Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Tough time to be a chicken .........

We have had a rough week in the chicken coop.

The gnats have struck with full force .... swarming, and swarming and swarming around the chickens.

About 10 days ago .... we lost 2 hens.  The gnats swarm around the hens, attacking their nostrils, eyes, and faces.  The hens will bunch together to protect themselves .... and simply smother each other.

It is awful.

We put a fan in the coop.

We put gnat traps in the coop.

I cleaned the gutters and eaves and sprayed Sevin under the eaves to kill any gnats.

And then we lost 5 hens in one day.

I was devastated.

In all, we have lost 11 hens, a rooster and a pullet.

Financial anxiety sets in.  Let me count .... I lost 11 hens.  If  those 11 hens .... lay 7 eggs a day, that's 4 dozen eggs a week.  That $14.00 a week. 

In a year, it is $728.

And that's new curtains in the living room.  New tires for the car.  Insurance for the business.  The list goes on and on about what that could represent.

So I was down.

Then Honey ... in his wisdom .... told a story about his dad.

Honey's Dad LOVED raising hogs.  They were his pride and joy.

One day, he went to the barn and found several bred sows ... dead for no apparent reason.  With four small children, farm payments and the hopes of good future income ..... it was awful.

He was obviously upset when he went to the house and told everyone what had happened.

But then ..... he said, "I'm just glad that what ever killed them .... stayed outside".

Yea .... wise words.

So --- it has been a tough week in the coop.  We have found a non-toxic spray that seems to be helping and the girls are looking better.  Egg production is wayyyy down and they are stressed.  But in the circle of life ...... losing 11 chickens is little stuff.

The big stuff is this .....

It stayed outside.





3 comments:

Michelle said...

Whoa; I've never heard of such a scourge; we obviously don't have those gnats here. I would think chickens would eat the gnats!

Ginny said...

So sorry to hear this, thinking of you.

Ann Engeman said...

We are having a few troubles as well, not nearly as bad as you. They say 3 more weeks and they will be gone... Sounds like you have a great plan of war!