Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Sad End to Friday, and a Saturday Surprise

I have been under the weather all day and did not intend to post, but after looking at the pictures I took, I decided to! 

We had something kind of sad happen here after I posted yesterday.  

Keith was kind enough to get the mower ready for me for the first cut of the year, the latest we have ever had.  We had to replace the battery, the old one had died, then he had to treat the gas in the mower, and finally, it was ready. 

I decided to cut on Saturday (after all that!). 
However, I went outside to tell him something, and looked to the left, where he was working in the barnyard on the little barn. 
Something caught my eye, and I glanced down and saw a baby possum on the porch, literally inches from me. 

I went down to tell Keith I was going to shoo it into a dog carrier, and then put it over the fence into the cow pasture next door, or across the road in the wild area.  I got to the barnyard, and was making faces at him and finally he said "What?" 

He agreed that was the best thing to do, so I went to get a carrier out of the shed, and I shut Lilly into the pasture with him, since I didn't need her help. 

When I got back up on the porch, the possum was under the chair closest to the door, and I moved the chair so I could get to it. 

It wasn't a baby. 

It was a very badly injured adult. 

It didn't move, other than to slowly move it's head... and didn't try to play possum.  

Back I went to get Keith, and we left Lil in the pasture. 

He came up and looked at it, and said "We need to put it out of it's misery".  

He got his gun, and we carefully pushed it into the carrier... and then just as carefully, I leashed Lilly and let Keith go down in the pasture.  Lilly is very afraid of gunshots, so he waited until I got her in the house. 

We suspect that she had attacked the poor thing, that it had ventured in the yard... or possibly, she had found it in the pasture, since we are leaving the gates open during the day oftentimes now

I snapped a picture before I leashed Lilly to bring her up... the poor thing... you can see it's almost gone. 
The weird thing is, Lilly did all this without ANY noise making.  Usually she barks a lot, at squirrels, rabbits, etc... but this time, the possum was just dropped at the door, as if it were a gift.  It was injured so badly we know it could not make it up to the porch alone. 

I want to thank everyone whose comments were on the blog last night... I got so much good information from all of you, and I really appreciate it!  I'll write each of you individually tomorrow or Monday. 

Today, after letting Mrs. Johnson know that we were not interested in her bucklings, she was kind enough to not only give me more information, but to refer me to two Nigerian Dwarf breeders.  One does not have any kids for sale right now, but the other has many, including many lovely little wethers!  
We have taken steps to contact them, and see about driving up to Agency, between the Kansas City airport and St. Joe, Missouri, to take a look. 

In the meantime, we are finishing up the barn, and then Keith is going to remove the llama catch from the barnyard, and we are going to clean it up of weeds, etc.  We're also going to move in a part of the trunk of the tree that fell almost three years ago now, so the babies have something to climb on.  I also want to get all supplies together, and feed ready, so that we aren't caught short when they do come home. 

Something else came home with me today, though...

Yep, you're not seeing things!  The duck population doubled today! 

I went back to the duck place and got two more girls, because we have been so pleased with the beautiful eggs from Cinnamon and Spice.  I was only able to get one mixed Khaki girl... and a Pekin girl.  
I'm happy with them, and, as you see, they are settling in well. 

I have to tell you that Keith's making that deck was genius.  I came over to do water today, after cutting grass, and found 3/4 of the chickens and the ducks all laying in the shade companionably.  
In the winter, we are going to make a fort of straw bales around it, and the ducks will be comfortable in bad weather. 

You see some grass in this picture... I raked a considerable amount of grass twice, and carried a big load to the henspa yard, and another load to the old henyard... and put some inside each house. 
You should have seen the glee with which it was attacked! 

Oh, wait... you CAN see... everyone came flooding out to peck through it, and then they lounged around in it. 

I wish I could let them out to eat in the yard, but Lilly and Ranger... well, let's just say it would be a bad idea. 

The littlest chick, the yellow one, had a pasty butt this morning.  I brought him in the house and very gently worked it loose with a warm towel.  It would have killed him in another day, as it was sealed shut.  You could tell it was relieved as it was able to pass poop when I put him back out with mama. 
I'm going to start sneaking the unhatched eggs out from under her tomorrow, it's time for her to get up. 
However, I will say that Nugget is the very first hen with chicks I've had in twenty years that lets me put feed and water in front of her, and you can tell she is grateful... I wait for her to drink and she just drinks and drinks and drinks.  She's been on those eggs a long time. 
The oldest chick, the one on the left, has little feathers on it's wings now. 
Please, please please DON'T LET It BE A COCKEREL! 

The noise from the hens going through the grass and straw drew these Mille Fleurs out onto the deck.  These two little hens were in the pasture pen last year with Cocky, the little rooster the hawk killed. 
This little rooster with them is Junior, his son, and one of their sons.  He is very protective... and these little girls don't come out as a rule, but stay inside.  They were brave enough to come out on the deck today, and I hope will start going down into the yard with the rest of the hens. 

And here was Keith tonight, burning some construction debris in our fire ring.  We have lots to dispose of, and it is supposed to rain tomorrow after three again, so I have a feeling I'll be taking a load to the transfer station this week.  Don't worry, he had a hose handy just in case. 

And that's it for a late Saturday evening at Calamity Acres! 


  1. Good post. BTW, You asked about pictures on my blog, I think. Just save them to your pictures or downloads and you'll have them!

  2. The ducks are so cute and I'm sure they're eggs are very tasty. It's hard to get duck eggs in Dublin city but I bought some at a Farmers market before and they were delicious.

  3. I wish I could be so productive.

  4. Hope you are feeling better!
    Your new additions are so cute.

    Enjoy your day.

    M :)

  5. Goat people are usually the best - I've met so many great sensible people who raise goats. Good of her to help you out. Love the pictures. Poor possum :( I hope you are feeling better soon. My sinuses have really got me this weekend and it's majorly slowing me down too.

  6. Thankyou for calling in Mary Ann! I read with bated breath about Lilly and the possum. Shame the possum lost out but you have your area and animals...pets and others to protect.
    I take great care NOT to ENCOURAGE birds to our small urban courtyard, even though I would love to. They can fly around if they want cos Tinker has not yet caught a bird but it is in her nature to do so and no amount of telling off will help.
    Cheers Gillian

  7. Nice looking chickens!! Hate to see any animal - even a possum suffer.

  8. The entire time you were talking about the possum, I was thinking porcupine until I saw the photo. Poor thing, it's something that had to be done, but still hard to do I expect.


  9. Lots and lots going on there.

    We have a burn pile too. Always burning feed bags, limbs and debris.

  10. You and Keith are very kind to do the right thing for the possum...I know that had to be very hard!
    stella rose's momma


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