Turkey Tracks: Diva Update

Turkey Tracks:  January 13, 2014



I went to sleep last night after watching the weather.  We will have a few more mild days and then the bitter cold will return.

I knew my severely frostbitten Anconda hen would not be able to stand any further damage.

I went to sleep knowing that she would have to come inside, or I would have to put her down.

Inside, first, I determined.  She has been through so much, and her spirit is so strong.  She deserves a chance.

So, this morning I got up and organized to bring her inside.

When I went out to feed the coop chickens and let them out, I saw the Diva on the hillside.  She had not gone into the coop’s cage last night.  She sat so still that I thought she might have frozen sitting straight up.  But, it hadn’t been that cold last night…  She moved a little as Penny dog went to sniff at her.  She was weak, but alive, just sitting on the hill above the junipers.  When I called to her, she moved and tried to come toward me, and limped her way down the hillside as if she were very stiff,  and I gave her a hand full of mealy worms, which she began to devour.  So, I went on to let out the coop chickens and to throw the leftover food in the coop to the twenty or so turkeys who are now bold enough to come right up to the coop.  It is quite something to see four or five turkey males in full puffed-out plumage strutting around not ten feet from you.  And it is fun to have them talk to you when you call to them.

After I fed the dogs and dressed, I organized a big box for the Diva in the kitchen.  Two trips to the garage retrieved what I needed:  a tarp to put under the box, the box, a screen to cover, and materials to line the box.  When I had the box ready, I went outside with the fish net to catch her, which it turned out I did not need.

She was very weak when I picked her up inside the coop, where she had gone as the other chickens were outside.  She hardly struggled and only squawked weakly when I picked her up.  There was no weight to her–just feathers and…air.

But, she was outraged when I put her in the box!  Where was this?  What was I doing to her?

Before I could get her into the box and put the screen over it, she flew up into the far left window and flailed around weakly.


I had to weight the screen on top of the box with books to keep her inside.

After a time, she accepted the box and settled down.  And in the past hour or two does not stand up and scurry around as I go in and out of the kitchen.  These Ancondas are very, very skittish.

She ate all of the hamburger I gave her.  But not the sunflower seeds.  She has scattered her food all out of its bowl.

The box is the box that the electric lawn mower came in–saved for just this sick-chicken purpose–summer before last.  The screen was a gift of the Swap Shop–back when we raised Chickie Annie after incubating eggs.  (You may recall she was the only one who hatched due to problems with humidity.  Later, she got eaten by a fox–which broke my heart.)  I lined the box with newspaper and an old towel–so she will have a little warmth and traction around her feet. Later I will drape another towel over the box top to make her feel safer and to keep her warm tonight.

And I will sleep without worrying about her freezing to death outside or being eaten by something that goes bump in the night.

The rooster flies up to the porch railing and calls to her.  He was very upset when I picked her up and she cried out.

I will not take a picture of her for you until she is better.  She is very disfigured, but her feet and neck do seem better.


Interesting Information: Red Palm Oil

Interesting Information:  January 13, 2014

Red Palm Oil

I read a really interesting article on red palm oil a while back.  Sometimes it takes me a while to act on information, and it took me about an hour to refind the article!  I was shocked to realize I read it back in the spring–which shows you how backed up my blog information pile is.

“Red Palm Oil:  A Healthy Fat with a Daily Dose of Vitamins,” Bruce Fife, N.D., Well Being Journal, May/June 2013, 8-13.   (This journal has an url, but does not let you read articles for free.)

Anyway, a week or so ago, I bought a jar of the red palm oil.


Turns out that the shopping booklet that the Weston A. Price Foundation sends me every year lists this Nutiva brand under its “best” category.

First I tried it instead of olive oil when roasting some cauliflower.   Hmmmmmm.  Pretty color on this white veggie.  Taste, and, Delicious!  Buttery and warm with an intriguing red/gold color.

Next I tried it instead of butter over the top of a roasting chicken.  Again, delicious!

So, what’s so good about this delicious, pretty fat besides the taste?

First, Fife writes that red palm oil has been a traditional part of the human diet in areas where oil palms have grown for “at least 5000 years.”  These oil palms started in tropical Africa, but now are an important crop in Southeast Asia, West Africa, and South America.

Besides being used in food preparation, red palm oil is used as medicine.  At the first sign of illness, one living where red palm oil is in the economy would down a cup of red palm oil.  And, red palm oil in these regions is “regarded as essential in the diet for pregnant and nursing women in order to assure good health for the mother and child.”

Red palm oil supplies essential fatty acids, yes, but it is also “packed with an assortment of vitamins, antioxidants, and other phytonutrients important for good health.”  The rich, deed red color comes from carotenes (like beta-carotene and lycopene)–which are also found in tomatoes and carrots.  But red palm oil has “15 times more provitamin A carotenes than carrots and 300 times more than tomatoes”–all of which makes it an excellent prevention for Vitamin A deficiency, which causes, Fife reminds, blindness, weakened bones, lowered immunity, and degraded learning abilities and mental functions.

Carotenes in fruits and vegetables, writes Fife, “can supply the needed vitamin A if an adequate amount of fat is also consumed.”  Voila!  Red palm oil is the whole package of nutrients and needed fat.  (And I would add that big strides have been made in the past two years towards recognizing how much humans need good fat sources to be healthy and towards restoring the role of good fats in recommended diets.  Good fats are NOT the highly processed vegetable oils which are devoid of nutrients and the fat-soluble vitamins.  Good fats are the animal fats, coconut and red palm oils, and properly processed olive oil.)

In addition to the carotenes, red palm oil “contains at least 20 other carotenes along with vitamin E, vitamin K, CoQ10, squalene, phytosterols, flavonoids, phenolic acids, and glycolipids.”  Red palm oil is so full of good nutrients and fats that it is being encapsulated and sold as a vitamin supplement.  Indeed, red palm oil is one of the richest natural sources of vitamin E.

Fife describes several studies–done with appropriate control groups–that show that red palm oil can stop heart disease and, for some, reverse it.

Fife writes that the antioxidants in red palm oil work to keep inflammation under control.  As such it helps lower blood pressure and may serve as a “potent anticancer food.”  It also protects “against neurological degeneration.”

Fife writes that red palm oil is excellent for cooking and baking–and my fledgling experiments begin to confirm its uses.  The label on the bottle I bought said it was good for medium heat, so I would not use it for high heat searing.  For that I use lard, tallow, or coconut oil.

So, I’m on board with adding this fat to my kitchen.

Besides, it’s just so darn pretty!