Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Between winter and spring

There is a battle going in my kitchen window—the poinsettia and paper whites are still blooming from Christmas, and the daffodils are trying to say spring is on its way. It might be hard to see the snowstorm beginning in the background, but it has begun. The storm says spring isn't starting any time soon, no matter what Phil and the daffodils have to say.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Hen in the house, trouble in the coop

Three roosters are too many roosters: 2 troublesome young ones in the front, Big Roo in the shadows.

One of our young hens went lame starting in early January. I left her in the coop for awhile, but then a real cold spell came through, and she was often wet from knocking over her water bowl, so I brought her inside in the basement.

5 weeks of spa treatment and not much has changed. She he is still eating and drinking, but her comb is really pale which is a sign she is not well. I am getting to the point where I have  to decide what to do with her.

I had read that one of the possible causes of lameness in chickens is Marek's disease, which is contagious to other chickens and not curable. The only way to tell if they have it is to do a necropsy after they die. I was almost to the point of taking her to the vet to end her life and have her tested, but then yesterday I found a dead hen on the floor of the coop. Whatever happened to this one was sudden, no limping or lameness, just dead. So now I am thinking that large black and white rooster in the pic above could be the killer, not a disease.

I suspected we would have problems having 3 roosters at a time. Previous experience with multiple boys in the house led to full blown cockfights. Poor Big Roo, the oldest and most well behaved rooster, was chased from the coop by one youngster the last time we had more than one. And the last black and white roo was attacking the 2 of us instead of the other roosters.

This large youngster is rough having his way with the girls, I have seen him in action. When I removed the dead girl yesterday, he went right over and jumped on top of her. As much as he is a beautiful boy, not a murderer, just a big brute, he might just have to become Joseph's next dinner.

And if the girl in the basement is suffering from broken bones, there is not much I can do for her other than end her life as well.

I am waiting to hear back from a vet tech and the Cornell Cooperative Extension to see if they can shed any light on this, but I don't think there is a happy ending to this one.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Goats today, chickens tomorrow

L to R: Rosie our oldest girl, Bella one of the young ones, Blossom, and Rita, all 4 probably preggers

Elizabeth gets a kiss from Bowie
I will post a chicken update tomorrow, but we had 2 special visitors today who came just to see our goats and took lots of pretty pics while they were here.

(maybe they wanted to see us too, not sure...)

Elizabeth came all the way from Alabama just to kiss a goat. Well that was the first time she visited when David Bowie was still a baby. That's them holding the adorable Bowie boy 3 years ago? I am starting to lose track of who was born when, but I guess that's OK.

Tara and Bowie
We were hoping one of our 7 pregnant goats might have a kid to entertain our guests while they were here, but the girls just aren't ready yet. All 4 in the top photo are probably pregnant, the 3 older ones will most likely have twins, the younger ones probably one kid. I am saying a little prayer we don't have any birthing problems like last year when we lost Lucille.

Jack is our oldest goat now that Lucille is gone. He is still a well behaved and loveable boy. Rosie is the oldest girl, and Rico a year behind her. At some point we have to separate boys and girls, or we will have too many goats! Only The Husband doesn't think there is such a thing as too many goats...

Jack in the front, Rico behind him, Susan, Rita, and Blossom (pooping!)

Rita's closeup

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Wicked cold sunny day

What do you do on a wicked cold sunny day but fire up the woodstove and sleep in the sun? We should all be so lucky! I did have to go out and do some chicken and goat chores, and walk my friend's beagle, and pick up the mail at the PO, but otherwise it was a really good day to stay home and work on the computer.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Poor lame hen

I still don't know what's going on with this one young hen. She started limping on January 3 and then went pretty quickly to being totally lame. She seems otherwise healthy, still eating and drinking, but because she uses her wings to move around, she frequently knocks over the water and food in the small crate I have her in. I brought her into the basement because it was getting so cold outside in the coop that she would have frozen to death with her feathers all wet.

Cyrus is still very interested in the noises and smells coming through the cat door (in the basement door). I am pretty sure he would kill her if he had the chance.

Monkey is also very interested in this strange creature. He is not  the murdering type. If she is down there much longer, I think they will become friends.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Super Blood Wolf Moon

How often do you get to use those 4 words together?

I am sure the Super Blood Wolf Moon was spectacular. And I was surprised that the skies cleared enough so that we could actually see it, or could have seen it if we wanted to stay up late and go outside in that frigid air. At about 10 pm the moon was so high over the house that I could barely see it out the window. There was no obvious eclipse starting, so we both just went to bed.

Wicked cold out there today too. 76° in here with the heat and the woodstove on, but I am worried about the chickens in their unheated coop. Even with the door closed it is mighty chilly out there.

One lame chicken in the basement. At least she won't get frostbite, but I am not sure why she went lame. About 2 weeks ago I noticed her limping. Then a few days after that, not walking at all. The vet said they have seen one other case like this, and that vitamins appeared to help, so we are trying the spa treatment in the basement.

Sunday, January 20, 2019


I know winter has truly arrived when I start measuring snowfall with my bench. When it is 7° and windy and still snowing, hard to leave the house, and I can take these pics from inside (lazy me!).

The Husband took both dogs out. Cyrus had a party off-leash twice. Woody went straight to the frozen compost heap, poked around a bit, and then back to the front door to come in. He's a southern boy, not a lover of single-digit weather.

Willie was happy to be warm inside trying on his Fire Hose Work Pants.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Weather dogs and holidays

Don's house on the hill on the left, back of the snow-measuring bench, and our living room windows on the right

The 3 hot topics on my blog—weather, dogs, and holidays. Well maybe not the hot topics, more likely the only topics. Best I can do, folks. Barring any bobcat emergencies or goat births, I don't really have that much to talk about.

So here are all 3 topics in one post to start off the new year.

It has been an unusual winter. We get a few inches of snow, then go back to warmer temps and grass, then windy and frigid and more snow. At least the warmer days mixed in make it less painful.

Last weekend I made the trip back to NJ to visit Little Sister and her dog Lucky. We know Lucky's mother was mostly chihuahua, but the rest of her genetics are a mystery other than dad was something larger than chihuahua. The famous Dr. Wolf says husky because of her mask. After realizing she had a spotty chest, I am voting for Australian cattle dog. We will never know for sure unless we get the DNA test, but it is fun arguing with Lester and Sophie's former vet.

Finally, our perfect Christmas tree survived all of the animals in the house, but because I was away on the weekend when I should have taken it down, it was just a bit dry when I finally got around to taking off the lights and ornaments yesterday.

Monkey says it's not his fault, Mom made that mess, not him.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

God Bless Us Every One!

It is becoming our Christmas tradition, thanks to the WoodMan who started this, to allow the boys to tear up the wrapping paper as we open our gifts. Better and cheaper than any dog toy... And once I clean up the mess, they calm down pretty quickly.

We wish everyone out there a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

A long winter's nap

A high of only 21° today—I wish we could all take a nap in OUR bed today...

There was green grass showing yesterday >

And then today frigid temps and more snow...

Then 50° with rain on Friday, 38° with snow on Sunday. I think I see a pattern here.

I think it's a good bet that we will have a white Christmas, with winter green or without.