My chickens are making me bonkers, a little help?
I know there are chicken forums, but they scare me, so please help an infatuated but new chickie mum.
Issue 1: my roo Fugly is lame. It started about three days ago, and initially he was non-weight bearing (he looked like a flamingo). There is no wound, no breaks in the leg or toes, no obvious injuries. The leg is warm, and I could make the case that his pad on that foot is slightly larger/squishier. I have scrubbed the leg with betadine, put Epsom salt poultice on the bottom of the foot, started him on antibiotics, and confined him to a dog crate. After 3 days he is slightly better (he will stand on it now), but still too lame to let him wander around. Thoughts? Suggestions?
Issue 2: my hens have decided to turn their egg laying into one giant scavenger hunt. They certainly refuse to lay in the nice next boxes in their coop, but they won't even lay in the same place outside of the coop for more than a few days in a row. They aren't being broody, they lay em and leave em. I've tried locking them n their coop for a week to get them using their nest boxes, and using dummy eggs to keep them thinking here's the spot, but at first opportunity they go elsewhere.
Some spots so far have included a milk crate in the tack room, the barn cats bed, the flower bed behind the barn, the manger of the horse trailer, a half full shavings bag, an absentee boarders brush box, and my personal fav: the porta potty. They've also laid in hay, which at least makes some sense lol.
How do I get them to pick a spot? The coop would be best, obviously, but another spot that was consistent would be fine too (they free range during the day, locked in their coop at night).