Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Houston... We've got a problem!

April 2006- July 2009

Oh dear me! Another one bites the dust... literally... DUST all over her b b beak! Po Pamela. This meant that there are serious issues within the coop. So since I felt my mission to uncover the mystery of Buttercup's death failed, just a day before, I went to a higher resource... (Mr. Ellsworth~ who seems to know everything that there is to know because he has a book for every topic known to mankind which is the perfect companion to his photographic mind! And besides, on the off chance that he didn't know something, his wife does!) They brought over "The Chicken Health Handbook". Page 139 reads:


"Poisoning is not often a problem in chickens, especially where common sense is used in keeping the flock away from pesticides, herbicides, rodenticides, and antifreeze."

right! "common sense"! Since we pride ourselves in believing that we were at the front of the line during common sense handouts, this was a mighty blow! Guess we were wrong about that!

With our common sense we have thunk and thunk... this is what we came up with:

If you are a poultry farmer then you know that dusting the chickens for mites and lice is suggested. We, under NO circumstances, welcome mites or lice. So we dust our chickens religiously, every 6 months (needed or not) to prevent a true need! ew! But on Saturday when Mr. Mecham cleaned the coop and found that a beetle had set up camp in the laying boxes he opted to do the common sensible thing and dust the coop for those beetles. We feel strongly about keeping the chickens in the most clean and bug free nesting environment that we owners can offer! And so he dusted away... and then lay down fresh straw right over the top of that dust! And that was Saturday. And as ya'll know, Buttercup passed away unexpectedly on Sunday and then last night Lady Pamela joined her in chicken heaven. They ate those dusty bugs (like any chicken with common sense would do) with the pesticide all over them.

This is a big oops at the expense of many tears of one little 10 year old. Pamela was hers, you know. And I can't decide who feels worse about the whole ordeal, Bailey or Mr. Nate. Actually, I'm pretty sure that Bailey will get over it LOOOOOOOOOOONG before Mr. Mecham... who doesn't like to talk about it much. But he did scrub those chicken laying boxes something fierce! They sparkle... and FYI, nobodies chicken boxes sparkle!

And so today we are crossing our fingers that Bionce, Roadrunner, Boof, Shortcake and Streek are choosing a vegetarian diet... just in case anymore of those nasty beetles are still alive.

Here is our chicken obituary for Pamela:

Sweet Pamela... Not so smart but chased the baseball if it went past her (never mind that she thought it was a giant white bug with red lines on it.) She was generous in giving us food. Nearly every day! What a princess. Pamela was preceded in death by Brittney (who had been her sister hen her whole life... they were purchased the same day and raised together). We suspect that Britt passed away from the same tragic poisoning that Pam did... fowl play.... by a very common sensible owner who is choosing "no comment". Pamela also joins Oreo who committed suicide on Stapely road last summer and Eagle who was attacked by a dog during a free range moment in the Northern pasture at the same time. We believe chickens must die in twos. Who knew? Brittney and Pamela are survived by 5 lovely hens who could care less that they are gone... (More shade space in the coop now!) and 5 very common sensible owners who loved them very much. Rest in peace little lady. 'Till we meet...

Monday, July 13, 2009

I suspect foul play

Princess Buttercup (AKA: Brittney the "big breasted chicken")
April 2006 - July 2009

The Heavens seem to be calling quite a few home...
The King of Pop, Farrah and now Princess Buttercup. I guess even in Heaven there needs to be poultry. Why not? But for us, it was a hugemungous shock! Buttercup was our "prized bird". She was healthy. She layed regularly. Her feathers were as healthy and shiny as a new penny! Just yesterday she played in the yard while we tilled her up some dirt to cool off in. But there was a mysterious moment when she came dashing across the yard yelping! We all just looked at each other. Well, today we found her face down. Very sad indeed. Bailey cried. Nate buried her under the boy's window. Very touching.
In an effort to figure out what might have gone wrong I searched the Internet doctor. It was quite astonishing what I found. Who would have thunk that "chicken death" was such a HOT topic? After all, don't we eat chicken more frequently than we consider them pets around these parts? I just thought I was strange for liking them more than my own brothers.

After typing in "chicken death" in google this is what I found...
I give you my favorites:

#1) "Ok, so I have a flock of Buffs with 2 (well 1 now) roosters. They are about 15 weeks old. They're happy, well-fed, and seem healthy, even this one I'm telling you about. The wife went out to feed them today, and all were fine, when she turned around one of the roosters was laying on the ground deader than a doornail. I went out, no wounds, no indication of blood anywhere (I checked well), no foam at the mouth that may have indicated choking (no jokes please.). Any idea what I'm looking at here? Not really into performing autopsies, but would like to know what would make a chicken drop dead instantly."
Now let it be known that there was a whole page of serious comments from concerned chicken owners who responded with grievances and concern over this owner's loss. And I would have loved to add my woe but if I might point out one thing that held me back... "the wife" part of that little clipping disturbed me some. What the heck red neck says "the wife went out..." C'mon! And then POOF! Just like that "the wife" turned around and the rooster dies? "deader than a doornail". Very nicely put, I think.
#2) "I've had 2 hens for a year now. 1 Rhode island red and 1 black australorp. Yesterday the Australorp just died. No warning. No signs of foul play. Not a ruffled feather. They free range in the daytime when I'm home and I went out early evening and she was just lying in a sandy spot, dead. She'd layed an egg in the morning, did her usual clucking and running around the yard when I let her into the yard late in the morning...Any advice on introducing a new hen to our remaining RI Red? She seems SO lonely without her lifelong companion."
but that isn't even the best part... The best part was the response this owner got...
A.) "Eureka,What state are you in? Some states will do a free necropsy for backyard flocks. If I were you, I'd take a fecal sample in to the vet for a float to see if your flock has worms. Did you notice anything strange about the two who died? Stumbling, depression, weight loss, anything?"
Ummm.. a "free necropsy"? What the???!!! Better yet, "I'd take a fecal sample in to the vet for a float..." I don't think so! Bury the darn bird and let her R.I.P! She done her duty! I loved Buttercup, but I till her fecal samples into my garden... I don't pick them up and study them.
Did you know Chickens stumble, get depressed and have weight fluctuation? It's like we're talking about grandma!
But my personal favorite was definitely this:
#3) "you can do a home autopsy, I have done this for a number of my birds and it helps give me a narrower range of things to read up on (usually) there is a link here - this site gives you step by step instructions and also a list of possibilities based on your findings at the end. It can be hard to do on a bird that's been well loved but it can really help with either reassurance or information (or both)"
That is just wrong! So I just have to know what you think... When these folks were buying a house Did they have as a part of their criteria: "3 bedroom, 2 bath and office with an autopsy suite off to the side for the chickens"? Does it make you wonder if they also neuter their own hound dog and felines?
And last but certainly not least, there is a place in cyberspace for 'Chicken obituaries".
#4)" Chicken Obituaries
June 23, 2009
Such a tragic event happened today. “A date that will live in infamy”. Our first chicken died, it was poor California, such a sweet great little chicken. It died of natural causes underneath the hanging food bowl. These are the types of events that make you ask the Question,” are there chickens in heaven”?"
I would be lying if I said that I was NOT sad that Buttercup died today. Deader than a doornail! She really was one of my favorites. I baby these beauties. But you won't find me with a scalpel performing chicken autopsies or gathering fecal samples to cart into the vet. None of that will change her escape from the heat of summer for free range grazing time in the heavens. That being said, you are more than welcome to consider this as a chicken obituary! And to answer #4, I do believe there are chickens in heaven...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ready, set, GOOOOO! Go now!!!

This is a place to put on your "MUST VISIT" list... and please share the info with your friends! We have to keep this joint going. It is incredible!

Now my free advertising may never do this store justice! Honestly! But there is truly something for everyone here. The food tastes like food, it has the nutrition of food but it saves like food storage.
One/two people families who hate to waste food... this is your store! My dad has diabetes which means that he watches his carb intake pretty good... This is his store because you can buy goods that will store other than noodles and flour! And for those of us with medium to large families that actually enjoy the flavor of food... this is our store! The flavor is incredible! So incredible that the food storage will get processed! Go figure!! And there is quite a variety at an awesome price!

I understand there are cooking classes on Tuesday and Saturday. I'm so there! The prices are great! I taste tested quite a few things. The grated sharp cheddar (freeze dried) actually tasted like grated sharp cheddar cheese. The powder milk (oh how I loath the flavor of powder milk... I almost hate paying the price for it because I know it tastes so yucky... but NOT any more!) The powder milk at food wise tastes like milk. I drank a cup of it! The food tasted like it was supposed to. Go try it!
If you don't try it for the food storage or food usage, then try the store out for cool gadgets, storage buckets, generators, etc... I purchased a little surprise there for my mother-in-law! Can't wait for her to open it! She is going to be delighted! And next time I go, I think I'll pick me one up too!
Are you going yet?
Lindsey and William's Field! Or shop online if you are out of town and they will send it to you!
Go now!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Wish we all could be Californians....

There just can't be enough to say about a celebration of our Independence on the beach in California... It goes like this:
You leave the Sonora Desert and excruciating temperatures and a few short hours later arrive into a climate of lush vegetation and a cool ocean breeze.

The Dillards invited us to join them for a trip to San Diego. Boy howdy... we've never been invited to vacation with anyone before! Very exciting indeed! And not only did they treat us to a weekend of great food, entertainment and a cozy little home, but they made it a July 4th for the books! Our gratitude to you for a seriously amazingly fun trip! You guys are a blast! So... I'm marking my calendar for next year. Surely you want to vacation with us again! I mean, whats not fun about waiting on us hand and foot! :)
We layed on the beach for two days. LAYED and PLAYED!! And that cool breeze and soft sand between the toes was dreamy! And then we ate and played and layed around some more. And if it had to be summed up into one word I would choose RELAX! Relax in its truest form... as in, brain hopped off the hamster wheel for a whole week end!
On Sunday we visited the ever beautiful San Diego temple. And yes... it is most amazing how it appears out of nowhere off the freeway. Love that place! And then we went to Sea Port Village... just before we came home.
It really did stink to have to leave that place. When we pulled into Yuma for a gas and a water break I stepped out of my air conditioned automobile into a furnace! My sunburn began to sting worse than it did the day I got it! YIKES!!! And I was this close (-) to turning that Honda around and going right back to that luscious climate and incredible company (who stayed 2 extra days for a Sea World extravaganza!... Party animals!)
On my way home I actually said to the pilot of my vehicle, "sir, I feel like I could conquer the world tomorrow. This vacation rejuvenated me to the soul". And he concurred.
I wished we all could be Californians...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The King of Pop...

If you didn't love the King of Pop in his life, perhaps you will love him as he is made a person in his death...

Farewell to one very talented, influential and most mysterious individual... I'm sure the heavens welcomed him home.