So, what did you do Monday night?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by greyfields, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Well it was a lazy Monday evening. I had pottered around in the greenhouse, then came inside to watch Anthony Bourdain and drink cider with Caroline. About 8 o’clock I got the Sun Chip cravings (there is a secret ingredient in them that make you crave harvest cheddar fortnightly). On the way back from the store I saw something very strange in the yard by the barn.

    I thought for sure something had carried off one of our goslings and eaten it. The light was fading and I crept up expecting the worst. As I got closer it looked more like a big chunk of wool from a sheep. So, I was then really confused. As I squatted down next to it, I saw two legs and then realized I was looking at a barn owl fledgling. I touched it’s legs, which were titanic cold, and I thought for sure it was dead. It then gave me the slightest squeeze around my finger and Team Greyfields raced into action.

    I sped into the house with it and we immediately threw it into the AGA warming oven with the door open. The warming oven (~150 degress with the door closed) has saved more livestock on our farm than anything else… except maybe for our neighbor the "sheep guy". As it warmed I got hold of The Wildlife Center for the North Coast located out of Astoria.

    We knew of the shelter as last summer someone scraped a barn owl up off the road in front of our neighbor's. That one had been hit by a car and someone just kept on driving. The owls fly ponderously slow and just a few feet above the road most time. So we had our routine already set, which is to rush the bird to Naselle where the shelter meets us half way and races the bird back to their facilities. They have a full service veterinary set-up and handle injured or abandoned wildlife. That barn owl last summer had to be destroyed; so we felt at some level we had to save this new owl… it was our way to make things right. We love having barn owls and want to do nothing to discourage them from using our barn.

    So, with the heat turned up to 2,000 degrees F in the car we raced to Naselle to meet her again. Caroline kept it awake as it warmed. It was obviously hypothermic. So the only thing we knew to do was warm it and not let it fall asleep. We transferred the bird and should know in two days how the prognosis. After inspecting the bird, she told us it was not a fledgling and was far too young to be out of the nest. So, it must have fallen and crawled to where I found it… or possibly something happened to their mom and the babies left the nest because they were starving (he/she was very thin). As everyone knows in the PNW we have unseasonably cold weather this Spring and the shelter is treating lots of animals for hypothermia.

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    For those not aware of what an AGA is, let's just say you are not a Smallholder unless you own one. They are ubiqutous in England in cottages and farms. They are amazing ovens which are always on (run on gas, older ones oil and wood even). The four ovens are different temperatures (450, 375, 225 and 150) and the top surface is two cooking surfaces one hot, the other less to. You cannot adjust the temperature, you simply work in differing durations. (http://www.aga-ranges.com/) They are also pretty awesome at saving baby chicks who get too cold. We've even heard of people putting lambs and kids in them to save them.

    So, we headed home about 9 pm after the rendezvous feeling like we did something good. Our spirits were down a bit as we lost a gosling on Sunday who got overchilled out in the hail and cold. So, we hoped this would offset that lost. Then as we drove home in the dark, around Grays River, a raccoon ran in front of our car and got obliterated by our front tire. I guess sometimes you can’t win.


    p.s. The Wildlife Center for the North Coast treats injured or abandoned wildlife in the northwest coastal corner of Oregon. They responsd 24/7 to emergencies:

    http://www.coastwildlife.org/
     
  2. raindrop

    raindrop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 10, 2008
    Western Oregon
    I used to do raptor rehab in California and barn owls are tough little things. Hope yours makes it, keep us posted.
     
  3. Rare Feathers Farm

    Rare Feathers Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:Awwww....how precious! That little guy is lucky you found him--any updates on his condition? [​IMG]
     
  4. Chamelle

    Chamelle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2008
    Springfield, OR
    Glad you found the little guy. I'm eager to hear about his recovery.

    I'm imagining how small his body must be under all that fuzz... and his feet look HUGE to me!
     
  5. eggzettera

    eggzettera Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Please do not talk about your AGA I am not an envious person, so there is no such thing.
     
  6. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    Michigan
    I sure do hope the little fella makes it! Keep us posted!
     
  7. DuckyBoys

    DuckyBoys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2008
    Colorado
    Quote:Yes, the feet and fuzz somehow cancel each other out! [​IMG]

    I hope the guy survives - I've never been that close to an owl - must have been pretty cool. [​IMG]
     
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    WOW.. .that really is a ball of fluff! Good thing you found it!
     
  9. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    I honestly thought it was wool. I left a message at the center this morning, but no phone call back yet.

    Hopefully it is OK and can be rehomed in the barn. I know I need to do some major remodeling on the barn someday. I'll need to get some owl experts in to help manage it so they don't leave our barn for good. I would like to create some kind of nesting area for them.

    BUT, I would really like for them to come in and out of hte barn without @#$%ing on everything in sight. My baler and disc mower looks like I parked them at the beach under a flock of seagulls.
     
  10. raindrop

    raindrop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 10, 2008
    Western Oregon
    Good idea. I'm sure they would be willing to release the owl on your property if and when the time comes. You can find lots of barn owl nest box plans online. When I did rehab in the central valley in CA, we had a waiting list several months long of farmers who had set up nest boxes and wanted owls released on their property. They make a crazy noise but are such good hunters it is amazing. The other thing I always thought was cool about watching them grow is that they actually weight less as adults than they did as chubby chicks.
     

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