Oct 4, 2013

Flock Focus Friday, 10/4/13

One of my Black Copper Marans hens flew up onto the roof of the coop today, which  NONE of my flock members are in the habit of doing- that was Brutus' job. I viewed it as a sign from the Little Guy as I prepared to write about the final chapter of his life.
The leaves are changing here in New England, but the calendar on the final season of Brutus' life remained unturned until this week.  For those who may not have been following Brutus' story, he was a 6 month old Mille Fleur Serama cockerel who died suddenly and unexpectedly on August 21st. His remains were submitted to the UCONN Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory for a necropsy, which is a post-mortem examination performed to determine the cause of death. 
The preliminary necropsy report on August 23rd revealed that he died from a massive lung hemorrhage. Those results were shocking given that he was only 6 months old and in good health, exhibiting no sign of illness or injury until hours before his death. More tests were required to learn the cause of the hemorrhage. 
The following photo was taken the day before his passing.
At the time of the filing of the preliminary necropsy report, various tissues samples had not yet been analyzed and it has taken several months to determine the cause of death with specificity. The final necropsy report, issued yesterday, revealed that he died of septicemia, a bacterial blood infection. The poultry pathologist told me that there were lesions in his esophagus, which may have been caused by ingesting a foreign body (glass? a nail?) and it's possible that was how the bacteria got into his bloodstream. She said this was just a theory as there was no foreign body found.
After receiving the report, I immediately consulted with Dr. Mike Petrik, DVM, MSc, The Chicken Vet for an interpretation of the report. I needed to know whether these findings have any implications for the rest of my flock. Dr. Petrik indicated that Brutus died from Pasterellosis, or fowl cholera, which is a highly contagious bacterial disease that can be spread by dogs, cats, beetles, rodents and other birds. He suggested that I obtain an "antibiotic sensitivity test" to find out which antibiotic this particular strain of Pasturella is vulnerable to. I contacted the lab today to perform the sensitivity tests, which should be ready by Tuesday of next week. At that time, the entire flock will be treated with antibiotics for two weeks. The antibiotics will not eradicate the bacteria from the flock completely, but it will reduce the numbers and make it harder for it to return with a deadly vengeance. 

According to Dr. Petrik, it is possible to vaccinate against fowl cholera, but the odds of a commercial vaccine matching up with the specific bacteria in my flock is slim. Much of the literature I have read recommends culling the entire flock. Culling is not an option for me in these circumstance any more than it was with my scissor-beaked hen, my pullet with prolapsed vent or chicks with spraddle leg. Most of the literature is geared toward recommendations for commercial poultry operations where the emphasis on egg production and risk management is entirely different from backyard flocks.

Brutus' passing is sobering reminder of the importance of obtaining a necropsy when a bird dies from unknown causes. There is always the possibility that there are implications for the remaining flock members and the only way to protect them is to be armed with information obtained through a necropsy.

I will treat my flock with the appropriate antibiotics for the proscribed course and continue caring for them in the same manner I always have. There is no way to insulate birds from every possible bacteria, virus, protozoa, germ, bug or cootie. The best any of us can do is to feed our flocks properly, ensure access to clean water and a clean living space, care for them when they're ill to the best of our ability and not worry about the things that cannot be controlled.
Baby Brutus
Brutus as an adolescent this winter.
Brutus & his intended, Portia (also a Serama)
Brutus' legacy lives on in his son with Vera. ♥

I miss you little buddy. ♥

I thought Brutus should have the last word.




700 comments :

  1. Karen Highlander10/4/13, 7:57 PM

    Your giveaways are truly amazing and your advice is so helpful. Thanks.

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  2. Tracy Cronin10/4/13, 7:59 PM

    I'm so glad you finally got the report back. What an amazing chicken-mama you are!

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  3. Micah Fenton10/4/13, 8:02 PM

    Glad you got some answers and you are right you cannot keep them completely safe from everything.

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  4. Sorry to hear about Brutus. He was a beautiful bird. Hope the rest of the flock doesn't get it.

    I'd love to win the waterer.

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  5. Bonnie Simon10/4/13, 8:03 PM

    Your last pictures of Brutus made me cry. I can tell you miss him. He was a lovely bird and very lucky to have you.

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  6. Jessica Stegman10/4/13, 8:04 PM

    Oh goodness I would LOVE to win one of those waterers, I anticipate a much more snowy and cold winter than usual and hate going out with hot water to break up the frozen waterers every morning!

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  7. So here's my question: how old would a chicken likely be to die of old age (natural causes). You know, a death that you wouldn't expect to be concerned about. Or would you recommend a necropsy for any non-predator related death?

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  8. Cyn Van Antwerp10/4/13, 8:05 PM

    Poor Brutus. I am sorry to hear that this is something that could affect your flock, but I am glad that other theories I had were incorrect. You have helped us all with this information; thank you so much for sharing it and sharing Brutus and Blaze and your girls with us, too.

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  9. Jacqui Ainsworth10/4/13, 8:06 PM

    I'm glad you got the report back and I'm glad nasty neighbor didn't sink that low. I hope the rest of your flock stays healthy.

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  10. Happy to know you finally got some closure for Brutus.
    RIP gorgeous boy.

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  11. LaDonna Martin10/4/13, 8:07 PM

    Bless your heart for sharing Brutus' end and life. I respect your decision to not cull your whole flock and I applaud you for it. Bless your heart for caring and sharing.

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  12. At least you know and can care for the rest of your flock. Loved the video at the end....quitena "cocky" fellow that Brutus.

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  13. Peggy Schoenbeck Farley10/4/13, 8:08 PM

    Happy to see you finally got to the bottom of what happened to Brutus, to put your heart at ease alittle. You teach all of us everyday some of the most amazing things.

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  14. I'm so sorry for your loss. I had a goat that had a similar freak illness. Her necropsy had similar results. I wish there was an awesome Goat vet to read the results like your Chicken Vet.

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  15. Ashley Cardinal10/4/13, 8:09 PM

    Poor Brutus. I recently lost a new laying hen due to poor food. I am super unhappy about. I let the feed store know how I felt and saved the restore my flock, one hen too late. She was a "mother" hen to my little pullet who now seems lost without her. Makes me sad. Crossing my fingers that no one else in the flock gets sick! My thoughts are with you in your loss. (Would also like to be entered for the give away please)

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  16. susan ladner10/4/13, 8:09 PM

    Love all your blogs and info. So sorry about Brutus. Would love to win the chicken waterer. Thanks for all your helpful information. Susan Ladner, ladner309@bellsouth.net

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  17. Bobbie Scogin-Davis Woodruff10/4/13, 8:10 PM

    My girls finally started laying about 3 weeks ago. I now have 7 laying hens. Loving it

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  18. Could that have been the cause of Blaze's swelling/infection a while back?

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  19. Angela Cook10/4/13, 8:11 PM

    Loved your blog on parasites! Just checked my girls for mites!

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  20. Sheila Overton Ray10/4/13, 8:11 PM

    Glad to know but still so sad. e know that you will do the best for the rest of the flock. He was a beauty!

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  21. My girlies definitely could use a water system here in the desert!

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  22. callydschaak10/4/13, 8:13 PM

    Would love to win!

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  23. Christy Curtis10/4/13, 8:14 PM

    I love the video of Brutus! Beautiful

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  24. Robin Weisbrod10/4/13, 8:14 PM

    I really hate how the water gets fouled (no play on words here) so quickly. It is a constant battle.

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  25. I sure miss that sweet handsome boy! I am glad to find out he was not intentionally harmed. I am so sorry for your loss, I know you miss him. We sure do. Thank you for posting the results and the pics. His little roolet sure is cute.

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  26. Pamela Lepper10/4/13, 8:15 PM

    RIP Lil guy indeed - you are a great chicken mom and he was a lucky lil man! Can't wait to see how his son grows!

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  27. graywood community10/4/13, 8:17 PM

    So sorry about Brutus. Thanks for having chances for great prizes but mostly for good advice. Egg laying is still strong in the southeast but at least I know what to prepare for!

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  28. I keep my fingers crossed that the bacteria doesn't harm any of your other beautiful birds.

    That water system is very interesting, looks much better than my dish bucket lol

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  29. Glad you know the reason and can treat the rest of your flock.

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  30. Tina Wahl Gosnell10/4/13, 8:18 PM

    Thank you for sharing. I'm sorry for your loss. Rest in peace Brutus.

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  31. Carol Ann McGrath10/4/13, 8:18 PM

    Count me in, thanks! So happy for final closure for you with Brutus.

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  32. I'm glad you finally got the report back on Brutus. Thank you so much for the information you share. You are an inspiration to all of us chicken lovers.

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  33. I know now you have an answer, but his chicken footprints will always be deep in your heart. My condolences.

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  34. I think this advice pertains not only to chickens, but to all animals, including us humans. Bacteria comes from many sources. We can just do our best.

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  35. Kathy. I join with everyone else. so glad the final report has come in and as usual dear lady, you are on top of the situation and tending to your flock. Brutus, has been definitely missed by everyone and we all understand how you must miss him the most. His legion lives on though and he touched many. Thank you for the update and the continued post on all. Best of everything to you and all those you care for.

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  36. I've never seen a roo as gorgeous as Brutus. I thought the BCM roos we raised this spring were pretty but they didn't even compare! Can't wait to see how his baby grows up.

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  37. So sorry for your loss, but at least you now know what happened.

    Would love to have this giveaway!

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  38. Kirsten Holt Beitler10/4/13, 8:22 PM

    Kathy, I'm curious how much $ these reports run? Glad the rest of the flock seems to be doing well.

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  39. I am glad you have some answers! I wonder how long the incubation period is for that disease. you'd think you'd have another ill chicken from August until now, thankfully no more deaths!

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  40. Shelly Parker10/4/13, 8:24 PM

    Brutus really made such an impact on so many of us in his short life. I hope the antibiotics do their work and that the remaining flockers are happy and healthy.

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  41. Jackie Reed10/4/13, 8:24 PM

    I miss stories about the little guy!

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  42. I could really use this waterer, tried alot of other waterers and ideas to keep the water fesh and clean and still 8 years later can not find the best solution, this would probably be the best for my flock I think. Thanks and enter me.
    Sorry again for your lost and I hope Rachael is doing good.

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  43. Thank you SO much for sharing your experience. My parrots have taught me how expert birds are at hiding their weaknesses or illnesses. By the time you notice something is "not right," whatever the problem is, is well advanced. I am so sorry that this bright, brave and wonderful little rooster had such a short life. And I really do miss him and his antics. As a veteran, what struck me the first time I saw Brutus was the same thing that others have noted - he looked like the "Stars and Stripes," and I was thinking I would get to see him for years to come. Now, I picture him in my mind just strutting around at The Rainbow Bridge like a platoon sergeant, doing his utmost to get all the "girls" in line, while they do their best to ignore him. I miss the little guy and am so glad he lived the wonderful life he did with you and your flock. Bonnie and the Byrdies

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  44. Aurora Shenshen10/4/13, 8:28 PM

    Lovely to see adorable baby pictures of beautiful Brutus today. Glad the mystery has been solved!

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  45. Charlotte Reed10/4/13, 8:31 PM

    I am so glad you finally got your answer. Now you can try and protect the rest of your flock.

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  46. Glad you found out about the cause of death. Hopefully the rest of your flock will be healthy. Thanks for all the great information.... Kim

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  47. R.m. Hamilton Wilson10/4/13, 8:33 PM

    Wow. Thank you for keeping us up to date and including us in this final chapter of young Brutus' life. I'm with you - the Marans on the roof was a definite sign from himself. R.I.P. Brutus (p.s. your son is cute)

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  48. teri snowden10/4/13, 8:35 PM

    well i am glad you got the finial report in. Still brings tears to my eyes.

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  49. Candace Long10/4/13, 8:35 PM

    Well said Brutus :-)
    ♡♥♡ Missing that little beauty ♡♥♡

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  50. I really am surprised that it wasn't poison, but it is nice to know that while your neighbor is an a**hole, he is not a killer. If I don't win that waterer, I might just have to ask Santa for one for Christmas!

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  51. Thank you so much for the valuable education you provide. And I thought a chicken was just a chicken :-)

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  52. Good to have the report back, good in a way there is no one to blame. These things happen. :( We cannot make our flocks invincible to everything I suppose.
    The necropsy sounds expensive. Is this affordable for the common backyard keeper? xx

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  53. TheChickenChick10/4/13, 8:37 PM

    Thank you, Bonnie. ♥

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  54. Shel Reitmajer10/4/13, 8:40 PM

    I'm glad you got the full report and now know the cause, but sad that we don't know what he ate to scrape up his esophagus. Hopefully you can figure that out.

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  55. Deborah Paterson10/4/13, 8:40 PM

    Cool water idea. I hope the rest of your flock is safe and remains well. It sounds like you have done quite a bit of research have done all with in your power to keep everyone safe and happy. How does this illness affect egg consumption?

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  56. I am glad that you have a final answer, but that doesn't mitigate his loss. We have had our little flock since May and would be so sad to lose one of the "girls"

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  57. Esther widgren10/4/13, 8:43 PM

    Wow! That sure was a fast moving infection given his apparent health just the day before. I know it's true that chickens are good at concealing their infirmities but, again: Wow. Perhaps he had some underlying immunodeficiency or contributory illness?

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  58. I have a huge lump in my throat! I hurt inside knowing how much you loved him, and miss him!
    On another note, m,y flock would love it if they won the BriteTap Waterer!

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  59. Laura Beard10/4/13, 8:46 PM

    I am surprised that only Brutus caught this bacterial disease. Was it because he had an injury that allowed the entrance to the bacteria. If the other birds aren't showing signs of being sick and they are treated with antibiotics will the treatment help this strain to start developing resistance to the
    antibiotic? I am sure your vet has given you good advice, I am just curious.

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  60. Glad you got the final report.
    And thanks for the chance to win.

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  61. Dawn Hurst Baumbach10/4/13, 8:48 PM

    So sorry! It's always hard to lose one of your children (pets).. :( ^j^

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  62. linda prater10/4/13, 8:48 PM

    I will be sending good thoughts your way and hope all the rest of your flock will be alright I would love to win one of those watering systems. fingers crossed.

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  63. Jenn Werner-Williams10/4/13, 8:49 PM

    What a relief to finally know. I am so glad you went the extra mile and can treat your whole flock. Thank you for sharing all your experiences good and bad with us. We all learn so much!!

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  64. It's amazing how we get so attached to our flocks!! I hope everything turns out OK for yours! I love your informative information and stories in your blog and Facebook page. Thank you!!

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  65. LITTLE GUY, BIG ATTITUDE! <3 SO SAD TO LOSE ONE SO YOUNG. :(

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  66. Jennifer Hanover10/4/13, 8:52 PM

    What a wonderful tribute!

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  67. Ana Saavedra10/4/13, 8:52 PM

    I'm just glad it did not turn out to be poison! I hope the little guy turns out just as cute and personable as Brutus.

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  68. Such a sad and unexpected passing. At least you have answers and can take steps to aid the flock. Good luck and god speed to beautiful Brutus. At least it seems he did not have a long suffering. Again so sorry for the loss of your beautiful bird.

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  69. Tammy Townsend10/4/13, 8:53 PM

    Thank you for sharing the results on Brutus! Such a tragedy for such a beauty!

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  70. What a sweetie! He is surely missed by many. Maybe he'll meet my sweet Lulu and keep her company while they wait for us. RIP Brutus! Hugs to you, Kathy.

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  71. Kim Warfield Weber10/4/13, 8:54 PM

    Closure at last. May Brutus live on thru his son. :(

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  72. Sandy Noel-Consbruck10/4/13, 8:56 PM

    What a beautiful guy!

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  73. Thanks for all your helpful information.

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  74. Carolyn Miller10/4/13, 8:57 PM

    Glad you pursued Brutus' death for the sake of your flock! Poor little guy. Love the waterer-now how would one stop it freezing?

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  75. Paige Burton10/4/13, 8:57 PM

    He was such a handsome guy! And his cockadoodle was so cute! I'm glad you found out what the problem was and hopefully none of your other babies will be affected. Thank you for sharing!

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  76. Joanne Caglione10/4/13, 8:58 PM

    Thank you for sharing this information Kathy. I know how hard it must be for you. He was really a beautiful boy.

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  77. Lavenderchick10/4/13, 8:59 PM

    Love Brutus....Mighty might.....always remindedme of the flag...He wore it Proud & waved it high....

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  78. I'm so glad you now know to treat the other flockers, & that it seems no "fowl-play" was involved.

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  79. Brutus was so beautiful he will be missed by all of us who loved to see how he was growing his chick is going to be beautiful

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  80. Mary O'Neal10/4/13, 9:11 PM

    WOW - that was so left field for results of the report. Not at all what I was expecting - although I don't really know what I was expecting - just not something that doesn't usually happen. Brutus was a one in a lifetime Roo! R.I.P little handsome boy!

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  81. Brutus was a handsome bird; you got to love roosters!

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  82. Bobbie Turner10/4/13, 9:12 PM

    He was do incredible handsome. Thank you Kathy for sharing

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  83. TheChickenChick10/4/13, 9:12 PM

    Thank you, Terri.

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  84. Carol Hayes10/4/13, 9:13 PM

    Glad you got your answers and can help the rest of your flock says as healthy as possible. He was a beautiful rooster. Who is missed by many.

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  85. Evelyn Qualls10/4/13, 9:16 PM

    I would love to win the Brite Tap Waterer for my flock. I am still missing Brutus, but so long as we remember him, he lives. RIP little guy.

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  86. TheChickenChick10/4/13, 9:16 PM

    No, he did not have any underlying problem, Esther. If you do some research on acute fowl cholera, you will learn that this textbook.

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  87. Wyone Manes10/4/13, 9:16 PM

    So sorry for your problems, praying everything will work out for you. Where can you buy the chicken waterer.

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  88. Stephen Sofley10/4/13, 9:17 PM

    We are adding a Brutus to our flock. Love his crowing, his beautiful coloring and his dude-tude.

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  89. Marla Scaglione10/4/13, 9:18 PM

    Very interesting report. His death seemed so sudden. Did he show any tell tale symptoms? I've heard many chicken keepers say that sometimes chickens die apparently without warning, yet a necropsy isn't ever performed so they never really know what caused the death. Bye bye Brutus; RIP.

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  90. TheChickenChick10/4/13, 9:19 PM

    The link is click-able, but you can get there this way too: http://bit.ly/1a8eAsk

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  91. Linda Kirby10/4/13, 9:19 PM

    Im glad you took the time and extra cost to find out what was going on. It makes me more cautious with my little flock.

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  92. Wow. How sobering to find out that it was Fowl Cholera. Hope the rest if the flock remains healthy. Ave atque vale Brutus.

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  93. Linda Marchesini Brown10/4/13, 9:20 PM

    I love Brutus. May he rest in peace and I am so glad you were able to keep his legacy alive!

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  94. TheChickenChick10/4/13, 9:20 PM

    It doesn't, Deborah.

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  95. Julie Beaver10/4/13, 9:20 PM

    your dedication is amazing.

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  96. TheChickenChick10/4/13, 9:21 PM

    In my state there was no fee. You'd need to check with your state's poultry pathology lab, Fern.

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  97. TheChickenChick10/4/13, 9:22 PM

    The incubation period is a mere 4-9 days, Sheila.

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  98. TheChickenChick10/4/13, 9:23 PM

    There was no charge in my state, but it varies by state, Kirsten.

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  99. TheChickenChick10/4/13, 9:23 PM

    Thank you, Cindy. ♥

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  100. TheChickenChick10/4/13, 9:24 PM

    Thank you, Skye. ♥

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  101. Susan Christensen-Grandy10/4/13, 9:24 PM

    Thank you for the update.

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  102. I write this with tears in my eye's. There's something about you little man that just touches my heart like he lived with us in our flock. I would be so worried to get a report like that but if anyone can keep there flock strong and healthy it's you. Thank you for sharing this i'm sure painful journey with us, so we can learn.

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  103. I'm glad it was not poisoning because I'm sure the entire band of Peeps would have showed up on Karl's lawn. I'm so sorry to hear the report though, you have the cleanest coop on planet Earth, so it is surprising. But if rodents or other things can enter the yard you can only do so much. He was a beautiful roo I hope he did not suffer

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  104. Jennifer McLaughlin Doane10/4/13, 9:30 PM

    So sorry you lost such a handsome, sweet guy! Glad you have found out what to do for the rest of the flock!
    Interesting - just today I was admitting the Brite Tap Waterer!

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  105. Esther widgren10/4/13, 9:34 PM

    I will have to do some reading on it, indeed. Such a crying shame; he was such a special guy. </3

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  106. I am so sorry about your baby Brutus! I hate when a beloved pet dies it doesn't matter how long you have them if you love them then it hurts so very much. Chickens are so easy to love it is hard not to.
    I lost my whole flock to a raccoon earlier this year and was so scared I didn't want to do any more chickens but I decioded I wouldn't let the raccon win. I rebuilt my chicken area from the ground up and now I am back to what I had before. But I haven't forgotten my beloved babies that dies. It still hurts almost 9 months later.

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  107. JessicaHughett10/4/13, 9:38 PM

    You and your feather babies are in my thoughts! Sending stay well wishes to all your other babies. ♥♡♥

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  108. this waterer is the best thing! I bought one a few months ago and LOVE it! I could definitely use another.

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  109. Brutus left a great legacy and I thank you for sharing the results of his necropsy. Scary times, and I hope this disease stopped with your poor buddy. Can the mean neighbor catch it? Kat

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  110. Dawn E. Sarver10/4/13, 9:45 PM

    glad to know a final result, and once again, cleanliness is priority number one,and knowing what to fight will go a long way to helping out.I am sorry you lost Brutus,god bless his little crowing heart

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  111. TheChickenChick10/4/13, 9:46 PM

    HA! I wish he'd catch SOMETHING (like the first train out of town!).

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  112. TheChickenChick10/4/13, 9:49 PM

    Not one single sign or symptom, which can be characteristic of the acute form of this disease.

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  113. TheChickenChick10/4/13, 9:50 PM

    Yes, it could have, Amy. Great question.

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  114. TheChickenChick10/4/13, 9:52 PM

    My inclination would be to necropsy any surprise death.

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  115. TheChickenChick10/4/13, 9:52 PM

    Thanks Bonnie. I do miss him. :(

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  116. Barbara Horton10/4/13, 9:57 PM

    I dont know how I missed the passing of Brutus... we have been through five deaths of beloved people since July, but I look forward to your posts. I am so sorry to hear of his passing... He was a special little fellow and I appreciate your sharing your flock and daily antics. Even though we have close to 40 birds right now, there are really never enough, and losing Brutus will leave a gap. Blessings to you and I hope you are able to keep the rest of the gang healthy and happy. I know you will do whatever it takes... and how fortunate you are to be able to give them such care. My prayers are with you, your family and your flock.

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  117. Nicole Weiss10/4/13, 10:05 PM

    Very nice to find out at last the results. You run a very clean coop, the pathology result you received will make me allot more consistent with keeping my coop clean. Love the flock focus fridays, thanks for sharing all your knowledge with us. Do miss the boy.

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  118. Amanda Yeager Hopkins10/4/13, 10:07 PM

    I'm so sorry for Brutus's passing however it was a friends comment about his passing that allowed me to find you so to me this is one small favor from such a wonderful friend! I love your blog and Facebook! And hope we all learn more from you everyday!

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  119. Still such a sad ending. What a beautiful creature.

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  120. What a handsome Roo he was. Glad you got some answers.

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  121. RuthAnn Jankosky Wachsmuth10/4/13, 10:14 PM

    Thank you for the info about getting a necropsy done....one of my flock died suddenly two weeks ago- a 10 month old light brahma. I called the USDA number you posted and they in turn referred me to UC Davis, and I was able to get her to their local lab within 90 minutes. No answers yet, waiting on all the tests.

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  122. Patrick Shaw10/4/13, 10:27 PM

    We have lost a few birds lately any have been unable to find a lab to perform a nepcropsy. Any recommendations on finding a lab.... We live in West GA

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  123. Liz Carlin-Heberling10/4/13, 10:42 PM

    :( Sorry for your loss!

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  124. Chris Chapman10/4/13, 10:49 PM

    I'm sorry for you loss, but glad you are following through with all of the information possible. Best wishes for you and your flock.

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  125. Kathy Fontana Raffetto10/4/13, 10:52 PM

    I was doing okay until I watched Brutus' farewell. The tears started to roll just like when you shared his passing.

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  126. This watered looks great. Might need to buy one if I don't win. Feel free to pick me! 😊

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  127. So, so very glad there was no foul/fowl play! He such was a pretty buck and I know it is never easy for us to lose a farm friend. Thank you so much for all of your invaluable information!

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  128. PaintedFeathersFarm10/4/13, 11:05 PM

    My birds would love this waterer =) I've been wondering when you would get the results back for Brutus, at least now you have some peace of mind and can be proactive!

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  129. Sad to hear of you loss of Brutus but glad that it was only one given the necropsy findings!

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  130. RIP Brutus. Good to have answers.

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  131. Keep up the good work , unfortunately we don't have the power to control everything and be everywhere. I truly believe the girl on the roof was Brutus saying HoWdY! Thank you as always for your wisdom....we couldn't have backyard chicken pets without your wisdom.- Shelly

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  132. Joy St.John Johnson10/4/13, 11:21 PM

    Lost one of a flock of only three hens about a month ago -- about the same age as your Brutus -- my heart is still broken. You have my sympathy.

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  133. Thank you for sharing your life with us. I really look forward to your e-mails. Feels like you live just next door. And I am learning soooo much from you.
    What a great waterer idea! Is this something I can make myself? Do stores carry these? Sure would like to win this one! :)

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  134. Teresa Hardy10/4/13, 11:49 PM

    Already followin', already liked - can I still enter this week's contest? :-)

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  135. Teresa Hardy10/4/13, 11:50 PM

    Also, thank you for taking the time to inform us about this. Especially while you are still mourning the little guy.

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  136. Thanks for sharing. Hoping the rest of your flock stays well. We too recently lost a few birds, but the rest seem on the mend.

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  137. Patty Kennedy10/5/13, 12:03 AM

    More information is always preferable to less. Thanks for all the great info you provide to us.

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  138. Gina Cara Van Dusen10/5/13, 12:29 AM

    Brutus will be sorely missed. He always made me laugh.

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  139. Laura Aderholdt10/5/13, 12:41 AM

    Glad you finally have an answer

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  140. TheChickenChick10/5/13, 12:42 AM

    Thank you, Sharron. ♥

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  141. TheChickenChick10/5/13, 12:46 AM

    I'm happy to know that you were armed with the information you needed it when you required it. I'm sorry for your loss, RuthAnn. Keep me posted on the results.

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  142. Cara Jeffords10/5/13, 12:46 AM

    I have not seen those waterers before. Very nice!

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  143. TheChickenChick10/5/13, 12:47 AM

    Thank you, Nicole. ♥

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  144. Denise Allison Magil10/5/13, 1:05 AM

    wow so sorry

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  145. Allison Darlene Nelson10/5/13, 1:08 AM

    I am so glad you got your results, yet so sad for loosing a beautiful Roo and friend. I love mine and hate the thought Of ever loosing one. On another side note, I would LOVE a waterer.

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  146. Sharron Johnson10/5/13, 1:18 AM

    Wow Kathy, it's after 1am your time. Get some rest while you can!

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  147. Deb Brauneller Berning10/5/13, 1:29 AM

    Glad you know what happened and could ahve it interpreted for you. Hope no one else gets ill and that you cna go back to eating your eggs soon. Would love to win the prize. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  148. Poor Brutus :( life is cruel

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  149. Vicki Lubarsky10/5/13, 1:49 AM

    Would love it!

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  150. I am so sorry for your loss Brutus was so beautiful ! I love my rooster and will be paying him special attention !

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  151. c.l. caudle10/5/13, 2:44 AM

    I get your emails and "like" you on facebook. Sorry about the loss of your rooster.

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  152. Beth Hardin10/5/13, 2:58 AM

    RIP Brutus

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  153. I really appreciate all your insights and wisdom into chicken care, I have learned so much about taking care of my CoOp's flock. You clearly do such an amazing job I have no idea how something could have happened to him. RIP Brutis.

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  154. Elizabeth Sherrill10/5/13, 5:04 AM

    I'm glad you know what happened even though it is small consolation. He was a beautiful bird and I loved seeing the pictures you posted of him. Thank you for sharing the lives of your chickens with us! Your shared knowledge is invaluable!!

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  155. Mbolism HarleyQuinn Cole10/5/13, 5:14 AM

    It's good to have closure in addition to protecting the rest of the flock. RIP Brutus... ♥

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  156. Kate Marjory10/5/13, 5:21 AM

    what a shame, but at least it seems no foul play was involved. hopefully, the son can step into those rooster feet! the video of Brutus was just adorable, i loved hearing him 'sing'.

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  157. Bob Broomfield10/5/13, 6:31 AM

    Bless you Kathy! Listen to the wind! :)

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  158. desertmtnalpacas10/5/13, 7:02 AM

    The necropsy report is a great tool to learn what needs to be done to take care of the rest of the flockers. I hope the antibotics work and you don't lose anymore birds. It is great to see Brutus' son growing up.

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  159. So very sorry to hear about Brutus.
    "Culling is not an option for me in these circumstance any more than it was for my scissor-beaked hen, my pullet with prolapsed vent, or chicks with spraddle leg." ... That's what I love about you!!!
    Thank you for loving these sweet chickens...and for recognizing them for the wonderful creatures that they are.

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  160. Michelle Beltrame Roberts10/5/13, 7:27 AM

    Would love this! So sorry about Brutus :(

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  161. Jessica Thorsen10/5/13, 7:27 AM

    So sorry about Brutus but I'm glad you have answers finally!

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  162. I just LOVE his little crow! RIP little guy...I am sure everyone there misses you.

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  163. So glad that you managed to get to the bottom of it; may Brutus RIP....he was one in a million and you were the lucky lady to have known him!! May the rest of your flock stay safe....take care xx

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  164. Deborah Paterson10/5/13, 8:16 AM

    The Brite Tap connection brought taught me something new. I did not know garden hoses contain lead. I'll be on the look for my hoses to see if they are clear or not.

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  165. Robin Martin10/5/13, 8:32 AM

    I would think that if it was some kind of a some of your flock, especially your younger ones would already be showing signs of it. I would tend to go towards the ingested foreign matter, that finally exited but his body was fighting, and infected from.

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  166. Danielle Hoepfl10/5/13, 8:53 AM

    The insulated waterer would be perfect for the cold climate I live in.

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  167. Kathy Moving On To The Past10/5/13, 9:30 AM

    I'm so sorry about Brutus! I do want to thank you for your advice on my scissor beaked Bird. She's still doing well and has quite a few facebook and blogger friends now. (She lives inside and thinks she's a dog ). Her blindness hasn't stopped her from doing anything either. It's been 4-5 months now and the farm supply store didn't think she'd last a few weeks.

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  168. Cheryl Postma10/5/13, 9:41 AM

    I am glad that you have an answer. The not knowing is so wretched. You can't make it perfect and you can't bubble wrap them. You are a great and compassionate example for other backyard flock keepers.

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  169. Again, So sorry for your lose. I love seeing your photos of Brutus. It just goes to show how much we love our chickens and consider them part of the family.

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  170. Jessica Thurnau Pfund10/5/13, 9:59 AM

    So sorry for your loss. Thank goodness for junior to carry on his spirit. My sincere condolences!

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  171. I'm sorry once again about Brutus passing. He was a beautiful and much loved pet. Thank you for sharing everything with us - I have learned so much about caring for my chicken from you. My thoughts are with you. You are the best Chicken mom.

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  172. Michelle in Massachusetts10/5/13, 10:22 AM

    Kathy, Thank you for sharing the results of Brutus' necropsy with us. While I am glad to hear that his death was not a result of a poisoning, no news could be good because it doesn't bring Brutus back. My family will continue to keep you and your family in our thoughts, and Brutus' memory will live on.

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  173. Staci Wightman10/5/13, 10:26 AM

    Oh I hope the rest of your flock is okay :( Brutus may have saved them all by pointing you in the right direction <3

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  174. Darlene Beckett Anderson10/5/13, 10:52 AM

    What a proud little fella-so precious. Glad you have your results and prayers are sent your way for the rest of your flock. I am dealing with one of my babies and an unknown eye issue, at the moment. The vet is not very helpful. So I am doing my best for her. It's so hard when they are sick. Take care.

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  175. Answers at last. Good luck with the follow-up. Lets hope that is the end of the odd things, right??

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  176. Amanda Cheatham-Hurd10/5/13, 11:13 AM

    I'm glad there is an answer to his passing; I hate that he and you both suffered at the end. Reading about his passing has had a huge impact on many of us.

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  177. Laura Windham10/5/13, 11:17 AM

    We sure did appreciate Brutus' celebrity status and miss his antics. Thanks for sharing. The antibiotics should help the flock when the series get startted. Excellent Brite-Tap giveaway.

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  178. Thank you for sharing. I'm sorry for your loss, but am glad that you can (mostly) prevent it from happening to the rest. He was a beautiful bird!

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  179. So sad, but nice to see his legacy lives on

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  180. Kathy, I am sorry for your loss. Thank you for writing and posting about the reports. I learn so much on your site.
    I never seen a bright tap waterer before. Much better then the regular nipple waterers.

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  181. I don't currently have a Roo but if I could I would want one that could steal my heart like da Brut. Perhaps someday. Meanwhile please enter me for the cooler package, I really need it.

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  182. I'm glad you finally got the results and are working on a treatment for the rest of your flock.

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  183. Thanks for the opportunity to win! What a beautiful rooster he was, and thank you for sharing your journey with him and all your chickens. I am continually amazed!

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  184. Tracy Spangler10/5/13, 12:03 PM

    I would love this waterer! We have over 50 chickens in the incredibly hot desert in Southern Arizona. My husband spends a lot of his days cleaning and refilling waterers. This would certainly make life a bit easier for us and our chickens!

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  185. Tracy Spangler10/5/13, 12:05 PM

    Also, I am so very sorry about Brutus. When my flock of Delawares were killed by a neighborhood dog I was saddened for so long. I am glad you have found out what killed him so that you can do your best to protect the rest. My thoughts are with you.

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  186. Tami Blanton Hall10/5/13, 12:11 PM

    Infers crossed,, that is super cool

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  187. Margie DeCaro10/5/13, 12:15 PM

    So sad about your Brutus. Thank you for sharing his juvenile pictures-he's a handsome guy. I would love to try a water like this. It is a constant battle keeping the water clean and this would just make it easier.

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  188. Dina Dalzell Falasco10/5/13, 12:19 PM

    A great little roo with a great little crow.... AWESOME that you have great pictures and video!

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  189. sorry about Brutus! I am new to the chicken world but am enjoying your site and learning so much, thank You

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  190. shirley knieper10/5/13, 12:29 PM

    My husband and I recently purchased an old farmstead which the previous owners left in a mess with ancient manure in the hog barn, dairy barn and chicken house. Neither of us have any farm experience so we are depending on books, our extension agent and the internet to help us succeed. When I first started reading about raising poultry and other birds, I was horrified by the vast number of health concerns that could occur in our flocks. My first reaction was to give up before I even started. Then I realized what you have told us in this blog - that you do the best you can with food, water, and cleanliness and pay attention to hopefully catch any problems early. I love reading your blog because it is entertaining and informative and demonstrates your love for your chicken family.

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  191. At this difficult time try to remember the happiness Brutus brought you, and the joy & laughter will bring a smile to your heart. Hugs

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  192. Deb Brauneller Berning10/5/13, 12:57 PM

    Glad you found out what happened to Brutus, he was a beautiful roo. His baby is beautiful too. So sorry for the loss. Would love to win any of the prizes. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  193. So sorry about Brutus----he was a gorgeous bird.

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  194. Thanks for sharing his story. I'm sorry your beautiful boy is gone but so glad you can protect the rest of the flock.

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  195. He will be missed, what a beautiful bird. I am so glad you still post his pictures, they light up my day!

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  196. Melissa Grover10/5/13, 1:09 PM

    Ugh, so sorry for the rough necropsy! Glad you're keeping a positive outlook for it all. Most certainly there's worse things that could have been the cause, very glad for your flock that it wasn't one of those.

    Keeping positive thoughts for you all!

    Thank you for keeping us all posted so everyone can continue learning and growing :3

    <3

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  197. Sharon Evak-Downing10/5/13, 1:18 PM

    So sorry for the loss of your little buddy :( Our girls are now 22 wks and we consider them part of the family and have from day 1.

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  198. Juli Morris10/5/13, 1:21 PM

    I would love to win the waterer!

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  199. Glad you have answers. I have never lost a chicken in 30 years other than old age. My oldest was a bantam that lived 17 years. They really do become members of the family.

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  200. Juli Morris10/5/13, 1:24 PM

    So sorry about Brutus. He was such a beautiful guy and always looked so happy! His baby looks just like him. It is because we love our babies so much that it hurts so when we lose them. I understand how you feel about how starting over is NOT an option.

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