Archive for July, 2016

What the?

Friday, July 29th, 2016

Well, I was working on an animation for two weeks straight, and while I’m done, I didn’t finish in time to do a podcast for this week. But I’m now in the clear! Until my next class starts.

In the meantime, behold the egg shaped like a creamer potato. This was in the nesting bucket last night. Not sure who’s responsible, or what they’re up to, but it sure was a surprise.

You say eggtato, I say eggtato . . .

You say eggtato, I say eggtato . . .

Yeah, so . . .

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

In the last week I had to direct two scenes, one of which I videotaped, and am currently editing, and write a paper. This was all for one class. My other class’ work was all due today, and I just handed it in. Oh, and I work full time. Suffice to say, I was too busy to talk chicken. However, to give you an example of the amount of work involved in my video, here’s a small sample of what I’ve been doing. I have to draw each frame individually, and it takes about an hour to cover not quite a minute of footage. It may be another long weekend, but look at the results!


New Frontiers In Mite Maintenance

Friday, July 15th, 2016

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and mite infestations are nothing if not desperate times. I was powdering the poultry with the poultry powder, and I was protecting them with the Poultry Protector, and I did not see any progress. I may even have seen things get worse, but it’s always hard to tell once the mite ball gets rolling. And so, I returned to the internet to watch people fight, and to try to glean some helpful information out of what I witnessed.

Mite Ball - It's a ball of mites! (Not available in stores.)

Mite Ball – It’s a ball of mites! (Not available in stores.)

There seemed to be more options for mite control out there than when I last looked, or maybe it was just that the current situation had Steve (or John) losing feathers all up her back, which really worried me, and so I read more before I collapsed in an exhausted heap. I was very close to using dog and cat flea drops on them and then just throwing out the eggs for weeks afterwards, as horrible as that would make me feel. It seems so wasteful to just chuck eggs, but you don’t want to eat them if they’re toxic, and I obviously was ready for the big guns. Then I stumbled across a thread that pointed out how odd it was that no one was talking about the product they had come to use. Then they linked to a study showing that it was effective against mites, and that you could eat the eggs after using it. You just spray it on, and since it’s just topical, it doesn’t affect their egg system (though the flea stuff is topical too, but perhaps chickens are more absorbent in that case). And to make it easier, the person who started the thread explained the ratio of water to poison (yes, it’s still a poison) to use, so you didn’t have to use the complicated math in the scientific study. This was a dream come true, even if this explanation of it sounds like I fell for someone’s paid endorsement.

Chicken infomercials

Chicken infomercials

The chemical is called Spinosad, and apparently it’s the by-product of some type of fermentation. This may or may not make it organic, and since what you buy in the store may actually be created synthetically instead of through the normal fermentation method, an argument about organicness broke out. I wasn’t so worried about what was organic or not at this point, I just wanted healthy chickens. So I bought one of the bottles of concentrate that contains this stuff, (there are a few different products by different brands) and mixed up a dose.

(file photo)

(file photo)

In spite of the fact that there’s a study about the effectiveness of this stuff on poultry mites, and that the company that holds the patent on this chemical says it’s cool for chickens, this is apparently still an “off label” treatment, unless maybe you buy the industrial vat of the pure stuff direct from the manufacturer. The concentrate I bought was for plants only, but the guru of it on the internet said this was good, and others backed up the claim, so I went in a-spraying. The chickens ran to the corner and tried to hide, but I got them all in their problem areas. Then I waited a week, and went in again. I even went in a third time a week after that. I’m not 100% sure, but it looked a lot like Steve (or John) was starting to grow back some feathers. This was a good sign.

Eternal vigilance is the price of feathers.

Eternal vigilance is the price of feathers.

The issue I’m now running into is that chickens are waterproof. So you can spray them in the area where the feathers have been cleared out, but not anywhere else. In some cases, it looks like the mites have migrated to the waterproof areas, and begun defoliation. So I’ve sprayed those areas too. The other issue is that the way this stuff apparently works is to jump-start the mites’ metabolisms, so they basically work themselves to death. In some cases, the de-feathering got worse before it got better, since the mites got some last bits of feather eating in before their passing. I’m keeping an eye on things, but for now, this seems to be something that mites have yet to develop resistance to. Variety is not only the spice of life, it can also be the death of mites.


(CREDITS: Theme music: Chicken In The Barnyard by Fireproof Babies, Music Bed: Medley of Country Dances by Jaudas Society Orchestra)

Not today.

Friday, July 8th, 2016

I was a little behind the 8 Ball due to classes, and then given the way this week has played out in this country, I don’t feel right about posting silly things about chickens right now. While we could all probably use a laugh, I think we have more important things to think about at the moment. I’ll see how next week goes, and post accordingly. In the meantime, I saw someone post this quote this morning, and I’m hoping Anne was onto something.

anne frank quote

Back To School!

Friday, July 1st, 2016

My two summer classes are in full swing, and as a result, there is no podcast this week. I have stories to tell, but no time to tell them. I intend to remedy this over the long weekend, and by the power of Boss Chicken, I should have excitement for you next week. In the meantime, enjoy the fireworks (if you are somewhere that has them).

Burning the midnight chicken oil.

Burning the midnight chicken oil.

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