Not every day is a great day, and not every week is wonderful. This week, in addition to COVID-19 and the effects on my businesses, there have been real life challenges I’ve had to overcome.
Please excuse my ramblings, I’m not sure how to process all the emotional currents streaming through me right now. What should have been a family centered Memorial Day weekend had turned into a swirling mass of overwhelming stress.
Seven days ago I was trying to reach someone to set up a meeting time to complete documents for an auto sale through my company Robin’s Desktop LLC. The seller was supposed to overnight the documents to me to arrive Saturday. They never arrived, the signer said she was unavailable Sunday, the scheduled date. Then the seller was put-off when I could not accommodate a later date. That was two days of lost revenue.
Thursday I had to cull one hen. She was egg bound and I just couldn’t help her. I don’t know of a veterinarian for poultry anywhere near me. I soaked her bottom in Epsom salts water, tried to lubricated so she could pass the egg, and gave her probiotics and plenty of calcium. But she reached a critically ill point, and I had no choice but to put her out of her misery.
I’ve never culled anything. It was awful.
Then, Gracie needed out mid-afternoon. she seemed to take a long time. When I went to the front door I didn’t see her. I found her wandering and staggering in the back yard. She was overcome by the heat, panting and looking confused.
I got her in and got a little water in her. I carried her to the couch. She was showing signs of overheating. I got a bath towel, soaked it with water, and draped it over Gracie as she lay still gasping for air. I turned a small fan on medium and pointed it directly on her. I watched her as I signed in to a conference call. Within an hour she was much better.
Yesterday (Friday) started out okay. I was still upset over Trixie the hen, and Gracie’s medical scare. I nearly forgot to get poultry feed. It was late afternoon when I thought of it. A storm cloud in the western sky tripped my memory somehow.
The feed goes into a lidded trashcan next to the coop. Small resealable bags of treats are in with it. I tossed a few handfuls of treats out to the birds running loose in the yard. Then I went in to avoid the storm. That was my mistake.
After the storm rolled through I went back out to put the birds in their run. The Light Brahma hens did not come running to me like normal. The Mallard drake was unusually quiet, tucked back near the rain barrels and not with his hens.
I took a few steps deeper into the backyard and saw one Brahma hen hunched down under some downed tree limbs. She didn’t try to get up and seemed to be panting. To my left, and over the sloping bank I saw two masses of white feathers.
Something has attacked my hens.
I didn’t “panic” panic. My mind did start racing, and a level of urgency to find the injured hen set in. Simultaneously I understood the hen was not in that pile of feathers.
I picked up the wounded hen and placed her in the coop. She was missing a lot of feathers and had puncture wounds on her back. I rushed back to the house and got my husband.
We didn’t find the missing hen. The piles of feathers were in two distinct places, not scattered through the back yard, nor through the fencing into the back alley. I’m thinking hawk.
The ducks were all stressed, but none looked injured. The drake was uncharacteristically quiet and the hens were not keen to go in the run. I did manage to get them in coop and closed it up about 20 minutes earlier than normal.
This morning, and today, I will need to work on the run. It needs a top put back on. The tarp I had used was ripped during a storm and I haven’t replaced it. If the injured hen survived the night I’ll need to get some medication for her wounds. I don’t know if that will help now or not.
At any rate, I didn’t sleep well, upset that I allowed my hens to be attacked and killed. I’m also still upset at having to cull Trixie, and Gracie’s illness. The television news is nothing but riots throughout the U.S. cities, COVID-19, and the associated noise and arguments. My animals have been killed.
I just have to rest in the knowledge that Jesus is with me and will help me through it all.