Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Well, it has been awhile and there is lots to tell. I went down to NH on the 14th for my grandaughter Mia's 6th birthday. At the time my Aunt in NJ was very ill and coming home on Hospice and I was trying desparately to get my 85 year old mother down to see her one last time. It was a terrible situation and we couldn't get there in time. She passed away Sun morning. We could't get there and Mom was just devastated. I did, however get to spend some great time with the kids. I was the babysitter so their parents could go out for valentines night as I had previously promised. Returned home late Sun evening and when I got to about Augusta I called to see if anyone wanted anything from the store on my way. Teddy was home from college and said "noone is here, Kelly fell and is at the Hospital." After a very brief rain, on top of a ton of snow, the driveway was a skating rink. Kelly only got to the "Watch.." part of watch out for the ice. She now is the invalid of the week with a broken arm. It is very painful and a week and a half later she can barely move her fingers. So I am at work and she is off for 4-6 more weeks, if all heals well. Actually we have 3 nurses out with ice and snow related injuries. Welcome to Maine. She has Jasmine and Ted up from NH for this week of school vacation and is enjoying the time with them. We got 26 inches of new snow on Sun and Mon. Still digging out, trying to make paths to the barn, woodpile and propane tanks so they can be filled. Yesterday we went to our first beekeeping class in Ellsworth, about an hour away and she was miserable by the time we got home. The class however, was great. Understand we have had bees for a year but this is the first class available. Thank God for the internet. This weekend is the basketball finals for Teddy and Thomas College is currently #1 in the division, so we will try to get to this. Keep you all posted as I am able. Thanks all your support - Alex

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Pay It Forward

There is a great thing happening in Blog Land. It is called paying it forward. I visited Hidden Haven Homestead's blog and was lucky enough to be one of the first five people to respond to Peggy's post. It was about this phenomena of paying it forward. At this time in our world we all could use some spirit lifting. I will be receiving a gift package of the Most Beautiful Diva's soap, lotion, and body wash. I'm very excited. I love goat milk soaps and lotions. I don't have the most spectacular Diva, but I love to make all natural goat milk soap. We will be adding goats to our growing farm family this summer.

In exchange for this gift I have agreed to offer the same arrangement on our blog. So, here goes. To the first five people to respond to this post I will send those 5 people a gift package from our farm. This will include all natural goat milk soap, pistachio body butter and a body balm stick (made with bees wax). In order to pay it forward, I am asking that you then do this on your blog. Post what you will give to the first 5 that agree to pay it forward. If you decide to participate I will email you for your mailing address and get your package in the mail by March 1, 2009. So I'm jumping on the 'pay it forward' bandwagon.
Chicken update! The girls are in heaven today. Ted came up from New Hampshire this weekend and brought the chickens a surprise. He visited the dumpster outside of a vegetable market in a town that will at this time remain nameless and bagged up some tired but not spoiled veggies for the girls. I am totally amazed that so much is thrown out in this country. The bounty was a mix of greens, squash, cucumbers, asparagus, okra, lettuce, on and on. It will keep them busy for a couple of days.
A few of my blog friends have commented on Lazarus. I don't think she is broody. She was pecked on the back and then went downhill. She is still weak but now eating the oatmeal/pellet combo. She is looking better. Maybe I could take advantage of her sitting in the nesting box and place some eggs under her. We could have chicks!
Abbey is doing much better. No vomiting. She is eating great. Maybe the meds are calming her colon and she will do fine. That is my prayer. Yes, I pray for my animals too. Thank you to all who have commented. The information and ideas have been invaluable. Have a beautiful Valentine's Day and much love from Mainely Ewes Farm.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lazarus has seen the light!

Our hen now named Lazarus has had a change of heart. She was sitting the nesting box, lethargic, feeling sorry for her self, not eating. I didn't know what to do. She would drink but not eat. Her feathers were getting dry looking, kind of grayish. Her back wasn't healing. She looked pale and drawn. Very skinny girl. Not a healthy bird. I sat there thinking how pitiful she was. I felt so bad that the hen wasn't doing any better. I called Kevin from across the street to see if he could kill her for us. I just couldn't stand to see her suffer while starving to death. Kevin being the good neighbor that he is agreed to help us out. He was on his way over. I went out the the coop to check on her one more time. She must have heard the phone conversation. She was standing up drinking, ate most of the warm pellet mash/porridge and was looking actually chippy. Hmmmm........ She got her stay of execution. She is looking better today and even had the nerve to peck me on the hand when I lifted her out of the nesting box to get a drink. Nervy chick! Abbey our black cat diva spent last night at the vet. She was still throwing up yesterday, wouldn't eat and felt horrible. She had a barium swallow test to check out her gut. It's an X-ray with radiopaque dye to show any obstructions, malformations, etc. It doesn't look good. It could be one of three things. It can be a neoplasm (cancer), Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or colitis. I can't put her through the pain and suffering of chemo and surgery. We are treating it empirically. She got a shot of prednisone which decreases inflammation and will improve her appetite and sense of general well being and will be started on a gastric motility drug called Sisapride, and an antibiotic, Flagyl. We will keep her comfortable and at home as long as we can. She was so happy to be back, Queen of her domain. She jumped back up on the dining table like she had never left. Her appetite was good, she ate both dry and wet cat food, drank water and was as beautiful as ever. The Diva is back. Long live the Diva. Much love from Mainely Ewes Farm.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Fun Never Ends

It feels good to be home again. We just came off of three nights straight. One afternoon of sleep and we feel rejuvenated. Abbey my foundling diva cat was making weird squeaky noises last night. I got up to check on her and she was throwing up clear liquid. I had no clue but felt that we should wait and see how she was in the morning. She wasn't lethargic and was acting ok. This morning when we got up she seemed fine. Then around 2pm she started throwing up again. She refused wet cat food. Firstly, wet cat food is a big treat in our house. No cat turns it down. Abbey actually growled at the bowl. Ok, telephone call to the vet and away we went. Her blood work came back good, a little on the dehydrated side but ok. She had air in her colon. No blockage that we could see. So, we start conservatively. She got 300ml Ringers Lactate (glucose, electrolytes, etc...) under the skin of her shoulders. She looked like a camel when we left the vet.
Here she looks like she has biceps, we will call her Arnold for now, until the fluid drops again and into her chest, then we will shift to Marylin Monroe. She doesn't look very amused here. We do call her Diva for a reason.

I'm not getting close. She may be declawed (previous owners doing) but she can still pack a punch.

We are still cooking 1/2 cup oats in a big pot of water and adding it to a big scoop of chicken pellets for the girls twice a day. I don't know why they want this but it gets them to eat the pellets. Otherwise, the pellets just sit there. They do not eat them. They will eat the corn and any veggies but refuse to eat layer pellets. They're feathers are getting shinny and their cheeks are filling out. I was really shocked when I picked up a hen the other day and there was just breast bone, no meat.

Here is Izzy, our no tail/coccyx cat (foundling). She is laughing at me for making 2 meals a day for the chickens too. I'm taking a firm stand come spring. No more buffet for the hens. I will be so glad when they can free range again. I know they miss it. I miss the green grass. We purchased several books the other night. One is Storey's Guide to Raising Pigs. I have also been doing alot of reading of blogs about pigs. I wonder if pigs have to have 2 cooked meals a day? Hmmm....... Good night and much love from Mainely Ewes Farm.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Winter Losses

We're back to work and wanted to update a few things. The hen "Lazarus" is back in the coop. We are applying antibiotic ointment to her pecked back and putting menthol rub around the site to deter the pecky hens. So far, she is not back to her old self. Still trying to keep her eating and drinking. The other hens are looking much better. Their feathers are becoming more shinny and healthy looking. I think the infrared lights are giving them some night time but still keeping them warm. They have been able to go out into the barn and forage around. We are still giving them warm oatmeal with a couple of hand fulls of dry cat food for extra protein. A couple of sad things happened over the last few days. We found Captain, the white cornish cross that talked Ted into saving him from the butcher, dead this morning. I guess he just out grew his heart. I don't think that they are made to live long. He did have a good life while he was here. The second sad event happened a couple of days ago. We were so excited Monday night to see two young moose yearlings in the yard. We stood still and they came to within 10 feet of us. However, about 5:30am one was hit by a semi tractor-trailer. Kevin and Cheeta, our neighbors across the street, called the game warden and he came and "tagged" the moose. Kevin took it to the butcher and we will have moose meat. The moose was hit in the head and no damage was done to the body. At least it happened quick and we will have the benefit of it's loss. I have never eaten moose meat before and am kinda looking forward to it. At least nothing goes to waste. I am coming to the conclusion that winter provides a natural culling of things. We try to change the natural scheme of things and sometimes we can. Sometimes we just have to let nature take its course. I hope we aren't getting "culled" anytime soon. Take care and have a safe and warm night. Love from Mainely Ewes Farm.