Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Cold December Day

Cold too soon, here at Calamity Acres. Two winter storms on the way, and a weekend spent trying to batten down the hatches and still prepare for Christmas. Lots of projects are in progress... a temporary shelter put up so the ducks and geese can get out from under any precip, and heating lamps on in the big and little henhouses. The haybarn is finished, primed, but not finished painting, and the closeness to the gate of the pasture has been a Godsend, taking only minutes to feed the llamas and equines now. We have a new storage building, so that the shop can be cleaned out and prepared for a big project for the spring. The big henhouse has more room, now that we are using the haybarn for storage of all the hay/horse feed and llama feed.
We have one more small project, to put straw bales around the little dog pen in the chicken yard with the tarp cover... this will give the little birds a place to shelter out of the windy, cold days of winter.

Inside, things are not so well... Nicholas, the Link, the 9 year cat who lived originally at my old far, has been sick since last Tuesday. Despite two days at the vet's office, they could not figure out what was wrong. He is dehydrated, and on antibiotics. He has spent the weekend sleeping, and is hiding now. We are praying he is not dying, but it does not look good. He does not seem to be in terrible pain, just fading.

Ouside, we have a chicken who is showing signs of trouble as well. Brownie, one of old Rambo's daughters, has a crippled leg, and has lived for two years balancing her self on one good leg, and one stuck awry. Something else has happened now, and she is having trouble. We debated all weekend to end things for her, and are waiting until morning. Today I saw her drink water and try to eat a little, so we decided to wait, but tomorrow, Husband leaves for a three day meeting so the decision will be made to end things, or to let nature take her course. This is the unpleasant side of country living... sometimes animals sicken and die, and you don't always know what has happened. She does not appear to be eggbound, and there are no sniffles... we have been through that before. She has been a very plucky girl, and would have been put down months ago by a normal chicken raiser, but we are not normal here... everyone has a chance, until they don't anymore.

Christmas preparations are under way, though the tree is not in and up. Sometimes there are more things to be done in a day than there are hours, so it will have to wait until next weekend now. Someday, when I'm retired, I'll have my ducks in a row!

Both vet and farrier have come in the last week. Lilly Horse is overweight, and now dieting, but in good health. Farrier has pronounced both horses in good shape after trimming, and was astounded at the weight Uncle Beau has put on since the arrival of his companion. The llamas are fat and sassy and enjoying the winter weather better than all of us!

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