Saturday, December 27, 2008

Writer's block

I must say that I haven't felt like writing much. So, I must wish everyone a belated Merry Christmas! I hope you all had a wonderful one. We had a a lovely small Christmas. I baked until 11 PM on Christmas Eve. Pictured above is a photo of the Paula Deen Ginger Orange Cranberry filled cake I baked. I garnished it with dried cranberries, as I forgot to buy the gingerbread cookies to place around the cake! It tastes great! The 2 photo's in the middle are the first photo's I took with my new 10MB 18x zoom. The difference is amazing. The second photo is of my husband Eric and my cat Tony. Tony doesn't look too happy there! The 3rd is of my Golden laced Wyandotte Big Momma. You can really tell the difference in the quality of the photo's! The last one was taken with my old camera. It's of my Silver laced Wyandotte Cluckster. I bring her in once a week to soak her foot in peroxide. She had bumble foot badly at one time, so I like to keep a watch on it. She's gorgeous, the photo doesn't do her justice. I can't wait until it warms up to try out more nature and animal shots.
What did everyone else get for Christmas? Ours was a skinny Christmas, but a good one. For dinner I made 2 rib roasts, mashed potatoes, roast gravy, sweet corn and homemade bread and a fresh salad. I added several new chicken collectibles to the flock. I will post some photos when I next post on this blog.
By the way- Big Momma is successfully back out in the coop. She has new roomies, she's now in our smaller coop with Scroungy and my precious Phoebe. She is doing well. Phoebe and her did have a little fight at first. Now Phoebe lets her be the boss. Luckily, Big Momma is a nice boss.
Cabin fever is setting in early this year. We did have 20" of snow on the ground. On Christmas morning it started raining and it hasn't stopped yet! I'm sure there will be numerous floods in nearby areas. Eric and I will have to fix several leaks on the chicken coop roof. Well there's not too much going on around here. The girls are all nestled safe in their beds, with visions of sweet corn dancing in their heads. We're kicked back warm and watching that spoof Frankenstein. Can't get much better than that! I hope to have more exciting news to post soon.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Too little time

Too little time lately to do much of anything. It's been working at the post office 24-7. I've been going from one PO to the next. Not much time to spend with my animals, write my pen pals or to do any baking. Any free time I've been wrapping up the things I've sold on Ebay. So, if any of my pen pals are reading this, I do apologise for not being able to write. I'm planning on hopefully getting some down time this weekend. I want to follow my Tony cat's example for a day or As for the girls, they are doing pretty well. Eric paid my stepson William to clean out their roosting coop today. This morning one of my black heat lamps, literally, exploded. The glass went everywhere. I tried to pick it up ASAP. I was running late for work, so I got everything I could see. After Eric dropped me off at work, he and William took care of getting the old wood chips out of there. Tootie was tring to get ahold of the glass, she's such a stinker. Instead of wood chips I used straw this time. After the couple of crop problems I've had, I started to think that they were filling up on wood chips as they were scratching for their corn. They seem to like the straw and I think it keeps the house warmer. They also love to eat it.
Well, we finally got our Christmas trees up. We put up a small one with all of our sentimental ornaments. I have lots of bird and chicken ornaments too, on it. Then I put up a formal tree with all matching ornaments and Victorian tassels. They look really pretty. For my anniversary my hubbie bought me a new digital camera with 10MP and an 18X zoom. After having a 2MP, this is like wow! I will post some photo's if I get a chance to install my new camera software. Anyway, I'll close for tonight, have to get up early to get to work tomorrow. Then we'll go into town to get my Christmas groceries. God bless.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Are you a crazy chicken lady? & Various ramblings

Yesterday morning as I was leaving for work, I was in quite a contemplative mood. I began to wonder what makes for a crazy chicken lady/man.?! Is it when you start to sing Tom Jones' songs to your favorite chicken? Like my personal favorite "What's new Phoebekins- whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa..." LOL
Another classic sign of a crazy chicken lady is having not one but, two baby monitors hooked up at all times in the chicken coop, to make sure no predators are present. Yet another sign of the ever growing craziness is having your chickens names on your address labels and Christmas cards. And instead of sending out photo's of your children to friends, you send them photo's of your chickens. Judging by, my own standards, I'm as chicken crazy as a loon!

More craziness of my own is knowing when to put my sweet Big Momma (photo above) back in with the other girls. After nursing her back to health the last couple of weeks, I've grown very attached to her. Usually, she was a very independent and quiet hen. Since she's been in the house in her hospital cage, she has taken on quite the lovie dovie personality. I've began to call her LovieKins as well as Big Momma. If she wants a scrambled egg she will make the sweetest little whines. She wants one at 5:30 am, 1:00 pm and 5:30 pm. After she eats at 5:30 pm, I clean her cage. Then she takes her usual after eating nap. Her feathers are nearly all grown back in & looking pretty good. Tho, she looks to be molting off one primary wing feather. Her comb is slowly getting red again. I've had her off the antibiotics and nutri-drench for about a week. I hate to put her back in the coop, as I know she'll have to take the hazing of Weezy, Tootie and Sylvia. The other girls pretty much will leave her alone. I think I will leave her in the cage for another week inside the coop to help the girls get used to her. I just don't want her to go back down hill again with the stress of getting put back in the coop. Not only that I will miss the little sweetheart!
Tony cat is 16 years old and he has tender lungs. When it gets snowy and dry here he starts sneezing jags. I've been running the vaporizer and humidifier for him. It worked almost immediately. Since he's a Senior Citizen Feline, he's more prone to little colds and allergies. Luckily, I have an excellent Vet. They see my cat and my chickens. I take my animals to Dr. Plante & Dr. McMahon at North Country Animal Clinic.

I've been trying to figure out what kind of dessert to make for Christmas dinner. I'd like to have 3 desserts. One cheesecake, perhaps a cranberry/apple pie and some kind of cake. We're having our Christmas get-together after Christmas. Working for the USPS, I will have Christmas day off, then have to be back at work on Friday and Saturday. So, if I can get the day off Monday I'll have our big dinner on the Sunday after Christmas. My Postmaster hasn't gave me an approved leave slip yet, so I probably won't know for sure that I can have it off until the last minute. Ugh!! How I do hate having to work outside the home sometimes!!! Only 23 years until I can retire! Or I can quit and move to Arkansas and become a full time homesteading housewife and beef farmer. I've been praying about it. In this economy it's a scary choice to make, especially since my job pays a living wage.

Does anyone have any stories or experience going from a good job to not working outside the home? How's it working? What did you have to change economy wise? How does raising your own garden cost wise compare to grocery store prices? I'd be very interested in seeing other women's stories in this area. One thing I worry about is that my husband is 25 years older than me. If he passed on, do I have to wait until I am 62 to collect on his Social Security? If I lost Eric's income and I was a housewife, I couldn't make it on minimum wage that's for sure. I'd need his Social Security. Anyone know the rules on this? I guess I worry too much :O)

Anyway, I'm getting droopy eyes... good night everyone.
Closing verse Bible verse:
Song of Solomon 8:6
Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. (NIV)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Pack rat anonymous

Well, I guess I'm not the only one who collects and collects...and collects! I was reading on one of the blogs I follow about collecting glassware. It inspired me to blog about my ever growing chicken collection. Pictured are two of my latest Ebay purchases. The top one is a very unusual rooster pin cushsion with a measuring tape that pulls out on the front. It did have a couple of cracks, but thought it was neat.
The figurines are Japanese Napcoware. What I thought was unique about them is that they look like the Delaware chickens. Since I got these two, I purchased two more chicken figurines & some very cute chicken/Holstein cow green gingham quilting fabric. Also, I'm currently bidding on a bolt of lace curtain fabric with gorgeous roosters and hens. There's also some retro looking crazy chicken applique quilt blocks I've been eyeing to bid on!!!

It would be one thing if chickens were the only thing I collect. My house is one big collection... cats, cows, chicken devonshire china, pastorial pattern dishes, records, stationary, stamps, chicken themed rubber stamps, vhs, dvds, cds, pc games, antiques, victoriana, stickers, greeting cards, antique books, animal playing cards, over 150 bottles of perfume in my fragrance wardrobe.... oh my....and over 50 designer handbags...not to mention shoes.... Did I mention I need to clean out my closets????
Does anyone have any Brown Swiss cow figurines?
Hello, my name's Shana and I'm a Pack rat!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Warmth of Chickens...

The Warmth Of Chickens......

When your day seems out of balance and so many things go wrong ...
When people fight around you
and the clock drags on so long ...
When some folks act like children
and fill you with remorse ...
Go out into your chicken yard
and wrap your arms around one...

Their gentle breath enfolds you as they
watch you with those eyes ...
They may not have a PhD but oh they are so wise!
One rests her head on your shoulder
you hug her good and tight ...
She puts your world in balance and makes it seem all right.

Your tears will soon stop flowing,
the tension will be eased ...
The nonsense has been lifted.
You are quiet and at peace.

So when you need some balance
from the stresses in your day ...
The only therapy you really need
Is out there laying eggs!

Author unknown

Someone from one of the Yahoo! chicken groups I belong to shared this poem with the group! I thought it was really cute!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Still things to be thankful for!

What a beautiful day for this time of year! Usually, we have close to a foot of snow after Thanksgiving! Today it's around 35-40 degrees F., and sunny. A regular heat wave for Northern New York :o) The girls were very happy to be able to get out and be able to take dust baths and eat what's left of the green grass. See my Miss Phoebe here enjoying herself! There's not too many days like this left in this area.
More good news to be thankful for here today... for the last 5 days I've had one of my Golden Laced Wyandottes "Big Momma" in my house in the hospital cage. For some reason she had a horribly tough molt. She lost nearly every feather. Then she lost weight when we had an early really cold snap, even though, I had heat lamps up for the girls. Then I noticed she had really watery poops & a spongy crop. She was drinking a ton of water too. In chickens, drinking a ton of water isn't a very good sign. I gave her some eggs mixed with molasses, nystatin and some Baytril. I think my Baytril is outdated. I need to get more. She ate it, then she went for 2 days not eating and I was getting real worried. I then switched her antibiotic to Terramycin, administered in her drinking water. I had some Poultry Nutri-drench left so, I mixed about 4 large drops of that in with the medicated water. Also Eric suggested giving her some sweet corn. She promptly ate that up. Within 2 days she had cleaned up her layer crumbles. Today, I notice she has more normal poops. I'm going to keep her in for another 2-3 days until I'm sure she's back to normal. The bad thing is she'll have to establish her place again in the pecking order!! Wish her luck!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Things that I'm thankful for & other ponderings

Wasn't my trumpet vine pretty this year? It was the first time in 6 years that it bloomed!
As my husband gets ready to leave for Pennsylvania this morning & I am getting ready to wake-up the girls so I can leave for work. I have time to contemplate the everyday things I am so thankful to God for. I'd like to share a quick couple with you this morning. Also I want to wish anyone reading this a Happy Thanksgiving.
1. Even though my hubbie really makes me mad at times, overall he's a good husband who does laundry, the dishes and fixes my lunch for work. He'll even pull the car out of the garage every morning before I go to work.
2. Tony cat is my little shadow. He was an abandoned cat that my mother took in and she picked him out for me. He went from hiding under the bed, to sharing my food & running the house! As I type this he's watching me... after 16 years he's still so full of life.
3. My chickens- the girls- I'd never want to be without my girls. They give me love, enjoyment and hours of funny antics. Not to mention the big brown eggs that all our friends love to eat!
4. Most of all, I'm thankful that we live in a country where we can pray to Jesus, own a Bible and gather together in Jesus' name without being tortured or arrested.
5. My family- I love them all! They're characters and I wouldn't have it any other way.
I'm off to work and will be staying with mom while Eric is at his mother's house. We plan on making marzipan, turkey, stuffing & the other usual Thanksgiving day fare. I'll make my molasses pumpkin pie and perhaps a custard pie.
God bless!
Bible verse of the day: The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;to one who orders his way rightlyI will show the salvation of God!”
Psalm 50:23

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I've been tagged by Sharon, fun...

I've never been tagged before, so let's see if I can do this without offending the Internet Police...

Here are the rules:

Rule #1 ~ Link to the person that tagged you.

Rule #2 ~ Post the rules on your Blog.

Rule #3 ~ Write 6 random things about yourself.

Rule #4 ~ Tag 6 people at the end of your post.

Rule #5 ~ Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their Blog.

Rule #6 ~ Let the tagger know your entry is up.

Okay here it goes...

1. The person who tagged me was Sharon she has a great blog- check it out.

2. 6 Random things about myself...

Well, I love to bake cheesecakes- I'm always looking for a new and unusual recipe.

Was once awarded top 10 Individual in the Arkansas State Cattle Judging Contest (forgot what year this was), was awarded a belt buckle. Then someone stole it LOL

I'm a pack rat and avid collector of stickers, victorian paper, chicken items, art, stationary, books, etc, etc!

I love to play games like cards, Scrabble, Spades, Hearts, Pitch- etc. When my Grandpa See was alive, after every family dinner we'd all gather at the table and play cards or dominoes. Now that he's gone, no one ever follows through on that tradition. It makes me really sad.

By the time I was out of high school I had built up a herd of over 30 head of registered Limousin beef cattle, I sold them to pay the down payment for my first house. Wish I had them back now!

I used to show beef cattle and have won numerous showmanship awards and had many champions :) I miss those fun days. I made lots of good friends.

#3- Umm, now to tag some blogs I enjoy- I hope you haven't been tagged before! I will attempt to correctly do this.. I will tag many blogs I enjoy daily.
Tag you're it...
my friend, Darlene at Maid in Montana
Natalie at Chicken Blog
Whew...hard work... time for bed!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Of chickens, aprons, love & to better days to come

Well, I must say that today is a better day. After much Bible study, prayer, prayer and more prayer everything with my marriage is going better already. I've apologize for my earlier "rant"! At times it truly helps to get it off your chest, so to speak. I promise to try to be more positive in the future and read my Bible first! Today I will close with one of my favorite Bible verses to ponder.

Okay, on to better things. See these gorgeous aprons to the right? I ordered a set for my niece Madison and one for her mother and grandmother. I found them online made by Stitch Thru Time their site is check it out. They have a ton of pretty fabrics. I've got patterns for a few retro aprons, but, I haven't the time or energy this time of year (USPS busy season!). My meager apron collection only has 3 vintage aprons. I have a BBQ style apron with chickens on it, my favorite to wear while cooking. Then one is a half apron made of yellow gingham with a colorful rooster, which was a gift from one of my favorite girlfriends Darlene from Montana. It's too nice to wear!!! The other is a blue and white striped apron that my Auntie JoAnn sent me for my wedding. Madison will love these aprons I suspect. She's at the age that she wants to cook with grandma and mom.

Have you gotten your Christmas shopping done? I have most of mine done. Just a few little items yet to pick up for some random friends I've made talking about our pet chickens! I sent one regional 1000 Islands gift basket to New Zealand today. I hand-picked some of our favorite made in New York cheeses, NY wines, NY jams, canned goods and you name it. Eric already opened his gifts. New LaCrosse boots and some Cabela's Elk skin mittens.

On the chicken front, I have 3 ceramic heat lamps running above their perches at night and then during the day I have 2 infrared lamps and I leave one of the ceramic lamps running in their upper coop where the roost is. It stays fairly warm really. This year I'd like to add a warm air humidifier, remote lighting and fire alarm. The girls are still laying fairly well. Big Momma is having a hard time coming back from this horribly hard molt. Her crop felt a bit soft the other day so I scrambled her a couple of eggs. Then I added 2ml of Nystatin, about 1/4 tsp of molasses, 1/2 tsp of ProBios and 1.4 ml of Baytril. She looked better the next day. Her crop feels better now. I gave her some plain scrambled eggs yesterday. She makes sure she gets right under the ceramic heat lamp with Tina Weena & Bevin. Weezy, Sylvia and Old Meanie hog the lamp on the other side of the roosts. Scroungey and Phoebe roost in another house and they have their own ceramic heat lamp.

Closing Bible verse for thought for today:
Proverbs 30:18-19
"There are three things that amaze me— no, four things that I don’t understand: how an eagle glides through the sky, how a snake slithers on a rock, how a ship navigates the ocean, how a man loves a woman. "

Monday, November 17, 2008

Usually, I like to keep my blog about the things that make me happy in life. Today, I just cannot write happy things. I'm sure that there are times in every woman's life where she just wonders if she has made a mistake marrying the man she did. Well, today is one of those days for me. At the beginning of October my grandmother who raised me had a mild heart attack and I believe a stroke. I applied for annual leave at my job 2 weeks after her attack after she was home. I asked for 3 weeks off. So we could have a week and a half there and a week and a half back home. Well, unknown to me my mother-in-law decided in this time that we were coming there (Pennsylvania) to stay with them for 3-4 days over Thanksgiving. Of course she didn't tell us that until my trip to my grandmother's was already planned and we were 2 days from leaving. To make a long story short, we offered to visit my mother-in-law for 3 days when we got back home (when I had a week off of work) because, I couldn't get off work during Thanksgiving. Because, I had already took my time earlier.

At first she was mad, but grudgingly said okay. Then after a night of sulking, she called and told us, that she and my father-in-law had "other plans". While she is on the phone I can hear her talking crap about me. She's saying how I never have trouble getting off work for 3 weeks to visit my family. This is the same woman who didn't want us parking our "old truck" by her home for fear it would "embrass them in front of their neighbors". These are people who live in a gated country club community, they are retired, they have plenty of money, they drive to Florida every winter and stay for 4-5 months and they get mad because, oh my goodness, I have a job! What can I do but, tell my husband it would be okay with me if him and his son drive down there to placate his mother. So, instead of standing up for me and telling her that if she won't see us when I can go, he's going down with his son. He's too big a wussy to stand up to the woman. But, he sure as heck can take it out on me. All I've heard from these people when I was unemployed for 5 months, was when are you going to work, etc, etc. They're always so darn worried about my employment and I've worked since before I was 16! My husband, his daughter, her husband, their room mate and his son and other daughter none of them work! My husband is truly disabled, his daughter is "bi-polar" HA, her hubby is an alcoholic and so is their room mate, his son..who knows, he works when he's out of drugs!Perhaps they should worry about their own darn unemployment record. My hubbie has always wanted me to work, but then gets mad at me when there are times that I haven't been able to get off work. Now, he was of course drinking today. Then when I get home, he's being overtly rude. Then the one thing that really set me off- I've asked him repeatedly, NOT to let my chickens out in the backyard when I'm not here. What does he do but, let Phoebe & Scroungey out, he closed their pen door and left to go drink with his son and daughter and her husband. I've told him not to let them out for safety sake. A loose dog or any predator could come around and kill them. Phoebe is limping and she'd be easy prey. If he lets them out and she gets hurt, I don't think I could stay with him. To be so darn selfish and disrespectful...I'm darn sick of it.

I'm too old for these little sulky & childish games. I'm about ready to walk. But, the one thing that keeps me here- is that those little jerks (my step kids and in-laws) who have treated me so terribly for 12 years and have back stabbed me after I was kind to them every chance they got... they're not going to make out on my hard work on this place, after how they have treated me all these years.

My husband wants thanked for everything he does for me and I honestly am very appreciative of any sacrifice he has made. Though, he doesn't seem to think that I've made any sacrifices at all. There are times when I don't believe that he appreciates anything I've done or that I do around here. I really feel taken for granted and hurt. Anytime he doesn't get his way, he punishes me. He'll get drunk (tho of course to hear him tell it he's not 'drunk'), start on the self-pity & sulking mode, then be passive-aggressive saying little barbs to get my goat, then he'll blow up, then go off downstairs to sulk like a little biotch. I tell you it's so predictable, I'm very bored and sick of it.

If it wasn't for my cat and chickens I'd of probably been gone long ago. It will go great for a month or so, when he doesn't drink. Then he'll go a month or so drinking at his daughters, until I'm ready to take off. Any more, I truly, just don't have the energy, the strength or the desire to ride this roller coaster. My mind is so tired of the mind freak. He'll tell me he wants to move to Arkansas, then when I get excited, he'll start something and say "well, if you're going to be mean, I'm not moving to Arkansas". It's like I'm the jackass that he's holding the carrot in front of and he moves it just about when I have it. He doesn't want to grow in Christ and in his walk with the Lord. I really feel that I need to get out of this rut for my own spiritual walk with God.

I have an adrenal tumor and I'm not getting any medical care for it. I honestly am not in the health to deal with this crap. I've got calcification on my left lung from pneumonia and I've always got some sort of asthma or sinus or lung infection. It's from stressing over this crap all the time. There's no normalcy. I'm sick of it.

I'm praying that God will give me a way out if that is his desire for my life. I've never wanted to have a marriage that ended in divorce. I'm a fighter, I'm going to try and pray to make it through this. I pray God will give me the strength to do it. Sometimes I think perhaps when we're not spiritually mature and not living for the Lord (like me when I met my husband), perhaps we yoke ourselves with people that the Lord never meant for us to begin with. I love my husband and I know I'm what stands between him and Satan taking him. Before I met him he was a total drunk all the time. He wasn't baptised and he didn't believe in Jesus or have any relationship with him. I know if I left Eric, he'd be right back to the drunk lifestyle and he'd be bitter. Who knows maybe he'd be happy as a lark.

Okay, I'm done whining. It's nice to have this blog to gripe to-

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Back to life...back to reality...

Well, we're back home. All the chickens are doing well and Tony cat is very happy that we are back. The photo you see to the left is of one of the numerous Maple trees in my grandma's yard. The weather in Arkansas while we visited was gorgeous! We missed the big 12" snow in Northern NY...yeah!!!!

We had great time. I met my nephew Hayden for the first time. He's a cutie pie. He's 4 and quite a loving child. He threw his arms around me and grandma when we went to visit him. I wish I lived closer so I could see him often. Also I saw my niece Madison who's almost 4. She such a sweetheart and very bossy! It's a family trait- so my hubby says! Grandma is doing pretty well. We've decided to move down there. I hate to quit my job but, it's getting to where she really needs us to help her out. Lots of prayers and planning will have to be done before we pack up. We'll probably have to leave the house vacant while trying to sell it. It probably will be easier to sell then anyway.

On the chicken front Phoebe is limping a bit. I let the girls out today for awhile after it rained and Cluckster and Girl were picking on Phoebe and I think she must have hurt her leg. So I put her and Scroungey back in the chicken tractor for the day. She seemed to be walking a bit better tonight on the way to the roost.

When Eric went to pick-up our mail that was being held at the post office it was in a big box. I still haven't gone through it all! I've read all the letters, opened the bills, etc. I still have the magazines to go through tomorrow. Well, I'm off for the night.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Whimsy, Jane Austen style

I am Marianne Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

You Are...Marianne Dashwood!

You are Marianne Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are impulsive, romantic, impatient, and perhaps a bit too brutally honest. You enjoy romantic poetry and novels, and play the pianoforte beautifully. To boot, your singing voice is captivating. You feel deeply, and love passionately.

So, I'm off to work, I had some time so I figured I'd take the Jane Austin quiz. It nailed who and what I am. Fun!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Cold breakfast...

As you can see the girls are going through a really hard molt this year. Shown here left to right are Tootie, Old Bitty (yellow), Girl, Big Momma and Bevin. They're on the southwest bank behind our house one of their favorite places. The sun shines on the bank and they love to stretch out. Big Momma seems to be going through one of the hardest molts. Every winter she burns her tail feathers on one of the heat lamps I keep in the roosting coop. There was a hard frost this morning and it was mighty chilly this morning, so I turned on a few of the heat lamps. This year I will try something different (at least for night time). I'm going to try some of the ceramic heat bulbs that Doctors Foster and Smith sell for use in Reptile tanks and the black blubs. I think this will decrease any picking and arguing amongst the girls when they have to be pinned up during the bad winter. The last winters I have just kept my infrared heat lamps on 24-7. This is too hard on the girls I think. They weren't getting any sleep and getting cranky with each other. Tho, I was getting plenty of eggs!
This morning I went out to let the girls out into the backyard about 11:30 AM to free range. As I was walking back in to eat my late breakfast, I noticed blood all over Ole' Meanies left side. Immediately, I herded her into our big chicken tractor. Eric stopped getting his plate ready and grabbed a pail and filled it with soapy very warn water. Quickly, I took off my coat, shoes and warm woolen socks. Then I jumped into the bath tub with Ole' Meanie in tow. Gently, with a wash cloth a washed all the blood off her leg and wing. Eric then held her while I looked for any wounds. Turns out what had caused all the blood was while molting she had a primary feather that was loose, turned around, but it wasn't ready to fall out. That feather must've gotten caught on something and got yanked out. I'm sure the other hens were picking at her. After we realized what had caused it we used the hair dryer to dry her off a little bit. She was amazingly calm while I used the warm blow dryer on her. Actually, she seemed to really love it. Now she's in my kitchen in her cage, with a Vermont milk parlor heater on her. Eric gave her some scrambled eggs and her egg layer crumbles. Not too long ago, I added a raw egg to them. Poor Ole' Meanie has had a heck of time these last two months! When she dries off really well, I will let her back out with the girls in the backyard.
Meanwhile, I'm enjoying a lazy day cozying up in my Lazy-Boy- (or girl!). At the end of next week we will be driving to Arkansas to visit my grandma who raised me. It's a trip I dread, well, I dread the drive! I love to see my "Mema" and always hate to go back to reality when I get used to being down there! We won't be staying as long as we usually do, because, Tony cat now that he's older needs more care and Mom will only be able to check on my chickens once a day.
Well, I'm closing for now. Back to my relaxation...well, online shopping for Christmas that is....

Monday, October 13, 2008

As sands through the hour glass

This year has flew by so fast! Today I finally had a day off. What a gorgeous day it was too. It was 74F with a light and faintly cool breeze blowing. It was truly one of those days that you never want to end. A truly magical ending to the fall and into winter times.

Phoebe just loves to ham it up for the camera. Except when I go out with the movie maker on! I've been trying to catch her running to me with her head down and her little legs going back and forth. It's the cutest.

We've started to let the girls free range in the backyard. They absolutely love it. My worry wart nature comes out though, I have to check on them every 15 minutes! Phoebe and Scroungy usually hang pretty close to the bird feeders, back door and under the Mulberry trees. The other gang of 10 usually flock on the side of the bank on the southeast side of our house. On that bank we have lots of ground cover for them to find bugs in, lots of sand for dust baths and lots of shrubby trees. Today I had a scared moment when I went out to check on Phoebe and Scroungy; I was calling for them and Phoebe didn't come running like she usually does. I was frantic, finally, I spotted the little stinkers. They were down in the low side walk behind our house digging in the leaves. We never use the sidewalk, it's mostly a drain area for all the rain and melting snow in the winter. I was very happy to see my little Phoebekins and Scroungy there.

Ole'Meanie I'm still concerned for her. Her comb doesn't look very good. She's molting a little and her comb looks white and pale. I've wormed her when she was in the house before. When she goes through a molt it seems to really just take it all out of her. Even tho she's a large chicken, she never seems to really put on a fat or flesh covering. She's a bit skinny for being so large. Her crop was full tonight so she had been eating. I plan to keep an eye on her.

Well, I guess I'll sign off for tonight I've got 2 days worth of mail to put up tomorrow, then I have to work at another post office after we close. Ugh! It's times like those that I wish I lived in the country and was totally self-suffient! In the garden, canning, milking my own cattle, making my cheese and butter! Well, sweet dreams I guess....niters! Off to play some Hardwood Spades.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Winter is on the way...

Winter is very quickly coming to Northern NY. In just 3 days the trees are various shades of red, brown, yellow and orange. In my opinion, the prettiest time of the year in our region. According to an online almanac this is supposed to be a "horrible" winter for us this year. We are really a month ahead of where we usually are with our rainy season taking most of the leaves off the trees. This time of year when most people are taking stock of their harvest, it is a great time to ponder the things we love and don't love so much. Also, I've noticed that this season brings out the worst in many folks.

My hens are doing well so far. Eric has (mostly) fixed the bottom of the cemetary livestock fence so the chickens cannot slip underneath it. So, we've been letting them out for a few hours a day. The last two days have been rainy and quite dreary. Watching them preening under our Mulberry and Norfolk Spruces when it rains is my form of exciting entertainment. Phoebe and Scroungy hang very close together. Everytime I go outside to check on them Phoebe puts her head down and runs straight for me. It's the cutest thing to watch! Scroungy while flapping her wings following suit. The other flock of 10 loves to dust bathe underneath the Sassafrass trees. It's a beautiful site to see all of them grazing by our backyard fence. They will also spend hours foraging for black oil sunflower seeds underneath our bird feeders. It's Phoebe's favorite place. Ole Meanie loves to run the length of the yard, flapping her wings. She just loves to be outside.

Oh..almost forgot... Ole' Bitty, after 6 weeks of broodiness, has finally decided to least part time! At times she will retreat back to the nest and her plastic egg. I wanted to get her a few chicks, but and Meyer's were the only hatcheries that 3 was the minimum order and they were out of the breeds I wanted. Hopefully, she'll go broody again this spring.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Successful Impacted Crop

This is Ole' Meanie. She was the hen we'd been treating for an impacted crop. She is officially back in the coop with the general population! Yeahhh!! Thank God! I was so very worried that we were going to lose her. Her crop is back down to normal and she has slowly but, surely worked her way back into the pecking order. Girl, one of the hens she used to pick on quite a bit is having fun now that Ole' Meanie is below her in the pecking order. Seems like turn about is fair play even in the chicken world.

One funny thing is that Ole' Meanie started to crow while she was being kept inside the house. Every morning when I'd take the blanket off her cage, she'd puff up and try crow. She'd only get out a very bad imitation- imagine Roseanne Barr singing the "Star Spangled Banner". My husband now calls her affectionately, "Bob"!

I filled out a questionaire today for a lady named Ashley Adams. I think her pen name is Ashley English. Supposedly, she's writing a book about New Domesticalities, due out in 2010. Hopefully, I'll get chosen for a profile in the book about my chickens. I'd love to score a free book! Plus you KNOW that my chickens are beautiful and each one is a star. Especially, Weezy and Phoebe, they are my chicken divas...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Breaking Ole' Bitty

Chicks this late in the season??? If Ole' Bitty has her say... she won't stop being broody. We're going on 5 weeks! I guess I'll have to get a few hatching eggs and hope I don't get any roosters--eck!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Impacted crop

My poor Ole'Meanie has an impacted crop. Eric and I have been tring to break it up for a few days. Tomorrow, she goes back to our excellent vet Dr. Dewey of the North Country Animal Health Center. We've been running a tube down into her crop and injecting warm water with a syringe that attaches to the top of the tube and massaging the crop.

This will help to break up the mass of blockage. Then we use the syringe to suck back up the water after we massage her crop. Usually, this will bring up some of the yucky stuff in the blockage. We do this 2-3 times.

Then we mix up some baby bird hand feeding formula very thinly and inject a syringe full of this into her crop, along with her medicine .4 ml of Baytril and 1/2 tsp of ProBios to prevent sour crop (thrush). I also added some mineral oil to help lubricate her insides.

In the last 2 days she seems to have more energy and her droppings are thicker and are looking more normal.

Tho, her crop is still impacted as it's huge. I've been feeding her watered down layer crumbles and mashed scrambled eggs. Also free choice water with some vitamin/electrolyte mix in it.

She's got another vet appointment Monday at 2:30PM. She will probably have to have surgery. I hope to see it done, as many expert poultrymen do this simple operation at home with some Ambesol to numb the crop. As there are no nerve endings in the crop, my vet said that it can be done at home in an emergency.

I have been asking the Lord to save my Ole'Meanie. She has lost so much weight, so I pray she will survive the surgery if they do have to do it tomorrow. We're going to give her one more crop washing and food injection tonight so she'll have some more strength.

Wish us luck and your prayers are appreciated.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My fine feathered friends...

I just got through reading an excellent little book that any chicken lover would like. It's called "My Fine Feathered Friend" by William Grimes. In 85 charming pages William Grimes weaves an entertaining, soul-touching and witty chicken story. It all starts when Mr. Grimes found a little black chicken in his tiny backyard in the middle of Queens. He has no idea where "The Chicken" came from. The Chicken ends up hanging out and eating with the stray cats that Mr. Grimes feeds. The Chicken ends up being a very tough girl. She survives ice, snow, low flying police helicoptors and roosting in a pine tree. It doesn't take long for the author to become a chicken fan. Mr. Grimes is soon on a mission to learn as much as he can about his new chicken. He fixes The Chicken a make shift roost and nest box where The Chicken rewards him with delicious fresh eggs. The Chicken also provides entertainment as she chases one of the cats daily for fun. Then as quickly as The chicken appears, he disappears. This book has a charming cover and very cute illustrations throughout. Any one who loves birds, has chickens or is considering getting them would love this great book. Another thing I love is that this book doesn't have any cursing or foul language. It would be a good gift for a preteen up to an adult. "My Fine Feathered Friend" is one that I will keep in my library for years to come.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

So cluckin' crazy

This summer has been soo wet and humid and the perfect weather for snails and mushrooms, as you can see in the photo! Since this weather is forcing us to stay inside, I've been doing way too much Ebay shopping for chicken collectibles. So far I've bought chicken quilting fabric, chicken china, chicken jewelry, chicken socks, chicken pajamas, chicken paper.... and the list goes on and on and on.

I've got to put some of my treasures on Ebay to raise money to visit my grandma in Arkansas come September. We've been tring to sell our house to move down with her and help her out, but to no avail.

Well, I'm tired out tonight, the chickens are all tucked in and I'm headed to bed.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Chickens are restless

The chickens are restless today, it was very rainy and windy last night so their yard is a muddy mess today. Weezy is in the coop declaring her unhappiness with the weather. I can hear her on the baby monitor clucking with distain. Weezy very much likes to be out in the sun.

As I am starting this blogging experience, I'm looking forward to posting the rest of the photos of my girls. Unfortunately, the laptop with all my chicken photo's has had to visit the computer Doc. So... you'll meet the rest of the gals later on!

To make matters worse today, Ole' Bitty has gone BROODY!! She wants to be a mommy sooo badly. If only we had more room and lived on a farm, I'd have some fertile eggs under here already. This is the second time that Ole' Bitty has gone broody. At first I thought Ole' Bitty was egg bound. I when out to the coop armed with Vaseline, rubber gloves, mineral oil and my chicken 1st Aid Kit. All prepared to do battle with the offending egg, so I could save my Ole' Bitty. I couldn't feel an egg with my fingers in the vent and I couldn't feel any when checking her abdomen area. So, I hoped and prayed that it was only her broodiness coming on. Thank God it was!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Weezy the Dominique

Weezy (named after Weezy Jefferson) is a beautiful Dominique hen. She is very intelligent and gets easily bored. Sitting on shoulders and pecking at your shiny human eyes are just a couple of her hobbies. Weezy is the queen of the coop with only one chicken that ever gets her goat. When she was 3 days old I started holding her in my hand, close to my face, while talking softly to her. In doing this I hoped to make her nice, tame and easy to handle. It worked...Weezy is very gragarious!!! Weezy lays a medium to large size brown egg. She is an excellent layer, usually laying one egg a day even through her molts.

Introducing the Urban Chicks

As any parent would tell you, they have a favorite child that they always keep closer to their heart than the others. My favorite chicken child is Phoebe. Phoebe is a Buff Orpington. She celebrated her 2nd birthday on July 19th. She's a very gentle, loving, curious and well behaved girl. She lays very large light brown eggs. Phoebe is always the first to see me coming out with a yummy treat. Usually, she will jump in front of her pen mate Scroungey to steal her treats. Since Scroungey is the Boss hen it's a brave thing for Phoebe to do. Sometimes Scroungey will give her a good swift peck on the comb if Phoebe gets to brazen.