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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.

Monday, June 6, 2011

April/May rains mixed with bits of sun & heat, bring out the ice please!



Hello my chicken friends, yes I know it has been awhile since I wrote last & I had promised to be better but this last month was a month I would have liked to have slept through.....

You all know from the last blog, I lost Bess & then Willow within a few days of each other around Mother's day so I was feeling pretty blue the last time I wrote but I had thought things would get better...boy was I EVER wrong.....

When I built my large chicken run I dug out the dirt so that I could bury chicken wire & attach that to the chicken wire fencing so that it would be harder for animals to get in & that maybe they would give up & go away.  Well the Sunday following Mother's Day I decided since it was a nice sunny morning to head out to see my friend Mary & pick up all my Co-op grains I had ordered for the chickens.....I can't tell you how much I enjoyed our visit, she is such a sweet gentle woman & just wonderful to be around.

I got home & decided to take out the in-house chickens out to their movable run & then felt it was a good time to give all of them some dried mealy worms.....I hadn't noticed that the big coop kids had been quiet until I got up to the run door & I didn't see any of them running up to me.  Well I found out why when I opened the door.....

there were feathers everywhere & I saw baby Opal dead, of course I started screaming cause I knew in my brain that this was just the beginning...I saw blood & another dead chicken inside the chicken condo.  Now when I came in to the run I always shut the door, well I am very lucky cause I didn't realize the animal was still in the run with me until I turned around & saw a very large red Chow Chow who had Tilly pinned to the ground with one of its paws.

I am still screaming & crying now & I ran at it to get to Tilly, that's when it bared its teeth at me & I realized it had no way out so I backed up & got the run door opened then charged at the dog yelling & hitting the plywood roofing near it..  Thank goodness it took off & I re-closed the door & ran to Tilly, she was chewed up all over her back but still alive, so I grabbed her & got her into the house onto the rocking chair where she would be safe.  I found my sweet little Mercy smashed under one of the wooden stairs leading to the coop that the dog had somehow torn away from the wall, I also found Mother & Crone dead but found Rosy scared & hiding behind the condo nesting boxes with her tail feathers missing but no other damage.

I got her into the house & ran back out into the coop now as I still had others that weren't in the run.  Thank goodness CeeCee, baby Pearl, Scarlette, Prudence & Zelda were alright.  Zelda had tail feathers missing & some rug burn wounds on her back so I brought her also into the house......I grabbed some plastic bags & got all the dead ones & laid them out......then after falling to my knees & crying for quite some time I was able to wrap each up & get them into the freezer so I could take care of the ones I had brought into the house.....But after checking on them I decided they needed the calm quietness of the house & I needed to go see if Kelley's chickens had been hit as well....

Sometime during all of this they had come home from church & they had been running last that morning & had left the chickens in the coop but Kelley came back with me to help me doctor the hurt ones.  Poor Tilly didn't move or cry out when I was bathing her bad wounds & her eyes were growing foggy so I knew I had to put her down.  Kelley held her while I got the chloroform out & before I did it I bent down & kissed her head & told her I was sorry.....The others got washed with benadine & antibiotics put on them & then put in cages in the house where it was quiet for them.  Kelley & I went back out to the run & shut up the coop since the kids were all to scared to come out & this way they could calm down better & I rechecked to make sure I got everyone.....

By the time Kelley left I was in a numbing fog but brought everyone back in that was out in the movable run & got the basement kids back into their coop & locked them in.  Even though it was a nice day all the coops were cool & I was so afraid the dog would come back, that I needed more for me than them, the feeling they were all safe.

The next day I had laid down to rest & realized I had missed Ginger so I ran out there & she was on top of the small roof in the run just looking at me & talking softly.  some how she had gotten on the roof & between a piece of plywood & the tarp & was so well hidden that I had missed her the day before even though I had moved the wood & tarp.  She was completely unhurt, but poor thing had been out there all night by herself.....I brought her into the house & put her in the cage with Rosy just to make sure I hadn't missed anything...Well by that night she & Rosy were doing fine so I took them back to the coop so they could be with their friends.  Poor Rosy who is a brown leghorn did alright, but the next day I noticed the others would chase her so I brought her back into the house....She is my nervous Nelly & I think she was just shook up more than I had realized.  She has adjusted to the inside to where I have the cage open so she can come & go & she is doing better every day now.  But I will not put her back in the big coop she will go with the basement coop as I think they will leave her alone.

I had screamed so much, I couldn't talk for 2 days which was fine with me, as I really didn't want to talk to anyone anyway.  Now I didn't call the police as you all know I am not suppose to have the chickens because I am a couple of feet short land wise for them, so I would have had to deal with all the crap over the chickens while the dog would have just gotten its owners a talking to.....so I let it go...

.But I did go to the Remington Rifle Company & bought a 12 gauge shotgun with practice ammo.....so if it does come back it will not be killed, but will be hurting when it heads home after being on my property. From what I understand this dog has bared its teeth at a neighbors child as well as an older retired gentleman who lives down the block from me....so this tells me its not the nicest of dogs & after killing my chickens I have no problem taking care of the situation & legally I am allowed by this town to shot any animal that is a threat while on my property......

I have 30 foot of chained link fencing that I am going to put up but I have to dig a shallow trench so I can bury it in the ground...the dog was able to dig & tear apart what I had put in so I have to make it stronger as I never ever want to go throught that again...my poor heart just can't take it.....

Now you are probably wondering why I haven't done it yet....well I have a fiberous cyst that is in my armpit area & it decided to get infected & got a limp node infected as well.....last saturday morning it was the size of a pea, saturday evening it was the size of a large lima bean, sunday evening it was the size of a walnut & very painful....I didn't know it was infected at this time, all I knew was that it was growing & at times it felt like fire racing through my arm.....

Called my doctor on Monday & he is on vacation until later this week, so I am not going to the ER since I think its just the fiberous cyst growing & he can take care of it when he gets back. Ok so this last week, I really can't do much since I can't use my arm well & any movement that bumps it into my body hurts...but me being me I still go out & mow, plant tomatoes ect but it just takes longer & I forgot...I had some extra antibiotics from when I got the infection from the old roosters spur attacks...I wrote about this in an earlier blog...anyway I started taking them just to be on the safe side....Thank goodness I did, because as it grew it came to the surface area & started to leak out infection which I took care of...that I won't tell you as you will just scream at me.....No I am serous you will...so I am not telling! 

Finally 2 days ago, I couldn't deal with it anymore as I was yelling at the cat...thats when I realized the pain was more than I could bear & I was getting mean so aound 8:30 friday night I headed to our ER.... was seeing a doctor within an hour.....yeah I love this hospital...they don't goof around...anyway Ms. Doctor gave me a shot to numb it, needle going in was fine, liquid being forced in wasn't...I started cussing up a storm, the room was spinning & I thought I was either going to pass out or throw up....did neither thank goodness & told her I was so sorry for cussing & that I hoped no children were in the ER......there wasn't.....

She left me for a few moments to calm down & came back in with a thing that looked like a mini apple corer......a hollow tube with a very sharp razor blade looking end......even with the numbing shot it didn't feel that great when it took a chuck of my skin & tissue with it but I must say it hurt less than it had in a week....The infection was pretty bad but she was able to clean it & sent me home with some better stronger antibiotics & told me to call a surgeon on monday...which is today as the mass will need to be looked at, tested & probably removed. So for the last few days I have been a good girl taking the antibiotics & putting heat on the area to help it drain & keeping it cleaned......Its now back to the size of a large lima bean but doesn't hurt very much unless I forget & bump it....

So thats why the fencing hasn't gotten done but I go out & spend most of each day outside doing things so I am near my kids & can watch the yard.  With all the rains we had I am forever mowing the same areas over & over so its not like I am out there working on a tan or anything....plus I did get some of the gardens done & put in another small garden with giant sunflower seeds that my friend Debbie in Colorado sent me....& as you notice the picture of the picnic table...that poor thing was falling apart so I took out all the screws & nails & redid it so it should last me a few more years......every nice evening I take my supper out there & take Gertie & Piper out of the movable run & put them near me so they can run around in the yard for a bit before they have to come in for the night....Piper was having such a great time 2 nights ago she was running & jumping in the air with her wings flapping...it was the cutest thing to see & made me smile cause I knew she was happy.....

To leave this on a good note, Thomas is getting to come home from Afghanistan on a 2 week leave the beginning of July so we are going to Las Vegas to see his parents....so that will be nice & by the time he gets here I will have the fencing up so when Kelley's daughter takes care of my chickens I won't worry while I am gone...yeah right...I will worry & miss them before we get on the airplane!

Have a wonderful chicken day!....M'