Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Last Few Weeks

This is going to be a long one. I haven't posted in a couple weeks and there are a few things to cover.

Ear infections: Gotta love'em.
Got it in the left ear on the July 31st. Well it had been irritating me for a few days before that, but on that day I went to a BBQ at a friend's house. Nice cool day driving with the window down. The AC in the truck has no Freon, so the window is always down. Cool, moist air blowing across an ear with the beginnings of an infection EQUALS extreme PAIN in less then 12 hours. I tried to deal with suin some home remedy natural crap, well that didn't do a thing. After several days of no sleep, earaches get worse at night, and constant pain I gave up and went to the place that doesn't mess with insurance on the 6th.

When the Practitioner says, "Ewww, Bad, Bad, Bad" then leaves the room, you know it has to be BAD. Got put on Amoxicillin at 2,000 mg a day for 10 days. DID NOTHING but make me sick to my stomach for a couple hours each time I took it. The left ear did start to slowly clear up, but the right ear filled, swelled, and was set on fire. This time I relented sooner, but the office is closed on Wed and Thur. I waited till Friday(20th) and went back. One ear was bad the other was extremely worse and full of puss. Now I am on Cipro. At least this doesn't make me sick my stomach. Both ears have been clearing up fairly quickly on Cipro. The problem is that I still have the echo in my head from blocked ears. Drives me crazy, but at least I ain't contemplating digging my ear out with a sharpened spoon. That is how bad the pain and pressure was. I wanted it to end and was thinking a big hole would be better then this. I have had a dislocated Hip, torn ligaments in every joint below the waist, broke and twisted ankle, broke toes, dislocated shoulders, but NONE of it compares to a major ear infection.

Mom
The hardest part was still dealing with the chickens. It wasn't too bad till the 14th when Mom got taken down by a large kidney stone. It was so bad that Mom had Dad take her to the ER at the closet Hospital which she hates. Normally she would have went an extra 30 miles past to get to a good place, but Pain forces necessity. After tests they drugged her up and sent her home saying it would pass. She went to a eurologist on Monday(16th) who immediately schedule her for an extraction. No chance it would pass and it was badly infected. Mom is fine, she even went back to work Wednesday(18th) with strict orders about lifting.

New Flock
A family friend is leaving for a few weeks and has no one to take care of his birds. His wife is afraid of them and the Rattle Snakes that he keeps killing around the coop area. So Sunday Mom and I went down and picked them up. I moved the teens to the main lot and coop with my laying flock. It was time anyways. That gives the new birds their own large lot and private coop. I have no doupts that they are healthy, but I still like to quarantine for a few weeks. This has worked out perfectly. Monday they left 7 XLarge and Jumbo eggs in the next boxes. There is one Rooster, 11 hens, and 1 broody hen with a 8-10 week old little rooster. Sadly the other chicks were killed by snakes over the last several weeks. They are slowly calming down.

Fair
I racked up at the Drexel Fair this year. I entered 22 flowers, 3 pictures, a loaf of bread, a set of cookies, a watermelon, and other vegetables. I came home with a load of Ribbons and $44.50 in premiums(prize money). Normally mom and I compete against each other, but the entry date was the 15th. The kidney stone kept her home. The Bread and Cookies were actually her's, but since she couldn't go I entered them. I was planning to enter 3 other pictures, but I ran out of ink after the 3rd one printed. In fact that one had a blueish hue. It took a white ribbon and I think that was the problem. Burke County Fair is in the middle of October. Hopefully I will have alot more flowers. With the rain we have finally been getting my Dahlias are starting to bloom again. Also will get a new ink cartridge.

New House
Now that my ears aren't driving me insane I can finally get the new house built for the freerange bantams.
Bottom(4x8) and one Wall:

Other Wall and Back:

I got the walls up on the floor today. Tomorrow I will frame in the rest of the front, put in the partition, and put on the roof. I should get it done sometime Friday. Paint on Sunday and the birds can move in on Monday.

Lost a Hen
Mom accidently killed High-Speed today. High-Speed was a white Easter Egger. Mom tilted up a heavy rock while bug hunting. It slipped. Took High-Speed a split second to stick her head under. The rock crushed her skull and she was killed instantly. We don't waste anything, so the poor girl was processed and put in the fridge. I know alot of folks don't understand that, but when you grow up working for everything you get you don't waste. High-Speed was 2.5 years old and would have been processed in a couple more years, that is the destiny of the layers. All are treated as pets, but they do serve a purpose. She was a great layer of xLarge Blue/Green eggs. Being processed was her final contribution to the family. She will be missed.

Update on Babies
Dolly and her babies are doing well now. The babies are 7 weeks old. I had tossed some sunflower seeds away from me on the porch so that I could get a picture. It is hard to take pictures when they are under you. Dolly had 9 in the beginning, but a neighbor's cat kept getting them until she was down to 5. We finally trapped the cat and dealt with it. It killed $150+ in chicks and a Dutch hen. Even with the babies penned beside the house, inside the fence and a small lot, it still managed to kill a Faverolle Cockerel. Hated to deal with the cat, but I have to protect my birds. It was not the cat's faught, I blame the neighbor's who decided to toss the cat out of the house and stop feeding it. The sheriff's office would do nothing, animal control said they would come get it if I caught it for them otherwise don't call again, and the local Humane Society and other nonkill shelter are beyond full. I had built some live traps to catch the possums. The large one is 30" long, 18" tall, and 12" wide. That is what I caught the cat in on the front porch.

The 11 Brooder babies are growing well at 2.5 weeks old. They have been going out during the day this week. They still get put back in the brooder for the evenings, but they seem to enjoy playing outside. They use Dolly's pen for safety. Now that I can let Dolly and her babies out for the days again the pen is perfect for sitting the babies outside. I will get some new pics of them soon for my next post.

There is more going on, but that will be enough for now. I think this post is long enough.

~~Matt~~

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Last Hatch of 2010

Out of 14 good/fertile eggs I got 11 chicks. There would have been 12, but one pipped the wrong end right through a bloodvessel and died. This is rare, but is not completely uncommon. I have had 5-6 over the last 6 years. A couple hatched just fine, but the rest did not make it. One I helped out and then had to put down. A bad problem with its feet was why it wasn't able to turn itself for hatching. Chicks develop unside down in the egg. They turn over the last 3 days to begin their hatch.

There are 4 Welsumers, 5 Marans, 1 Ameraucana, and a Cochin. All are standard size breeds from either my stock or a private breeder/friend.

Here are 8 of them on Sunday. The first chick hatched Saturday evening at 8:30pm and the last popped out about 10pm Sunday evening. That means the incubator had a nice consistent tempurature throughout.The white/yellowish one is a Splash Marans.

Here are a few of them on Monday.If your chicks look like this in the brooder then the temp is perfect. This is what a content chick looks like most of the time during the first few days. They eat, pick around, drink, then go back to sleep again. Mix in a some playtime and constant pooping and you have the life of a chick being raised in the brooder.

~~Matt~~

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hatchlings

These first 2 are Welsumers. The first hatched at 8:30pm and the second before 9pm.
The first was peeping till its sibling popped out. Now both are quietly talking to each other. I can't hear them with my earaches. I have only been on antibiotics since last night.

There are 10-11 more good eggs in the bator. Those are Marans, welsumers, Cochins, and a couple Ameraucanas.

I needed this today. These past couple weeks have been one thing after another with something extremely horrible yesterday. I need a good day.

~~Matt~~

*****UPDATE*****
Sun 7:30am: So far this morning there are 3 Welsumers, 2 Golden Cuckoo marans, and a Black copper marans. There are a couple more marans pipped as well as an Ameraucana and a Standard cochin. The cochins were the whole reason I did this small run.

A welsummer pipped the wrong end last night and died quickly. It seems to have pipped right through a blood vessel in the shell membrane and bled to death. Except for that one the hatch is going very well.