Chicken Diapers and Incubators…

Yep – chicken diapers.  They exist.  I kid you not.  In fact I have one in front of me right now.  I’ll see if I can get a picture of Pipper wearing one for you.

Chicken Diapers

This is Pipper’s custom made one.  We had tried to use some baby’s clothing to keep Pipper’s wounds clean, but it caused her too much distress at the time, so we gave up on it.  Now the clothing has been repurposed and redesigned into Chook Nappies… custom made at that.  You are looking at the top… I’ll add some more photos shortly!

 

I have to apologise for the lack of updates.  I do have another museum visit to write up, and then there is a general what has been happening which I am going to do a little of now and possibly some more tomorrow if time permits between 2 medical appointments.

However life at the moment, this very moment is rather busy because I have been busy looking after an injured chook – Pipper who survived the fox attack despite some pretty nasty injuries which, to be honest, I was amazed she survived even to the point of being found.  But she did, so we gave her the chance.  She survived the first night and then another and… you get the idea.  Amazingly she didn’t contract any infections despite it being impossible to even cover her wounds up, one of which was too deep to even consider stitching and the others, well there was nothing there to stitch.  We kept her on oral antibiotics for 5 days and a triple antibiotic cream and a blue spray antibiotic for the best part of 2 weeks.  It is only in the last few days that she has stopped being spray blue, now that she no longer has any open wounds.  Amazingly her tail is not only healed but she seems to have full movement in it as well and on top of that the tail feathers are growing back.  She’s doing really, really well.  She has a lot of feathers to replace. She can’t fly or even flutter (lost too many flight feathers) and now can’t get onto the bookcase to sit and watch TV with us unless we put her there!

And so I find myself in the land of the likes of chicken diapers!  Yep – I never, ever saw that one coming.  I can now run up a chicken diaper in about 15 minutes on the sewing machine, have a thingamajig to use to replicate it when needed, have various liners for the pouch and this morning, I even lined some of the liners with a plastic liner to make it easier to clean them.  Yep, chicken diapers exist.  So do chicken saddles (to protect hens from over-mating before you ask) but thankfully we don’t need those here (currently…. HP is quite considerate in that area and it is coming into winter so he’s less active).

A front view of Pipper’s custom made Chicken Nappy!

 

And from the side…

 

JJ2 and Pipper (sporting her diaper). JJ2 is going for the new season look of a sudden moult!

Actually it is quite hard at time to know she is wearing it because it disappears under her feathers and wings.  The left hand side of her is still devoid of feathers but the skin has healed and scarred over.  Plus she looks like a blue echidna!  Well maybe a hedgehog then, dyed blue.

JJ2 is going for the new season look of a sudden moult!

There is nothing wrong with JJ2 by the way.  She is just sporting the new season look that Ellie & CC went for, and now JJ2 and Arya are both going for.  It’s the sudden dramatic moult approach rather than the slow gradual approach.  It means that the chook house looks like a feather plucking factory or the scene of a massacre.   Either way it is full of feathers and you can tell where JJ2 has stopped because every time she stands still feathers fall to the ground…

And I find myself in the lands or clutches of an incubator and today is Day 18, which when you are raising chicks that you are hatching, as opposed to having a hen do it for you (none of them went broody on me and the ones that were showing signs of it were all taken in the fox attack) is lockdown.  We made a decision to put all of our eggs that were viable into an incubator to replace some of the lost hens.  A friend lent us her spare incubator and so 20 eggs went in.  We were told to expect only half of those to hatch, and only half of those, at best, would be female… time will tell, but when we candled the eggs (shone a torch through them to see the contents, mum) 18 were fertilised and growing at Day 10.  We have 16 now, and I get to candle them again tonight when the eggs are transferred to lockdown…. that’s when the eggs stop getting turned and we are close to them hatching… Hatch day is well Saturday/Sunday if everything goes to schedule.   And I have to have everything ready for today.  Yep – I’m not.

My friend has also given us a number of other chickens as well, some chicks, some pullets and some hens… but the first day they were here, Mr or Mrs Fox put in another visit and I decided that they had to go back to her home for safety.  We didn’t lose any, but it was only because Stuart chased it down the field in his slippers and the chickens were all in the outer enclosure rather than free ranging that we didn’t lose any (I was putting more suitable footwear on and grabbing the garden fork for protection).  Mr/s Fox also paid a visit on the next day at the same time as well.  They didn’t get anything then either, but my chooks were free ranging at that point.  Luckily there are 3 males present in the 11 chooks outside, our chicks from Christmas are now roosters and whilst it is causing a few issues with the odd fight, it is quite useful for alarm calls and the likes.  This time around the hens fled to either the septic tank field or to the chook enclosure, so I was able to get them all to safety very easily.

Ginger has since been rehomed and is causing all sorts of fun and games from what I understand.  He spent the first night sleeping on the chook house roof (or the garage roof, I’m not sure which), but they couldn’t get him down, and the second night he managed to climb a tree before they had time to catch him and I understand was rather high up it from all accounts.  He is likely to get a wing clipped at the rate he is going!

A couple of hours later, and the house chook (Pipper) would have been snatched by a marsh harrier (I think that was what it was) had it not have been for a pane of glass in the way.  She had been sunning herself in the sunroom as she does every morning. It’s where I put her so she gets some daylight and warmth first thing.  She had perched herself on top of my blanket and I guess was well profiled against a plain background.  An easy target, except for the glass.  She fled and was later retrieved from the woodpile next to the stove!  I had to leave to chase the hawk away because having hit the glass talons first, it was simply hanging around on a tree branch whilst the magpies pretended to be brave and dive bomb it!  Needless to say, since then, Pipper has been very clingy and always in the same room as me.  She actively comes and finds me now!

So that is all I have time for until Friday I’m afraid.  I need to go and clean a chook house out, and clean up some other bits in readiness for chicks.  And I am out all day tomorrow with 2 medical appointments (one is physio and the other my pain consultant).  It was easiest to get both of them on the same day – only one visit needed into Canberra.  A friend is coming around to chook sit for us until we can get the Fox situation taken care of, but I understand we can get that done free of charge (they are considered to be a nuisance and pest, so it is pest control).

Hopefully the next update will be full of little fluffy chick pictures…

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