Newsflash!

We are slowly being surrounded by avian flu here!

It started in south Tennessee and has now shown up in our county here in North Alabama.  It is mostly in the big producers chicken farms, but there has been one instance of a backyard flock becoming ill.  There is no cure and the all the chickens in these groups have been destroyed.  It is spread by wild birds. 

What does this mean to me here on the Farmlet?

If my chickens get sick they will also destroy my pet geese, Polly and Fredrik.

I have a knot in my stomach.

LOCAL NEWS on the subjecthttp://whnt.com/2017/03/14/bird-flu-suspected-in-3-north-alabama-counties/   (On the lighter side; don’t you just love Commissioner John McMillan’s southern accent?  😀 )

On Friday

NOTE:   I promised Linda to post this on Saturday, but was simply too worn out from Friday to actually accomplish the task.  I admit to some feeling blue about the listing for sale of the Mountain Farmlet, and to a bit of inconvenience  after my hand surgery.  My hand is very much better now!  So here it is Monday and I am posting to you after a month-long blogging hiatus.   Thanks for the nudge, Linda.  🙂

About Friday

I got up with Bob at 3:30.  He’s been getting up that early to do my chores, and then kept it up even after I was able to do them myself so as to beat the heat here.  His shop is not air-conditioned and it has been sweltering there!  (110 deg. on one day) And why did I get up so early?  To go up to the Mtn. Farmlet and clean floors before a potential buyer arrives at noon.

So I got ready and let the animals out at twilight.   Trust me the geese were very confused!  Then I got the dogs into the car and was driving away.  Only I forgot to lock the front door.  Normally I would have turned around, because it is the sensible thing to do, but being so early I didn’t want to disturb my neighbor by using her driveway.  So I backed down the street.  Great I thought as I slipped of the pavement and missed the barrier that keeps others from doing the same to us in driveway that was and is no more.  (Yes truly and it was once a night with high beams into the bedroom window!)   Anyway, I began turning the wheel to get the truck back onto the street, I really should have pulled forward, and instantly I heard the horrible sound of metal on metal.  I FORGOT THE MAILBOX!   Now I pulled forward.  Needless to say the pole is a bit tilted, the box is crushed and I now have a three-foot, blackened scratch over the wheel well and leading to the back of the truck.

So at least the 100 mile drive there was uneventful.  🙂

At 8:30 I parked out front under the shade of the big oak, grabbed the house keys, put my purse on the seat, told the dogs they would have to wait till I unlocked the house, my hand is still too weak to handle them and unlock the house, and then I would be right back for them.  I punched the lock out of habit and slammed the door shut.  Old habits die hard.  Now my purse, my phone, the truck keys, My AAA towing service card and the dogs are safely locked up inside the truck .

Looking for a phone I hiked a quarter-mile up the hill to see if my closest neighbors were at home.  Nope.  So then I walked downhill for about 3/4 mile to see if any other neighbors were home.  I finally reached a neighbor at the bridge who was home and she let me call Bob long distance to let him know what had happened.  He didn’t answer because he didn’t recognize the number.  However, he did get my message.  I hung up and called the sheriff to see if they could help and let them know my dogs were locked in the car.  The dispatcher said she would send someone out…  It is now about 9:00 by the clock on the neighbor’s wall.  I thank her for her kindness and leave to make the hike back up to the truck.

I wait for a very long time.  I’m getting very hot sitting in the shade of the font porch and keep checking the dogs to see how they are doing.   The are sleeping but wake up when I get to the truck window.   They are panting but their tongues look good; *not turning dark.  I am getting panicky because it has been almost two hours and no one has shown up yet.  I’m looking for a big rock. 

I hesitate, find a rock that looks like it will work, hesitate, think of the best window to break, hesitate again, and then hear the roar of a very large vehicle coming around the bend.  “Tow truck?” I thought;  It was!  It is now 11:10, the dogs are saved, the window is not smashed and I am ready to do battle with cabin floors.  On the back porch I let myself in and I ear a man’s voice shouting hello.  It is the Sheriff!  I tell him that AAA had just left and that everything is now OK.

“OK, Mam”, he said and turning he left.

I was not prepared for what I found.  Because there are no kitties left up there, and because we have not been there for several months to work… the rats came.  I will not go into details, but  gloved and armed with broom, mop and many fresh buckets of bleach water I set to work.   I finished about an hour and a half later and was bringing a large lawn and leaf bag of stuff out to the garbage cans, when I saw the people who were there to view the property.

Yikes! I was glad I got done in time, but I was a sight.  My shirt was sticking to me, my hair was hanging in wet strings, and my face was red, salt streaked, and over all I was just dirty.  I was a hot mess.  Oh well, I thought, they didn’t know me from a cleaning service and besides they came to see the property not me.  Right?

Up pulls the realtor and getting out of the car yells over a friendly greeting to me, “Hello,  I see you’ve met the [viewers] already!  Maybe you could show them what you’ve done to the place and what your plans were for it.”

I smile, “OK.” I said.

I told them about the house, some of the more interesting trees on the property, the deer that pass through regularly in season, and about the lovely neighbors.  In my mind I am thinking that anyone who buys this place will take a bulldozer to it and start new, but once they sign on the dotted line it is theirs to do with as they will…

Hot, sticky and tired beyond imagining,  I load the newly hydrated dogs and myself into the car and head for home.  Two hours later I pull into the drive, look at the tattered mailbox,  sigh, and let the dogs out before locking the door.  Bob greets us on the porch tells us that he called AAA for me.  I smile and think, what a sweetheart.

After a good hot shower I go out to gather eggs and found this.

smiling-egg

I think one of the chickens has sent me a message.  I take her point and cheer up.

~*~

And because you should know this – here are the

12 Signs of overheating in dogs:

http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2015/06/08/pet-overheating-symptoms.aspx

 

 

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The Crazy Chicken Lady Gazette Vol. 1, No 2

Bringing you all the chicken poop that’s fit to print, and some as what ain’t.

4618597-crazy-woman-wearing-a-metal-colander-for-a-helmet

Wherein the Noodle Dog Learns He Cain’t FLY

Fall has come creeping up in dribs-n-drabs and the weather has cooled enough for us to get some things done about the place.  This means me prepping chicken for the freezer… and convincing Bob that I need that back deck done!  The temporary steps we got (mummmbbble) months years back to replace the deteriorated ones are now themselves rotting and rickety.  I must confess that when we bought the wood for the job we had no idea that illness would settle in like an unwanted relative and stay with us for so long.  However we are now, relatively speaking, fit and ready for getting the job done.

And so it was, that while Bob worked at laying on and screwing down the planking, the Noodle needed to potty from time to time.  Having become used to the deck being there (albeit not screwed down) he has taken to flying off the steps and then right back up when he’s done his business.  Yesterday when he had to go I would pass him through the door to Bob and he would set him down to ‘go’.  However, at the end of the day when he went out, he did his business and then instead of coming to Bob for a lift into the mudroom,  he raced up the steps and, for all intents and purposes, tried to fly!

I give him credit for form and gumption.  The deck is 12 ft long and he made it just past center before he began losing altitude and crashed into a cross beam, tangled his legs in it, rolled, and then fell to the ground in a swan nose dive.  Had there been a diving pool below he would have won on that swan dive alone.  As it was, he jumped up and looked at us with a most confused expression, then shook himself off as if to say:  “I’m OK!”       <— (Click, it’s funny I promise.)

Noodle-flight-indicator

Thankfully, today finds him totally fine and full of spunk.

Noodle-Action-2

Regarding Miss Dixie

Dixie wanted you to know that she is no longer being incarcerated by the neighbors.  The lady of the house lamented as how sad she was to let out all her chickens to play in the grass and bask in the sun, and then listen to Miss Dixie complain all day…

Hm… ya think?

I cheerfully suggested that since their garden was done for the summer and that Miss Dixie preferred to sleep in our tree each night, that she just leave her to run free.    I am so happy to say that she has done just that.  I rarely see Dixie over the fence, as she has begun hanging out in the temporary quarters with the *Stay Puft Gang and the three Little Red Hens.  Apparently, she thinks they have the best eats.  I even spied her visitin’ with the Cornish just this morning, well, until Crow started giving her unwanted attention.  😉

Stay-Puft-Gang

On the Business Front

I have been working feverishly to complete a long overdue project for a friend and I’m happy to say it is done, mailed and has been received.  I am now going to apply the same efforts and steam to make new items for my Etsy shop.  The crickets have taken over and it is well past time to add some new fall and winter items.  I will post these as they are completed and added.

See y’all next time!

~*~

*Stay Puft Gang:  My euphemism for the meat chickens out back. For the uninitiated Stay Puft is a fictional Marshmallow character from the movie, Ghostbusters.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/b0/4d/a3/b04da3d79e7fd41a34a20e01e09d0f4d.jpg

The Crazy Chicken Lady Gazette Vol 1, No 1

Bringing you all the chicken poop that’s fit to print, and some as what ain’t.

4618597-crazy-woman-wearing-a-metal-colander-for-a-helmet

The Great Chicken Kerfuffle

Summer brings gardening, fruits and vegetables and this summer the neighbors went into high gear. They have a half acre laid out in corn, beans, squash and tomatoes! It is quite the extravaganza with three families working and eating the produce.

Enter Miss Dixie, our wild little hen who lives in the trees and eats what she pleases, mostly bugs and seeds she finds, and the occasional flushing cheek of the largest most promising tomatoes in their garden, not mine…

Very recently, this caused the Mr. from next door to come over and firmly voice his complaints about said little white chicken. I quickly apologized and went on to explain Miss Dixie’s situation.

You see sir, Miss Dixie was one of several chickens who were attacked and damaged by a neighbors dogs in 2011. She being the only survivor, went rogue. Taking to the trees to roost by night and the field to forage by day. This worked out well for me because she came home to lay her eggs with the other hens and pick up a bite or two and then she continued her foraging for the day.

I further explained to him that I understand his concerns.  I told him,  “I will try to catch her, but make no promises because of my arthritis.  If I can’t catch her then we’ll figure something out.”

He acquiesced and went home.

Previous to this incident (last year in April, and right before my knee surgery) I had to get rid of my chickens because Bob wouldn’t have time to care for them, and I couldn’t manage the job at all. As well, our other neighbor had called to complain that my chickens were scratching up all her sons newly planted seeds and could I please catch them and pen them up! I told her not to worry, and that I planned to get rid of my chickens anyway. I managed to catch every one but Miss Dixie. So now it is the day before my surgery and I still haven’t caught her. I called the neighbor and said, I’m sorry but Miss Dixie is a wild chicken and I can’t catch her. If she’s too much bother then tell your husband to use her for target practice! To which she replied,

“OH NO, THAT WON’T BE NECESSARY, I’M SURE WE’LL FIGURE SOMETHING OUT!!!”

Originally, we were told by this particular neighbor who owns all the land and houses on our street except two, ours and the people across the street, that our chickens were delightful and it wasn’t a problem to let them free range in their pasture. As the land usage has changed I have tried to respond accordingly.

The surprise in all of this is now their renters, the Mr. whose tomatoes were accosted, have about 50 chickens of their own. Yes, really! So when his nephew came to the door and complained about Miss Dixie again, Bob told him that we had asked their landlord to make good on our previous suggestion as to what to do about Miss Dixie, and that he didn’t want to hear anymore about the subject! Sigh…

Apparently, this upset said Mr. and his family, and now suddenly they want to take Miss Dixie, clip her wings and put her in a chicken run.

Miss Dixie is wild, I told them. She is old and won’t take well to captivity, I said. Yet, they were adamant that if they clipped her wings and put her in with their chickens then it would work. That was two weeks ago. Day before yesterday, they let all their chickens out.

Miss Dixie slept in her tree that night. 😉

She has not put a toenail nor pinfeather in their yard on either day, although she may in future…

I do hope they have the sense not to come knocking on our door again as regards Miss Dixie.

Miss-Dixie-and-RC

Miss Dixie and RC in happier times.