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.