Thursday, May 9, 2013

Dusting Chickens and a Near Tomato Disaster

Dusting chickens is no fun, let me tell you. We got some lice treatment from the feed store and dusted the 4 girls with it yesterday. We learned how to do it in our usual fashion; find the best youtube video...laugh at it...then end up trying our best to replicate it. They claimed in this video that when you hold chickens on their backs they go into a 'trance-like state', which makes getting the powder all through their feathers easier. Um...our chickens certainly weren't in any trance-like state. If anything they were squirmier than usual. We managed to dust them all but we aren't looking forward to repeating in 10 days. Hopefully diatomaceous earth in their dust baths and nest box will help, too.

Now onto the Near Tomato Disaster. When we went to check the greenhouse this morning everything was fine. We turned the fans on (one at each end) and went back to the house. When we came out again, two of the biggest tomato plants had fallen right over! I guess it was time to stake them, but they had seemed to be standing so well that we hadn't noticed. I don't think the stems broke, luckily. We drove stakes in between pairs of tomatoes (so 4 stakes all together between these 8 plants) and then ran twine from the stake over to the plant and up to the greenhouse roof. We attached the twine to the tomato plant with some old t-shirt, then twisted the plant up around the twine. I'll post a photo of the newly staked plants tomorrow.


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  2. Maybe I should make my own chook handling videos? There are a lot of not so nice ways to handle chooks, and ways to make them afraid of you (some people hang them upside down) or just ways to ensure they'll get away from you. I would try the towel and reduce visual stim.under your arm, with that hand holding their legs, or try it at night. They'll get used to handling eventually but not if they are struggling and fighting the whole time and they just remember a huge ordeal. Chooks hold grudges I think lol. Good thing you guys caught it relatively early--such a pain!

    Veggies are looking good! : )

  3. We should have used a towel! Normally they don't mind us handling them at all and they're really calm, but we didn't want to hold them too close to us with the lice powder flying everywhere and our homemade masks :D

  4. ug ya I hate it...the times I haven't worn I mask I usually regret it. If I just get some in a gloved hand and put it right down to the base of the feathers and then put the bird down and get away quickly they won't get me with the cloud when they do their shake like a wet dog thing. But as much as I hate it it's one of the few chemicals I wouldn't want to do without on the farm...Scary thing is people put it on their gardens and veg!!