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I am a 50+ yr old stay at home wife of a scientist/Military man.  I raise chickens for eggs, rescue dogs & cats & spoil them all.  I am a silver/metal smith & stained glass artist.  I, at one time was an secondary art teacher & Social Studies teacher.  I am sorta a eclectic earth mother who recycles everything I can get my hands on.  Enjoy working with power tools & even built my own 10ft by 6ft chicken coop.  am pretty much interested in learning everything I can thur books, magazines & friends. I enjoy veggie gardening & doing gardens just for the chickens. I also sew & love making pioneer style comfortable clothes for myself & adding vintage lace when I can find it. I am pretty easygoing, but need my coffee first before I am ready to face the world & day.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

thought it was a raccoon, surprise its a Fishercat!

Like most people, I have a routine each morning. Get up, stagger down to the kitchen, let out Chatty, take a couple of swigs of my coffee & head out to let the hens out into the run. Now mind you, I am not fully awake so when they were piled on top of each other to get out I think "oh, they sure are happy to see me". Cashmire (rooster) comes up behind me & pecked my leg, so I turn around & his poor face is covered in fresh blood. I pick him up, which normally he fights me on & take him into the house, grab my chicken medical kit (yes I have one!) & ask my husband to hold him while I see where the blood is coming from. I see that a section of his comb looks like it has been cut or bite & is hanging there pouring fresh blood. Thomas (husband) bless his heart is ready to go to work but wraps Cashmire in a towel & holds him while I try to stop the bleeding. Notice the word 'Try', man I have never seen so much blood come out of a chicken before & it is raining down on his face & mine & Thomas' hands. I got out the iodine since it was the quickest thing I could grab & a paper napkin. Once the iodine was on the napkin, I applied it with some pressure to the wound. Cashmire lies there calmly & probably thankful he is no longer getting a blood bath in his eyes, nose & mouth. The napkin stuck to the area, so I just trimmed it since the bleeding had stopped & put him in Chatty's cage. Now I have had a few more swigs or coffee & a cigarette & am still thinking one of the girls got him. Not so when I go out into the shop & find my 6 yr old rabbit is gone. OH no, not another raccoon! Lost another bunny last year to a 45 lb raccoon who decided he loved my shop attic. Had to go get Thomas & a flashlight & make him go up into the shop attic to see if he can spot where the raccoon might be or had been. Well we have 2 attics & a sub floor up there so he couldn't find him/her before he went to work. We also found my poor Crackerjack(rabbit) dead in the stained glass area of my shop. From Cashmires wounds, I think he fought the raccoon to protect the girls so the raccoon went after my rather large rabbit. I can not image the terror those chickens went through listening to my bunny screaming. If you have ever heard them scream is is really sad. Thank goodness my 3 story house has a above ground basement, where I spent the next 2 hours hammering heavy tarps to the ceiling beams for walls, got my old plastic dog crate that comes apart, & pine shavings. I was able to give them a safe comfortable place with a heat lamp & light where they can be safe until we deal with Mr/Mrs Raccoon. Since it is snowy & icy here, it took awhile for me to chase down the girls in the run, but once in their new home they all settled down quite quickly & happily I might add. Ok, my back is sore, I still haven't had a full cup of coffee but I am awake now. Checked on Cashmire & he had scratched the bandage/napkin off & the inside of Chatty's cage looked like two roosters had battled. Ok now the husband is gone, its around suppertime & I can't fix him by myself, so I head to my chicken neighbor 2 doors down. Its pretty cold so I wrap Cashmire in 2 towels & grab the medical kit & off we go. They are home, thank goodness! She just so happens to have this wonderful animal wound spray that seals also....used for larger animals but we had gotten it for her quail, they tend to ram their little heads into the top of their cages. While Kelley held him, I covered his face & sprayed him with this stuff, insteadly stopped the bleeding & gave him a pretty silver comb! Yes I know we really shouldn't use anything that contains zinc on a chicken but it was either that or he bleed to death. she let me take the spray home with me since we knew Cashmire would scratch at the wound & reopen it before it heals. Well I am glad to say I got him home, cleaned out the cage, gave him fresh water & feed & he ate, drank & is now resting. I am not real thrilled with all the chickens in the house but I would rather help them than leave them to what I know would eventally kill them. Plus the basement has cement floors & will be easier on my back to clean out than the coops they have in the shop. But I will tell you this, come spring the coops will be stronger & tougher to get into...my version of a Chicken coop Fort Knox. I have a shop attic full of 15 ft hand sawed boards that are 1 1/2-2 inches thick. Mr/Mrs Raccoon will have to go somewhere else to get their tasty free meals once that is built. Oh by the way, since Cashmire is in Chatty's cage, I put Chatty in with Scarlette & they are quite happy together, no complaints from those two! So I finally got to drink my coffee & thought it was a good time to sit down & write this out before I go to bed. Have a feeling I will be moving slow tomorrow. Until next time, have a happy chicken day. Foot note on this, It was a nasty fishercat that got a hold of the bunny & we later found one of my Black Sexlink girls dead also. a Fishercat is related to the mink family but can get very big & will eat anything that it can get its hands on & kill.

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