May 2010 The Coop Newsletter May has brought us a foster dog, Reggie, a 2-year-old part pitt and part lab mix to train and befriend on Mothers Day. Our 14-year-old Boston, Rocky, had finally ended his days and I guess the daughter felt another set of floppy ears would help us out of mourning. He is very puppy-like, wants to please, and needs training in everything after living a near-abandoned lifestyle. In connection with the girls: we were warned that hed killed rats and squirrels and might not understand that the hens were off limits. We began right away to tell him NO when he got too close to the pen or coop doors. The weather slowly crept into the 90s here in North Texas and the Silkies began showing signs of heat stress, panting and sitting in the water saucer. I put out more plant saucers filled with ice water for drinking and splashing. The girls cooled off in the shade, chatted around the pool and were glammy divas! I tried to interest the Mille Fleurs in an unused pool after theyd been pecked away from one, but they wanted the one around which the Silkies were lounging--had to be the better pool! Happy Birthday, Camille and Margot! This month marks the first birthday of our two lovely Mille Fleurs. The girls celebrated with shaved carrots, chopped celery and mustard greens, toast and cool ice water! They have both turned into lovely ladies and seem to enjoy older Millies company. They hunt bugs and seeds together often. I am so glad. Margot is creating foot feathers now that she has seen Camilles. She will soon be as glamorous as Camille and Mille, for sure. Fight! Fight! The warm and humid days has evidently had a negative effect on the Silkie girls as they have been mighty peckish lately. First Hilda and Gerty have this huge fight where I have to put Gerty in her house for a time out, then another day, Hilda and Tazzle get into it! Man! So Hilda goes for a time out also. This went on for three daysbut feuds were forgotten as soon as they got out into the backyard, and settled down to friendly rivalry over bugs and seeds. OMG! Attack! Bill heard the squawks early in the morning and ran out to catch Reggie with Twinkle in his mouth, down on the ground. I was right behind him. The coop doors were ajar! I know I closed them the night before. Bill yelled at Reggie and smacked him hard on the head. He immediately released Twinkle, but she just laid there. Bill dragged Reggie inside and shoved him into his crate, yelling BAD DOG. Clumps of feathers were all around poor Twinkle and she lay gasping for air. I gently checked to see if she was bleeding anywhere, but seemed OK. I wrapped her in an old soft towel and put her in an empty plastic storage container. I brought it in beside me thinking any minute she would just squeak and die. She was making horrible rattling noises as she gasped for air. I held her head up so her neck would be straight. After about an hour, her rattling stopped but she still gasped loudly. I put a rolled kitchen towel under her head and she seemed to relax somewhat. I checked on her often. No blood on the towel, though her poo was runny, so I put in a clean towel and covered her up again. By evening, Twinkle was upright and peering around. I took her to her house and placed her inside with a piece of carpeting to sit on. The others watched from their apartments. The next day, Twinkle was alert but wobbly. After checking she had no broken bones, I picked her up and placed her in the morning pen with the others. Everyone came up to her and chatted quietly until Tazzle broke it up and they both walked together to the back of the pen and sat down. It took Twinkle about a week to finally be back to her old self. Security Measures. We now bungie the coop doors tightly closed at night. We have a spacer put between the doors (bungied tightly together) so only the hens can squeeze through during their time in the backyard. Reggie gets only leashed potty breaks when the girls have the backyard. He gets a NO! and a jerk on the leash if he looks at them. He has a new crinkle chew toy he seems to like. No squeaky toys! The girls will spend Memorial Day in the shade by one of the pools, eating greens, and snoozing on the patio. Thankfully, that is all the drama we all can stand this month. May your Memorial Holiday festivities gather many friends and family members. Proudly display your flag to honor our fallen veteransand give a hug of appreciation to the veterans living in your family.