Sunday, February 7, 2021

Welcome, February!

Not sure why I am so cheery.... notice all the squirrels under the feeder?  

That was taken on the fourth. 

I just took this five minutes ago.  If you squint, you can see the birds patiently waiting for me to 
get the heck out of Dodge so they can eat again.  I have filled the two feeders at least six times this 
morning... I put food on the deck railing, they descend, and it is gone in a few minutes. Luckily, there is spilled seed below the feeders, and at the foot of the railing, many are eating there.  They take shelter under the deck, too, during the snow. 

It is eight degrees out right now. 

I left the chickens inside, but just went out at noon and refreshed water for all the wild birds, and put more food out. 

I bought six twenty pound bags of Back Yard Blend in the past week....I am almost at the bottom of the primary can, but I do have two bags in reserve in the secondary can.  I'll be into them this afternoon. 
It is snowing hard again out there right now, and boy, am I glad the Chiefs are not playing in KC today!

I'll be going to the feed store early in the morning, if streets are decent.  I live 2/10 of a mile off a main road, so that does have some advantages.  (Traffic noise not being one of them). 

When I wrote last week, I had just been to the ER to be checked over for an unexplained illness - not- Covid. 

I followed up with a cardiologist, and I am having a PET scan this week just to be sure of things. 
I did see a vestibular audiologist, and she discovered after extensive testing that I have an 
irritated nerve on my right side that likely caused the two serious falls I had just after Christmas. 
I am going to start physical therapy soon to train my brain to ignore the nerve.... and after 
speaking with the doctor at length (I really liked her and she was very forthcoming with 
information) I discovered that A VIRUS was the likely cause.  So.... proof something really was going on, even though I did not miss a day of chores the whole time. 

There is not a whole lot I can do outside while the temps are so low, so Jester and I have been staying in and warm.  We did try to walk at the park this week, the park where he, Lilly and I walked daily while Keith was ill.... but that did not go so well.  We used to do a mile... we got to the far side of the park and I could see Jester was flagging.  He really is more overweight than I realized, and he had a very hard time getting back to the car.  We won't make that mistake again, we are going to start very small, walk to a corner of the path and back for a few weeks.  I tried to walk him here to the woodpile in the pasture, and he literally put the brakes on and I had to let him off his leash

There he is at the gate, waiting to go back in the yard.  

Now, Jes always loved the pasture, and loved to run in it.  I am wondering if something happened that I did not realize, and has scared him.  He got along well with the sheep, both mine and the boarders... even when he was up close and personal with my own.  I'm just wondering what happened to make him not want to go in the pasture now, because I have noticed it before this. 

So, we will walk at the park after the weather gets a little better. 

I rebedded all the hen houses before the intense cold set in.  We actually had a day of sixty degree weather at mid-week. 

While I was in the Hen Spa, my helpers were sorting a leaf of straw. 

See the helper in my cart? 

That is my oldest silkie, who lives in the old hen house with five other hens and 
Singleton the rooster.  Hard to tell where her head is... it's on the right.  I would gladly move her 
over with the other silkies, but.... she is happy where she is... I found her and an old red hen directly under the heat light last night when I went in to close up.  I think I am  just going to leave her there, but I am looking for some more silkie hens. 

Here she is with a white ameracauna, they were sunning themselves in front of the hen house on Wednesday.  She rarely, rarely comes out anymore. 

I lost one of these two beautiful Cornish hens the day after I took this picture. 
I did post it on Facebook, but won't here.  She simply died. 
I had noticed her looking all bunched up that morning, with her head tucked in. 
She was five, and chickens usually live between five and seven years.  Cornish are not 
great egg layers, and these two had not laid in a year, at least.  They are gorgeous chickens, though, and part of the foundation of the Rock Cornish birds you eat for special dinners. I am grateful she went before the terrible cold set in. 

I expect to lose several during this upcoming week of terrible cold... that's just reality. 
I have a warming lamp in each hen house... people say don't do it, it can cause fires... but mine are large enough that we have always done it.  I've noticed the birds needing that little bit of warmth often stand directly under them.

Now... the wildings...

I worry about them, too.  

As I guessed,  no raccoons appeared last night. 
I did find the gray kitty on the porch earlier, but the starlings had eaten all the cat food, so 
I am praying he comes back... he usually comes about four.  I put a can of cat food out with 
the dry, but I am sure it is frozen by now. 

I also did not see any possums on the porch cam last night, which surprised me. 

Rusty, the feral that was raised here, has got some mats in his fir that I would love to help him get out.  I can get within two feet of him, but that's it. 

He is eating here daily, and knows where to go to get out of the weather. 

I did not see the yellow cat on camera for a week, and really feared the worst... and then, all of the sudden, there it was on the fifth! 

I keep a heated low water there on the deck.... one at the side of the deck on the ground... and one at the Hen Spa for the animals to drink from.  

I showed this little Carolina Wren in my last post... I really can't believe I am seeing it, I have never seen one here before.  I am seeing it almost every day. 

There were eight squirrels feeding that morning! 

Here is something else that I rarely, rarely have seen out here.... A Robin!  

We just did not see them.  A robin has been drinking out of the porch water regularly, and this morning, I saw one at the yard water. 

I got into a discussion at the feed store with the owner and another customer on Thursday. We all said that we had never, ever seen as many Robins as we are seeing this year, and don't know what it means. 
I saw at least seven in my yard one day this week. 

As an example, fifteen miles from here at the big house we lived in while Keith was sick (when a renter lived here)... I saw meadowlarks every day, kestrels, and robins galore.  I rarely saw a robin here, and never a kestrel or meadowlark. 

Last week, I put a can of cat food out for Rusty, 
and called him to the porch.  He came up and sniffed it, but five minutes later I looked out, and he was sitting under the bird feeder.  I don't know if he realizes the birds can SEE him. 

Yesterday, I saw him creeping like a ninja on the dead Cornish hen in the pasture.... 

he realized she was dead and then did not touch her, he went on down to the brush pile. 

The bestest boy in the world has been going on a lot of errands with me. 

But, we also have been taking it easy in the bad weather, too. 

We will work on getting that weight off as soon as the weather improves. 

I'm going to close here, check on waters again, 
and then make some cookies. 

At five, I'll turn the game on, but the sound down, I can't take the excitement, and I admit it!
I'm praying for a Chiefs win... sorry, all you Bucs fans!

Have a safe week, everyone!


  1. Hari OM
    I hope your team does as well as my team did here yesterday!!! Do give Jester a huggie from 'aunty'... YAM xx

  2. What balm for troubled times, to read your post, with all your care and kindness for the animals of the world showing through! Sorry for the loss of your Cornish hen and I hope the cold won't take too many more of your chickens. It doesn't get that cold here, but cold enough for animals to get chilled and sometimes for water to freeze. A large gray fox was on my patio a few nights ago, drinking from the dog's bucket. I don't know if he or she also got any of the birdseed I put out.

  3. Glad you found out what the problem was. That's a big part of getting well is knowing what is going on. You take care of a lot of critters. Bless you.
    And, take care of yourself and of course Jester.

  4. I hope you can find a way to exercise Jester a bit there at home, instead of waiting for better weather. So many problems can come from obesity and we're all attached to him, too! Will he chase a ball if you spend five minutes several times a day rolling it across a room or down a hallway? Those cookies sure look tasty!

  5. I'm commenting on your blog on Monday morning, so at this point, we all know who won the game. Sorry. Too bad about your hen, but a bunched up hen is never a good sign, is it? I love seeing all your animals on your blog. We used to keep a space heater in the chicken coop (on a shelf, wired up, not on the ground), but the coop has been rebuilt and they just have something called a "Cozy Coop" heater. It, and a heated water bucket seem to be enough. -Jenn

  6. WE are also very cold here. I'm glad you have heat for the chickens. It's too cold for anyone without some extra heat. I always thought robins were a sign of spring. Maybe you will have an early Sprig this year. Wudln' that be nice. It's nice at least the days are starting to ;last longer. The birds and the squirrels are enjoying acorns from the oak tree in the yard. I see signs of them digging in the snow in the yard. I don't feed them but mother nature does...


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