Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cleaning House

Oreo roosts under the lilac while I clean house.
Today, with the hens seeming to do better, I took a break from a project I'm working on, and went out and cleaned the coop and run. This always makes the hens anxious, and they skitter around like the sky is falling.

The way that K built the coop, it's easy to scrape out all the shavings. The linoleum on the floor makes cleaning a simple mater of sweeping out the area, mopping it, and letting it dry, and it felt like I was cleaning out a sickroom and putting new sheets on the bed. I cleaned all the surfaces, put new dusting powder down, and brought clean sweet-smelling pine shavings in.

Violet checked in occasionally like a supervisor.

Outside, I could hear thunder rolling, and the skies were darkening. I closed the coop door and moved to the run where Luna is now a solitary pullet. I'm trying to add a little bulk to her light frame, so she's got a bowl full of homemade yogurt, and some scrambled eggs in addition to her regular ration. I move everything out, rake all of the litter, straw, and debris out of the run, fill water and feed containers, and pile up fresh shavings under the hutch for her. Until she's out of quarantine, we've got her in a bunny hutch at night, but she seems to prefer sheltering under the hutch during the day.

I visit her a bit and see no signs of respiratory issues, and keep my fingers crossed. She was on Tylan for five days, but that's the longest that we're supposed to keep her on it, so today is her first day without meds.

With Thelma on the mend, I fold up the dog crate that I had been using as an extra isolation cage, clean out the bowls that I used, and put everything in a box that I'll disinfect and put away. I glance over and see Luna happily nesting under the hutch. The other hens have settled into the clean coop or are roosting under the lilac bush,  and the first sprinkles of rain are coming down. In Colorado, it may rain for 2 seconds (most likely) or 2 hours (not very often) so I head inside. It feels so good to have the henhouse in order and all of the food, water, and supplements restocked in clean containers.

The rain cleanses the dust from the air, and rinses away the residue of worry that's been nagging me all week. We may not be over the illness, and there will always be something to worry about with hens. But for right now, everyone is tucked in, dry, and well tended.

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