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.


Turkey Tracks: January Thaw!

Turkey Tracks:  January 12, 2014

(I don’t know why some recent posts are not separating paragraphs…  Sorry…)


January Thaw!

It’s a January thaw!
It’s 50 degrees!
We can see grass in the snow paths again, and the chickens came out of their coop/cage and are re-exploring the yard.  There is all sorts of talking and crowing and clucking and general delight going on in the yard.
Today’s job was to retrieve TWO glass bowls that the chickens have dragged to the back end of the cage.  The chickens, in their boredom and hunger for different foods, literally lick those bowls clean and drag them around.  Did you know that chickens have tiny little tongues?
Until today, I could not reach them from the front end of the cage with the crab net.  Or poke a broom handle through the chicken wire to push them forward from the back end as the tarps were knee deep in snow.  I’m going to try the very tall tree/limb cutter which has a curved saw on the top–and if that does not work, will try to life the tarps at the back end.
I NEED those bowls to continue feeding the chickens things like warm mash, leftovers, meat and milk, and so forth.
Well!  The tree saw was too tall to wedge into the flap/gap between the coop and the cage.  I finally got the bowls with a leaf rake–the longest one I had.  The tines kept collapsing, but patience and effort was rewarded, and I gradually was able to turn each bowl over and over until I could reach it with the thick pole I use to prop open the coop roof.  Yeah!!!!  I am easily amused, apparently.
Meanwhile, the rooster herded his girls up together next to the house and told them I was an extremely dangerous intruder into their space.  He is so cute and has come into his own.  He crows all the time now.  I’ll try to get some pictures of him soon, but we are getting more weather coming in over the next few days.
Last night I sewed the fifth row of seven of Celtic Solstice.  It’s so pretty.  Only I sewed one of the units upside down, which threw off the pattern.  I took the offending block out of the row, fixed the unit, and resewed the row together.   Now I had TWO blocks upside down.  I took it all apart and fixed both units and resewed and QUIT for the night, thinking I would finish the rows today.  But I have not yet, and I’m not quite sure where the day has gotten to.
I have downloaded another audio book:  P.D. James’s DEVICES AND DESIRES.  Oh my gosh!  There is a mini-series of this book:
There is something so seductive about having someone read a story to you while you sew.  I finished BEST OF WOMEN’S SHORT STORIES, Vol. 1, William J. Locke, yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it.  There were a number of stories I read in school, like Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and it was a pleasure to hear them dramatized.
I spent some time yesterday going through ALL the 1200 titles of the audio books as the search engine is not great on this system.  I found so many books I will love to hear and made lists of the same.  I thought a mystery would be fun for a change.