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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Oswego County, New York
Home country: USA
Current location: Lake Ontario Snow Belt
Member since: Fri Apr 23, 2004, 11:56 PM
Number of posts: 36,286

About Me

I've been a female working a "man's job" (mechanical engineer), stay at home Mom (6 kids), working Mom (6 kids to put through college), unemployed, underemployed, temporarily employed and now working from home! We live on an old, small farm with 2 dogs and 2 cats in the house, variable number of chickens out in the yard.

Journal Archives

Every time I step out the dooor, I flinch, expecting that stab of Arctic air,

then relax in surprise because it is so pleasant out!

Well, my little banty has been sitting her third clutch of eggs for 24 days now without a peep -

so either I gave her a set of infertile eggs to set or else they got too cold at some point!

My plan tomorrow is to gather up another set of eggs and place them in a nest in her line of sight and see what she wants to do next.

Do Easter lilies smell bad, or is that just me?

I love the look of my potted Easter lilly, but I can't stand it's scent!

I have the same problem with cleomes - it's a beautiful flower, but it smells like cat piss to me!

Marijuana as a treatment/replacement for alcohol abuse?

I heard it suggested that heavy alcohol users might switch to legalized marijuana. What do you think? Do heavy alcohol users use marijuana with alcohol or instead of alcohol? If they use marijuana, how does their behavior change? Do they become more functional and able to work? (That's not a silly question; morphine addiction was used in the 19th century as a treatment for alcoholism. Alcohol users drank up what wages they earned, morphine addicts went to work and brought their wages home!)

How long should I age my Peeps?

The squirrel on my bird feeder has figured out that he is safe from my dogs -

why can't the dogs figure out that they can bark all they want, that squirrel ain't leaving until he's had his fill?

I'm late to this party, but I figured out a new trick for internet shopping -

I go and look at what I'm interested in several days in a row. Lots of times, I'll get an e-mail or ad that says that item just happens to be on sale!

Well, that's one way to treat autoimmune disease -

I have Sjogren's, which means dry eyes, dry skin, dry mouth. My major complaint is the typical autoimmune fatigue complicated by the fact that I don't sweat any more .

So - last December right before Christmas I was in a very serious car wreck. The cab of the truck was ripped off the frame and the driver's side was crushed in. I don't know why, but I ended up with no broken bones and no cuts. What did happen is that all the bones in my pelvis were knocked out of place. Nothing was dislocated enough to show up on X-ray, but it's taken the last three months for the tendons and muscles to adjust and pull everything back in place. (It was funny listening to the snapping and popping noises whenever I rolled over!) I also took a good hit to my lower back which left me with a terrible muscle spasm for a while plus a weak left leg. I was walking with a cane for a while, and even lifting a dinner plate hurt! I had a nice concussion which left me with some odd deficits, but that seems to be resolving.

Now, everything is pretty well healed up. I can even lift up to about 15 pounds. 20 is my absolute limit, and it's going to be a while before I'm hauling 50# bags of chicken feed again. I tend to bear to the right when I'm tired, but that's not a real problem. The most important thing is that I can go out in the garden and move mulch to prep it for the summer! I was afraid I'd never be able to it anything again!

Now for the bonus - even when I couldn't move because of the muscle spasm, I thought I felt better beneath it all. My autoimmune fatigue is much, much better. I get out of breath, but I can keep working where before when I got out of breath I had to stop. I still don't sweat, so I have to be careful not to get overheated.

So - maybe the accident re-set the autoimmune, maybe not. I wouldn't recommend this method, but I thought the apparent results interesting.

I forgot to add - I gardened all day in typical autoimmune attire - jeans, long sleeves, gloves and sun hat - plus sunglasses! I don't think I had a square inch of skin exposed to the sun!

My egg bound hen -

So, I have this very old hen, and she was sitting on a nest making odd noises - more a trill or gobbles than a typical cluck. So I watch her a bit, and she gets off the nest and walks around a little. I can see that her vent is dirty and that her abdomen is drooping down. She's also dropping her wings like a rooster does when he's courting. I figure she's egg bound, so I try to catch her to see if I can help. I end up chasing her all over the yard - a little bit walk and stalk, a little bit running. My son finally chased her into the hen house and we caught her.

I turned her upside down and tried a little gentle massage - I know that if you break the shell, that's bad. Nothing much happened, so I set her down and left her alone.

I walked into the hen house about 10 minutes later to check, and there was the biggest damn chicken egg I've ever seen! It's twice as big as the jumbo eggs my big Australorps lay. More like a goose egg than anything else.

The hen is walking around, looking much more like her old self.
I don't know if it was the massage, the running or just luck , but I'm glad she's OK.

OK,what am I dealing with here in my hen house:

We have woods out back, so we're dealing with foxes, racoons, possums, skunks, rats, etc.

Last week I found a hen on the floor missing her head. I also caught whiffs of a bitter smell in the yard around the barn and hen house.

Yesterday, i had a hen that was going down, so I wasn't surprised to find her dead this morning, except that she also was missing her head!

We put up some hardware cloth around some holes in the chicken house after the first incident, but there are still a lot of small gaps.

So - any guess as to what animal I'm dealing with? My guess is a mink or opportunistic rat.
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