What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

July 28, 2010
Irene came to visit yesterday afternoon and she thinks the young hens need a facebook page, so the collective name Fuzzy Bottom Gals was coined to reference that the chicks still have their peep fuzz over much of their bodies.

Fuzzy Bottom Gals: Ginger, Umber and Amber (left to right)

I have finally named all three chickens.  Ginger, the golden hen, has had a name for days.  Ginger is still the alpha hen, the one that scratches the most and seems the most independent.  She was the first to fly out and IN through the front door.

Ginger

The dark brown hen is Umber.  Umber flies the best, and she easily covers the ground between the front door and the railroad tie at the edge of the compost pile without touching the ground, a distance of more than six feet.  Other than jumping and flapping their wings, the hens aren’t truly flying at this point as they cannot gain altitude once they are airborne.

Umber

The golden headed hen is Amber.   Amber seems to be the slowest of the three and tends to be the follower.  The name Amber was a happy accident.  I was writing about the Fuzzy Bottom Gals on a piece of cardboard, and I accidentally misspelled Umber, and Amber was given a name.

Amber

The Fuzzy Bottom Gals really like the compost pile, and they eat the sprouted sunflowers and grasses that fall from the nearby bird feeder.

Fuzzy Bottom Gals: Ginger, Umber and Amber (front to back)

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

8 Responses to Fuzzy Bottom Gals: Three Hot Chicks

  1. bugphobic1 says:

    Very attractive coop indeed, and in a humane habitat. Hope that Amber, Umber and the other one will be safe from predators.

  2. cathyski says:

    Hi, I was reding about Marek’s and it sounds pretty scary. I raised up to 30 hens for 15 years, and never heard of it or saw it. Reading about the first symptoms, red bumpy legs, sounded like it could also be scaly leg mites. They will also make your girl limp. The treatment for that is simple, just brush some veggie oil on their legs, treat them all if you do this, clean your coop really good, and continue withthe oil every 2 or 3 days for about 2 weeks. The length and timing of the oil is important because the oil will only kill the adults, and not the eggs. And the eggs can lay dormant for a little bit and the maturity factor etc. If it is scaly leg mite, she will quit limping by the 2nd application. Also, their feathers will be a mess, but they preen a lot and will clean up nice! Oh yeah, put the oil on at night, when they are sort of oblivious to everything… Having two people, one to hold the flashlight and slightly lift the bird off the roost and the other to paint on the oil, is really nicer than doing it by yourself….

    • bugman says:

      Dear kind reader,
      Thank you so much for taking an interest in Umber’s condition. Yesterday morning, Daniel caught Umber and her legs do not look red or bumpy. Her legs look normal, so Daniel will probably not administer any oil just yet. Yesterday Daniel worked from 9 AM until 10 PM so the gals were asleep when he returned home, so he will inspect her more closely this morning. Because of Daniel’s long work day, the gals were cooped up all day and didn’t get to scamper about. All three hens have normal looking eyes, and another symptom of Marek’s disease is the eye transformation, but since Daniel is a novice at keeping chickens, he still has much to learn. Umber’s condition seem neural, but not terribly severe at this point. She is eating well and she continues to roll about in the dust with her sisters when they are free. Thanks again for your kind advice.

  3. cathyski says:

    I just got on after many days, and am sorry to hear about Umber. Did you get to know what what happened to her? I just love chickens, and most of mine made it to 10 or 12, although a Wyandotte made it to 15! She quit laying at 8 or 9, I thought. When I brought her in the house at 12 for the winter by the woodstove, I thought she was dying because of the groaning and raspy breathing. As I was contemplating putting her out of her misery, she laid one final egg! Quite a bird! So, the good news is, Amber and Ginger and maybe Timber will give you lots of pleasure. Getting a third now will work best, as the other two are still small enough they won’t be able to beat on the third as hard… The pecking order thing is usually very serious amongst hens. Get one a little bigger, so she can defend herself against two, but not so big she can whale the tar out of one. In my experience they don’t generally come to one another’s aid.
    Just a giant free-for-all. :-0

    Happy birding and thanks for all your wonderful bug info. Cathy

    • bugman says:

      Dear Cathy,
      Thanks for the words of encouragement and the advice. Daniel was actually thinking of getting a new hen soon, and a slightly larger one to avoid her getting pecked. Now Daniel is worried about Amber because her one eye is closed much of the time. The vet, Dr. Hsuan, asked if the gals had been vaccinated against Marek’s Disease, and Daniel did not know. Marek’s Disease has a long list of ugly symptoms, and it is often fatal. Eye problems are one of the symptoms, though Amber’s eye is not gray, just closed. When she opens it, it looks fine. Daniel is swabbing it with saline. He is such a novice at this chicken endeavor.

  4. cathyski says:

    Marek’s sounds like an awful disease… I am grateful I never heard of it. I didn’t know there was a vaccine. I would assume the chicks weren’t vaccinated, esp, if they were obtained locally. Otherwise, Daniel could ask the supplier. If it turns out to be Marek’s, any future hens you get should be given the shot, as I would suspect the virus/bacteria? hangs out for quite a while in soil, wood etc. I wish you the best of luck. Take care, Cathy

    • bugman says:

      Thanks for your kind words Cathy. It is our understanding that Marek’s Disease strikes young chicks, up to about 20 weeks, and if they survive, they may still be carriers, but they will not show symptoms.

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