Last weekend I noticed a few of the roosters with early stages of dry pox on their comb, so treatment began. Unfortunately, two chickens progressed to wet pox but they're doing well in their little isolated ICU recovery area. Oddly enough neither of them had significant dry pox spots like I would have expected. Thankfully, it's not a disease that's spread to other animals or even humans, and thankfully we caught it very early. It's not uncommon for entire flocks to perish if left untreated.
What's frustrating about pox is that because it's carried by mosquitoes, no matter how well cared for a flock is, they're still susceptible to the virus. Unless they're vaccinated, or have had the virus previously (then they're immune).
If you would like more information on pox, here's a great page hosted by Back Yard Chickens. The images shown on their info page are MUCH more advanced stages of the pox than we have here on the farm. Most of our birds have only one or two small spots. I'm so glad we caught it early. I can't imagine seeing all of my chicklins looking like the birds in those photos! *Ack!!*
In better news, one of the young hens laid her first egg yesterday! Right in the middle of the chicken yard, next to the waterer. That egg is now sitting in one of their nest boxes, as a "decoy" egg. It'll help the chickens figure out where they're SUPPOSED to lay their eggs! That's the idea, anyway. We'll see if it works...
The egg is off white in color, so it wasn't one of the Cochin, Wellsummer, Buff Orpington, or Cuckoo Marans hens. They will all lay brown eggs, in various shades of brown. So, it was either a Silke, Frizzle, or Polish. My guess is that it was one of the Polish girls -- the ones with the crazy feather headdresses. They are 26 weeks old this week, so it's just about time for laying to kick in! Fun, FUN!!
I made this card using images from my Crazy for Chickens set, from Whipper Snapper. The paper is from Memory Box, and one of their great new paper series.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend!