It was cold again today, and never got over 52, so we have had quite the cold weekend here in Leavenworth County, compared to last weekend's 90 degrees plus.
The little birds were cold out in their pen... I kept them inside until noon yesterday, and they spent the afternoon with feathers fluffed.
And yes, I'm worried about the little buff cochin in the back... she looked bad today, and is isolated in a tank in the workshop, under a warm light. As soon as I put her in there, she found the direct heat and nestled into it. I am hoping isolation and quiet, good food and clean water and some antibiotics for a few days clears up what ails her.
There are THREE, count them, THREE Brassy Back Old English Gamebird cockerels in this picture. Oh. Joy.
Today, in the blowing cold and occasional rain, Keith worked on the new hen house:
And now we can finally see what it will look like size-wise:
I've got my very own Yella-Fella working on it!
And you see it is very, very sturdy.
The door will be on the east end, and there will be a small porch in the front. Inside, there will be a door to the chicken yard from the hen house, but not from outside, so that there will be no chance that any of the dogs can get in. There will be a pophole on either side, north and south, as we will allow them access to both sides. There is room underneath for them to get out of the sun and lounge in the dirt. (I reminded Keith there will be no green grass after a few weeks.) At the old Calamity Acres, I put straw down in the henyards and after the hens had turned it over and fertilized it, I used it on my gardens, and we'll do that here, too.
We're also going to enclose this from the top with netting, we have decided.
The gardens beds have come along, too, but we have four that are needing to be filled. You know we are experimenting with lasagna gardening this spring... but we have to say that the peas have not done well. They are up about 8 inches, but did not climb. We suspect the top layer of dirt was not deep enough, and the middle of the beds must still decompose. It's interesting to us to see how things turn out, because by next spring, we think the beds will be perfect.
This hen, whom I predicted would go about six weeks ago... is not going to make it through the night. If she does, Keith will have to put her down before he goes to work in the morning.
She is one of our oldest birds, a Wyandot. I still have her sister left and she does not look sick.
I am praying that I am not about to have something run through the flocks. I'll stop by the feed store tomorrow night on the way home and see if I can get some antibiotics and put them in the water for a few days, so we'll be throwing away some eggs.
And lastly, a sad note.
Three weeks ago or so, before I had to take a blogging break, I had found some great new blogs to read. I followed several. Because I had just found them, I had not had time to really get acquainted with them as you do when you have followed for a while.
Last night I tried to catch up... this is the busy season here, as I am sure you all know... and I was stunned to read that the family of one blogger had been devastated by the tornados in Alabama. Their home, in fact, was completely destroyed, and the father of the family of thirteen children, killed while trying to protect those children when the storm hit their home. The mother finally was able to write and thank everyone for their prayers and help, and insist that their husband and father was looking down on them from heaven. I watched a You Tube interview with the oldest son, who professed that same assurance that their father was still taking care of them from above. My heart went out to them, and to all the other people whose lives have been upended and changed forever by these terrible events. Our problems here seem petty and small compared the their life-changing events. We remember them in our prayers and hope that their futures will be returned to as much normalcy as can be possible.