I'm a mentally ill person raising another mentally ill person. With chickens.

Posts tagged ‘chickens’

I didn’t forget

I didn’t forget to post today. I went to Target with my daughter and had a nice time just meandering around. Then I came home to a chicken with poop all over her. She couldn’t puff out her feathers to keep warm or put her head under her wing because she was so matted with poop. I have no idea how it happened, I don’t know if she was in the line of fire, so to speak, or if she rolled in it while dust bathing. But it was super nasty. So instead of eating dinner and sitting down to write about being irritated with my husband’s grandmother and the holidays I gave a chicken a bath in my bathtub and then blew her dry with my hair-dryer. She handled it better than I expected, but it’s not an experience I’d care to repeat.
Good night!

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A bit silly

So today was pretty quiet until this evening. Everybody was gone for a chunk of the afternoon, taking my mother-in-law to the airport. She’s in Phoenix until Spring. Since she doesn’t baby-sit like a normal grandmother, likes to tell me how awful my house looks, and demands very specific gifts while being the original re-gifter I’m fine with that. I don’t dislike her exactly, she’s just not a person I would spend time with if she wasn’t my husband’s mother. She’s much either to deal with from a distance, that’s for sure.

My husband and daughter went pheasant hunting after the airport. I’m kind of surprised she wanted to go with since it’s pretty cold out, but I guess she had fun. I don’t know how I feel about her hunting, but so far she doesn’t have a gun, she just walks with him so right now it’s ok. Also, they haven’t actually gotten any birds yet, so I’m not sure she’ll still like it after she sees the dead pheasant.  I don’t mind walking around in the country with my husband and the dog either, but I’m not fond of dead birds,  so no pheasant hunting for me.

She came home with a headache. She gets them once in a while, and unfortunately migraines run in my husband’s dad’s family, so that concerns me a bit.  Hearing loss also runs in his dad’s family, but so far none of the grandkids seem to have ended up with it, which is lucky, but very nice.

So this evening I went out to check on my hens and change their water (I only have one heated dish, and it gets pretty nasty) and I noticed that Thelma was acting weird and not eating. So after checking her out I thought that it might be Egg Yolk Peritonitis (where the egg ends up in their abdomen and gets infected) and decided to try treating it with Flagyl because I have a whole bunch of that and it’s one of the few things that works. Not having a chicken vet is hard, because you’re always kind of guessing, but when I called my vet-who is a FARM vet-his office said they didn’t do chickens because “they’re just chickens, there’s no money in them”, which I guess is true. They’re $1.75 at the feed store, but that doesn’t change how attached to them you get. Anyway, after looking at several chicken sites (thank you Poultry Pedia and BYC) I decided on Flagyl and figured out the dosage; the thing is, Flagyl is the foulest (ha, ha, I’m punny) tasting stuff on the planet and Thelma  hates being handled so this was not going to be easy.   And it wasn’t, it was like the WWE in my chicken coop.   If she improves I get to do it for the next five days, yay.

So then there’s my dog. This is Roxy. She needs a Twelve-Step program. She is normally a very well-trained and well-behaved dog. But she is addicted to sugary foods, particularly Twizzlers and donuts. When she’s in the same room with them she forgets all of her training and turns into a thief. She can surf a counter in complete silence, leaving no evidence of her crime except the empty package. Currently she is in doggy jail (her kennel) for stealing five cinnamon sugar donuts which are absolutely not going to agree with her as she normally eats grain-free food. And guess who has to sleep with stinky butt?!? Don’t be fooled by that face, she is an addict and everyone knows you can’t trust a junkie.

Roxy under cover

Chicken Sh*%

Ugh, today is the first day I’ve really had a hard time getting motivated to write anything. Or do anything for that matter. I just want to sleep and watch bad TV.  Maybe it’s the weather, which is not pretty.

snowy yard That’s my yard under between 4-6 inches of snow, which is now blowing around all over the place.  We actually did work outside yesterday before it started snowing, but obviously we missed a few things, like the table and chairs and the tiki torches. Oops. We did put insulation in the chicken’s coop (it’s the blue and white shed) and put plastic around their run. There are still some bugs to be worked out in the coop, because a little snow found its way inside the front doors and into their run. I opened the door to their fun for a while today, but they wouldn’t go out there, probably because the snow was right by their little door, and chickens are snow blind so they were most likely scared. I’ve spent most of my day worrying about them, honestly, because it is COLD. And because they aren’t usually confined all day and they don’t get along very well. I suppose they will have to learn, winter here is LONG. I have read a lot about chickens in winter, and some people don’t heat their coops or insulate them or anything. Even in Canada! They claim that chickens adapt, which I suppose is true, they’ve been on the planet, and domesticated, for thousand’s of years. But these chickens are my babies! So I’m worried, and I added insulation and a heat lamp, and I’m probably going to order a larger, safer heat source before the temperature drops below zero later this week (yuck!). I did get three eggs today, and found them before they were frozen, so that’s good, I guess. One of my big red chickens is sneezing which makes me nervous as chickens have very sensitive respiratory systems, but I don’t want to give her any medication until I have a better idea what the problem is. Keeping chickens is fun, but it can be a bit of an all-consuming hobby too. And like parenting blogs and websites, there are a million chicken blogs and websites out there too, most of which don’t agree with each other. I mostly use Backyard Chickens and The Chicken Chick for information, because if I start looking around much more I get overwhelmed. I have a friend in North Dakota that has been kind of a chicken mentor for me too, which is nice, because most of my friends think I’m a crazy person with the chickens.  I have no Me and Bernieidea what they’re talking about.

Sorry, that was probably more about chickens than you ever wanted to hear, but that’s where my head is at today. I’m a little worried because I have been sleeping a ton. It could just be the time of year. I know from experience that Spring and Fall are not good times of year for me as far as my mood goes, so maybe it’s just a seasonal low, but it’s frustrating to be so tired all the time. The doctor’s office said I need to exercise more, which I’m sure is true, but I am getting more exercise with the chicken chores than I have in the past. And I seem to have lost weight, because my clothes and bras fit better than they have. So who knows? Mood disorders are weird, and just when you think you’ve got it managed something new comes along.

A bit random today

Feeling old today because when I turned on the computer Google reminded me that the Berlin Wall came down 25 years ago and I remember that day.  I feel even older because trying to explain the Soviet Union or East Germany to a nine-year old is exhausting (and I did not do it well).  The cold war and the Soviet threat–and the threat of global nuclear holocaust–were such a part of being a child in the 80’s that I don’t think most of us really noticed it much except in movies and TV and maybe Pepsi commercials. I wonder how she’ll look back on our whole Global War on Terror?

The chickens are mostly winterized, so I figure it probably won’t snow. We’re upgraded to a warning from a watch and to 7-11 inches possible from 4-6, but so far there’s no snow, so I’m making my daughter do her homework. She insists that there’ll be a snow day tomorrow so she doesn’t need to do it. I told her the quickest way to make sure we don’t get any snow is to not do your homework. She didn’t believe me, of course, she said “weather doesn’t work like that”, but when it comes to snow days it totally does.

My son had the state Special Olympics Bowling tournament this weekend.  It’s a big tournament, it started Thursday afternoon and ended today. There were opening ceremonies and karaoke on Friday and a banquet and dance on Saturday. We had some concerns about him being allowed to participate because his behavior earlier in the week was so bad, but Thursday rolled around and he was totally fine, and he was fine the whole weekend even though it was crowded and loud and the schedule was not what he was used to. So that got  me to thinking and I looked back over my emails from his teacher to see if there was a pattern to the outbursts at school and their kind of is. They all happen during or right after an activity he really doesn’t like including gym, SPURS (a therapeutic horseback riding program) and their job skills activity (which is cleaning the cafeteria). So I should probably talk to the teacher, right? Except we had this exact conversation last year (right around this same time) and it led to an extensive round of meetings and a very detailed CAP plan, but not any actual changes. He still spends most of his day in the self-contained classroom, he still has to do a job that he would never do in real life. So I don’t know what to think about school for him. I just don’t know that he’s getting much from it, except irritated. He’s supposed to be getting job and independent living skills but I just don’t see that happening. I guess we have yet another meeting coming up in December so I’m going to try to figure out what our options are.  Part of me would so love to be done with the endless meetings and bureaucracy that is Special Education, but I don’t want Alex to miss out on services he may need just because I’m over it all. So we’ll see.

I couldn’t help myself: