I had a chicken DEATH SCARE. They didn’t nearly die or anything, I just thought they were going to die. You see, one or both of the chickies had been laying “lash eggs”, which is a key symptom of SALPINGITIS << If you click on that link, be warned that it’s not pretty. It’s downright nasty actually. By the time a chook lays a lash egg, the infection is said to have been present for as long as six months, but the information varies. I guess I felt happy knowing it wasn’t something I had done, that I had somehow made them sick. Anyway, in my Google travels I came that site also basically said that when lash eggs appear, your chickens will probably die in six months. And so I had a sad, and cried for a bit, which then made me embarrassed because I could imagine someone eating kebabs laughing at me. But they’re such cuties! CUTIES.
What I ended up doing a few weeks back, is that I began dosing the chickens with antibiotics. The infection is bacterial, and I had some human ones on hand. So every day I would half a capsule and mix the powder into the yolk of two eggs. I would segregate the chooks, and ensure each ate their medicine egg. I chose egg because it’s their favourite treat of all time (chooks are such gnarly carnivores) and in case you’re concerned, I chose the best eggs I could find (fully outdoor with acres of space, local, but still guilt-inducing). After four days of antibiotics, I then started up increasing their probiotics, to ensure that their digestive systems could recover.
The above is a BEFORE picture of the fermented grain mix I have been feeding them. I saw the idea on pinterest and several blogs and so used this method to ferment grains in a jar. My chickens can’t seem to get enough of it, and they’ll even come and drink the water if it spills out a bit. It really just involves immersing grains in water for several days, until they begin to smell earthy and the water is slightly bubbly when stirred. I stir my grains daily, and use a paper towel to cover the mouth of the jar, in case gunk gets in.
- ½ cup wheat berries
- ½ cup spelt berries
- ½ cup Freekah
- ½ cup barley
- ¼ cup Amaranth
- ¼ cup kamut
- ¼ cup flaxseed
- Shake the grains together to mix.
- Cover the grains in water, ensuring there's at least an inch of water covering the top of the grains.
- Cover the jar with a breathable cover - I used paper towel secured with rubber bands.
- Leave to sit for 3-4 days, stirring every day if possible.
- Top up with grains and water as needed.