Lots of odds and ends racing through my mind today that I want to get down in my journal...so here goes.
Remember that black and white cat that Tip chased up that tree? Well, it has been back a lot...mostly at night. I think it was hunting mice because it was hanging around the row of breeder pens. That had to be the only thing keeping it around is mouse dinner every night because I wasn't feeding it. Made me nervous being around the pens and would have rather it just moved on.
Well it evidently ran through its nine lives rather quickly because it ran out of time and out of luck. The other morning I headed out down the road to go get some animal feed and down at the corner there lay a cat right in the middle of the road on the two solid yellow lines...smushed. It was the cat that had been hanging around. That problem solved itself I guess huh.
Let me tell you about going to get those Serama chickens.
I found the house with no problem. The man lives about thirty minutes from me...not far considering anywhere takes me thirty minutes to get there. I was greeted by four little yipping dogs...of various breeds, one I remember a poodle, one a shitzu (sp?), and two others. The older gentlemen came out the back door and waved them all away hushing them up. I came in the fence as he told me they shouldnt bite me...and that he had the one that would bite me in the house. Even though they were little dogs they still made me a little nervous. You just never know with other folks dogs.
I got my carrier out of the truck and we went through another gated area where he had about ten pygmy goats, various large chickens...some ducks of various breeds..and the bantam chicken enclosure along with his collection of pigeons. Those were some cool looking pigeons. All the feathers around their neck and head swept forward instead of smoothing back on their body. Some had a hood of feathers on their head...neat looking.
At one time this enclosure was very neat...but over time the door to the entry way had fallen off and he was just blocking it with a rubber coated wire shelf. Which didnt really work, the ducks jumped it. The goats jumped it.
After you passed through the first door about three feet into it there was another doorway. This one you had to step over and into. It had a door missing too. At one time it had two doors that met in the middle and closed up. Now there was another rubber coated wire shelf hanging longways where the missing door to the right side was. It kept falling off. When you get into the enclosure there is a raised pen with a wire bottom. It was kind of nice to have something like that, BUT the little walkway in front of the raised pen, which was completely enclosed...was just littered with hazards. Old buckets, pieces of broken wood, broken containers, an old glass panel from a screen door. The floor was littered with poo and dry dry dirt. Now I know it has been dry, but you have to manage all this with something. If it had been me, I would have covered the dirt and poo with hay to keep the dust down.
So now we are in there with standing room only for the two of us. He is more or less disabled as his arthritis is so bad in his back that if he tries to do much his spinal cord gets pinched and he loses all the feeling in his body from the waste down. He had this net, it was a fishing net, with a WAY too short handle. What I was supposed to do with it I have no idea. I had no reach with it. Some of the chickens were in the raised enclosure and some were loose in the little area we were standing in. Everytime I tried to do anything the dust would kick up in there like you wouldnt believe. Now you know that it wasnt just dust. It was poo dust too. Had to be.
It took me a total of an hour and a half to catch nine birds. You see the ones that were loose kept hiding in all the mess and trash pushed under the raised pen. I ended up getting down on my hands and knees on that nasty dirt floor. I asked him for something to put my knees on and he got me a couple of empty feed bags. He kept apologizing that he could not do more to help me catch them. You see the whole reason he was getting rid of some was because he just cant maintain all there is to do with his animals anymore.
After catching them all I was covered, and I do mean covered in a layer of dust and dirt. Several times I had to close my eyes and stop breathing when the chickens would freak out while I was trying to catch them and kick up all that dirt and dust.
Now I am not a pansy girly girl. I work hard outside and I am not afraid of dirt, mud, sweat and stink. BUT COME ON. After I paid the man and left I started to feel nauseous. I didnt feel too good at all. I figure it was breathing in who knows what. I called Ian and told him I was a biohazard and coming straight home straight for the shower.
Some folks don't seperate their new chickens from old, but I do. I quarantine new chickens for several weeks until I am sure they arent carrying any disease or whatever that could transfer to my flock. So on that same note there was no way I could go feed and water my flock til I showered. I felt so bad. I felt sick and so nasty. After a shower and a bite to eat I felt better. The next morning I did wake up and felt dizzy and still somewhat nauseous so I went back to bed for a couple of hours and it did pass.
I dont have any pictures of the new birds yet. It is raining steadily all day today so that will have to wait. I got Dwain four of the birds and stopped by on the way down to drop Shelby off to spend the night at my parents house last Thursday. So I have five. They are really nice birds and I weighed them and they are all Class Bs so I am looking forward to showing them in February. I may stick with showing smaller birds as they are just easier to transport. We will see.
I felt for that man. He knew his body was not going to allow him to do the things he wants to do, but he is still fighting it. He told me his daughter wants him to get a power chair, but he said that would be like giving up. He is afraid if he stops walking he wont be able to get back up again...and he is probably right. That is what happened to my Grandmama because of the arthritis.
A few side notes. I never saw clean water for any of the animals. I never saw any water for that matter. There was one small dishpan inside the first door into that enclosure, and it was filthy. The man was complaining because the ducks kept getting in there, but ducks NEED water, they were only seeking out what they wanted the most. Then there were large plastic drum barrels of water...I imagine full of mosquite larvae. He made mention that he needed to cover those back up as a few of his chickens had fallen in (probably desperate for water to drink???) and drowned. I saw no water in the enclosure and no feed bowls or anything of the sort. Out in the yard area where all the goats and big chickens and ducks were there was junk everywhere, broken glass, broken boards, old plastic. It was just a mess. I know it is hard to keep up with everything. Even I fall behind and leave a mess til the next day to clean up if I have worked on something and I am tired, but this stuff was everywhere. He kept telling me to be careful and not to trip and fall. I am notoriously clumsy so you better believe I was careful.
Well, that is all on that...and this entry is getting pretty long..so I will close now.
I hope everyone is having a nice Monday. We are getting some much needed rain here, and it is a good excuse to stay inside and enjoy the company of my JLand pals...reading up on all y'all and your lives.