Friday, August 30, 2013

Monsters in my Tub

Just when you think everything is fine
Monsters invade your tub !
Everyone is on alert.
They all run to one side of the tub
and more often than not, hide beneath each other
until they are just a mass of yellow fluff.

 Spring was wet and cold with flooding 
even closing down interstate highways.
Summer only a season on the calender, 
wet then dry but cooler than normal.
Then the wall of heat hit setting records.
The heat index was something like 104.
It was so hot we lost two of the youngest coop members,
one a rooster and the other a pretty buff.
Fortunately I could save Miss Puffy cheeks and two siblings.

The older hens were fine but these younger one
were not ready to take on the full grown hens, 
in fact the group right before this didn't fully integrate
but they have no choice now, they are fully grown.

 These girls had to come into the house to cool off.
 They can't go in with Bird, they would peck his/her only eye.
So our choice was  to put them into the tub with the babies 
for a couple of days.  Monsters to the little babies!
I will say these older birds have been very patient
although they give the little ones a peck now and again,
nothing dangerous, just warning pecks.

About half of the babies will  be gone
by Monday-  going to my husband's boss to boost his layers.

Miss Puffy Cheeks,  sitting in the tub above,
 still remembers to fly onto the edge of the tub
so  I'll take her out to sit on my lap.  She's 
the sweetest ever and I'd love to have her be Bird's companion
but I am too worried about his eye.  
Maybe I could sew a patch for him/her.
I'd have to come up with a good pirate chicken name!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sleepy Bird

With his belly full, he nestles down in my lap 
closing his lone eye 
and whistling sleepy little chicken tunes.

She (??) is exhausted after the effort it takes
to scoop up her food 
and then struggle with drinking from the eye dropper;
We had another breakthrough!

If I fill up the utility sink
she not only has the cleanest chicken feet in town
but also is able to take her own drinks!
I just wrap her in a towel afterwards
and she's as happy as a . . . lark???

Well, I don't know exactly how happy she is
but she's pretty excited about her new drinking method.
As soon as I put her in the sink she knows exactly what to do.

I have to learn how long to keep her in so she doesn't drink too much.
 Bird is about 4 months old now, still small for her age
but getting along pretty well considering her physical issues.

The new batch of chicks won't be suited for her, 
none of them seem to have a sweet disposition.
My husband thinks most of them are roosters.
The hens will go to his boss for a new batch of layers.
Bird will just hang out with us.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Gadgets- The Pampered Kind

I love gadgets!
The more the better, it's has been my weakness since childhood.
I don't go to home parties much,
no candle parties,
no decor parties 
but I really like Pampered Chef products.
It's a bit pricey sometimes but I find the quality is good.

This incredibly cool container is a salad dressing mixer
complete with directions for various dressings
such as Italian, French, Oriental 
what my husband says is NOT Caesar,
there's not an anchovy or raw egg in the mix.
  I'm sure it tastes great- I can do without the little fishies.
We use the Good Seasons dressing a lot so now
it's just the same thing but we use our own ingredients
plus have a mixer/pourer along with it.

The orange thing is an orange peeler, 
saving fingernails when you want to peel oranges, 
tangerines, etc.  Very  helpful.

Then the swively mallet thing mixes and chops meat
while you are cooking. My neighbors have this and love it.
I have been known to put mine through a food grinder
before making my sloppy joes or meat sauces.
I'm just weird that way- it's a texture thing,
you may not understand but it's the same reason
my daughter became a vegetarian.
have not gone to that extreme.
I love bacon waaay too much! 

Now the box with the apron was my prize in the attendance drawing.
I could  choose between a recipe book or a daiqueri mix.
Guess what I took.
It wasn't the book!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Bigger Tubby for Bird

Chicken food covered the floor, 
 tossed and kicked for several feet in every direction.
Oh, the problems of having a house chicken!
I decided Bird needed a second layer of defense
as he's grown larger than I had ever imagined.

He could now just step out of the tubby,
and had done so several times.
It seems he likes to take his morning and evening stroll
through the living room
or among the bar height chairs 
or around the breakfast bar into the kitchen!

Then there was the constant sweeping and vacuuming.
So, bird got a new feeding system.
It's a larger tub that I put the smaller one in.
The crumbs are still kicked and tossed but they land
in the second tubby and not all over my floor.
He also doesn't step out quite so easily!
In fact, with this he can even sit on the porch with us
and the cats don't mind at all.

It's still a challenge to give him water,
he can't manage the waterer, mostly because he
can't see it and then gets confused and swishes
his head back and forth.
So for now, I still supplement with the eye dropper.

I hatched somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 chicks
hoping I'd find a good friend for Bird, 
but he keeps stepping on them.
Maybe when they are bigger one will stand out.
 About half of these will go to my husband's employer
who needs more layers.  Once we find the girls we'll 
send them on their way.  My husband is making a larger
chicken coop/yard for the meat birds and the balance
will go there. We'll even keep another rooster on 
that side - layers on the other side with their rooster.

Monday, August 12, 2013

I Hear Babies, Mama

I hear babies, Mama!
That's what Bird must have been saying this morning
as the newly hatched chicks were calling out to whoever was listening.
Bird was in his tubby scooping up breakfast when he hopped out of the tub
and started walking around- to some undetermined location since he
is essentially  blind, but his hearing is excellent.
He would chirp back, a funny little whistling sound since his beak is malformed.

I took him to the incubator so he could hear them a little better
and hopefully they could hear him.
We have three hatched so far-- photos of only two right now.
They will be fine company for Bird who has been pretty lonely since
the last batch got big enough to go into the coop.
He wants to hang out with us, which is sometimes difficult
since he's blind and tends to poop on the floor.
I found some chicken diapers on line, hopefully I'll figure out how to make them.

We're up to 5 hatches now.
I took the dry one out to see Bird and he stepped on it already!
Not a good start for the wee one.

Bird hasn't figured out how to drink without assistance yet
so twice a day he gets lots of droppers full of water.
I mushed up a peach yesterday (he can't peck) and he seemed to enjoy that flavor too. 
More photos of hatchlings as things progress!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

One Day I Realized, I Collect Chickens!

The things you discover when you finally get around to taking everything down-
It really happened in the old place  We were painting and once I 
got everything off the cabinet tops, the tables and the walls I discovered
that I collected chickens!  Surprise, surprise!
It wasn't intended, it just happened.

So maybe we don't set out to collect things,
maybe they choose us.
Who would have guessed that one day I'd own chickens
or have a house chick at that!

While this isn't a chicken, it sits on the cabinet tops with them,
propped up so you can see the inside from below.
It's old and I think from my grandmother's place.(??)

What a happy little picture.
A nice little cottage by the water.
Sail boats and birds taking advantage of the breezes.
The sort of place that would be perfect to raise chickens!

PS  This isn't all, I've got figurines, photos, tableware, paintings, etc. 
all over the house!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Shrinking Value

It is a sign of the times.
I always purchase this spaghetti sauce when my store has it on
special  10 for $10, sometimes it can be on sale for even less.
  It's not my normal brand but it's pretty 
good and great to store away in bulk.
Do you see something different about the can on the left?
Yep, when I pulled out a can from storage and compared it to
the newly purchased can there is a size difference.
Not so much that you would immediately notice, especially
if you are in a hurry or distracted.

I'm not singling out this brand either.
You can see this in many other products on store shelves.
Watch the size of cereal boxes, check how much larger the cardboard
core of toilet paper is, compare weights and measurements with
products you have tucked in the back of your cabinets.
Expenses have increased but they can't easily pass along a price increase
 so the keep the price the same or close and then reduce the size just a little bit. 
Over the course of thousands and thousands of sales, it adds up.
This is a 10% reduction. 

Don't think this means the company is raking it in-
they still have fixed costs to cover: salaries, benefits packages, taxes, packaging, transportation, promotional allowances, advertising, etc.  They may be barely breaking even as the dollar is devalued and costs rise.  But you should be aware of these slight changes so you can make wise purchases and get the most value for your money.  

Here is a link from 2011 reviewing this product, notice
that they mention the standard size of 26.5 oz.

Size The net weight of the standard - sized container of Hunt's Traditional Pasta Sauce is 26.5 ounces. According to the product's nutrition facts label, the container holds about six 1/2 cup servings of sauce.

I doubt it will get any better so you may want to stock up
when you find a great sale or take advantage of canning and 
dehydrating when you grow or come across some great vegetables.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Chicken Waterer for Special Needs Chick - Manna Pro

I wanted to share my new chicken waterer for my Special Needs Bird.
As some of you know, he not only has a crossed beak, but is also 
missing one eye and blind or severely visually impaired in the other
which means he has a difficult time finding and drinking his water.
Every morning and evening I make sure he drinks from an eye dropper
after he has his meal.

This feeder/waterer is convertable.
Depending on which side of the base you use it can be used
to feed or water, plus it is large capacity rather than the
mason jar waterer we had been using for the chicks.

I placed a penny in the dish to give you an idea of how deep it is.
This is very important for my chick since he needs to dip and scoop
to be able to eat or drink.  

The flip side is the feeder.
Again you can see how much more shallow it is by the penny.

I would like to say I've been more successful, but I have not.
It has nothing to do with the product, when I assisted him
he was able to drink easily; however, being blind he does not
always "get it."  He also has a skull deformity which may be 
contributing to the problem. He has stopped his seizures but his one eye has changed, 
becoming bulbous and cloudy.

He is fed in a plastic tub which is deeply filled with food 
since he has to scoop it into his beak. 
He hasn't grown much, other than get fatter and
has enormous monster feet that get him in a world of trouble.
I have to get a new feeding tub because he now steps
out of it and walks all over the living room. 
Once he made it around the breakfast bar,
past the chairs that line it 
and into the kitchen to find me.
Here he came around the corner, 
strolling into the kitchen as if it were normal.
I just know he was saying
"Help me Mama, I fell out of my tubby!"

I suppose he is now a house chicken.
I guess I'll have to find out if anyone else has a house chick
or has my mom's worst fears come true,
I've become Elly May, as in Clampett.
The next thing you know I'll be installing a CEment pond out back.

I give him some rocks to perch on, which he loves, 
a little dish of food just in case and then his water. 
When we have our new hatchlings he will once again have company
and someone groom him and keep him warm and snuggly at night.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Fear and Hiding in the Coop

Oooooh, it's been a bad transition !
Not as bad as some in the past but we have an injury 
right off the bat.  This little bird got herself caught
in a corner and the older hens beat her! 
You can see her injury .
She has been moved to protective custody with the new chicks.

Look at the branch roost in the yard- to the left.
All three are NOT leaving the perch! NEVER!
It's a LONG way to the ramp and into the coop.

He's been trying to keep the peace but those
older hens are fast and sneaky.
The new girls run under his tummy when it gets too bad.

The newbies spent their first night in the coop,
in the protective custody section.  They are amazed,
scared, wide eyed and . . . 

Big Cheeked!
Miss Puffy Cheeks, an Araucana mix, normally has a lot of fluff
but check it out now!  Super Puffed!
She was trying to figure out how to get past the wire
so she could get to me .
They are comfortable but it's not the house
and Miss Puffy Cheeks must miss me taking her
out so she can look out the back door-
in the house-
the nice, safe house.

Bird is lonely.
He/she spent a quiet night last night and seemed to enjoy it.
Today he about jumped out of the brooder tub
when we reached in to pick him up.
He got to sit on my lap for awhile after dinner and his drink
but he's not a good lap sitter.  

I'll have to show you the new water bowl I got him,
it's really deep so I hope he will be able to manage it himself
between getting his eye dropper drinks
(He is cross beaked and blind)
Watch for the upcoming post on this Manna Pro feeder/waterer.