Sunday, December 28, 2014

Not Too Busy

I've been laid up lately because I had a major surgery on the 18th, so Eric has been the main breadwinner when it comes to chicken care.

I haven't caught my chicken killer and now I'm not too hopeful that I will anymore, so I put the trap away. We also had another scare with the electric coop door, so we made the decision to unplug it and go back to manually opening the door twice per day. One night, after work I found that the electricity got unplugged to the coop somehow. I turned it back on, and got the door to shut, but the door ended up opening up and was open ALL NIGHT long. I didn't lose any birds thankfully, but that was enough for me. We are keeping the door and will use it for when we go on vacation or need to leave for the weekend/day, etc.

Eric made a 5 gallon bucket waterer for the chickens that cuts down on the water on the coop floor and it has been working well....until the other day. One of the little drinkers fell out and we got 5 gallons of water on the coop floor now. Eric spent the morning today cleaning ice out of the coop and re-bedding it for the chickens. He also fixed the waterer and rehung it outside so we won't have anymore wet coop floors. One of the biggest mistakes in the winter is to have moisture inside of the coop. Moisture and cold air will cause frostbite on chicken feet and combs. It's been a pretty mild winter so far, but now that it's getting colder, we aren't taking any more chances!

We just had Christmas and it was fun. We traveled to my hometown to celebrate with my family and we celebrated with Eric's yesterday. We even got invited back over for a lunch of leftovers today, which is awesome because Eric's mom is an awesome cook and I love hanging out with them. I got a new Dyson and ice cream maker for Christmas so I'm pretty stoked about that! I also got some cash....I see more chickens and ducks in my future. Heehee.

I think I'll be needing to take Arnold into the vet....he has had the most terrible breath lately. He's the cat who had to have 6 teeth removed last Fall....and I'm afraid that the bad breath is a sign of dental problems so he's probably in need of a cleaning. It wouldn't be so bad, but he LOVES sleeping right by my face and he yawns all the damn time....blech.

I had an abdominal surgery so I'm literally going to be out of commission for weeks, so I hired a high school girl to be my housekeeper for a few weeks. She comes on Tuesday so that should be interesting. I am a neat freak and sometimes a bit of a control freak, so I'll need to keep that in check when the little lady comes to clean. Eric will enjoy the help. I am sure he is sick of cleaning and I know the added work probably stresses him out. I feel helpless. I want to clean and help out. I get exhausted even taking a shower or wiping down the tables. He gets mad at me if I try helping out so I've been parked out on the couch. I've been leading quite the boring life.

I want to be back at work, but I can't even handle standing up longer than 3-4 minutes without being in a ton of pain. I can't even stand up straight either. I walk hunched over like a little old man, so I hope that starts working itself out pretty fast because my sick leave is over next week already. I'm afraid that I didn't take enough time off of work. :( Thankfully, I have mostly a desk job, so when I do go back, I can try to do most of my work out of the office. I have a follow up appointment with the surgeon in Sioux Falls tomorrow, and we'll see what he says. I'm still draining a good bit of fluid and I'm still majorly swollen. It's been a very miserable recovery and I've been hating life lately. There's a light at the end of the tunnel, each day gets a little bit better though.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Chicken Murder Mystery

Friday morning, I went out to my coop to find a headless chicken in my run!

I have only had my chickens for three months and I didn't think I would have a predator attack so soon! I was walking up to my coop and I saw something laying in the run and my heart dropped. I saw my auto door open, and it dropped further. I walked closer, saw feathers everywhere and my chicken laying there with a bloody neck and a missing head. I opened up the coop and was relieved to find 17 birds healthy and alive. With the other birdies OK, I narrowed my suspicions down to raccoon or possum because mink/weasel tend to wipe out entire flocks in a night. Possum/raccoon tend to pick off one or two birds at a time. A fox/coyote/cat would have taken the entire bird with them.

At first I was sad. I am grateful it wasn't one of my named/favorite chickens...but it still was one of MY chickens. This predator picked the wrong chicken lady to f*ck with. I am going to catch it, and I am going to kill it.

I went into rambo mode. I went to Runnings and bought a live trap, lined up a buddy with a gun (Thanks Josh!) who will help me discharge the critter once I do catch it, and enlisted the help of my handsome hubby to make sure my coop is even more secure by changing up the open/close times of the automatic door. It looks like the timer on the door got bumped and the door was opened in the middle of the night on Friday, so one of the chickens got 'nabbed. :(

Once I brought the trap home, I set it up and tested it out in the house...Of course, Dakotah is such a fatty, he couldn't resist the wet food and he found himself stuck in a trap...hahaha. He was NOT impressed. I was pretty happy that it worked!

On the first night that I set it up, it didn't catch anything. Last night, I caught Gertie, Dave & Candy's cat....hahahaha...which is hilarious because she is the sweetest farm cat anyone could ask for. She eats breakfast with the chickens and wouldn't hurt a fly. I actually expected her to be in the trap this morning because yesterday she was TRYING to get into the trap because there was cat food in it, so she hung out in the run ALL day trying to get to the cat food. She probably waited until the trap was live just so she could get some food!!

When I catch the killer, I will let you know. I know he will come back...once something knows where to get a free meal, it will be back! I will proudly hang it's pelt on the coop door to make an example of it to it's peers!

Aside from the killer drama, I found an awesome egg basket shaped like a chicken for 25 cents at a thrift store. It was blue originally, so I spray painted it white. I'm proud of my little purchase!!

My wonderful husband also spent some time this weekend and made my a waterer for the birds that uses a de-icer in a 5 gallon bucket so we have less of a water mess in the coop. The ducks have gotten the hang of using it so far. I hope the chickens learn to use it soon.

My brother came down to visit for a night and it was really fun to have him. We ate pizza and watched Walking Dead, and then in the morning I made a huge breakfast of biscuits, gravy, and fried eggs. NOM!

Well, I have some auctions ending on eBay today and some eggs to collect in my new chicken basket! Thanks for reading! :)