Wednesday, January 25, 2012

more fowl business

a week after returning from iowa, we had a chicken die. much research and expert calling (thanks, misty) later, i decided she must have had a blocked vent and, because of the cold, died quickly. in all my concern, i started trying to figure out if something (disease, etc) was causing the feather loss i had assumed was molting. there was a small spot above the tail, but under the wings that was bear. the skin was not red or irritated. we have no rooster. they were too young to be molting. ??? many google searches turned up nothing until misty found a couple pictures that were exactly what we were dealing with. just in case you find yourself with the same problem, this is what it looked like:

the reason? not mites, not lice, not disease, not anything medical...just...boredom. i have one unaffected chicken who happens to be the boss of the coop and she is the pecker. solution? more protein, more room to roam in this rainy portland winter, and more time consuming food. enter, chicken bread (or, whatever you could call it to make it sound better).

chicken bread

3 C quick oats
1 C polenta or cracked corn (scratch grains)
1 C whole wheat flour
11 oz tuna (one family size envelope)
3 eggs, with crushed shells
2 hard boiled eggs, with crushed shells
2 C raw whole sunflower seeds
7 oz coconut cream

put all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix. the easiest thing to do with the eggs is to just crumble the shells in your hand. for the hard boiled eggs, just crack the shell on the counter and then just smash the egg, shell and all, with your fingers. divide the mixture between five mini bread pans and bake for 1 hour at 250. be sure to spray the pans...i forgot and they stuck terribly. the girls, however, don't care. ;)

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