Thursday, December 06, 2007

I lost a rooster today...

and I don't know why. That bugs me.

Two mornings ago I discovered one of my Welsummer roosters trying to hide behind the metal feed can in the chicken coop while the turkey tom was all puffed up next to him. When I extracted the rooster I noticed that he was bleeding from his comb. I don't know why the turkey was picking on him. My only thought at the time was that now that there is only one tom turkey he doesn't have anyone else to dominate besides the roosters.

Anyway, I ended up putting the Welsummer rooster in one of the brooder pens with some water and feed to let him de-stress and heal from his wounds. I really wasn't that concerned about him as he walked right over the water and had a drink. I just thought he was being bullied a bit.

Then last night I noticed that he seemed really depressed. I went in to pick him up and he was very thin and non-responsive. So, not surprising, I discovered him dead this morning when I went in to do chores. I looked him all over and couldn't find anything odd about him except his wasted condition and the laceration on his comb. There was a small amount of blood in the brooder but not enough to be fatal by any means. I am stumped. I wish I had the funds to send him off to the state lab for necropsy, maybe that would give me an answer.

But, for now I will just keep a close eye on the rest of the flock, although I don't know if would notice anything before it was too late as this rooster I had just been watching a few days before and he seems fine.

Got a few tasks done today. I spread some straw inside the chicken hoop house to encourage the birds to go in there and to give the ducks a warm place to sleep at night. I cleaned out the chicken nest boxes and refilled with clean straw (something I do at least every other day). I got my wood cut and stacked for the day. I have also had to start bringing the rabbit water bottles into the house and filling with warm water to keep them from staying frozen all day.

I got 16 eggs again. Three of which I found in the goat barn and two in a nest by the cows milking stanchion.

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