Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Stop & Chat: September 28 - Farm Life Woes


Today still started off slow, as I mentioned in the post I finished writing this morning LOL, but boy did it escalate.

We fed the flock like we normally do, splitting off in two in order to feed the 'wild flock' where they're used to being fed and 'our flock' over by their coop. Everyone was present, minus the last chick Empty Nester (longish story, I will eventually tell it) had. It disappeared some time in the night, so we don't know whether it succumbed to the elements, was taken by a swamp hen, or was a victim to some other tragedy. I'm quite upset, as I had a vested interest in EM's success, as well as the two babies she had started out with, but something I've had to accept is that these things will happen unless I lock everybody away into the far-too-tiny spaces available on this property for the flock. 

The swamp hens have been menaces. They spend their time patrolling around the coop the Cheep Cheeps are in, and a few weeks back they tried and nearly successfully grabbed Crumble while I was letting him and Kookie free roam. Earlier this year we witnessed one steal a peachick (peafowl baby) right from under its mother's nose, and there wasn't anything we could do to save the chick. They just move too fast and the water way at the back of the property is overgrown and hard to navigate to. 

Roostyboi, a formerly wild rooster we took in after he had a head and eye injury a couple months ago, seemed to want to dust bathe, so I thought I would give him some supervised 'free roaming' time in some good, dusty dirt and sand. He loved it, but he ended up moving too close to some of the wild roosters and they did not like his presence and made it very well known. I had tried to circumvent this issue by keeping him far away from the other chickens, but the sillybutt decided to march his way up to them and then proceeded to act shocked when they got angry with him. I ended up having to put him in the coop to let him calm down before moving him back to his daytime enclosure. 

Around lunch time, I did my normal flock check and went to check on a few wild broody hens that I've been keeping an eye on. Unfortunately, one of the white hens was just... dead, a few feet away from her nest. I checked her over to see if I could find an obvious cause for her demise, but nothing seemed untowards about her. For all we know, she had a bad run in with a venomous snake, of which we know there are many on the property. Her nest was on the ground in the sheds, so anything could have gotten to her. I've tried moving a wild hen and her nest before, but if they don't trust me enough all they'll do is abandon the nest or find a new one to brood over. This one didn't quite trust me, so I couldn't move her to a safer location without compromising the chicks.

The rest of the day was relatively quiet. I managed to get some laundry done and felt well enough to take a much needed shower. I even got in some snuggles with Kookie and Crumble, and marveled at Crumble's adorable squeaky honks.

Putting everybody to bed was uneventful. If anything, it was really easy. The Cheep Cheeps have gotten used to being handled enough to transport them from their nighttime coop to their daytime coop, and the Babies and Roostyboi went into their coop easily as always. Kookie and Crumble always go to bed easily, so that wasn't too much of a surprise. I found a new potentially broody hen in the sheds, though she could just be laying an egg rather late in the day. I'll keep an eye on where she was to confirm one way or the other.

While I was wrangling the Cheep Cheeps, I saw the turtle in the first picture of this post. He seemed to not want to move, and he was hiding in his shell, probably from the wild chickens, so I decided to give him some space while I put the Cheep Cheeps away and see where to go from there. Fortunately, he seemed to decide he was good to scurry off back home and disappear into the brush.

Dora, one of our hens we call the Babies, is trying to go broody again. I successfully broke her of her broodiness last month, as we really don't need any more chickens if we can help it, but she's gone ahead and determinedly sat on the few eggs her and the other Babies have laid today. I was too tired to deal with her today, and I know she's been fed and watered, so tomorrow I'll remove the eggs and see if that's enough to break her broodiness before going to more extreme measures, such as Broody Jail LOL. 

I took some time to work on my UO blog and consolidate some pictures and videos I have for that eventual post or possibly series of posts to get this corner of the internet caught up on what's going on in my life.

I think that covers just about everything for the day. I did have a bit of the leftover stroganoff, but I haven't been hungry enough to eat more than that. Tomorrow is another day. I can stuff my face then.

Stop & Chat: September 27 - Migraine

Kookie and her child, Crumble, enjoying the comfort of my head and shoulders.

At around 3 in the morning, I woke up and ran to the sink to puke. This was a problem, as I had nothing but water in my system, but my head and stomach had decided that there must be nothing in my stomach before I will stop heaving.

Unfortunately, I had a migraine. And a pretty severe one. I ended up laying in bed all day and drinking copious amounts of water and powerade. I also took some sumatriptan, which helped, but the day was not meant to be.

I drifted in and out of sleep while the day passed by. I did try to eat the stroganoff I made, and it was good, but it didn't stay down long. The chickens did fine today, even though I wasn't obsessively checking on them every 5-10 minutes. I only paid attention when somebody got particularly loud or obnoxious in "REEEEEEEE"ing, but even those noises were normal for these guys and never progressed into "something is wrong" territory.

This morning, the 28th, I feel a bit better, but I am still confining myself to bed. I feel all sorts of exhausted, so I'd like to be able to fall asleep easily if I get tired enough for it. I have some general goals of commenting and maybe starting on some other blog posts, but I'll have to see how the day progresses as it's before 9 AM. Migraine hangovers are no joke.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Stop & Chat: September 26

Excuse me if uploading a video doesn't work. It's the first time I've done it through Blogger so I'm not 100% sure how or even whether it works.

This morning started off pretty normal. Sleeping in is nonexistent when you have chickens either in the home with you, or close enough in their coop that you can hear them whilst in bed. The group of chickens we've called 'the babies/bebbehs/baybees' started their screeching right on time between 6:30 and 7:00. We normally let them out around 7:30, after dawn, to minimize predation events. We got dressed for the day and let them out before taking a moment to drink some coffee.

At about 8:00 we went to feed the 'wild flock'. At the property, we have two 'flocks' as we call them. The 'wild flock' (they're not that wild, as time has gone on, but they still greatly dislike being handled or even reached for), and 'our flock' (chickens we have raised or taken in at various stages of their lives to save or tend to for various reasons). Technically I think there are several distinct flocks, due to how the chickens and peacocks separate during the day and interact with each other, but that's a post for another time. 

Since we took in the Cheep Cheeps (a group of formerly 22 five-week old chicks, now 21 chicks) we've been trying to work out a good coop/foraging/enclosed safe space set up since they're too young to fully fend for themselves. We ended up grabbing an older, handmade form of a sort of tractor coop that the old property owner made and removed the rusted, holey floor before putting it on the grass for some nice foraging and daytime adventures. The Cheep Cheeps really enjoyed their day outside. I made sure they had water and plenty of food throughout the day. At the end of the day, when it was bedtime, they were a lot less stressed out and spastic from us handling them than they've been in previous days. We were able to grab them relatively easily, as they kept running up to our hands excitedly. It's been about two weeks, and these chicks are quite old, but I'm hoping they'll become quite tame and able to be handled as they grow up. Not because it benefits them (though it does; handling allows for better health checks), but because I want snuggles, dangit! LOL

Kookie (pronounced just like 'cookie', just a silly spelling) was well behaved today. She let me check on the scratch on her foot. The scratch as far as I can see is just a part of living on a very old farm property, with a rich history (read: glass and chemicals and trash) but I'd still rather it be treated before it turns into a case of bumblefooot. Crumble, Kookie's child (I initially thought he was a rooster, and I call him a he, but I have suspicions he might actually be a she), is his normal snuggly, wanna-cuddle-anywhere-he-ends-up-on-you self. At one point during the day I had crouched down to give them pets and love, and both Kookie and Crumble jumped into my lap and sprawled out until the position was too uncomfortable for me and I had to move.

I cleaned the bin Kookie and Crumble sleep in at night, as well as the bin the cheep cheeps sleep in. Both of these bins sit inside our home, as the cheep cheeps don't have safe space to sleep outside and at this point neither do Kookie and her Crumble. The coop we had originally let Kookie sit in, even while she was brooding over a nest, has been taken over by the Babies, so we need a new coop or even couple of coops to put everyone in. Ideally I'd love to make one coop and run big enough to fit an army of chickens, but between prices, our time, and our resources available, we may end up repurposing a lot of the old and semi-worn down coops and runs that the previous owner left for us. Let's be real, regardless of the circumstances, I'm going to make sure everybody is as happy and healthy as we can reasonably ensure.

I would say that's enough about chickens for the day, but in an honest sense chickens and peacocks are all I have going on in my life for 90% of the time. I feel sorry for anybody who asks for an update on my life, because all I will talk about is chickens. In the past year and change, they've pretty much taken over my life. 

On the UO front, I've done some plant tending and spell scroll crafting, but nothing else was done. I've been stuck in a never ending migraine due to the weather, so the majority of my day outside of chicken-related things was spent laying down in bed with the blinds closed and a blanket over my head. I did successfully take a two hour nap, which helped me have the energy to wrangle the Cheep Cheeps into their night time bin, but I'm still struggling with the pain, confusion, and general brain fog that comes with migraines. 

For dinner, I made some beef stroganoff. I haven't eaten it yet, so I don't know how it turned out, but apparently it's better than other beef stroganoff we've made before. I wasn't particularly hungry, so I've packaged up my serving to eat tomorrow.

I think that covers everything for today. Nothing super extreme or eventful for me, but still a busy day nonetheless. I'm not used to other beings needing and wanting my attention for so much of the day, and I'm still in a place where I feel useless and unproductive if I've let chicken snuggles/care take up too much of my day, but overall I know logically I had a fairly eventful day.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

New Beginnings... Sort of?


Well, hello there!

I finally finished the thing I kept telling myself I would do for a few years now. When my old domain subscription came close to expiring in late 2018, I switched over to a different provider to fit my new living situation, and I never fixed the Blogger custom domain setup. It sat, unused, but paid for, for nearly four years. More, if you count the last time I posted something.

Where do I start? I have grappled with that question for the entire time I've been gone. In truth, blogging never left my mind. I kept up with reading everyone's blogs, but I fell out of commenting. Nor did I ever really stop blogging. I simply concentrated on other super-specific video game based blogs that I've segmented across the internet over the years. I just didn't know how to return to this blog. To me, this blog had become a diary. It was the one place on the internet where I shared the most about myself. I love that sharing my life is how I have connected most with others. Out of all the spaces I exist on the internet, this is the space I always yearn to return to. I've loved watching my past self's changing circumstances and reliving the experiences that have shaped my life through the lens of then-present Liz. I've loved following my thought processes as I reflect on that day/week/event and it's comforting to recognize where I've changed from who I was when the post was written. To return and not address the huge gap in time felt all sorts of wrong. I wanted to give that chapter of my life a proper send off before I started writing about newer experiences.

But the words never came. I sat down in front of a keyboard. I scribbled with pen and paper. I laid awake until the wee hours of the morning contemplating. All of my efforts were insufficient in conveying everything I wanted to say to my future self about "where I'm at now". Then "where I'm at now" changed, and my lens to the past fogged with time. There were new things to write about! New pictures taken and adventures to share in my little corner of the internet! New highs and lows and thoughts and feelings and lessons to reflect on! The list of things I wanted to address kept growing until I was drowning under self imposed requirements I had to fulfill in order to 'come back.'

So here's what I've come up with. I'm just going to start blogging as if I never stopped. The content may be different, as I have added, removed, and adjusted various hobbies and former passions in my life. If I ever am able to write about my life pre-now, I will. I have a general game plan of how I want to get this place updated and a few posts mentally planned out to give some backstory to relevant parts of my life, but I make absolutely zero promises on when or if that will ever happen. My main priority now is just to get back in the swing of writing.

Until then, enjoy the .gif up top of one of my chickens coming up to say hi!