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Getting the chickens healthy for spring laying and sitting

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My flock
These are about to be 3 years old and still producing enough for our home needs.Though the temperatures are not steady and keep fluctuating from 73° down to 36° at times, my poor birds are confused,never knowing when to lay. For the last week I’ve been  getting five to 6 eggs which with 14 BCM I should be getting more eggs but I won’t complain.

I had given them pumpkin halves to eat in the fall just before winter came,then the other day I’ve given them hamburger meat mixed with Italian bread crumbs,garlic powder, cayenne  pepper and some Italian seasoning and oregano with an egg to hold it all together ( like a meatloaf) the spices are to help them though I can’t think of what each do. I do know cayenne pepper and garlic are to rid them of worms,the oregano and Italian seasoning helps boost their respiratory system.
I’m happy to see they’re feathers are shining, full of colors which glisten in the sun; with black shining so nicely against the auqua,reds, and browns. Their combs are bright red;the red that says their worm free and at the best of health. Im

My Rooster’s tail feathers

The day before putting them up for the cold temperatures a neighborhood dog must have attacked him grabbing him by his tail feathers which left a pretty large patch cleared of all feathers as if someone needed to make a feather duster.

The day after enclosing the flock

I was walking in the yard when I found a good bit of feathers,thinking the neighbors  dog got another meal of fresh chicken ( feeling discouraged and heartbroken) I decided to go to the coop for a head count that’s when I saw the large bald spot on Roo’s backside. Having  feathers pulled out is very uncomfortable for chickens and brings on anxiety from the trauma; that’s when I decided to use neosporin on the bald spot then worm them giving natural seasonings to help with their respiratory system and anxiety. As you can see his feathers are returning and looking good. YAYYYY !!!

The coop and run

Where I’m crouching down to take the picture is the coop where I can let down the door during cold weather or when I have a few broodys sitting. They’re in the run where I will put cabbage on string to keep them amused and not fighting,I also take leaves for them to scratch in when their unable to go out side,though I do like letting them out to forge because I believe this is the healthiest way to raise them, they sometimes go through the wood line into another’s yard and makes a mess of their flower beds, scratching the hay and staw placed around the trees; so I let them out during this time, after being cooped for months they stay on our land. So it all works out.

Our Ducks
Ducks don’t need to be wormed as chickens do so there’s not much fuss over them since they’re so hardy.
Before the change of weather came these wonderful creatures have cleaned the pond and had rid it of grasses and water plants that seem to plaque it. The last several years before the ducks the pond was treated with chemicals which I hate,that’s why I’m excited the ducks have done it naturally and they’re amazing to watch as if they’re gliding across the water while swimming or hilarious as the dive for something to eat,having their bottoms in the air or how they dive under the water and pop up somewhere else. Yes,it doesn’t take much to amuse me.

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