Sunday, August 25, 2013

Lazy Hazy Day of Summer

We spent Saturday gathered with friends and family at The Compound.  The boys, Donnie and BJ fried up some gator nuggets that were out of this world!  We had Texas fat back beans and fat back black eyed peas that Deanna shared.  Toss in some picnic staples like deviled eggs (R&B and the Moose and I are never short on eggs!), potato salad, and a couple different variations of cucumber tomato salads from Brenda and my parents.  Then we topped it off with a strawberry rhubarb cake my Mom made.

Needless to say, we all went home fat and sassy!

An area neighbor stopped by on his airboat, and gave some of the gang a ride out in the swamp. If you could have seen the face on Miss Brenda when she returned from her very first airboat ride!  It was priceless!  
It’s always nice to take a step back from work once and a while and enjoy the stories, and laughter.  Even if the picnic becomes a total washout in the end. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

It Struck Again!

The upper respiratory infection that struck the chickens at The Compound last year at this time, has struck again!  It’s mean and nasty.  It causes drainage from their noses and eyes, sneezing, coughing and dizziness. 

When visiting the boys and girls yesterday, I noticed Rocky (Rocky Road, she looks like the ice cream) off and away from the flock.  That’s one of the first signs, especially when treats are being handed out.  Now some chickens will just want some peace and quiet, but when food is being offered it is not normal behavior.

So I went to investigate, and I had to only take one look to realize she was not well.  Rocky’s left eye was red, watery, swollen and just plain nasty.  In our house, we call that the Quasimodo eye, (Disney character from the Hunchback of Notre Dame) but not so cute. 

So she’s been packed up and brought home to spend the next couple of days on the patio getting medicine,(see last year’s link for details below), and some extra TLC.  She’s eating cold peas, lettuce, corn and grapes at the moment.  I’m off to the store in a bit to get her some melon.  It’ll help make sure she gets water in her diet as well as be cool on her sore throat.

I looked at the other chickens and saw no signs, but this is fast acting.  In less than 2 days she went from perfectly normal to pitiful.  It’s just so darn hot and humid, rain almost every day.  It’s nearly impossible to keep their area dry, with this much moisture.  October couldn’t get here quick enough!

I Was Inspired

I was inspired by my good friend's posts recently about being knee deep in shredding paper.

Here's my bag full, goes all the way back to 2009! Oof da! No longer will I need to walk cautiously around the trip hazard that has been a staple of my floor for far too long! Unfortunately the only treasures I found were an occasional paper clip. Check out Stephens blog, he'll keep you coming back.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Overactive or Too Many Roosters

Overactive or too many roosters in the coop can cause a lot of havoc. Not just their keen ability to crow 24/7, and in some cases chase you through your own yard, but to their prized girls.

We have temporarily moved the 5 month old chickens in with the adults. The hens will stay in the group, and the roosters will find a new home. Up and until the past week or so, it appeared as if everything was copacetic. I am continually watching and inspecting my chickens, watching for illness, injury or any changes in behavior. There's the minimal feather loss on the hens at the top of their wings, and a little bit on their lower backs. Not enough usually to warrant additional help.

Well, this past Saturday we had to make a strategic move and help one of our White Orpington hens. She's obviously the favorite of our dominant rooster (Pig Pen) and I'm guessing some of the other teenage boys think she's fair game. If you've ever caught a chicken then you'll understand, they're quick! Once you do catch them, you'd think the world was falling down around them! Until you can finally get them settled, then it's as if you're their best friend. So she went from this:

to this:
We placed a chicken saddle on her. They have been a great resource for my hens. I need to purchase some more, and will again purchase them from Louise's Country Closet. I don't earn a dime from her, but the saddles have proven themselves to be durable and easy to clean. This should give the hen some additional protection from the boys (until we move them to their new housing) and help keep flies and mosquitoes from biting. Poor girl. The things we do for our chickens!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hello and Welcome

Hello to Devin, a new follower. She actually lives in the Central FL area, and has three of the chicks we hatched back in March. Along with the cutest little girl! Nice to have you following along. Take a look at some of my favorite blog sites (right hand side of the page). You'll get some more insight from additional bloggers.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Saturday in Photos

The youngest group at The Compound. Getting a bit rambunctious at this stage.

This poor hen was picked on to the point, she had a large wound on her head. We separated her from the group and put her in the broody pen with the two smallest chicks. All are getting along very well. The two small ones leave her poor wound alone, and she doesn't pick on them. They've seemed to buddy up pretty well.
I still can't tell if Rooster Cogburn (left) wants to become my boyfriend or tear me a new one!
My favorite photo of the weekend. Here's Lacy, checking out the shutter on the camera.
Doing what chickens do the best. Some of my Easter Eggers out hunting. They are the sweetest, and great egg layers.
Yes, we do have Tilapia in the pond. This is not the largest we've seen, but here's proof of life!
Finally, here's the group getting ready for bed. Miss Berta (Left) and Miss Corrie (Right), still sleep next to each other.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

It was one of those weekends where you could have fried an egg on the sidewalk!
The Moose mowed down the garden (forgot to get photos), but it was basically a jungle. That is NOT an overstatement or exaggeration. Many of the weeds were taller than my 5’5” height! He suffered as a result, got dizzy and started losing feeling in his jaw. Heat stroke was looming. Some bottles of water and a head dunk under cold water really helped!

We had some other projects that the guys all worked on, and needless to say their t-shirts all hung low, and it was a good thing it was outdoors, or we girls would have fainted from their smell!

Other important news: We received a phone call late Sunday from one of the guys who is watching our property. They found a 2-1/2 foot gator in our Tilapia pond! How on earth it got in there is a conundrum. The pond is inside a fenced in area, with chicken wire along the bottom 2’. The pond is covered by plastic fencing as well, to keep out the previous band of renegade Egrets! We’ll be doing a walk around to see if an area or two has been breached. I’d rather not feed the local wildlife Tilapia from our pond. I figure, the area is pretty much a swamp or scrub brush, very native environment. They ate from the surrounding area before we came on the scene, they can continue to eat somewhere else!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Chicken Fans, Any Clues?

Any ideas as to what could be wrong with my hen? Her feet are swollen. I didn't see any bumble foot issue. I've read possible gout? How and with what would you treat this?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Down for the Count

OK, I'm down for the count with a head cold. Surely picked up from my travels to WI, by one of the germ carrying co-passengers on the plane. Sneezing, coughing, and who knows what else. Breathing in the recirculated air, YUK! Another reason I prefer not to travel by air.

Friday, August 2, 2013

40' Container - The Gist of Things

Well, thought I’d add some additional details regarding the container so you get a better picture of what our plans are, and how we’ll get them accomplished.

First of all, we are not experts. We’ve never done this before. Saw some information online and figured we’d give it a try. If you attempt the same thing, you are on your own and we make no promises as to how it will turn out.

We plan on partially burying the container. Our water table is only about 4’ below the surface, so our ability to dig a really deep hole is not an option. So we’ll dig as far down as possible, back fill a bit with crushed stone, and then move the container into place, using the “nothing is free” light poles (I promise to shoot some video). We’ll put the finishing touches on by filling in the sides and creating a large berm or mound over the top. We are in essence making a cave.

Now as to the why; we have another container on the property and the minute you open it up you get a wonderful blast of 150 degree + heat in your face. The amount and types of things we are able to store are limited; no extra cans of gas for the mower, etc. So, by creating a “cave” we can lower the ambient temperature inside the container to around ground temperature or close to 72 degrees. The life cycle of items stored will be extended, and I won’t get a stinky facial every time I open the door!

I’ll have more to add as we progress. One final note, the cost of the 40’ container, delivered was $2500.00 and it’s 8’wide x 40’long x 9’6” high. We have way more space for storage than those little metal sheds they sell for $1985.00 for an 8x12.