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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.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Wayward thoughts

Hello everyone!
There are more days than I can count, when I am somewhere inside my mind thinking of what better ways I can do things. I think part of this is my personally for order, that makes me re-hash ideas continuously. This can drive any other person to distraction. I notice my behavior with the chickens brings out the best or worse considering who I am telling my ideas to. Its funny in a weird way, as with my dogs & cats I can give them food, change their water, make sure they have a comfortable bed & be done with it...the chickens seem to drive me to the edge of insanity with what I COULD do for them. I build them a chicken coop, but because I am worried about the winter north winds making them sick, I build it inside my art shop with access to the outside run. do I stop there....Well Duh...NO! I put tarps on all the walls & flooring to help keep out mites & drafts. But this has a benefit as when it comes time to clean it, I can sweep down the walls & scrap the poo off the tarps easier than on the wood floors. I give them not 1 or 2 nesting boxes, but make 6 where as they use only 2. So I put hay in each hoping that they will find they like the extra boxes. The babies do tend to sleep in them at night so I guess it really wasn't a bad idea. I set up 2 heat lamps for the cold days & they also have a low flow fan for the really hot days. I put in 2 air vents, on 2 sides of the coop inside the shop area so they would get some fresh air, but not have it gusting through like a tornado. Now the Run is another brainy idea of mine...No boring run for my girls. It is heavily chicken wired & netted since the problem with the fishercat last year. I have a picnic table umbrella set up where they can get their fed without it getting rained or snowed on. I stuck it in the ground, so I have to bend over & crawl under it to get to the dishes, but they are happy with it I suppose. Well, Prudence does tend to complain about every little thing when I am in there. I know she is trying to tell me she had better ideas if I had just listened to her. I just finished a lean-to up against one shop wall in there with plywood & tarps so they would have a dirt area when the snows come. did I mention I did this on my own without help & whacked my head over & over trying to nail it to the wall. but again they seem to like it...Now will it be strong enough to deal with any snow that doesn't slid down it? I have one hen who never gets over her bumble foot, to us its like a stone bruise on our heel, but with them it will swell & create a scab. I have learned through trial & error, to fit her with little tape booties with cotton inside against the bruised area. She has pretty much lived in these since I got her in the spring, as she still wants to jump off high areas into concrete, wood floors & big rocks. She is so used to them being replaced now she will lay there in my lap & let me take off the old tape, wash her feet, check to see how the scabs are doing, medicate them & re-bandage them. I swear she thinks she has on pretty little shoes cause she will go out & in my mind show them off before she gets them all dirty again. I am just thankful not all 20 of them want these special 'shoes'& dive bomb rocks ect to get a pair of their own. I also get a lot of hens who get leg injures & after many failed attempts to help them finally decided to use a sling they can lay in with the bad leg hanging down below them. This took a while using different fabrics with holes cut out & using a step stool to tie it to so they wouldn't feel left out & could see what was going on in the dining room. A few years back I had bought one of those heavy netted chairs you can hang on a tree or from the ceiling on your front porch (think 1960's)...Well if that didn't seem to be the prefect thing to use once I remembered I had it....that took 2 yrs. Anyway, I can lay down a heavy piece of soft fabric with 2 holes cut out & put their legs through that then place them in the chair so the fabric nestles up against their breast area, but I can pull the legs out through the netting & I hang this whole thing from a plant hook in my ceiling beam. See I told you I just can't seem to let this go! I leave the house for any length of time & I worry about the 'girls'. When I went to my Sister's Reunion in California this last May, I worried every day about whether they were being fed & watered. I never even worried about my son like I do with these chickens, I am sure a therapist would have a lot to say about me. And don't even mention that I can't have them! Those are fightin' words! So anyway, I know I have a slight(???) problem when it comes to the 'girls', but I also wonder if others who raise chickens have these same insane thoughts/actions or if I am just one of a kind?
Have a great chicken day!

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