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Episode 32 Show Notes

Bird Flu is Back!

Craig sent us a message with a link to a HobbyFarms.com article about how bird flu has been found in flocks across Asia and Europe. Craig wondered if we should be concerned here in the United States.

This strain of bird flu does not cross over to infect humans, so the way it is being passed is from one bird to another directly or indirectly. Due to our great geographical separation from Europe, it is unlikely that it will make the leap to the United States because it cannot be carried over through a human host.

So our totally amateur opinion is don’t worry about it.

Watch Out for Hazards in the Backyard

Damian sent us a message and described how one of his hens found some old fishing line and ended up with the hook stuck in her head and about two feet of fishing line down her throat. Luckily, he knew a local bird guy who managed to get the hook out and retrieve the line and his hen is now recovering.

It is easy to forget just how curious chickens get about the world around them and how much they like to explore… especially shiny objects like fish hooks.

Take some time to explore your yard from your chickens perspective and eliminate anything they could possible hurt themselves on. And be careful about how you dispose of items that could be potential hazards so that they cannot find them.

New iTunes Reviews

Damian also left us a very nice review on iTunes, as did DougB888. Thank you both for taking the time to do so!

Caring for a Chicken with Frostbite

We are already well into winter and many parts of the country are experiencing weather than can be harmful to your flock. While most chicken breeds adapt to the cold very well, frostbite can destroy skin tissue on exposed areas such as their combs, wattles, legs and toes.

Roosters are especially vulnerable to frostbite because their combs and wattles grow much larger compared to the hens. The farther exposed area grow from the warmth of a chicken’s central body heat, the more likely they are to suffer frostbite.

Don’t assume, however, that hens don’t need to worry about frostbite. Under the right conditions, any chicken can develop frostbite.

You can identify frostbite on the combs and wattles as skin that has turned whitish gray or black. On the legs and toes, you may notice that your chicken is limping or avoids putting weight on one leg.

If you suspect frostbite, the first thing to do is try to move them to a warmer area. Your garage or basement may provide better protection from extreme cold until the weather improves.

Try to warm up the affected areas, but make sure you do it very slowly. You do not want to rapidly warm frostbitten flesh with a hair dryer, space heater, or hot water. Instead, soak a towel in lukewarm water and gently press it to the damaged tissue.

Be careful not to rub damaged skin and do not try to peel it off. The frostbitten skin will help protect the skin underneath until it is ready to replace the damaged skin.

Also, do not pop any blisters you may find, as this can lead to infection. If you see signs of infection: redness, swelling, oozing, or foul-smelling discharge, consider seeing a vet or provide antibiotics.

Frostbite can be painful. Give chickens a baby aspirin or “low dose” aspirin – each is 81 mg- crushed up in water for pain relief. Do not use Advil, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen.

Keep the area clean with a triple antibiotic ointment, but be sure not to use one with a pain killer. Read the label and make sure there are no ingredients that end with “-caine” or “-cane.)

Recovery may take six to eight weeks.

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