About Me

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I am a 42 year old woman that is about as happy and content as one person can be. My husband of 21 years and our 15 year old daughter live on five and a half acres out in the country. We moved from the city four years ago and never looked back. I homeschool our daughter. We also love our animals. Our daughter has a miniature horse and two rabbits. We also have a border collie, two cats (again), two pot belly pigs, four peafowl, three emus, 2 llamas and an undetermined number of chickens, lets just say ohhh about 200. I have many breeds, from layers to fancy chickens. I love poultry shows, I love fowl in general as I have come to find out through having more than just chickens. Chickens will always be my first love though. I do show some of my birds occasionally.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Latest Grow Pen

The first grow pen I made needs to be redone. It was my first one, and with first ideas come some not so great ideas that need modifying. Like instead of using 5000 clothespins to hold the netting on top on, actually using twine to 'sew' it shut, like you see on the new one. This one is shorter than the first one I made because Lowes didnt have the poles nor the fencing the size I used last time, which was five foot poles, stuck in the ground, four foot tall. With four foot tall green wire. This one is four foot poles, three foot tall in the ground with three foot wire. They don't seem to mind at all. The tarp is heavy duty. I dont even fool with the cheapy ones anymore. The wind shreds those.


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Last Babies

Its been a great hatching season. Even though I lost ten to the fox when it scared the babies out of the grow pen, through the wire (remedied by wrapping chicken wire around the bottom half of the pen and fastening it on with wire). I have shut down the incubator now. That last Serama egg didnt make it. I had two Polish eggs in there before that and they didnt make it either. They all three died in the shell, so I am thinking it needs to be bleached out and cleaned. I was going to hatch more Polish, but I may wait until after September because we have plans to go on vacation hopefully and I dont need the incubator running or small babies at that time.

Here are the last babies of the season...and it will be a while til they go out to the grow pen. I have a tendency to hang on longer than I should. ;)


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That little one is Elvis Jr. He is the one that was born the day Elvis died. I dont know for sure if its a boy, but I hope so!

Some Chicken Talk

Well its obvious to me that Tim is feeling well enough to walk himself over to the other side of the porch and sample the kitten food and water. He doesnt seem to know what the litter box is for. Now if I could train a chicken to use a litter box I would be the talk of the town! ;)

So since he was feeling better I did some rearranging and put him in this pen here with some 24 percent chick starter (lots of protein) and his water with vitamins and electrolytes in it. (Thats why its yellow).



You just can't have enough extra pens for keeping ailing chickens in. I got this big dog pen cage off Freecycle for free a while back. Thelma, Louise and Twiggy were in it up until I did some work on the pen that was recently broken into by the fox.



I wired that sucker shut at every point and upwards on top of double staples. Yeah, I know, you can still see my spilled staples, wire hanging there and my wire cutters too. Oh well. I also put the two Sultan girls in there. I had them in a smaller holding pen for lack of anything better to do with them. I took them away from the two boys as they were really taxing them mating them WAY WAY too much. Everyone seems to be happy and getting along in here. The first thing Twiggy, Thelma and Louise did was start dirt bathing...lovely white silkies with dirty in every crevice...lol.



The polish say its not a good day to have all this big hairdo on their heads, its HOT today.

So I did get a couple of things done today...nothing big, but did get some things done that needed doing.

Last Weekend

I hope everyone is having a fine Saturday morning. It has been a good one so far with me.

I haven't gotten a chance to talk about last weekend when my sister Patti and my two neices Kathryn and Ashley came to visit.

I am always excited to have visitors. We just don't get that many out here because we don't live close to anyone anymore. This visit was extra special though since it was my family.

Friday afternoon Patti and the kids (I say kids, but they are 18 and 21, lol) made their way up Hwy 27 from Columbus to Cedartown.

Now I don't go over that way often. If I do, its just to pay the water bill. So I didnt realize they had totally rerouted part of Hwy 27 coming up right at the specific turn off I had put on the directions. The turn off was now a loop road into the Cedartown business district! OOPS! It makes sense what they did, they made it where you don't have to turn, you just go straight through to Hwy 278, but I didnt know a thing about it all...so Patti ended up in Cedartown and I had to get on Google maps and guide her in from where she was. OOPS, I say...OOPS. ;)

They pulled up before dark, which was the goal. Neither Patti nor I like to drive in the dark. We just can't see at all. We threw together some sandwiches and chips for supper and visited for a bit before hitting the sack.

We had plans to do the cookout and swimming pool deal, but Ian had other plans. Oh boy, what happened next threw him all out of whack.

He had had a great morning. We had killed that fox, so that was very encouraging for a good day. He was out at the pool cleaning the bottom with the brush vacuum, not just the vacuum. Things were going along fine. Then for whatever reason that cheap little plastic clip that holds the different heads onto the pole...BROKE. But he didnt know it. He pulled back on the pole...minus the brush head and pushed back like the brush head was still on...and rammed a hole right into the pool floor. A perfectly round puncture the size of the end of the pole. We later found the pool lining piece in that punched out circle shape.

Now Ian doesnt get upset. He doesnt cuss. But he did now. I heard the pole being slammed down and the F word said. Something had really happened to make him do this. I came around the corner from the garage and he told me what had happened. Normally he is the calm cucumber and I am the raging lunatic but this time the roles were reversed and I had to be the calming effect.

So I did the only thing I knew to do! I jumped in the truck and headed for Rome as fast as I could to the pool place and got a patch.

I was only gone an hour. By the time I got back the pool was halfway drained. We decided just to let it drain all the way down and that way he could patch it easier.

He did manage to get the patch on, but it still has a slow leak. We filled the pool and by Sunday Patti, the girls, Shelby, Ian and I were all able to enjoy the pool...but it was a bit cold because the water was fresh from the hose.

Saturday we decided on the spur of the moment that it would be best to go this day to visit Mama and Daddy. We have the same Daddy, by the way, but different moms. Patti doesnt like to get on unfamiliar highways and I285 can get hectic with all the big trucks coming through. So we got ready and went over there for the day. Its an hour and a half drive, but we made a day of it and had a nice time. Mama had everything needed to make sub sandwiches so we had a nice lunch. It was a really nice visit.

Patti took a lot of pictures. She is sending me a CD with them so I will be able to share more, but until then I have a few she sent of all the girls over the weekend having fun. I will put those at the end of the entry.

We got home Saturday night and I started up the grill and cooked out hamburgers and hot dogs. I had potato salad made up too.

We had stopped by the upscale liquor store and bought some supplies to make marguaritas so we made up some of those. After awhile we settled in and watched one of Shelbys Jeff Dunham CDs. They had never seen him before and thought he was pretty darn funny.

Sunday we spent all day relaxing and visiting. I cooked breakfast for everyone and then it was pool time and leftovers from cooking out for lunch.

It was just so nice to have them here. I hated for them to go. There is just never enough time to catch up and be with family is there? I guess I should be thankful for the time we do have, and I am.

Shelby is a teenager now, so she felt included more and had a great time with her cousins. On the way back from Mama and Daddys we jammed out to all kinds of music from the girls Ipods and CDs. We had a singing crew going on behind us at times, in stereo! Shelby, Kathryn and Ashley knew a lot of the same songs and they were partying in the back seat! :) It was a lot of fun.

Here are some pictures Patti sent to me in email.



Shelby sitting in the back partying with Kat and Ash.




The girls pouring attention over Tip. She is scared of the flash on cameras, but Patti took it quick so she wouldnt get too scared and run to her bed.




The girls having fun in the pool.

and below a shot of Shelby in the pool.



They all just loved the animals. The goats were Ashley and Kathryns favorites though. The emus were very friendly and they fed them bread. Derby was a good boy and everyone loved seeing all the other animals. Shelby showed everyone her rabbits. I showed all my new babies and Patti was amazed at all that I had hatched. I am a proud chicken mama. ;) Their favorite was Elvis Jr. You remember this is the Polish that was born on the same day poor Elvis passed away. They thought Elvis Jr. was just a cutie pie. Patti took pics of the girls with that chick too, so those will come on the CD.

It was just a fantastic weekend. That is the whole of it, just a very nice weekend, even if there was a hole in the pool at first. ;)

Friday, June 27, 2008

I Have Been Blindsided

So this is payback for me not taking the donkey I guess. One way or another someone wants me to rescue another animal. What am I talking about you ask? Well let me tell you the story.

I went outside yesterday morning like I always do. I fed the goats, fed the emus, fed the pigs, fed the chickens and chicks. Filled waterers, all the usual things I do. When I was finished I came in oh I would say about 8 a.m.

I sat down for a cup of coffee and to rest a few minutes. Tim has gone down again, by the way. I have him in the house in a laundry basket doctoring him back to health again. He is getting better, again. So I was giving him his medicine and tending to his needs when I hear Phoenix start the alarm. Then Johnny chimed in..that got the Serama started too...NOW WHAT I asked.

I got up off the floor where I was sitting with Tim and took a peek out the back door. That Jack Russell Terrier dog from the neighbors was over on my property again. It was running along the same fenceline the fox were coming from, over by the wheat field.

The emus were all over at the fence, Boo was especially flared up and they were all showing that dog how big and bad they were and trying to scare it off. They made the dog nervous but it knew there was a fence between it. I am pretty sure given the chance they could stomp that dog into a pile of unrecognizable minced meat with those sharp toes and strong feet and legs. I reach for the BB gun so I can pop the dog and send it on its way home. I turn back towards the door and there is an added equation to this commotion.

Now I know why the dog was over here. Limping across Derbys drylot area was a teeny tiny kitten. It was going into dangerous territory though. It was crossing through the fence between Derbys lot and the open back area. The emus attention was drawn to this and they ran at the poor kitten. The kitten ran and stopped, ran and stopped. I was wrestling with the stupid horse while trying to get out of the gate. He thinks anytime that gate opens its time to go out and eat pasture, so I was shoving him back while trying to get out there to rescue the kitten all the while I hear theemus hissing and see them trying to stomp the kitten. There were a couple of successful hits before I could get there.

Terrified, balled up as small as it could get on its side, hissing...was this little kitten that had a very bad morning. I stood between the emus and the kitten and made the emus back away. Once I was there they stopped attacking, thank goodness. I picked up the kitten by the scruff of the neck to relax it. Most folks know thats how a mother cat carries her kittens and this immediately relaxes the kitten. It worked and I was able to get the poor thing up to the house. The fear in those poor little eyes melted my heart. What cruel human had done this? The kitten had not been out there long at all. No fleas, no ear mites. Completely clean. Didn't even smell like it had been outside, it had that kitten smell.

I brought it into the porch. Got some water and cat food. Poor thing was so thirsty. It drank and drank, then drank some more. Its left rear leg was hurt. It wouldn't bear any weight on it. I took a good look and there was nothing broken so I left the leg alone thinking it would be okay, and later on it was. Today the kitten is using the leg almost fully.

Now let me tell you something about me. I have had cats for a long time. Ian loves cats. We have always had cats, up until our last cat died about six months ago. She was 18 years old. It was her time.

Finally, I was going to be able to get a new couch. So we got one, I have shown pictures of it on here.

I dont care how good a cat is, they claw stuff. So...we agreed no more cats for us. We had had our share over the years and agreed no more cats. Mostly upon my OWN insistance!  I am not a cat person. I am a dog person, I am a chicken person.

The last kitten that got thrown out here was immediately picked up by the Polk County animal control the next day. It pulled no heartstrings with me. I was not interested in a kitten, no way no how.

This time...sigh...is different. So I reserved the right to think about it, and make my decision Monday.

Its Friday...and well...I guess its pretty much a done deal. So my no cats rule has been revised.

We will go with no INDOOR cat, how about that. I will make a cat door so when the kitten gets older it can come and go from the screen porch. That will be its living quarters and it can be my mouser. I need a mouser anyway. We do have mice. If you have chickens and chicken feed, your going to have mice.

So its a trip to the vet soon, shots, a check up, Frontline and a collar with her tags. I reckon I will go ahead and get the chip put in too like we did with Tip.

Why on earth did this happen to me? I don't even like cats! This one got me. Am I weak? A pushover? A sucker? I guess if you get caught under the right (or wrong, depending on how you look at it) curcumstances and I rescue you from getting killed by dogs and emus, I feel sorry for you...but it helps to have a gracious attitude and a very sweet disposition...not to mention being a beautiful kitten.

We have named him/her Mocha. As in Mocha Latte'. You will see why when you see the kittens color. I believe it may be calico of a sort, so it is probably a girl. Either way, soon as we can she he will be spayed or neutered. I imagine the vet will want to get the shots and whatnot done first, then on a second visit get her fixed.

Tip met her this morning. Do you know Mocha wasnt scared of her at all? Tip was very sweet and wasnt scary to her at all. So now Tip knows we have a kitten. I want Tip to know she is ours and not to be chasing her.

Shelby took this picture of her yesterday. I will take more later and post them.

Oh yeah, we got one of those kitty cube beds last night at Walmart. I put her in it last night and she didnt come back out, she layed down and went right to sleep all night in it. :)

Got her the good food, same brand as I get Tip..got her a waterer bowl, food bowl combo, and a pack of toys of course. Litter box and litter are set out there too until she isbigger and we have a door set up for her to go out as she pleases.

I am such a SAP...lol.



Adding this on this afternoon:

After looking at a lot of cat pictures I think Mocha is more of a tortoiseshell than calico, though I read they are in the same family.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Yesterday I had my farrier come over and I rode with him over to Joe's house. You remember Joe Tilley. He is the one with the goats that sold me my baby emus. He also has a donkey. She is a guard donkey for the goats at night. Donkeys are very good guards and will kill coyote and fox, which we have a never ending supply of around here.

I was surprised, but the poor girls feet had gotten extremely overgrown, so much that they looked like she had elf shoes on and could only stand on the back half of her feet. This stretches those tendons in the back of the legs and can become very painful. She had also foundered. She was in a lot of pain.

When we got there Marshall told me this was going to be more than thirty dollars. Yeah, he had a lot of work to do on this girls feet. She was laying down in the barn, but got up. It would have been easier on Marshall and her if she had stayed laying down, but she got up and wouldn't ever lay back down. The barn stall has no light hooked up in there so Joe went and got an extention cord and a light. I held the light where it needed to be while Marshall cut and whittled away until her feet looked more normal. Soon as he was done she was able to stand properly and wasn't rocked back on the back part of her hooves. You could tell she was feeling much better already as she walked out of the barn and outside to see us off.

My horse vet lives within a stones throw of Joe and Joe used him to see the donkey as he is friends with the doc. The vet had given the donkey anti inflammatories and antibiotic injections like he had done for Derby when he foundered.

Joe was ready to give her away. He asked Marshall if he knew anybody that would take her. You see, he needs her for a guard. Having foundered, before she even had a foot overgrowth by eating all the rich pasture out there for the goats, she was not going to be able to stay out there all the time. She would gain weight again and go down again. Marshall suggested she could go out at night, which is when she is needed to guard, and come in during the day. Problem is, she could be half a mile away down in Joes pasture come morning, and she doesnt know anything about coming when called. Doesnt matter, he could get another donkey and on that pasture they will founder. I don't know what it is, but it seems like all equine want to try and eat themselves to death.

So, when the question was put to Marshall..he looked up at me...and I said OH NO..don't you look at ME! I can't take her! I already have one to keep on drylot...she would be of no use to me except a pet as I couldnt let her out anymore than Joe could! Not to mention, Ian said NO MORE ANIMALS...we are full up here. Marshall mentioned that she had cushings disease too. I just can't handle any more animals. I have enough now to keep me busy.

Joe will be on my horses trim schedule so Marshall can get us both while he is in this area. Joe asked me to help him remember and I said I would.

The main thing now is she is just going to have to have regular foot maintainance and be kept off that grass out there with the goats.

I told Joe not to give up on her. Derby has foundered, but because he has good foot care regularly he is in no pain and he can run out back like nothing every happened. He can run like lightning, and its beautiful to see. :)

Here are a few pictures I took. I didnt get a close up of the donkeys feet before, but in the first picture if you look at her back left hoof you can see how long they are, and they are curling upwards.


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The sores you see on her are from her laying down too much the last month. In the full shot of her and the foot shot, this is after the trim.

Well I got to get outside for a while before it gets too hot, I hope everyone is doing fine today. I am going to go do some work and then come in for lunch and do some catching up on everyone...see ya then. :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Links To Fox and a Happy Emu Video!

Instead of posting the pictures of the fox on here...you can go to these links to see it, if you wish. The first picture is just of the tail and flanks, a close up to show the mange, the second is the whole fox with the fatal neck wound.



Here is a picture of the pen torn into...all those feathers...waterer knocked over...anytime I find this type of thing, that sinking feeling overcomes me, everytime.





To lift the spirits here is a fun video of the emus playing in the water spraying out of the pool pump as Ian cleans the pool. :)


Lets Start With Friday

The sun was coming up...it was 6:50 a.m.

Ian had gotten out of bed to take Tip out to do her morning business. I layed there...and as I layed there...I heard the chickens, the roosters. Setting off their alarms.

Still groggy I knew Ian was out there and whatever might be happening he could take care of it...was probably nothing I was thinking to myself.

Then I heard him come in the door...I heard the shotgun being loaded and I shot out of bed like a streak of lightning. Running through the house with my nightgown still on I caught Ian headed back out the back door. Asking him what was going on he excitedly said,

"Its here, the fox, its here!"

"Tip has it cornered under the steps over on Derbys side."

"You have some dead chickens too."

I am standing there wondering what I can do...and realize someone needs to call Tip back away from the cornered fox right before Ian gets a shot off.

So I take off around the back and I hear Ian telling Tip,

"Don't you back down. Don't you back down Tip, you keep that fox cornered. Don't you back down."

I come around to see a snarling teeth bared snapping ratty looking thing resembling a fox under the step. Tip is barking...keeping it cornered. It has nowhere to go. Ian is having a hard time aiming as he has to shoot between the steps. I told him just tell me when to call Tip back.

He says call her back and I gave a firm COME and she came right to me. I held her by the collar just to be sure she didnt go back, but she was in the zone and was in working mode. She was focused. The fox had begun to try to dig under the lattice that was behind the steps that led to under the pool deck and the screen back porch. As it dug it would pause to look back. Dig and look, dig and look. Ian was able to get a clean shotoff as it looked up and back and dropped it with one shot. Hit it in the neck.

What a DOG, What a MAN! My two heroes!

Did you know that fox have some sort of musk gland? Let me tell you, it smells awful, skunklike. It gave off a terrible stench when cornered.

After it was all over Ian told me what all went on before I got out there.

Tip knew it was there...soon as he opened the back door. She was whining, anxious, wanted out the other door to the back. Ian let her go and she shot right under the deck and out came the fox with her chasing behind.

Ian said that at first Tip didnt realize she was supposed to be serious and was just loping after it. It appeared to be a slow runner too. Not fast like you would think a fox is. Ian yelled to Tip, KILL IT KILL IT TIP! She dug in and got serious and bared down on it. That is when she cornered it under the steps.

I was first over to the dead fox with a bucket. I picked it up by the scraggly tail and put it in the bucket. I put it in the garage away from everything as it smelled horrible. On closer inspection it was the female. It had mange all the way down its tail, on its flanks on the backs of its front legs. It had fleas and ticks. We don't believe it was rabid, as it never turned on Tip til it was cornered. Tip is covered of course, we keep her up on her shots, but I still would have wanted to avoid her fighting it as she might have gotten wounded in the process. Not to mention the mange...gross. If it was the carcoptic (sp) mange the fox had and she had caught it, it would have been bad. That type is not treatable. It can be maintained to some extent, but never cured.

Later the fox was disposed of, along with my poor chickens that were killed.

Yes, that is the part I haven't gotten to yet. All my pens are not just stapled, but wired shut, except for this one. I don't know why I never got around to doing it, but it cost me and the chickens in it dearly.

Since locking everyone up, everyone that was in pens went back into their original pens. Elvis is gone,remember he died last week, but he had been in this particular pen. There was Frisky, the Golden Phoenix Rooster. Two silkie girls and one silkie boy. Then there was Priscilla, she was in there too. The two silkies were sitting on eggs. I was hoping to have a couple of silkie babies since the fox got the only two I had hatched earlier in the Spring.

Total devastation. The corner of the pen wire was ripped open. Priscilla lay in the pen, dead, her throat ripped out. One of the silkie girls had been bitten on her back and lie there dead. Frisky was not to be found, but there were plenty of feathers to know what happened to him. We found him dead and eaten on severely on the side of the garage behind the pigs house. There was still one body missing...one silkie girl. We never found her. This was evidence that there were two involved in the massacre. One had gotten away and carried off a silkie. All the eggs the two were sitting on were gone, all eaten.

There was a bit of good news. The one silkie male managed to escape the foxes clutches. He was obviously traumatized, but I was able to pick him up and put him in the main pen with the others. The third silkie hen had been staying in a nest in the main pen, so she was already safe. Maybe with the remaining two I can get some silkie babies...we will see.

So, Elvis and Priscilla, my two main birds that were supposed to be ready to show in February are gone. That is a real downer for me.

I planned on shutting down the incubator after this last Serama hatches, but I think I will clean it out good and hatch some more silver laced polish. As it stands now I have only three offspring from Coco and Kuckoo...and I really need to have a line up for showing.

So that was just Friday mornings activities. I still have the weekend with my family here to talk about, and where I am going today to talk about. I will make that a seperate two entries though. 

I am having some trouble uploading pictures to photobucket, but I do have pictures of the fox, dead of course. I will add the links on a seperate entry and not the actual pictures, when I can get them to load. That way if anyone wants to see them, they can, and they won't see them by accident on an actual journal entry page.







Thursday, June 19, 2008

Still Here

I havent fell off the face of the earth. :)

Just been really busy. I got a new grow pen put up and I have been cleaning house for company this weekend. My dear sweet older sis is coming with her two grown daughters and I want everything to look nice.

So thats what I have been doing, kicking chickens outside to the grow pen and shuffling the younger ones to the brooder box.

Cleaning, mowing, all that sort of thing.

I will be back Monday. Everyone have a wonderful weekend. :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

When Your Wrong

Okay, so I am sitting here...and laughing at myself to keep from feeling like a fool. Why am I feeling like a fool anyway???

Because I don't think things out. Because I get in such a gung ho do it go for it get it done mode I don't think about what I am doing!

So I told Ian I was going to restring the fence I had rolled up and divide Derbys area in half. I was going to put chicken wire on both sides of the old gate that had no purpose but was sticking in the ground so that the goats wouldn't get through the slats or chew up the gate, and Derby has already done enough chewing on it, thus covering both sides. After I got the posts in the ground, tied the fencing to the posts, got the chicken wire stapled to both sides of the gate, AND dragged a makeshift house over to the pen area and put it back together after disassembling it to tote it in the truckbed over to the pen area, AND put in posts and chicken wire around the one little tree over there to keep the goats from stripping it and eating it. (I do think I will keep that on there though, Derby likes to scrub on it when he is itchy and eat the leaves off what he can reach). I did all this, but before I did it, I told Ian I was going to do it and keep the goats penned for the garden season. I say...

Oh it won't kill them to stay over there til the garden is done...

He says....

I don't know about that.

He could have elaborated. He could have given me some insight. Because most of the time when I am in a frenzy to make something right, the solution is much easier than what I am doing. I just haven't thought it through. Too many years of bleaching my hair blonde I guess.

So I will tell you why he was right. At first, Troy and Eddie didnt seem to mind it. They played on the old roof that is still there on the ground from Derbys old house that was torn down in a bad storm. They tried their best to eat the tree, that seemed to keep them entertained for a while. Now it is getting late and time for bed soon. Now they are starting to realize what is going on and they don't like it. So they start trying to get out. How do goats try to get out of a fence? I will tell you how. They ram their heads as far as they can through the fence wire (this is heavy duty hog wire) and then try to pull back when they realize their whole body is not going to fit through that hole. Then the panic sets in because their horns point backwards. So yep, their heads are stuck. You would think they would learn, but we are talking about goats here. I gave them way too much credit. The thought that this might happen did cross my mind, but I put it out of my mind for some stupid reason. Listen to that little voice in the back of your mind...it helps more than you know to heed its words. Because if you don't, you will end up like me. You will end up calling up your husband as he is getting off work to admit that he was right, that the goats may very well kill themselves being penned up. Because they are not going to stop sticking their heads through that wire. No they aren't. They will try again and again to the point of exhaustion and it is way to hot for that.

I gave in, and let them back out.

Now the solution would be...to what y'all? Come on you know...

Make a better tighter higher fence around the garden...OR

Electrify it.

Now electrifying it would be the easy way to go...but will it work with stubborn goats? I have no idea. I think they would get in there anyway and that would be a waste of time too...that is what my little voice is telling me.

The only thing left to do is go get some proper higher fencing and do the job.

I don't even know if its worth the time this year since Ian is already discouraged. Weeds are taking over the garden like you wouldnt believe. He just hasnt had the time to keep it up. Then there is the fact that he left ALL the seed packets in the bucket I had put them all in over the past months as we collected them...and it rained...and they are ruined. There were some bean seeds in plastic that I bought last Fall when they were on clearance. Maybe he can get those planted. The things that he has planted from seed are not coming up. The only thing we have doing fine is the tomato plants I planted and the red potatoes and some squash plants are coming up.

SIGH....okay tell me again why I like to have animals????

Because its relaxing and they are a lot of fun, right? (Laughing at myself again)

On a better note, the emus have been really sweet to me today. I sat in a chair out there and fed them some bread. They are letting me touch them and pet them a lot more even when I don't have food. If I walk around the back they follow me around for a while. I am really loving having emus. They havent torn up anything yet as amazing as that may seem! LOL!


Time to go fix supper...just had to take a moment to say I was wrong, and I wasted a lot of time and effort these past two days for nothing.




Beat Down Feeling

I am tired. Exhausted. Beat down feeling. Between keeping the animals up and semi happy early in the morning before it gets hot, to working outside in the heat to get some things done out there, to getting Ians toolbox last night and getting back late and getting to bed late, I am just tired tired tired.

I spent the better part of yesterday getting the posts driven into the ground and the fence wired onto the posts for the goats to be penned for the gardening season. I didn't move their fancy house I got them when I first got the goats. Its just too heavy to be moving back and forth, so I made them a makeshift shelter just for over in the penned area. I also went around scooping horse poop out of that area as that is where Derby uses the bathroom a lot is that far area. The goats are just going to hate being penned up, but I have to so we can have our garden. Right now all we have planted are tomatoes, squash, and red potatoes and they don't seem interested in that. They just want to get in and eat the weeds and grass growing up around the edges. Its one of those the grass is greener on the other side kind of things I guess.

Ian is also very tired. This new schedule is going to take some adjustment. Working 12 hours three days in a row, and the fact that it is on the weekend, working in the heat and working hard lately on machines has beat him down too.

Last week we went to Lowes and there was a toolbox there. It was on sale too. Twenty percent off until June 20 or something like that.  I am not even a guy and I thought it was really cool. He had been looking at one that was going to be 400 dollars shy of this one, and it didnt have any of the cool stuff this one had. This one has an mp3 hook up, overhead lights in the top lid, a Pioneer stereo, with CD player...and get this...a refrigerator! Yes, a fridge. Now this is not just a toy, it is in fact for work. Since starting in maintenance he has outgrown his current toolbox anyway...and what a Fathers Day gift eh? So I went last night to get it...but

I went to get it in the new truck, that has the hardcover on the bed. I thought the box would slide in flat, Ian did too. Wasnt going to happen. I had to come all the way back home and get the old truck and then go back to Lowes so they could load it up and strap it down. The thing is huge. So I got back home about 11 pm...and collapsed on the couch. I had stayed awake too long though...now I was awake and glued to the boob tube. Stayed that way til 2:30 am. Bad me I know. I had to get back up at 4:30 to get Ian up for work. I felt awful, I was in a daze. After he went to work I went straight back to sleep. By 8 I couldnt sleep anymore so I gave up and here I am. I think if I can just drink an entire pot of coffee I will make it through the day.

I have so much I want to get done, but my body is just not willing to give me all the juice I need to get it all done. I remember when I was in my twenties I could clean the whole house in a day, scrubbing tub and all...then still have energy to go out and mow the grass and trim the bushes. Now I guess I move much slower and just have to pace myself. If I do manage to get a lot done in one day..I feel it in my bones the next day for sure and that slows me down even more. Its heck getting older. It isnt for sissies I know that.

Well I know this has just been a rambling on pointless entry...lol. I just felt like rambling I guess.

I think I will go let the dog out and make that pot of coffee. Get all the critters fed and watered, finish prepping for the goats to go up so Ian can plant some more vegetables Monday and Tuesday while he is off without goat interference. I think thats all I will do outside today...I will just get the laundry caught up and maybe clean my bathroom.

With Ian working long hours every other weekend I have found myself needing to be busy to pass the time. I have gotten a lot done this weekend, I will say that.

I hope everyone is having a nice Sunday.

It is Fathers Day! So to all the fathers out there I wish you a very Happy Fathers Day. May your day be filled with everything you enjoy. :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

This and That Happenings

So check it out! Here is what I got in the mail from Nelishia! Let me tell you, she is just so thoughtful isn't she? Nelishia, thankyou so much for my beautiful gift. This is hand painted y'all! She ordered this just for me. This breed is one of my favorites. This is a picture of a pair of White Crested Black Polish. Striking breed.



Yesterday afternoon I heard thunder rumbling off in the distance so I came in here and checked the radar. Look at this radar image! Not one, but TWO heart shaped little storms on the map. See Rome? See the two hearts? Weird huh. I am right above the heart on the left. We never did get any rain from it.



My poor guys and gals are still in chicken prison. They aren't as fussy as they first were, but I know they would much rather be stretching their legs out on the green grass this morning. Maybe soon I can let them out...but not yet. I will tell you why next.



It took a week, but guess what...something took that dead chicken stitched up with the goods in it. I had been checking every day up until day before yesterday, I didnt have a chance that day. Yesterday I found it missing because I went running out to stop Mr. Lovells son and his help. Here is what they were doing...


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Yep, it was time, and they were cutting down the wheat! Now that is a good thing, because now the foxes won't have any cover...BUT...

remember who is out in that wheat field setting on eggs?

VELLA!!!! The white guinea!

I ran out and let him know about her and her eggs, possibly babies now. He said he was glad I stopped him and told him to look out for her as he didnt want to accidently grind her up in the machinary.

I wasnt sure if she was still in there. You know since I locked up all the chickens the foxes were probably getting desperate. I told them I didnt know for sure if she was still there, and I feared the foxes had found her if she wasnt found setting in the wheat.

They finished the mowing..and no Vella. :(

Unless she took her babies elsewhere and is just gone, then the foxes found her. Either way, she isnt here anymore. :(


Now, even though the wheat is cut down, and the bait was taken...there is still something lurking in the night.

I let Tip out around five a.m. this morning..as soon as she started down the steps she must have caught some movement...she rushed under the stairs and looked through the lattice that lines the pool deck and porch. She started to bark. She wanted something under there. I got her back in the porch and we rushed to the other side and out that door to the patio and through the gate to the back. She went here there and everywhere...under the pool deck. I never saw a thing, but she must have. Even after we went back in she kept going to the door and wanting back out to check, just to see, just to make sure that booger wasnt still around, whatever it had been.

When we went out back to investigate, this is what I found. I took these pictures once it was daylight, but I saw this when it was still dark.

Priscilla and Frisky (the polish hen and the golden phoenix rooster) were both sleeping on the ground. That is very unusual as they always get on the perch to sleep. Then I noticed a lot of Priscillas feathers sticking to the waterer and sticking out of the wire..along with Friskys feathers pulled through the wire and on the ground too...look at the pictures of the close up of the wire, in two places it was actually grabbed probably by teeth and pulled on..


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Then I looked across the way to the Sultan girls pen...and saw this...



All the chickens were okay, but SOMETHING was trying to get at them through the bars and wire. Trying to get them, but only succeeding in pulling out some feathers.

No free meals here, unless it is their LAST meal. Everyone has to stay safe. I can't take losing any more of my chickens. Its really hard on me.

That old pen that I still havent finished taking apart out there has a couple of sunflower stalks full of sunflowers on them. So heavy they are falling over! Here is a picture of one of the flowers opened up. Its just grown from seed that was left in the pen from me giving black oil sunflower seeds in their feed. Black oil sunflower seeds are very good for chickens.



I reckon thats about all I have for today. I did get the bedroom and living room clean top to bottom yesterday. Today I need to finish, so after a couple more cups of coffee I am going to get my rear in gear! Everyone have a great Wednesday!!! :)

My Mexican Friends

My pictures are loading right now so I thought I would fill the time with what happened with my Mexican friends. I would say hispanic, but, they themselves call themselves of Mexican descent, so they are in fact from Mexico.

I was able to get up 42 eggs for their incubator by Sunday. Friday they stopped in and brought their incubator for me to see and show them how to use it. They have a newer version of mine. It has something pretty neat added. Instead of pouring the water down into a reservior in the styrofoam bottom itself they now come with a clear plastic tray to insert into the bottom. A great idea so because that is the part that gets the dirtiest and needs to be disinfected between hatches. Ricardo, their son told me they had tried to use it before, but didn't know what they were doing. Turns out his mom had poured water all down into the bottom everywhere. Too much humidity, and didnt pull out at least one of the plugs in the lid. So basicly if there was development they babies drowned in the egg because the humidity in the incubator was way way too high. I showed them the specifics of how to use it.

I had taken time that morning to write out everything I could think of to help them raise the chicks in that notebook I bought on Thursday. They do not have a computer or access to the internet at home so the book will be very helpful to them.

Ricardo translated everything we said back and forth to each other. I wish I could speak better Spanish. Even though school is over for the summer I have been using Shelbys course CDs and booklet to try and learn more.

Ricardos dad was in love with Johnny, my Sumatra rooster. He asked if he could bring his black game hen to mate the two of them. I said I would have to look her over and quarantine her for a little bit, but sure. They won't be full blooded, but he should get some nice chickens out of the two of them. He had asked me earlier in the week, so Friday he brought her. She looked fantastic. No bugs, in perfect condition. They all kept saying how mean she was and that she would bite. She never bit me or struggled with me at all. Now I will say that I realized she was broody. So she was grumpy. I told them I would put her on a wire bottom cage and break her broodiness. She should begin to lay again after I break her, then she can go in with Johnny.

Saturday morning Ricardos dad went to work with Jim. Jim teaches Math at the local college twice a week and that tends to cut into his work time around the farm, so he needs the extra help.

At ten minutes til seven the door bell rang. There stood Ricardos dad with a sackful of tamales!!! Real ones, not anything like you get at a mexican restaurant. Maria, his wife had said she would make some for us as we had got to talking about real mexican food. They were still warm! That woman had been up early cooking those tamales. So guess what we had for breakfast??? ;) We had the rest for supper that evening. They were awesome, really good food. The chicken was so tender in the tamale, I asked what was in it the next day because we thought it must be some kind of beef, but it had been soaked in the sauce, and it was in fact chicken. She had put just the right amount of jalepeno peppers in with the chicken as it was not too hot. The wrapping was Masa...corn flour, hand made. They were really so so good.

The next day, Sunday, when they came to get the eggs I had been saving them for the incubator she had cooked us up another meal! I cant remember what it was called now, mind is blank, but you know it was just sooooo good!

We actually sat around and talked for quite a while and once they saw the cochin babies they wanted to see the parents, so I took them out to see Buck Buck, Beauty and Babe. They want to get some hatching eggs from them also. They arent laying right now, but I told them when I do get some I will let them know.

They are just amazing people. I know a lot of people have a bad outlook on hispanics because there is a procedure they must go through to become a citizen and when some don't it becomes a problem.

I dont honestly know if they are legal or not. Both Ricardo and his younger sister were born here. Ricardo in California and his sister here. It is so strange...when she first spoke, I did a double take! She has an extreme southern accent like myself! Ricardo told me then that she was born here, so that explains that! He says he doesnt know what his accent is because he has been here and in California. Anyway, they are just really nice, hard working, friendly folks. We got to talking and they are going to go with me to the show next February. Once Ricardo told his dad how big it was he was really interested in going. I think they will love it.

I could tell that Ricardo was in love with the Serama. He was always holding one and looking over them. So when I showed them the babies in the house I gave his sister and him one of the Serama rooster chicks. You can tell early which ones are boys in this breed. He asked his mom first of course. ;) She said yeah, sure! I told them both it has to be a pet, it cant go out with the other chickens and in the yard. They agreed and said they would keep it like I keep Phoenix, or Bonnie and Clyde, like a pet.

So that is the story of my new mexican friends. I only wish there wasnt such a language barrier. Maybe one day I will be able to speak more Spanish. :)

OH yes, and I definitely let Maria know how much we enjoyed her cooking! Fantastic cook! :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Been So Busy

Good Tuesday morning to all y'all fine folks. :)

I have something to show to y'all that I got in the mail. I havent taken a pic of it yet, but it is from Nelishia. :)

I have been having to rearrange my schedule so I am not online in the mornings. I am outside from about six am til 9 or sometimes later trying to get the animals taken care of and do a few things around the yard before it gets too hot. Every morning has been like this. By the time I get in its time for a break for sure.

Lets see, still no fox. Everyone is still locked up. Tim is well! I put him back outside this morning. Some sad news. I lost Elvis to the heat. He was the first silver laced polish I hatched from Kuckoo and Coco. Him and Priscilla were to be next Februarys show prospects. I tried my best to get him hydrated but he just didnt make it. He died in my arms yesterday. He was such a sweet guy. I will miss him terribly. The heat will take more before the summer is over if it doesnt let up some. Over the weekend my weather station said it got up to 101.6 and the heat index was 115. That is hard for any animal to take.

Carrie, I got the weather station at Walmart. It was eighty bucks. We love it!

The goats are being naughty and getting into the garden despite my efforts to tighten the fence around the garden, so they will have to be penned for the gardening season. Ian says I wanted them, I need to control them so we can have a garden, and he is right.

If I havent visited your journal, don't give up on me, I will be around sooner or later. Just takes time sometimes to visit everyone. :)

Since its so hot I reckon I will be doing some cleaning in the house for the next few days. I have plenty to do outside, but I don't want to have a heat stroke trying to do it.

I got supplies to make another grow pen for the up and coming babies in the house.

The goats area has to be fenced off again,I had it fenced and took it down, it was part of Derbys area. Have to get a shade shelter over there and get them set up.

Still trying to find time to finish that fence project over by the side of the porch.

The pigs pen is looking like it is going to wait a while. I will get around to it sooner or later.

Oh, I have so much to tell about my Mexican friends, but I will save that for another entry. Time is short and I need to go visit a few of y'all before I get off here and start doing some cleaning house.

Everyone have a fine day today and try to stay cool! :)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Just In Case You...

 Thought I might be exaggerating a bit about the temperature and heat index here? ;)



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Oh yeah, this is from our own home weather station, and...get this. The monitor for the temperature...

IS IN THE SHADE all the time. So what is it in the sun?

Baked chicken and boiled eggs anyone?


Here Comes The Weekend

Its that time again. The weekend is upon us. The weather folks say this heat wave won't break over the weekend. By Monday it will be back into the upper eighties. Is that a break? I don't know. Thats still pretty warm for June, even here in Georgia.

I had a boy and his grandfather come by yesterday. His grandfather couldn't speak English so the boy translated. I kept thinking I had seen the boy before. I still can't place him, but he does know   Jim and Linda down the road, so that may be one connection.

Anyway, they have an incubator, but lost the directions. After talking quite a bit I discovered they don't know how to hatch, or keep the babies after they hatch. There were many questions about the brooders, what the heat lamps were for. It worried me some as they wanted to buy hatching eggs from me. I tried to tell them how to use the incubator by showing them mine, but the grandfather became overwhelmed and said he would bring his wife today and I could show her.

Then I had an idea while we were at Walmart last night getting groceries. I got a notebook. I am going to write down any vital information on using the incubator, such as temperature, and write down basic instructions for raising chicks. I have to remember things to put in there as I think he only feeds his chickens scratch, which is a big no no, no nutritional value and you absolutely cannot feed it to chicks. They don't have any grit in their crops yet to grind the corn and grain in scratch and won't be able to digest it. The boy can help them translate the English writing over to Spanish so they can read it and look back on it when they need to.

They will be here around five today. I always enjoy talking chicken with others interested. Y'all know that about me by now. ;)

Still no fox taking bait. I don't know about you, but I am figuring they have got to be getting really desperate by now. I guess they could have come into the yard and I havent seen them, but there is no food here for them.

I talked to Linda, Jims wife. I wanted to warn her about the fox around because she has three hens of her own. I also wanted to ask her since Jim farms hay if she knew when Mr. Lovell might be cutting down hiswheat next door. She said probably in two weeks or so. I know I will feel much better once the fox's cover is gone. So it will be at least two weeks before I even dare to let anyone out. By then I am hoping the fox have given up and gone hunting elsewhere.

Believe it or not, Tim is doing better every day. He is eating some, and drinking on his own now. Speaking of which I need to go out there and refresh his water for him. I give him cool water out of the fridge dispenser. He is still sitting on the porch floor. He scoots around some now to get to his food and water. He is also trying to stand now and then. It doesnt last long, but he is trying. That is very encouraging.

Well I have prattled on long enough. I am behind in alerts, but I have been reading some when I can. I better get on off of here and do some indoor chores at least.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. :) We don't have any plans, just puttering about here at the house.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Update On Fox Situation

It has been two days since the fox (or foxes probably) have made a kill here. I bet they are wondering as they sit staring out from the wheat fields cover with their beady eyes where all the meals on legs went to.

We are in operation LOCKDOWN here on our little plot of paradise.

I really hated to do it to them. I mean, what is the since in being a chicken if you can't free range? Cooped up with all your friends, and maybe some that are not your friends. All day, staring out at the green green grass.

It is for their own good. As their owner I must do what I feel is best for them. Right now everyone has to stay safe. I cannot watch out there all the time. I do have other things I need to be doing.

They express their displeasure over the development. Lots of whining and crying. I tell them to go ahead, they have every right to whine and cry, but I have to do what I have to do, even if they don't understand why.

I got out the huge heavy roll of this really strong netting given to me by the neighbor. It stretches like you wouldn't believe. I keep a lot of the baling twine from the hay I buy. You never know when it will come in handy. This day it did. I got the roll going across the chicken pen floor. (This is the main pen, the dog pen that was there when we moved here) It is big enough to keep everyone comfortabley without them bumping into each other constantly. I began to cut off strips of the baling twine and tie the netting to the top of the chain link fence. It took until dark, but I got it completely covered. Bell, Gabby, and a Red Star escaped from this enclosure the next day. I wrangled them up and put them back. I hadn't had a chance to staple the netting to the backside of the garage yet, so they figured a way out yesterday. Not so today though. I got out there this morning and got the job finished.

You may be wondering what ever happened to the carcass I doctored and threw back over the fence just where the fox was trying to pull it through the fence. Well, its unfortunately still there. I must have missed my window of opportunity when the fox came back for it while Shelby was watching while I doctored the carcass. Fox can be carrion eaters though. I imagine they might get pretty desperate here soon. Two days now, and no meals for the kiddies, much less themselves. Maybe they will take it soon.

With everyone in pens I have to go out before everyone wakes up good and get fresh food and water for them. I don't want them lurking at the gate trying to get out as I get them taken care of.

Not to mention the heat, it has been something else here. We are having August weather in June this year here. The highs have reached the nineties every day and the heat index has been over a hundred every day. So I am happy to get out there early and tend everyone.

You ever have one of these types things happen? I took part of the morning and cleaned out the three Serama cages. I also moved them to a better location. I had fresh shavings in there, scrubbed out water dishes. Fresh food in their dishes. I had lined them up together and put a nicely fitted tarp over the top of them to shade them from the daytime hot sun. So nice and clean.

Someone forgot to turn off the hose when they were done with it this morning. Yeah, that would be me. Oops. I use a nozzle so I don't waste water. The pressure built up with no release blistered out a weak spot in the hose. I had gone in to do indoor chores for the day. I look out about thirty minutes ago...and found the house had burst. It couldnt burst out the side and spray anywhere but...you guessed it...

on those three cages. The tarp? Oh it was blown off by the increasing wind! Another time of me getting sidetracked I had not fastened the tarp down to the cages before going in.

So now I had uncovered chickens, wet chickens, wet pens, wet food, wet pine shavings.


Well at least its sunny and dry today. It will dry out the shavings in no time, even if they are covered. Had to replace the food though.

All in all, because they had been uncovered and were in the sun I guess it was good??? that the hose burst there, to keep them cool til my silly self got back out there to see what had happened. ;)

I have been less stressed since everyone is penned. I am not worrying myself all day, peeking out windows and opening doors to look out here and there throughout the day. I know they are all safe.

The eggs won't be as rich because they are not free ranging and eating grass and bugs, but it is better than no chickens left at all to give me eggs.

It won't be this way forever. Everyone will just have to be patient and wait it out. Eventually the fox will get desperate and take the bait. It won't have any other choice if it wants to eat here.

Time for me to get up from here and do some things. Laundry waits for no one. ;) I got a grocery list to make out also. Y'all have a good afternoon. I will see about getting some pictures of the poor pitiful souls locked away for their own good to post here soon. Not right now, its blue blazin' hot out there.

Mama used to say, " Its hotter n' three hells out there today!" I have caught myself saying that now.

Mama gets hot real easy. She doesnt like to get hot at all. ;)


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Well there is ONE feeling they forgot to put on the emotions!


Yesterday evening I was mowing the back and I saw a bunch of feathers in the back. OH NO IT DIDNT. It TOOK one of my first chickens. It took a Speckled Sussex! Five and a half years old and this is what has happened to her. The body was gone.

I continued to mow, I mean what was I going to do? As I rounded the corner out back I saw the fox scurry into the wheat next door. That was enough to get me off the mower and get my shotgun.

I sat, on the front rocker, facing the wheat field, with my gun ready. I sat there til dark. NOTHING.

Ian comes home and says well it just got a meal so it probably wont be back for a couple of days.

WRONG, dead wrong.

I stayed out all morning, mowing. No fox. But I just knew it was going to come back. I forgot to take my allergy medication so I began to sneeze and itch and feel terrible about noon. So I came in. By the time I got in it was full blown sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, whole deal. So I lay down. Just for a little while. To try and recover. (I did take my meds THEN)

I ended up dozing off til about 2. I get up and immediately I hear the guineas going off like alarms. I run to the back with the gun. No clear shot. The damn emus and guineas are both in the way. The fox is on the other side of the fence facing the wheat field, tugging and pulling trying to get one of my girls, now dead, through the fence wire. My older girls, they weigh at least ten pounds. That fox can't weigh but about double that, maybe a few more pounds. So it is too heavy for it to lift over the fence.

I run around front, barefoot through the yard. The ground is hard and the stickers and grass and rocks are hurting my feet so badly but I tromp to the edge of the fenceline anyway.

No fox.

Much cussing, much much cussing. BAD this time. Oh yes, so bad. Ranting, raving mad.

First, I decide to move the poor headless dead buff orpington, ANOTHER one of my original girls, five and a half years old, to the front yard, at the edge of the wheat field. That way I can sit on the front porch and wait for the SOB to come and get its meal and then I can shoot it.

Hey you know what? ITS DAMN HOT outside. I am sitting there, sniffling and sneezing, drooling and dripping snot and sweat. Pissed off. After about five minutes I said screw this and went tromping back out in the hot sun and the stickers and the rocks and hard prickly grass and I got the dead body.

SOB wants some fresh chicken. OH I WILL GIVE IT SOME THEN.

I did something I thought I could never do. Out of sheer rage and pissed offness. She would NOT die in vane. Oh no she wouldnt.

I carried the dead body in by the feet. Through the front door, through the living room, into the kitchen. I threw the dirty dishes out of the sink onto the counter away from my work area.

I took a BIG carving knife. Oh yes I did. I CUT into the breast by the bone and sliced down the side. Then I stuffed it with my secret stuff. Then I cut down the other side, the same way, and did the same thing. Then I took twine and I bound it up real good so it wouldnt spill any goods when it took the body.

I had Shelby watch out back. I knew the fox was not far and would be back for its meal. I was right. I didnt even get my poor dead chicken ready before the fox poked its head through the wire in the fence, right where it was trying to pull the body through. Shelby says to hurry, that its back. Still no clear shot. Animals are in the way. Thats okay. I am going to fix them ALL.

I get a plastic bag and stick the body into it, carry it out to the fence just like a bag of groceries for the fiend. Here, take your groceries and take it back for everyone to share...you....expletive. That would be the F word I said.

Sweating and hot and pissed off I came back in. Now I wait. I heard the guineas earlier. I peeked out to make sure nobody else was getting killed and then closed the door back.

If it doesnt take todays bait, everyone will have to stay locked up. EVERYONE. I hate to do it. I will have to though. Until I can catch this fox, or foxes. I think there are two. I think they are feeding a litter. No fox comes back the next day if they drag home a ten pound chicken the day before.

So thats my day so far, how is yours going?




Monday, June 2, 2008

My Weekend

Saturday was hot. Lets face it. When it hits the nineties and the humidity is also in the nineties, its oppressive.

So what happened to Spring? We went from having 40s and 50s at night, to seventies at night. We went from having 60s during the day to the 90s. Where is the in between time?

I am not complaining, merely making an observation. I still don't like winter, so I will take this soppy soaked humid weather. Hey, there is always the pool to get in and cool off. It is finally warmed up.

Saturday I took a lot of breaks in between drilling holes and putting boards together. It was hot in the sun. I broke a sweat just stepping outside. I dont want to get overheated as that gives me a headache and then I am of no use at all. I am only half finished, but I did manage this much of the gate and fence to keep the cochins off the step and Derby from eating the steps...yes I know, I have a mess there on that cart. I was just too tired to put it all away. Besides I will be using it again to finish up.



Have you ever had a horse tease you? Want to play? Derby grabbed one of those flip flops in between those teeth of his and took off with it, trotting around like, HA HA, come and get me! What a silly head! He makes me laugh more often these days. Everytime I would get close he would scoot just out of my reach with that flip flop in his mouth. :)


Well here they are..the last eggs to hatch of the season. I have quit putting eggs in the incubator. My time and hands are full. These last five are all Silver Laced Polish babies. All seem to be growing and doing fine.



I get side tracked so easily these days. Remember when I was looking for a solution to keep the chickens and guineas off of the deck railings..well here is a picture of what I used. Its not a very good picture, but you get the idea. I stapled these decorative metal flowerbed type fencing pieces all the way around. The guineas still try to perch. The other evening one of them knocked some of them down with all the perching on the top and wiggling and wobbling back and forth to try to stay on them. I went right out there and put them back on.



PS..those are not our dead cars back there..thats the neighbors..we have our own dead cars thankyou. ;) Ours are NEWER...LOL!

We have a pair of swallows nesting. They couldnt use the nest on the front porch we leave every year for them to return to. Some finches decided to use it with a little upgrading to their taste with soft nesting and they have babies up there, so the swallows had to build a new one. They have at least two babies in there. Ian is mildly annoyed with the parents. Everytime we come out the door they are swooping at our heads. It doesnt bother me. He says eventually one of them is going to get too close and hit him in the head. Lets hope that doesnt happen! I know some dont like these messy birds making nests on the corners of their house, but we like to see the babies and watch the parents, so we let them. They make mud nests, so it is a little messy. If you do knock one down you have to get up there and scrub the dried mud off.




I am about to try something new. For those that have fly problems, I think this may be the solution. Have a look at this site. It is a natural way to get rid of so many flies when you have livestock. We naturally already have this critter, but they cannot keep up with the breeding cycle of the fly, so imagine what it would be like with NONEof these little guys. Yes, it says for horses, dairy and dogs, BUT if you read on, it is for all livestock. With chickens you just have to hang the bag of good buggies up high so the chickens dont eat them before they can go out and do their duty.

I filled out their order form. They ask what kind of animals you have and how many. Thats how they base how many of them to send to you. They are in a pupae stage when you get them and hatch out in three to ten days. Then they get to work. They target the pupae of flies. Read all about it here...http://spalding-labs.com/


Last but certainly not least...I want to talk about poor Tim. Tim is my first Silver Phoenix Rooster. He is the daddy of all the silver phoenix you see today. Blue is his full blooded son. Here is Tim this morning..



Yesterday he was walking around...but his tail seemed droopy. Last night, he went in to roost like always. This morning, I found him on the floor of the pen. He seemed alert, he just didnt..or couldnt get up. I reached in and picked him up. His legs seemed dangly. When I went to feel of them, he did react mildly by pulling back some. Still fully alert, just seeming confused as to why his legs had failed him, I took him up onto the porch. First thing I did was get him some water with the vitamins and electrolytes in it. You can see the syringe in the picture. I gave him a couple of syringes full to start him off. I will continue to do that every hour or so. I also gave him a bowl of the chick starter since it has a higher protein content.

I have been pouring over information on the internet about this paralysis. It can be one of three things. Aflotoxin is one. Most have heard of this now because of the recall on all the dog foods that had it, or could have possible had it. This can kill any animal. I dont think that is it though. Their food is not kept where it can get moldy. Then there is Mereks Disease. This is usually seen in young chickens. Tim was vaccinated for this, so I dont think it is that. Then there is botulism. Botulism thrives on hot, humid, muggy areas.

Saturday evening I pulled a bunch of wire off of an old pen that was broken. It had a feeder in there that had been sitting here for a few months. It had muck in it. I turned it over to get the muck out. Intending to come back with the hose and spray it out and spray the ground, once again my mind failed me and I got sidetracked and never did it. I believe he may have gotten into the muck. It smelled spoiled when I dumped it. It wasnt very much, but if he had stepped in it and then tried to clean his foot off, he could have gotten it. I dont think any of them would be stupid enough to try and eat it on purpose.

In looking up the consequences of getting botulism...He has the classic symptoms. Alert, but not able to walk. The wings will be the next thing to slump, then, in bad cases, the neck will go limp. Sometimes they can recover from this. I am doing what I can for him and hopefully he will make it through. Botulism is not contagious, most know that, but just thought I would mention it. None of the other chickens are showing any signs of paralysis. I have cleaned up the area and hopefully he will pull through.


So, what is on tap for today. I didnt have to do a school planner yesterday...so that was nice. That usually takes about three hours of my Sunday. I think I will mow today. I have taken my Zyrtec so I should be able to mow without sneezing my head off.

I hope everyone has a great day today. Thanks for stopping by to read up on my ramblings. :)

How I Made That Video

Shelby taught herself how to make her videos she makes. She opened up Windows Movie Maker and started fooling around with it til she figured out how to use it. I don't know how many have the Windows XP, but the Windows Movie Maker came with this Windows version when we bought this computer. If you have this, and you want to know how to use it, email me and I will do my best to explain how I did it, or Shelby may be better qualified to explain it. ;) She also mentioned I could have used special effects and other stuff, but I didnt want to get too complicated as it did take a little bit to put what I was doing together.

Predator Identified

Good Monday morning. :) I hope everyone had a nice weekend. I had a busy Saturday and a not so busy Sunday. Sunday is the day of rest anyway, right?


Okay, so first to talk about this morning is...I know what was killing the babies and the two layers that were killed a couple of weeks back. Broad daylight, I caught it trying to eat Vella! Vella is the white guinea, Dad (Ray White) named her. Fortunately for guineas their feathers come out easily when trying to be grabbed by a....mangy....

RED FOX!!!!!!

Right their on the side of the front porch. Vella and the other female guinea are taking turns setting on those eggs out in that wheat field. Vella had come back to get some water and food before going back to her motherly duties. The gray guinea sat about the first week and a half...now I guess Vella will be finishing the job.

I came out onto the front porch totally unprepared for it all. I heard the guineas making racket, and for the umpteenth time in a day I went to check, just to be sure there was no danger. One in fifty times there might be something, maybe. Well this time there was the fox. All I could do is scream at it. It took off halfway across the front and stopped, stopped to look back at me...like asking me if I really meant all the profanities spewing from my mouth! (Okay, it wasnt that bad, but still, the first words out of my mouth was GIT OUTTA HERE YOU FOX!!!). If I had had the gun. IF IF IF. I could have shot it. Would have too. It ran on out to the street and across into the field starting to grow corn.

Then there was yesterday. I was cooking supper and heard the guineas again. This time Phoenix was making his alarm sound too though. He doesnt get excited about nothing. He has the view of everything from the back screen porch, so he had seen something. I go out the back door, three steps out I look out towards the ruckus and there was that fox. It was standing on the outside of the fence looking in not ten feet away from the guineas on the inside of the fence. They are earning their keep these days, I will say that.

I run back in like a madwoman..Ian is on the computer, I yell at him to get the gun and I will get the shells, the fox is here! He comes running in, reminding me I should have just got the gun and loaded it and done the deed. I was not ready, Ian was home, he can shoot it better than I can. Out the side screen door we go. He was able to catch a glimpse of the rear end and tail scooting into the high wheat grass next door. Yeah, the same wheat that Vella is in right now. Lets hope she isnt found by the fox. Ian sat atop the fence, looking out, trying to see the grass stirring, any movement. He could here it moving. The wheat is dying off and drying up so anything brushing against it, you can hear it.

He wasnt able to get a shot off. The fox was hidden and wasnt coming out. It wont take my bait, so I am going to have to change my bait over like I did before over the winter. I am going to have to use real raw chicken. We had chicken breasts for supper last night so I am using the trimmings off of that.

Why is it coming about the same time in the afternoon? Like clockwork, between 5:30 and 6. This is also when I found dead chickens, before I knew what was killing them. With the exception of one time in the morning, it always happened in the afternoon.

This fox gets around during the day too. The neighbor, Georges owner, said he was mowing the grass about a week ago and it went running across his property. He thought it was a dog at first, then realized what it was. You just dont see them in the day. Coyote and fox hunt at night, unless desperate. Coming at night, it will never find a meal here. Everyone gets locked up, so I guess it resorted to coming in daylight.

Got to get rid of it, one way or the other.