Tuesday, November 23, 2010

There's a blizzard a 'comin

There's a huge blizzard predicted today, and I don't feel ready. Last night, I watched the weather report, and the meteorologist started off his portion by saying, "Now, I don't want to SCARE you, but...." Hmm. That's not a good sign. All of the school districts have canceled their evening activities, and some schools are even releasing kids early from school.

Winds are at 40 mph here right now. Hope my pine trees don't blow over and ruin my beautiful new roof. I made J drive his big truck to work this morning, in case the snow started before he was able to get home from work. He rolled his eyes, but must have decided it wasn't worth the fight and did as I asked. I love that guy.

Now, you can laugh at me here, but now that J is in a big safe truck, and will probably leave work early, what has me most worried is my chickens. I normally wouldn't fret too much, since we've insulated their hen house, and with the light, it stays pretty warm in there. Unfortunately, the hens got in a fight last night. Injured worst was Clover, the white chicken. J was out there putting heat tape on the water dish, and things were great. He went out a half hour later, and she was bleeding pretty badly from her comb, and a spot in back of her wings. She kept shaking her head, so there was droplets of blood on her feathers, making it look much worse.

I checked on them at bedtime, and they all seemed to be getting along again.

This morning, as soon as it was light, I went out again. Clover's comb was scabbed over, but the spot in back was bleeding again, and a new spot towards the front was also looking a bit plucked and bloody. She looked pretty bad. She's never been a friendly bird, and has never let me pick her up. I was able to catch her a bit easier than expected (though she still put up a pretty good fight, which gave me hope).

I'm not sure if this is true or not, but I've been told in commercial chicken farms, they have red lights so that the chickens don't see the red of blood, and that they debeak the chickens so they can't peck each other to death. I've heard that if they see any blood/injury on a chicken, often they will peck at it until they've pecked the poor chicken to death.

Just in case this is true, I moved Clover to our small chicken tractor that we originally built for our chickens before chicken math/multiplication took over. However, it hasn't been used since we got rid of the roosters, and I haven't insulated or prepared it for winter at all. This morning, I added a ton of bedding to the box area to help insulate.

Clover was NOT happy to be moved away from her sisters. She did lay a nice, large egg for me today, but stuck on her nest for several hours. She's been out pecking and scratching for a good hour now, so I am hoping she's feeling a bit better.

When J gets home from work, he'll help me move the tractor to our now dormant garden, so she'll be right next to our chicken run. That way, she can see her sisters, but they can't hurt her. We can also run power to her little run and put a light out there to keep her warm and hopefully protect her if this storm turns out to be as big as they say.

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