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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.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Madder than a WET hen

Hello Everyone!
You will notice in the title the words: Madder than a wet hen. By this I mean 'Crazy" on my part. My life is really not busy, I am a stay at home wife who does pretty much what she wants. I have great intentions that sometimes go beyond what they should. You know where logic seems to be missing? Unfortuntely I can not blame this on age as those who know me will say 'Oh yes, she does tend to forget what may happen'.
I got hit with a big outbreak of red & white mites the day before I was to leave to visit sisters in California. Though I hate any chemicals I was in a bind since I was trusting my husband to care for them the 10 days I was gone. So out came the 7 Dust & all 15 chickens got dusted along with the coops & the dust bath containers. I can tell you right now turning hens upside down, sideways & pulling feathers out of the way made them very very cranky. I had bloody legs to prove it! Prudence started it after I was done with her by pecking at my ankles, which of coarse the other girls had to do since it looked like fun watching my jump & yell. Since I create a special dust bath with wood ash, kitty clay litter & wood shavings, I decided to mix some of the 7 Dust into it as well. See, this all makes sense, doesn't it? Problem came about when I mixed the same dust bath for the 2 that are in the dining room & stupidly set the box down on the floor instead of taking it outside in their own run. You can see where this is going, can't you?, Bowzer had a gay ole time shooting this dust everywhere. And I had just spent 2 days cleaning that area! Plus the 7 Dust got into the bloody wounds & made me a tad bit wozzy which of coarse I didn't tell my husband. Now on with the story.....Everyone is dusted, I've showered & decide to give them all a treat for being fairly good at all the abuse. My neighbor had given me some plain kefir she couldn't use up for my chickens earlier in the day. I used 2 big long casarole dishes & poured it in so each side would get some. Prudence had forgiven me so they didn't peck me when I came in to their run. These girls are over 2 years old & treated the kefir like an English Tea Party. Each would slowly go over & get a drink, no mess, no fuss. But on Cashmires side it was like a college Keg party. I had them flying over my head before I could get the dish on the ground. Kefir went flying & landed all over the girls & Cashmire decided he was tired of waiting & dove head first into it. I was lucky to go grab the camera before he shook it all off.....all over the girls of course. So guess who got to go get the wet wash cloth & wash combs, waddles & backsides? Normally I use a french bread pan that is like a long trough so they can't get so messy, but it being one of those days where my brain was on vacation I choose to use something I KNEW would be a problem. Any farmer with animals will tell you some days its not worth getting up, well that was my day & yes, before you ask, I still have those days where I think to do something & then wonder who stole my brain that day. My husband, bless his heart was so worried he wouldn't feed the chickens enough while I was gone, gave them close to 50 lbs of feed & 25 lbs of oatmeal scratch in 10 days! I have 5 hens now who won't lay because I think they ate too much but the 2 year old girls are all laying which they have never done at the same time. Yes, I had the instructions written out for him but the weather got cold while I was away & he worried they would get hungry. All the feed in the coop tray under their food dishes is getting dumped in the runs so they will hopefully eat some of that. So you see, even us old timers can make crazy mistakes but at least find the humor in it & pass it on. I have been checking the chickens daily & have yet to see a mite so the 7 dust did work but man I hated using it. If it made me wozzy I can't image what the chickens went through inhaling or swallowing it. On a different note, tomorrow I am rescuing a 5 1/2 month old female pot belly pig from a guy who has it in her a2nd story apartment. Right now its aggressive but then if I only got to go outside once a day to do my business, I think I would be mad too. Once she has calmed down, had some exercise & a better diet will introduce her to the chickens, cats & dog. That may end up another crazy story you read from me! Until next time, have a great chicken day!
footnote: Lovey, the pot belly pig decided she hated being told what to do by a female & attacked me, bit me & knocked me down so after 5 weeks of this I found her a huge farm in New Hampshire where she has her own area, goats to boss around & a huge paddock to hang out in. At least I tried but sometimes things don't work out the way we want....but she is happy where she is so I did a good thing by taking her, just couldn't keep her.

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