Thursday, September 27, 2012

Miss Izzy - Seizures in Dogs

I'm here in my office this afternoon and curled up under my desk is Miss Izzy.  Snoring of all things!  She's an awesome dog.  A rescue, terrier mix that has brought bucket loads of happiness to our family.  We think she's around 12 - 13 years old, and she's getting gray just like the rest of us old ladies!  She's all terrier!  She loves hunting mice, rats, lizards, and hates squirrels with a passion.  Miss Izzy loves long walks, and car rides.  She has been an absolute doll around the chickens, even if they sneak up behind her on occasion.  She'll just trot off in another direction.  She's stubborn, and will give you a "stare down" until you ask her the right question;  go for a walk, get a treat, are you hungry, etc.  Once you ask the right question she hops around with excitement.  She does not bark to be let outside, she stares at you. 

She loves it when her girls come home to visit, or when we tell her Granny's coming over to see her.  She waits at the door (did you notice I didn't say patiently) for them to arrive. She's never destroyed a stuffed animal she wasn't told was hers.  She can dig a mean hole under a fence in no time flat!  Izzy listens most of the time, but sometimes only when it's convenient for her, or until our tone of voice changes.  She HATES a bath.

We had a scare earlier today, not our first, but worth mentioning as it was the worst so far.  She had another seizure.  This one lasted much longer than those in the past.  She has had 1-2 seizures that we are aware of (since we are not always home with her, there's no way to really tell) each year for the past few years. 

During the seizure she looses all of her motor skills, stiffens up, wobbles and sticks her tongue out.  Sometimes her eyes glass over and it's as if she can not hear you.  This time was a bit different, physical signs were there, but her eyes didn't glass over and we could calm her while talking in a soothing voice.  We kept her away from anything she could get hurt by, and actually took her outside with a larger open area.  Now she's extra tired, and has trouble jumping up on the couch.  Common short lived side effect.

Per her Vet, she doesn't suffer from them often enough to justify medication, and there are other side effects from the medication which at this point do not out weigh the good.   We'll be keeping an eye on her and if things get worse, we'll keep the option of medications open.

Poor thing, felt so embarrassed after the event and wanted to run and hide as if she did something wrong.  She's particular that way.  She embarrasses easy.  We convinced her, finally, that she did nothing wrong and that it would be just fine to get some TLC from Mom.  She's stuck by me since the episode.  I guess it's a Mom thing.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Who Needs a Chain Saw When you Have The Moose!

Stopped by early today to take care of the Hooligans and the Cotton Club.  All things are good on that front.  Yeah!  Corrie laid her first egg!

Hooligans are ready to come out of the brooder pen.  We need to build a separator wall for them first.  Hopefully we'll get it done this next weekend.

Pig Pen, our only Cotton Club Rooster is really starting to fill out.  He's a handsome devil!

Finally, we've had a grouping of trees that died on us, and I've wanted them cut down for some time now.  Well the Moose decided to help me out today.  Instead of getting his chain saw, he pulled them out of the ground with his own bare hands! Who needs a chain saw, when you have the Moose?!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Ankle Deep

A portion of The Compound near the chicken run and garden are ankle deep with water.  Couldn't get much done that's for sure. Even less if we didn't have rubber boots!  We let the Cotton Club out for a bit, burned some brush, normal chicken coop maintenance, etc.  That was it!  It's been this way for almost a month now.  We've gotten soooo much rain it's ridiculous already.  I feel bad for the chickens.  Although with the new metal roof, only certain areas where the rain came in sideways are really soggy.  We should start to see a change in our weather pattern starting next month.  I'm looking forward to cooler temperatures and low humidity.

Have a safe week!

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Mission Continues


We spent this past Saturday working with the Mission Continues community service group helping plant a butterfly garden at the downtown Orlando Coalition for the Homeless, children’s play area.  Not only were we able to help the homeless shelter (stepping foot on property is very humbling), we were also able to engage some of our veterans recently returned from Afghanistan and/or Iraq.

Here’s a link to their site should you be interested in learning more.

Daughter #1 was at West Point a few years back and met former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens, the founder and has had an interest ever since in working with this organization.  Here’s how they started (info from their web site);

The Mission Continues was founded in 2007 after CEO Eric Greitens returned home from service in Iraq as a Navy SEAL. Upon his return, Eric visited with wounded Marines at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland. Without exception, each Marine expressed an unwavering desire to continue serving his country, even if he could no longer do so in the military. One young Marine even said this: “I lost my legs – that is all. I did not lose my desire to serve, or my pride in being an American.” Inspired, Eric used his own combat pay and two friends pitched in their military disability checks to found The Mission Continues.
We had a wonderful time, even though it rained and soaked us right down the the underwear!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Do You Ever Just Wonder?

Wonder how/when did your chin/neck get saggy?

Wonder why your husband looks good with gray hair, but why we have to keep coloring ours?

Wonder how we can be so polarized in this country?

Wonder how our country can be satisfied with the education system?

Wonder how our citizens can just look past the immoral, unethical representatives sent to Washington and keep voting for them term after term?

Wonder when your neighbors will wake up?

Wonder why the kids that get off the bus take their ever lov'in sweet time crossing the street?

Wonder why it’s OK for young girls to dress like prostitutes?

Wonder why Dr. Pepper tastes soooo good!?

Wonder how your grandmother did all that she did with little or no modern conveniences?

Wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Wonder if my infatuation with chickens will ever end?

Wonder what your blog friends look like?
Wonder if you think I'm crazy yet?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Rubber Boot Weekend

The Compound is completely soaked!  Even the garden which has mulch on it is like a giant sponge.  I was afraid my rubber boots would get sucked in to the wet muck!  It was definitely a rubber boot weekend.  We would not have gotten anything done without them. 
The new Hooligans made the trek to The Compound and the new brooder pen.  They took to the new space like a duck to water.  They scratched up a storm of wood chips!  And noisy!  You could hear them from almost anywhere on property.
What was even cuter was when the Cotton Club actually noticed them in the brooder.  It’s hard to explain, but they came back in to the run area to eat some veggie treats and as soon as one of them noticed the chicks, they sent out a strange call, then another one made the same call, and so on until the entire group was making the same noise and all looking up at the three new Hooligans.  Its times like this, I wish I had my camera going.

We popped back out on Sunday just to see how they did overnight and to see if we needed to make any adjustments to their new environment, but so far so good.


We were able to get some more plants into the garden, even though it was really wet.  Tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts and eggplant.

The Moose cleared another area of weed mess, and planted field corn to see how it would do.  Remember a previous post when I mentioned how embarrassing the garden had gotten by way of weeds.  Well, here’s a picture of the remaining area still to be cleaned up and then a picture of the area the Moose just finished.  Total difference!

He added compost and lime. We have a PH problem, and need to add lime to help correct it.  We will be adding more mulch on top to continue with the Back to Eden principals.  We just needed a clean slate to start with again.  Besides, much of last years mulch has already composted.

I'll sign off for now, with a few photos of Corrie and the Cotton Club from this weekend.  As you'll see, they are all doing much better.


Friday, September 7, 2012

Hooligan Update

Nearly 5 weeks old, the new Hooligans  are really coming in to their own.  R.Cogburn still acts like a rooster should, however he’s not quite as aggressive, but he will get himself between you and his girls.  He and Pennie seem closest, and Rose is always acting like a wallflower at the back of the room, however Rose is the noisiest.  From sun up to sun down, she’s making a chirping noise.

We’ve housed the three of them in our upstairs bathtub.  We can shut the shower door to keep drafts down, and clean up is pretty easy.  Now, whenever we stop by for a visit and open the doors, they immediately jump up on to the ledge and watch us clean their dishes, or spend some time chatting.  They are just so much fun!
Rose, Pennie, Rooster Cogburn

R. Cogburn

FYI – Corrie went home, finally.  Three days of Tylan medication and she was back to her sassy self.  She ran, flew out of the kennel and in to the chicken run.  Corrie spent some time investigating her old surroundings just to make sure things were as they should be.  The only issue, the Cotton Club considers her new again, so they’re trying to remind her of who’s boss.  Poor Corrie, never seems to catch a break.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Garden Update - September

The garden had been put on the back burner for a couple of months due to some unforeseen issues.  So I know we’re behind and will not be able to plant anything that would not harvest in the next 90 days or so.  We had our first freeze last year, just before Thanksgiving. 

Last weekend the Moose put up a water gutter for me to house small items, like salad greens.  They were up in 3 days.  This helps so I don't have to bend over as much for smaller items like greens.
He put up three more gutters for me this past weekend, and shaded another area too.  I was able to plant, peas, spinach, radishes, lettuce, herbs, beans, squash and carrots.  I also transplanted tomatoes and pepper plants. 

I still have more tomato, cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts and cauliflower to transplant, but that’s for the upcoming weekend project.  I have heirloom watermelon that sprouted (see the bottom of this photo) from seeds that came along with the chicken coop compost and are well on their way.  That was the easiest bit of gardening I’ve had to do..

Now we wait and see. 
I have some asparagus growing, has anybody worked with it before?  What do I need to know?

New Followers

Welcome to my new followers!  Thanks for tagging along.  I look forward to your comments.  I've learned more from the comments on occasion than from doing research on the internet.  So keep them coming!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Brooder Pen

Although not on our yearly "project wish list", we needed a brooder box for new chicks or a broody hen while hatching.  Especially since White Orpingtons tend to go broody, we need to be prepared.

The Moose spent part of Saturday, and part of Monday putting this together.  Mind you almost all of the components came from left over scrap material or the scrap pile at the local hardware store.  Just how we like it, economical! 

Notice the sand box underneath?  One of our issues is getting an area where they can dust bathe, that always stays dry, and I can add diatomaceous earth (food grade) to help prevent mites/lice.  I use diatomaceous earth in their coop, nesting boxes and the run.  It keeps flies away, dries up their poo and helps with the smell.

This will soon be put to use, when we take the three Hooligans out to The Compound in a couple of weeks.  We still have to put up a fence wall inside to separate the chickens when needed.  We're saving that for another weekend.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Wrangling Chickens - Upper Respiratory Infections

Thank Goodness for long weekends!  That one extra day really made a difference in the amount of work we were able to get accomplished.  But first things first;

Corrie is still in residence on our back patio, and still recovering.  Folks, I really thought we would lose her.  At one point she could barely stand, and when she did, she wobbled backwards.  She was miserable.  She does seem to be pulling through, and is starting to get anxious to roam freely.  Can you blame her?  One afternoon of sitting on the couch and watching day time television makes me stir crazy!

We did lose Alfred.  He didn't look sick to us last week, but when we showed up Saturday, he was gone.  I would guess from the same upper respiratory illness that struck Corrie.  If we would have seen him sick, we would have brought him home too.  Poor guy.  He will be missed, he was awesome looking and was a great rooster to his gals.

Since we had a more serious problem, we elicited some help from a local chicken farmer, and researched some more on the internet.  The Tetracycline we were giving Corrie only kept the symptoms at bay, she still had a cough, runny eyes and nose.  It wasn't enough.  So they recommended Tylan.  2cc per bird one time, for those that looked and acted healthy as a preventative, 2cc per bird for three days on the really sick ones.  So far, that's only Corrie.  **I am not recommending the same thing for your chickens, and I am not a vet, but we're giving this a try.  Your chickens are in your hands, not mine. 

It was time for us to wrangle some chickens!  With lawn rakes in hand we set out on our mission.  At times like this the run area seems too large.  Try cornering 9 chickens, 9 separate times!  Needless to say, you thought the world was coming to an end.  The Cotton Club has not been handled on a regular basis, and only come within a couple of feet of us to begin with, and that's if we have food.  We cornered, the Moose grabbed, held them, and opened up their beaks.  I used a syringe and gave them their medicine.   This medicine can also be injected, however we were told chickens have a lot of nerve endings and if you don't know exactly where they are, injecting them in the wrong place could make the chicken lame.  We were not going there.

They spent the remainder of their time outdoors yesterday lounging around in the shade and doing all those things chickens do best;  scratch and eat bugs.  Keep your fingers crossed the Cotton Club and Corrie are on the mend.