberry Corner.  I have so much to blog about from the past month, such as the earthquake that hit Washington DC, then the hurricane that hit us, how it rained for an entire month, all the flooding that occurred, how we didn't have power or water or phones, the list of potential blog posts is huge!  And I haven't even begun to talk about the guineas or the chickens yet!  I'd love to share it all with you!

But, you know, life does not stand still.
Saturday I was touched by the baby deer story and had to share that on Sunday, despite the fact that it was a current event and not something that I had saved up in my mind to share.

And Monday's post is yet another breaking news story.

Meet Lilly.

Lilly is a bantam hen, part Americana.  She's the daughter of Lucy, I made sure to hatch a Lucy egg one year because Lucy is a sweetheart.  And so Lilly was born.  I've raised sweet Lilly from an egg.  Lilly is even sweeter than Lucy, if that's possible.  They both have the same personality. 

Stay with me here, here comes some details...
Somehow our chicken got scaly leg mites in the past year.  Scaly leg mites live under the scales on the feet and legs, spending their entire life cycle on the birds feet. They spread by direct contact with other birds. The scaly leg mites bury under the scales and it is the irritation of the skin that causes the thickening of the scales.  The legs and feet may become swollen, tender and have a discharge or exudate forming under the scales.

They can be brought in via wild birds, such as starlings, sparrows, crows, swallows, etc. They can be picked up at poultry shows, sales, auctions, anywhere there is contact with other avian life. They can be carried in with rodents who enter the coops or pens in search of food. Early intervention is necessary to prevent debilitation in the flock.

We saw that we had a mild scaly leg mite issue many months ago and started treating the birds immediately.  We use Adams Plus Pyrethrin Dip.  This is used for ticks and fleas on cats and dogs.  We just make a warm bath and dip just the chickens feet and legs in the bath for a couple minutes each.  We repeat every night, or once a week or as often as we think it's needed.  We do it at night time.  It gets rid of the scaly leg mites, no problem. 

I read online to try Vaseline on the chicken's feet for leg mites, and so I tried it, but it makes a gooey mess.  It didn't get rid of the mites, but the next morning the birds had softer feet. However, they ran outside and everything stuck to their sticky feet, and then they were covered in dirt and mud.  Maybe I applied too much Vaseline, I don't know. 

But anyway, the dip works well for us.

During the past month, I'm sad to say that there was alot going on, with the earthquake, hurricane, constant daily rains, flooding, possible tornadoes, roads all over the area closed making driving to/from work near impossible, power, water, internet and phone outages at our house, with Randy starting a new job, and me going away to training for 2 weeks, with Bob the outside cat getting lost, two guineas being murdered, and horribly, to top it all off, somehow the scaly leg mites returned with a vengeance to our chickens!

And we were too involved to catch the leg mites immediately, and so it got worse.  
I noticed on my first full day back at the house on Saturday that Lilly was limping.  Badly.  I inspected her and saw scaly leg mites, a really bad case of them.  I covered her feet and legs with Vaseline, as they were obviously paining her and I didn't want to make the pain worse by putting the Adams dip on her sores.  I let her loose in the chicken pen and she looked to be limping less by evening.  Saturday night all chickens were dipped, except for sweet Lilly.  She got more Vaseline. 

Sunday morning I inspected Lilly again.  Blood was running down her legs.  Scales on her legs had become softened by the Vaseline and possibly she or another bird picked at them, making sores on her legs.  She was horribly limping.

And so Lilly came inside.  She sweetly stretched out her legs and let me put more Vaseline on her feet and legs, and I put gauze over the Vaseline, and wrapped each leg and foot in vet wrap bandaging tape.  So now she cannot even walk.  I fed her some peas, put her in a dark bathroom on some towels, turned out the lights, and put a towel over the crack of the door trying to keep it really dark for her.  I've checked on her every few hours, turning on the light, offering her broccoli or peas as snacks, she prefers peas.  She seems to be resting peacefully and doesn't even attempt to stand when I come in with food.

I don't know how long it'll take for her legs to heal, but if no one is picking at them I'd think they'd heal quickly.  I hope the mites aren't too bad.  Once the sores heal I'll dip her.  Maybe next time I check her legs and re-wrap them, her feet can stay unbandaged, so she can walk some.
Poor Lilly. 
Who knew mites could do this to a hen?

Signs were made and put up down the hall going to Lilly's bathroom...

Lilly hates the cats, although they love her. 

Good Luck, Lilly-girl!
Get well soon!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Babysitting a Fawn

Yesterday a mama whitetail deer left her fawn for me to babysit all day.  Often mama deer leave their babies in my backyard.  The mamas know the babies are safe here.  The babies just hang out, bored, waiting for their mom to return.  Sometimes I have twins, yesterday I babysat a single baby deer. 

I don't know what the mama deer have to do that's so important that they leave their babies all day, but this is a normal occurrence in this neck of the woods.  Maybe the mamas go shopping for cool new winter coats, or maybe they're getting a pedicure and paint job on their hooves, who knows? 

And so the babies are left alone in my yard.

I went out at noontime and offered the baby a couple apples that were starting to go bad.  He ran and hid behind this tree, thinking I couldn't see him.  I just put the apples down for him. 
His mama obviously taught him about stranger danger. 

It seems my voice really scares deer, so I have learned to be quiet around them, and they are less afraid of me. If I talk to them, they literally scream and gallop away. I have heard many deer scream just because I talked to them.
I guess deer like people to be quiet like them. 
...Or maybe it's just my voice?

Although this little boy is getting big and fat, he still has his baby spots.

He's looking around here, wondering when in the world his mama is going to come pick him up! 
"Hurry up, already!  I'm bored!!"

Strangely enough, the baby deer was left ALL NIGHT LONG in my backyard.  I was really worried thinking now I had a permanent fawn, thinking that maybe the mama was killed when she was crossing the road in front of her hoof salon.  The baby waited until it got dark, constantly looking around for his mama, then he curled up in the bushes and slept.  In the morning he walked around, looking, wondering, aimlessly.

At about 8AM this morning, Sunday, two female deer showed up in the backyard.  I watched with bated breath, hoping to no end that one was the missing mama.  One of the two deer put her tail up in an odd position, I have no idea why, and walked slowly around to where I knew the baby was hiding in the bushes.

And then the baby came bounding out, all long legs jumping around his mama.  His tail was wagging a thousand miles an hour, just like a happy dog wags his tail! He bounded around his mama a couple times, they smelled noses, then he dove under her and drank her milk for a long time.  His tail continued to wag.  She stayed still and let him drink for at least five minutes.

The other female deer stood nearby, grazing on brush.  Possibly she was last years baby?  Often the yearling baby females return to stay with their mother after the next baby/babies are born.  The yearling baby boys go off with the bucks to learn to be men.

The mama deer wouldn't let her female companion deer too close to her baby, and the baby had no intention of leaving his mama's side as the three of them walked away into the deep woods.

And so life goes on here at Razzberry Corner.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Red Velvet and Cream Cheese Heaven

I don't even know where to begin in my first real blog post after a month of no internet.  So very much has happened.  I don't even remember where I left off....

So I started by looking at photos I had left in my camera that I didn't transfer over to the computer...
Ah ha!!! 
I remember now!

Those cupcakes.... Those beautiful, wonderful, delish cupcakes....

I made red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.  I had never made red velvet nor never made cream cheese frosting.  I was hesitant, but did it for a friend.  I like my buttercream icing, why try something else?  And I'm not too keen on chocolate, either... isn't red velvet a relative of chocolate?

Ha, now I'll never ask that again.
Those cupcakes were my very favorite cupcakes ever.  I loved the cream cheese icing.  I put red sugar on top to decorate them. 
I just downloaded the recipe online.  Who knew there were such secrets like these recipes just lurking out on the internet, waiting to be downloaded and tried? 

Now I can't wait to try all sorts of other baking ideas!  My horizon has been expanded!

Friday, September 16, 2011

I'm Baaaaack!!

Well, hello there!!!
I'm back!
My Internet in my home has been out for the past month, but now it's fixed!
You all have missed so much in this past month! 
Oh, my, I don't even know where to start!
However, you'll have to wait till tomorrow! 
This post is just a tease! 

I cannot take the time right now to post properly, but I want you to know I'm excited to be online again.  I've missed my online personality, it's a part of me, and mostly I've missed all my online friends. 

I did find time to do other things instead of being online, like working out, and working in the office, taking a computer class.  So I have stayed busy; and time never stops here at Razzberry Corner!  You know how it is on a farm, there's always something going on!

Stayed tuned to hear all about the past month's adventures!
And current activities, too!

King of the Coop