Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chocolate Cake Upper

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This chocolate cake kept me awake all night.

Well, chocolate cake and Sees candy.
I didn't eat all that cake, 
but enough that I couldn't sleep except that I slept a lot today.

It wasn't supposed to rain today, but it did 
and stuff fell out of the tree on the clothes on the line.
I washed all the clothes again.

Overcast day, 
but the trees against the dark sky 
have their own kind of beauty.

This old oak is dropping a lot of dead branches.

Morgan starts antibiotics tomorrow.
No dog food recipes yet.

No eggs.
The chickens were locked up today 
and got cabbage and steak scraps for treats.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Morgan Doesn't Have Diabetes!

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Morgan has an inflamed pancreas. Which means a change in diet is called for... no protein, meat, fat, cheese, etc. She can have crackers for treats and rice, noodles and potatoes. I'm supposed to cut back on the dog food and add the carbs to make up the difference. I don't know quite how all this is supposed to work... I'm going to call the vet again tomorrow and ask for clarification.

But... Morgan is feeling better! I changed around what she eats so her pancreas can calm down. She didn't drink much water today or lick her food dish like crazy so I hope she is feeling better. 

She is acting perky when she is up and getting a lot of rest. She does need to take some antibiotics as a preventive and the vet will get the dog food recipes to me this week.

The strange white thing is a mushroom!

I don't know which Hericium this is... maybe Americanum?

The Buff Orpington hen was wobbly this morning, 
but she made it out to the feed.

We bought a batch of chicks a few years back that had Marek's 
and sometimes a hen comes down with the symptoms. 
It seems the virus can stay in the environment for years,

She sat in the sun and then came up on the porch
with the other hens for carrot peel treats.

Some hens recover from Marek's, but there is no cure.

We didn't know about Marek's disease in chickens when we got our first chicks, and that feed store didn't say anything about getting chicks with or without vaccinations. Ah, ignorance and trust... well, since then we have always ordered vaccinated chicks, but chickens can still get the disease. 

2 eggs.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

White Moss?...No! Mushroom! Yes! Homemade Dog Food?

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Update: Lynda commented and she was right.
Thank you, Lynda!
Click here for information and more photos of the 
Hericium Mushroom

But Kristine said that no way 
was she eating that mushroom for dinner.


This morning Kristine spotted something white on an oak tree as she drove down the driveway. 

She told me about it at the gate and sent me off to capture some photos for my blog.

I don't ever remember seeing this growth before on any of the trees or rocks around here.

In fact, it reminds me more of a sea anemone than something that belongs in a forest.

I almost expected to see the little wormy looking things to start waving at me.

Then I'm sure I would have yelled and run away. Boo!

I was already a little spooked because Kristine said that the white thing on the tree didn't look natural and not to get too close. 

Ah, but I had to get close to get a half way decent picture.

Click on the bottom photo and it will enlarge and you can get a better look... 

that is if you want to get a better look.

I have been searching around trying to identify this thing.

The sites I have found so far don't have any photos of any moss that look like this specimen. 

Maybe it's a new find and I can name it after Kristine... she found it.

Morgan is going to see the vet today just to make sure she is OK.

The chickens have to stay locked up today because we don't leave them out when we are not here.

Bad things always seem to happen to the hens when we are gone and they are loose.

Morgan vet visit update:

  1.      5:00 pm - just got back from Morgan's appointment.
  2.      Morgan was checked over by the vet.
  3.      Blood was drawn for a comprehensive panel .
  4.      She may have diabetes?

We have to wait for the blood work to be completed before there can be a diagnosis. Waiting for a phone call.

But one good thing is that the vet is going to be giving me some recipes for making homemade dog food so I can stop buying dog food and make Morgan's meals!

7:00 pm - haven't heard from the vet, so I fed Morgan some warm rice with a 1/4 c. dog food. Hope to hear from the vet tomorrow.

I just remembered what the doberman breeder told me to feed my first dobe puppy for 6 months: cooked rice, cooked hamburger and scrambled eggs. I mixed it all up after cooking and rolled it into meat ball sized portions.

Can't remember the portion he got at each meal, but along with pet vitamins and oils he grew up big, strong and beautiful.

That recipe is maybe OK for a growing dog, but I think it is too rich for a mature dog like Morgan. I'm interested to see the recipes the vet copies for me to feed Morgan.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Puttin' On The Ritz

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Rainy day... good for reading 
and watching movies.

I love this dance !

A pleasure to watch!

When I was growing up, I always thought that Fred Astaire 
looked like my Father. 
I never saw my dad tap dance 
but he was the very best Father ever!

I love classic movies!

Morgan is still not feeling just right.
She hasn't been sick 
but she keeps licking her food dish.
Tummy ache?
So, I gave her some warm rice to soothe her tummy.

She was supposed to visit the groomer today, 
but I thought it would be too stressful for her and kept her home.

Cloudy days ahead 
so I will be able to get out tomorrow and do stuff.

No eggs.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Rain, Snow And A Sick Dog

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Around the middle of the day it started snowing.

We weren't supposed to get any snow, 
but we got enough to cover the ground and porch.
Snow is all gone now... rain forecast for tonight and tomorrow.

Morgan got Kristine up in the early hours 
because she was upchucking all over the living room floor.

Morgan was sick. 
Not Kristine.
Kristine said Morgan threw up hair and ?
I think we might take her to see a vet 
to make sure she is ok.

Morgan had rice for dinner 
and is sleeping now.

I've been enjoying doing the 
"a Google a Day"

No eggs.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Falling Rain And Branches

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This morning the driveway was blocked 
in several places by fallen branches.
I didn't see them until I started walking to the gate.
The branches were bulky, but not heavy.

Most of the branches were by the front gate. 

This long branch was by the back fence. 

Rainfall this year is up to 10.08.
Hope we get some more rain tomorrow and Monday. 
Our average annual precipitation 
is somewhere over 40 inches.

It was really wet last year.
Hope more rain and snow shows up.
I don't want to face a dry summer with high fire danger.

I checked to see if the 
Buff Orpington 
was still on the roost. 

The hen was out by the shed next to the Dark Brahmas 
sunning herself. 
She has a tin of lay that she shared. 
I didn't see her eat any of it.

Later she joined the other hens on the porch 
and ate up her share of cabbage. 

There are three Buff Orpingtons in the photo. 
Curly the Cochin is the buff colored hen at the bottom. 
There are only 3 Buff Orpingtons 
so that means that one of those Buffs is the 
hen that is acting poorly.
Hope she is back to feeling ok.

No eggs. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Lovely Wet Sleepy Day

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As of now we are up to 8.61 inches of rain this year.

Morgan in her raincoat.
Hurray for rain!

The only bad part is the bad driving conditions.

Still, I'm very happy we are getting the much needed rainfall.

Rain and being tired and sleepy seem to go together for me and I slept away a lot of the day.

Rain... not snow - front gate.

This photo looks like it was taken at night 
but it was only 3:30 p.m. 
when I took Morgan 
out for a walk 
and to 
check on the chickens.

2 Australorps - Buff Orpington

Some of the hens are not convinced that it is actually daytime 
and that they 
should get off their roosts.

One of the hens is sleeping in a nest box.

I really did try to take more photos
but I was afraid my camera
would get water damaged.

Morgan went sniffing around
in the coop looking for 
the mysterious critters.

Australorp - 2 Dark Brahmas
Light Brahma
She could smell something interesting 
but she didn't find anything.

Wish we could have found a clear tarp 
to cover the pen like we did last year.

I'm sure the chickens 
would be much happier 
with some more light.

Well, they will only have to stay 
in the pen for a day or two.

No scratch marks on the wooden egg.

I watched a lot of QI shows today.
Finished The Name Of The Rose.
I'm going to start reading 
Inside Of A Dog

No eggs.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Easy Way To Get Boots Off

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4:00 a.m.
No rain. It was supposed to start raining.

Dark cloudy day.
I stayed in and read.
Didn't want to go out in the rain.
The rain that didn't show up.
Besides I was tired from yesterday.

4:45 p.m.
There is finally some drizzly rain!

No photos of the drizzly rain because it is too dark.
At least the camera thinks it's too dark
and the photos come out... too dark.

I did take a picture of the Buff Orpington 
that stayed on a roost all day.
She didn't come out this morning, when all the other hens ran outside.
Either she is not feeling well
or the day is dark enough that she wants to sleep.
Hope she is OK.

I took the photo of the Australorp 
tonight when I went out to lock up the coop.
I don't think she likes having a flash go off in her face.

"Get out of my face woman can't you see its past my bedtime?"
~ diane b

Wish I was feeling brighter and I could come up with a brilliant caption.
I think she is thinking something witty.

Since nothing much happened today
I thought I would record my 
secret for the easy way I get my boots off.

I wear plastic bags over my socks!

See... there was enough rain to get my boots wet.
Kristine came home with two new pillows last night
and asked if I wanted the plastic bags.

The bags are really big 
but they'll work out very well 
because I stuffed all the tall bits of the bag
in around the top 
and that will keep leaves and debris
from falling in the boots
when I'm raking and hauling stuff around.

Beside, the plastic bag 
makes it super easy to take off the boots!

No eggs.
Well, there could have been, 
but I forgot to look when I locked up the coop
and it is cold and wet and 
I don't want to put my boots back on and go look.
I just took them off.
I'll look later when I take Morgan out again.
I did look this afternoon.

Morgan is sleeping on Kristine's old pillows 
while I type this.

I'd hate to wake her up just to go look for eggs 
that most probably aren't there.
Sounds like a good excuse to me.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Critter Egg Whittling

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Yesterday, I posted a photo of an egg
that was scratched up by a mystery critter.

Today, I found two wooden eggs that had been hidden 
away in a critter nest 
and one of them had been really scratched up.

Here is the scratched up egg next to what it should look like.

I think the critter that chewed up this wooden egg
might be a different critter
than the egg scratcher.

Oh dear, that would mean there are two critters.

This is the nest box cabinet that I tore out of the coop.
It had a critter nest in it.
The cabinet is laying out in hopes of receiving a wash
from the rain.
The rain
that never showed up today.

I moved a roost ladder 
inside the coop
so the hens will have another place to roost.

There were several places where a little critter
dug through the floor.

I put some fine dirt down in hopes of finding some footprints tomorrow.

I put the good wooden egg in a nest box
in hopes of foiling the critter, 
but instead I fooled an Australorp into sitting 
on the wooden egg for 3 hours.

I raked 3 new paths.

Some of the paths still need to be leveled

out so I don't tip over on my trike

that I don't have yet.

Just planning ahead.

Kristine can ride her new bike!

No eggs

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sign Found Of Mysterious Egg Thief

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If you click on the photo of the egg, 
I think you will be able to see the tiny scratch marks 
made by the mysterious critter

that is living in the chicken coop 
and eating the eggs.

This afternoon, I found this egg in the bottom nest box 
before the critter had managed to scratch an opening
and break through the shell.

Wonder what the little critter is?
Such fine tiny scratch marks.

I still have work to do tomorrow to finish cleaning out the coop.

It is cold and getting colder.
Made stew soup for dinner on the wood stove.

I was really sleepy this morning and ended up going back to bed
after I fed Morgan and let the chicken out.

It is supposed to rain tomorrow afternoon
so I will have to finish the coop cleaning
tomorrow morning.

The chickens will be locked in the coop and pen 
for a few days if it really does rain
and maybe snow.

It would be so great if the hens 
take that opportunity to catch the thief.

1 scratched up egg

Monday, January 16, 2012

Coop Cleaning And Compost

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It is very strange...
There were definitely tunnels and some kind of  critter nests
in the nest boxes
but there were no mouse or rat droppings.

Kristine thinks it might be a mole?

I hauled the straw bales out of the coop
and put them in the shed next to the bicycles.

I took all the old straw out of the next boxes
and put down a very thin layer of new straw. 

I used all the old straw to line the new compost pile.
I put some straw on top to cover the soil
to help keep it from washing away in the rain.

I hope we get some rain!

The chickens had a good time
scratching up all the loose straw I dropped.

I'm only half way through cleaning out the coop.
Tomorrow, I'm going to move some things around, repair the floor, 
and put up some new roosts.

I want to move out anything that a little critter can hide behind
so the chickens can see, find and catch them 
for me... I don't want to set traps.

I'd much rather the chickens took care of the critter.

Kristine is right.
I had too much straw in the coop.

0 eggs

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mouse Eating Eggs

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Yesterday, I accidentally dropped some cabbage 
on the inside of the slider
and waited for the chickens to clean up my mess.

and decided to try them out for breakfast.
Very good!

In the nest box?
The mouse tunnel in the straw is a bit hard to see 
but I think there is a mouse
eating the eggs!

Today I'm going to clean the straw out of all the nest boxes, 
take the straw bales out of the coop,
and check for more mouse nests.

I think the chickens will catch them 
if they can see them.

0 eggs yesterday

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Making Paths Wider

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The 3rd cement base post is in place.
Now I have to figure out how to nail it all together
so it won't fall apart
when I'm walking on it.

I'm making the paths wide enough

so that

I can peddle

an adult trike down them.

More paths to clear and widen.

Trimmed trees yesterday too until the trimmer came apart.
Need to hook it back together tomorrow.

I'm taking the day off today.
I slept in until noon.

I looked at adult trikes online last night.
I want one with a basket.

Off to make brunch...

No eggs.
Or the chickens ate them.
Or a mouse?