Before I start tonight, please join Keith and me in praying for the many thousands affected today by the tsunami and the earthquakes... whose lives have been ended or devastated and who are so needing of prayers and help today.
Today I went to our regular feed store, Valley Feed in Bonner Springs, where I have traded many years, for Chick Day. Valley no longer brings chicks in to sell, but hosts Heartland Hatchery several times in the spring. Last fall, I bought eight chicks there, and brought them home. I had two porcelain d'Uccles, and six others. A snake got into their cage that night, and killed five of them, leaving a d'Uccle, an Ameracauna, and a Red Comet.
Those three birds, the Survivors, are healthy and strong, living with Butch, my pet rooster, in the feedroom. This afternoon we put them on the coop side with the other birds, and when we came in three hours later, they had come across the rafters and were with their buddy in the feed room again!
So I went to the feed store to get some more porcelain d'uccles like the beautiful Angel:
This is what I came home with:
Uh. There are more than four.
There are about four large standards - I think I went with Wyandottes this time, which I have never had before but always wanted.
The rest are Brassy Back Red Old English Gamebirds (it's a sickness, those birds, they come in about 75 color varieties), a few golden Seabrights, some Mille Fleur d'Uccles, some cochins, and I am sure I am forgetting one or two. There are 24 in all. Just what we needed.
Let's hope there's a mix of cockerels and pullets, as the only ones straight run were the Wyandottes. They will be in the nursing cage for a week or so, and then transferred into the old horse trough, which is deep enough to hold them, and Keith will make a barrier to go across the top to keep the snakes out.
On a brighter note, I THOUGHT I noticed something in the little henhouse last night, and it was confirmed tonight... One of the four blue silkies from Cindy is a cock, so they may be in their own little place for summer, the small dog pen with a doghouse for shelter (these birds are the ones who never roosted). They will be able to do what birds do, pick and scratch, but can lay purebred eggs.
Today, we lost this little girl on the left:
Here you see her last picture, with Gertie protecting her on the bed this morning. She is peaceful, but you can just make out how wasted her poor little rear end was becoming. When Keith took her to Dr. Tom this morning and explained that she could no longer control her bowels, and had trouble even walking, Tom explained to Keith that the illness had moved to her brain. Keith made the decision then and there. When Tom administered the sedative, little Jenny, who had never had her shots, crawled up Keith's jacket to his neck, where she had always felt safest. His warm hands that had always cradled her, now helped her to cross the bridge.
What she had, we know now, after six months, was panleukopenia, or feline distemper. Those of you who read this blog know that she came from a neighboring farm during the Kaw Valley Farm Tour, and I brought her home to be a companion to Josie, who thank heavens, has had her shots. When we took Jenny in for hers, we were told she was already ill, and not to do the shots yet. Each time we took her in, we were told the same. Through the six months of her life, we kept her inside and vetted her every few weeks. Some weeks she was playful and happy, but came through very bad bouts of illness.
Feline distemper is extremely contagious. There can be no more cats here, and we are to watch Josie carefully, as she has some of the upper respiratory stuff going on. We know now what to look for, and will follow her closely. We have stripped the bed and are washing everything in hot water, throwing away the pillows. The cat box and dishes were thrown out, and the room will be throroughly cleaned tomorrow.
Tonight we buried her under Beau's tree... in between Nick and Gwen, and near Addie Mae, in the Circle of Friends. We miss her dear little face already, and Keith misses his warm little girl who cuddled him every night, and looked to him in her last few seconds as her protector and guardian.
Sleep tight, Little Jenny, sleep tight tonight, and never be sick again.