It hasn’t been a banner couple of days.

I’d noticed that several of our chickens were sneezing and some had weepy eyes.  I took a closer look, did a little bit of research and discovered that the chickens had been infected with Infectious Coryza, an acute respiratory infection caused by the bacterium, Haemophilus paragallinarum, so I’ve spent the past few days culling sick chickens.  So far, I’ve culled over 40 which is most of my laying flock and all of the meat birds (I didn’t feel comfortable using them for meat).  Lesson learned, the hard way.  All along, I’ve felt that buying adult chickens from individuals was taking a chance and it’s finally caught up with me.  I still feel so guilty.

I was going to use an antibiotic to treat the chickens who were sick, but elected to go the cull route.  Apparently, even if a chicken is cured of this disease, it can remain a carrier and infect other birds in times of stress.  The good thing is that the bacteria that causes this infection is relatively easy to clear from the environment so a bit of bleach and the sun ought to take care of it.  It does mean virtually no eggs available for sale for the rest of the summer until the younger pullets start laying.  Luckily, most of them remained healthy, it’s been the older hens that were sick.  I’m sure I’m not done culling.

Times of stress: yes, that’s been the case lately.  July has been horribly hot and humid; apparently it’s the hottest July in 70 years.  I’d say that’s stressful on everyone.

I’ve been sick since Friday evening with some sort of intestinal disturbance.  It really hasn’t prevented me from doing my work, I have no choice really, I can’t take sick days, but it’s slowed me down. I should have canned tomatoes yesterday, but I was feeling too awful and this morning when I got them ready to wash, discovered they were mush so now what chickens we have left are enjoying them.

Either somehow the big freezer got propped open, or storing our meat in reusable grocery store bags interfered with air circulation in the freezer so now I’m having to defrost it which means there’s going to be a huge mess to clean up.

So, in general, things suck.  I’d say the rabbits were fine, and in general, they are, but an adult doe died last week.  She was the one that had the snake in her cage.  Given how protective she was, I expect she fought the snake, got bit and likely her cause of death was an infection from the snake bite.  I did process her for the cats and her organs were perfectly fine, except for some edema in her body cavity.  There is a condition called Endocarditis which can occur as a result of Staph infections from bite wounds.  Either way, it was a big loss because she was a good doe.  I put her babies with another doe and they seem to be doing fine.

The goats are fine … the cows are fine … dogs and cats are fine …

Until later …