Currently viewing the category: "Fuzzy Bottom Gals"

Absence of additional photos
April 28, 2011 11:37 pm
Heh. Having been succinCt, descriptive, and specific in the subject, what’s left?
Oh yes, details. 🙂
I note that many posts state that there are additional photos (the Polyphemus moth is the one I saw, where it has a newly-emerged moth and states that they have one four hours on–but there’s only the one photo)…but when you go to the post itself, there’s no additional photos.
I know you’re short on time and space–we all are–but puh-leeze, can we please have a few more eentsy little photos? 🙂
You guys ROCK!!! bigtime at this; I keep telling teachers and kids and parents to come on over, it’s fun.  And even the grossed-out and/or phobic ones wind up here eventually, and LOVE it! 🙂
Repeat: You ROCK. 🙂  Totally. 🙂
Now…what bugs in Butte County, CA, do you want/need photos of? 🙂  I’ve not the money to donate but I can sure get pictures and do some ID work..!!
Signature: Pam Alley

Polyphemus Moth

Hi Pam,
Thanks for your kind email.  When photos are submitted, we generally choose the most representative or our favorite to post.  When there are several images, we often post two or rarely three.  We did a search for Polyphemus Moth using our search engine, and we believe we found the posting that you are referring to and there are two images.  Additionally, similar postings are available by clicking the small thumbnails under the posting.  We would love to post some of your photos, and we especially like seasonal sightings and species that are not well represented on our site.  Right now we hope to get a variety of different Blister Beetles from the southwest.  We are posting the image you were unable to locate as an accompaniment to this posting

Ah ha…must click on first photo to see all photos!  Silly me. 🙂
Comment on chickens–hit the BackyardChickens website for best husbandry/health/housing information.  You aren’t the only one who has lost feathered friends unexpectedly, nor had trouble getting started.
Consider yourself hugged…that’s not fun. 🙁  But that website will help you get restarted…
I do have a couple of bugs you might be intrigued by; one was a ‘wingless bee’ found under my rabbit cages…which amazingly, by the end of its photo session, had wings (laughing)–think it was a bee mimic of some kind.  The other was a seemingly voracious black and white striped bug that was encouraged to go forth and eat LOTS of earwigs.
BTW…I got into chickens as earwig control, and now I have more than I know what to do with…LOL…so watch out!  They’re addictive (or at least additive!
There are a number of show breeders of various kinds of chickens in your part of the world–highly recommend the Belgian d’Anvers breed–sociable, personality plus, and hardy as heck.  A bantam breed. You might consider getting some adults to start with–they lay very well and brood excellently too.
Recommend you put a nice chain-link kennel around your chicken coop area to keep skunks/raccoons out–raccoons especially, as they can carry nasty parasites and are incredibly strong given the smallest opening.  Try Craigslist for one that’s affordable.
Anyway, you’re welcome to my photo collection, should you want it…here are two exemplars and enjoy! 🙂
If there’s anything I can do to help you folks, I have no life, so let me know. 🙂

Dear PA,

There is no way all these can be posted.  This will probably take an hour to format.  We can post your letter and one species.  In the future, please use the identification form which helps the formatting of our website.  It is found here:  ask-whats-that-bug/
Thanks for your enthusiasm.
P.S.  Just yesterday, over 50 identification requests arrived

November 27, 2010:  The Story Until Now
After first Umber and then Ginger were buried in the yard, their sister Amber still had a swollen eye that was not improving despite aspirin & garlic, neosporin, and tetra-antibiotic treatments.  Amber was moved to a convalescent hospital on Sunday November 21.   She was left in the care of Kimberly who believes Amber has an eye parasite (from eating garden worms) and promised to worm Amber the very next day.  Kimberly is a kind woman who takes in chickens whose health is severely compromised, and she nurses them back to health.

Chicken Coop Front View

Daniel got assistance from Victor on Thanksgiving and the chicken coop was rotated 180º so that the back of the house will get the sunrise and sunset will happen in the front.  The interior was hosed down and all the chicken sh#t was swept up and buried in the vegetable patch.  The inside of the coop was sprayed with bleach diluted in water 1:7.

Chicken Coop Rear View

The rear of the coop which had been unpainted plywood was primed with green primer that was watered down to better penetrate the wood.

Update: November 28, 2010
Since Daniel spent so much time and energy building a chicken coop and habitat, he has not given up on the endeavor to raise chickens in the yard.  Wes in El Monte has already told Daniel that he will get him some nice hens, and Amber may recover and return home.  Since chickens are social creatures, Amber will not be coming home unless there are some companions for her.  It might be best to start anew with some young chicks that have been inoculated against the horrific diseases like Newcastle and Marek’s.  Though the first chapter in the adventures of the Fuzzy Bottom Gals has ended tragically, it is expected that future chapters will contain some happy times.

Amber goes to Kimberly’s House
November 21, 2010
For those of you readers who have been keeping track of The Fuzzy Bottom Gals and Daniel’s adventures raising chickens, you haven’t had any updates since Umber died on October 1.  Ginger followed Umber on October 24, about a week after I began to worry about Amber’s eye which had swollen up.  I tried to find information on the internet regarding a swollen eye, and eye problems are both symptoms of Marek’s Disease, Newcastle Disease, and numerous other chicken diseases.  I started to treat Amber’s eye with Neosporin, a tip I found on Raising Chickens:  Keeping Chickens in your Backyard forum.

Amber's Eye

As I was treating Amber’s eye, Gingers health deteriorated rapidly.  It began with a crazy neck twisting followed by an unusual cluck.  Then she began to lose her balance.  Then she became listless and stopped eating.  Several days later, I decided she needed to follow Umber.  Distraught that I was down to just one chicken and feeling like a failure, I started a telephone dialog with Wes of Wes’s Petshop and Seed in El Monte and he told me to try an aspirin in Amber’s water as well as putting garlic on her beak.  On Veteran’s Day I visited Wes and he gave me antibiotics.  After a week and a half, there was a slight improvement, and I went to get more antibiotics from Wes.  Then Amber’s eye started to get worse.  Wes told me about Kimberly, a woman who nurses chickens back to health, and I talked to her on the telephone.  The list of things she told me to do was daunting, and working all day during daylight hours makes it very difficult to care for a sick hen.  As Amber’s eye started to worsen, I decided to turn Amber over to Kimberly for some loving care.  I met Kimberly this morning in El Monte and she wrapped Amber in her sweater.  She told me Amber might lose the eye, and she believed she may have a parasitic worm.  She is going to deworm Amber and I will call to check on her progress.  I don’t know if Amber will ever return home.  I don’t feel I can ask for her back if Kimberly saves her.  Though I thought I provided a nice environment for the Fuzzy Bottom Gals, Kimberly lets them all sleep inside the house, and though my coop seems like a nice coop, it can’t compare to a warm living room.  When I am ready to give raising chickens a second try, I will be sure to inform you faithful readers.

Amber in the Cage just before heading to Kimberly's Convalescent Home for Chickens

Umber July 28, 2010

October 1, 2010
Umber died this afternoon at my hands after a melancholy visit to Raymond Animal Hospital and Dr. Hsuan.  Umber is buried in the back yard with the parsley and basil.  I put bricks on top of her grave to keep out the raccoons.  She was my favorite of the Fuzzy Bottom Gals.  I don’t know if Ginger and Amber are better off left alone or if I should get a slightly bigger hen that I can name Timber.

Umber October 1, 2010

Aloha greetings from Maui, Daniel ~
So kind you were to your lovely hen who passed last week.
I know how hard it is to lose a pet pal, no matter what kind it is.
Blessings ~

Hi Eliza,
Thanks for your kind words.

Update:  October 23, 2010
It seems as though Daniel’s paranoia about the other two hens has not been entirely without justification.  Shortly after the untimely demise of Umber, Amber began to show entirely different symptoms.  Her right eye seemed swollen shut, so Daniel began to swab it with salt water and to apply an antibacterial ointment.  Amber did not seem particularly troubled, but the symptom had Daniel worried nonetheless.  Then a few days ago, Ginger began to act lethargic and seems to have stopped eating.  Now Daniel believes the cause might be Newcastle Disease, and information on the Pet Education website indicates a bleak outlook for the formerly chipper Ginger who now fluffs up her feathers, produces a discharge from her mouth similar to drooling, and gasps for breath.  Newcastle Disease would also explain Umber’s symptoms, but since it can be spread by wild birds and the chicken coop is in the front yard, Daniel is a bit befuddled as to how to prevent this horrific disease.  Pet Education lists these symptoms:  “The incubation period (time from exposure to the development of signs of disease) is 4 to 7 days. In general, signs can include ocular and/or nasal discharge, dyspnea, and bloody diarrhea. Central nervous system signs can also occur, including depression or the opposite-hyperexcitability; vestibular or balance problems; tremors, especially of the head and neck; weakness; and partial or total paralysis. The onset of signs may be semi-acute to sudden death. Signs vary depending on the strain of virus and the species of bird.
”  The World Organization for Animal Health website lists these symptoms:
“Respiratory and/or nervous signs:  gasping and coughing  drooping wings, dragging legs, twisting of the head and neck, circling, depression, inappetence, complete paralysis
Partial or complete cessation of egg production
Eggs are misshapen, rough-shelled, thin-shelled and contain watery albumen
Greenish watery diarrhoea
Swelling of the tissues around the eyes and in the neck
Morbidity and mortality depend on virulence of the virus strain, degree of vaccinal immunity, environmental conditions, and condition of the flock
Several days before Ginger became lethargic, she was twisting her neck followed by a single shrill squawk.

September 23, 2010
Tuesday evening, Umber was limping slightly.  Yesterday it seems to have gotten worse.  Now Daniel is totally paranoid and thinking she may have Mareks Disease or Marek’s Disease.  We hope this story has a happy ending.

Update September 25, 2010
Daniel’s paranoia that Umber may have Marek’s Disease is waning.  After a morning telephone call to artist and neighbor Laura Cooper who has been keeping chickens for years,  suggested he call Wes as Wes’s Pet Shop and Seed in El Monte.  Wes thinks Umber probably just hurt her leg, a condition he sees often, and he suggested rubbing Vaseline on the joints.  Daniel also soaked Umber’s legs in warm water with epsom salts first.

Update October 1, 2010
Umber is actually getting worse and now her right leg is dragging behind her and there is swelling at the joint and the top of the foot.  The leg is very warm.  Daniel will be taking Umber to the Raymond Avenue vet this afternoon.  He is quite distraught.

September 20, 2010
Yesterday Daniel laid tile on the roof of the Chicken Coop to help waterproof the structure before the winter rains.  This morning there was evidence that a Raccoon paid a visit during the night.

Raccoon Tracks on newly tiled roof

This is the second time a raccoon has entered the chicken run at night, but other than possibly terrifying the sleeping hens, there was no real damage.  Daniel is very happy he took care to construct a secure chicken coop since there was a second nighttime marauder earlier in the evening.  Daniel noticed a skunk skulking around the chicken run at about 9 PM.  The raccoon had also fouled the water that is kept in a bowl in the chicken run.  Amber looked at the dirty water and refused to drink until the bowl was dumped out and filled with fresh water.

Amber eschews raccoon-fouled water

Update:  Dr. Winston Lutz performs surgery on the Fuzzy Bottom Gals
September 20, 2010.  1:56 PM
Retired pediatrician Dr. Winston Lutz operated on all three hens today while Susan Lutz of snapped documentary photos of the procedure.  Winston who hails from Virginia farming country, has experience clipping the wings of chickens, so he wielded the scissors as Daniel caught and held each of the hens.

Amber Gets Clipped

Winston lopped off about three inches from the first five or so flight feathers on the left wing of each of the hens.

Ginger Gets Clipped

They appear nontheworse for their trauma.  They immediately began scratching at the compost pile and feeding on the vestiges of the corn that remained after cutting the kernels off the cobs to make Spanish rice, the Sunday Dinner that was documented photographically for Susan’s website.

Fuzzy Bottom Gals

The Fuzzy Bottom Gals continue to live up to their name as they stick their downy bottoms up in the air while foraging.

Clipped Chicks: Ginger, Amber and Umber