Olive the replacement hen, is getting very close to laying : big red wattles and comb, but not yet 'squatting' as far as i can tell. The other girls continue to get bigger, puffier, smoother, and more mature looking daily.
And then there's BB:
BB is a Chantecler. That's a Canadian breed, and she won't get huge comb or wattles. But seriously, this girl is NOT maturing. Nor is she growing. While the other girls have all been leaping and bounding in their growth, development, and weight - BB is stagnating.
But she also eats a TON. She is a voracious eater, and a fanatic treat pursuer.
And she's also besting everyone in the pecking order game - not sure why, but despite her tiny self she likes to beat up everyone else. Maybe because she wants the most food, i dunno.
To the point: all this voracious eating and lack of growing makes me think
dun dun dun: does she have WORMS?
I haven't noticed diarrhea or worms in poop - but honestly i haven't been taking anthropological studies of their poo recently.... so to hedge my bets, I'm going to worm them.
But rather than get the nasty chemically wormer at the feed store - which also makes it so you can't eat their eggs, of which they have none now, but i'm not about to risk the first egg laid because they'd been wormed recently!
I've chosen to take the natural approach.
Basically, garlic is a magical vegetable root bulb thing. I know whenever i'm sick i eat the heck out of the garlic and it usually helps.
The trick here is to make a garlic concentrate and mix it into their water - and feed BB some of the garlic cloves.
Also, I've put some food grade Diatomaceous Earth into their food - known as a good wormer and general mite and flea killing all around good for you stuff.
I will repeat this regiment for one week - inspecting the ole' poops more carefully, and tending to the cleanliness of the coop and moving it around as much as possible for fresh unpooped upon ground below.
Hopefully little BB the pocket chicken will pick up the pace in the growth department!