Apparently our air quality right now here in the northwest corner of Washington is the worst in the entire world. It's heartbreaking to see images in the news of entire towns in states along the west coast burned down, and we've been praying for the families who have lost their homes. I can't imagine what they are going through. Here on our little farm, we've been impacted by having to limit our time outdoors, closing up all windows and keeping the doors closed, and wearing ventilators or surgical masks when we go out to try to keep the toxic dust particles out of our lungs. Even with these precautions, we've had sore throats and headaches.
We've been more than a little worried about our chickens and ducks living outside in the smoke. So far they seem okay, but to offer some help to them we are doing the following:
- We enclosed their coop better to reduce the amount of smoke that can blow inside. We added a couple of tarps and other coverings.
- On the day that had the worst air quality, we kept the chickens and ducks closed up in their coop all day and night. It was so dark in there with the extra coverings that I think they thought it was nighttime. They were very quiet and subdued that day.
- To limit how much dust is stirred up, we reduced the amount of cleaning inside the coop. Instead, I've just been putting down straw over the top of any droppings. Normally this is what we do in the winter (deep litter method), but we went ahead and started doing it now since it stirs up less dust.
- Each day we provide them with extra fresh water.
- Throughout the day we are keeping an eye on them for any wheezing.
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