Some Fungi Are Fun, Some Are Not

With all the rain we’ve had, in the last year really, there have been a lot of little organisms popping up in the form of fungi. I’ve never seen so many of them around, they just keep appearing! I could be having some tasty mushrooms, but do you think I know which ones are safe for eating? Nope. There’s a fine line between a tasty meal and death. Or at least sickness. What I need is to make friends with a mycologist. In the meantime, we can just enjoy looking at some of them.

Switching to the chickens, I was feeling bad about the chickens still having red mites around, which are more of a pig to deal with than I thought. I had reduced their numbers significantly, but Mr Darcy was looking pale in the face, as well as one of the pullets, Juliette, and I thought they were a bit anaemic from being feasted on at night. Then more of the chickens started to get pale in the face. This wasn’t adding up to anaemia, since the red mite numbers were going down as I kept spraying, the chickens weren’t ragged or otherwise unhealthy-looking and it seemed to be something potentially catchy. Then I remembered reading about favus at some point in time. Favus is ringworm, which is actually a fungal infection. Bad fungi!

I’m not really surprised with all the wetness we’ve had, on top of intense heat and humidity. It has been so hard to keep things dry in the chicken areas when heavy rain keeps coming. The poor chickens. If I had realised sooner, I could have isolated Mr Darcy to reduce spreading favus to the others, but I was so busy striving to get the demo work done in order to get them out of the coop, since I thought there must be some extra-horrid mites in there. Ah well. I have been spraying all their faces with colloidal silver first thing in the morning and in the evening, plus putting some in their drinking water, and the white scaliness on their faces is getting better. Chickens don’t like being sprayed in the face.

But wait, there’s more! Not fungi this time, but upon treating the chickens I discovered that Frodo had a bumblefoot lesion on one foot. Nooo! She is currently being treated in Chicken Hospital, complete with a special foam shoe. Oh, we’ve been here before. And, of course, it’s because The Little Fulla and I are sick. The chickens always copy us. Maybe one day they’ll copy us with something useful, like if we get some sort of financial reward and they start laying golden eggs. I’ll keep dreaming. In the meantime, the demo project must go on! In a sluggish sort of way, like a one-eyed sloth teetering around in a trance-like manner as he waves one arm around, trying to catch the wind…

Frodo (front), my greatest chicken, has probably been having too much fun scratching around.

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