The Old Folks Home

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Wisher1000, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. CanuckBock

    CanuckBock THE Village Ijit

    Oct 25, 2013
    Alberta, Canada
    My Coop
    You are where you are because I get not wanting to move. I expect to be moved only once more and that's to be cremated...forget another move for any reason now--got too much junk because it's easy to find a place to put it here ...those are untold full of nightmares and for what go another 10 to 15 years to be exactly where we are at now and established with? We moved from Kamloops in 104F heat...Rick rented a ten ton truck for our freezable items we had in storage while we lived in transition looking for our piece of dirt. The truck had air conditioning thankfully...but when I say we ran from [​IMG], I mean that literally. When it is so hot you want to peel yourself out of your skin...I will take cold any day...put on another layer, eat another fatty meal...get jiggy with it! LOL Heat makes me miserable and unproductive...that just sucks and is a waste of a good day.

    Agreed...something about those mountains (besides that being one of my names...before I was married my name meant "hills trees mountains" to the core, eh?) that beckoned and made us move here to live. Sure the summer is over much quicker than most places but what a grand show and so very tired and glad to see the snow fly to stay and ice build up to make us slow it down a notch.

    I remember camping and we would brave mountain fed streams to get cleaned cold you had an instant headache but man alive, you felt great once you did clean up and got feeling back in your parts. I can't imagine being fun times being all dirty and sweating camping in the heat! Yuck--I get three times as messy camping and adding heat would just make it piggy!

    Rick and I no longer do any camping...we figure where we are at...whenever we get timed of camping, we just call it a night and go inside the house to use the amenities....bwa ha ha. I find camping (the real deal) to be very tiring...takes extra long time to do what normally is easy....hauling water, cooking, cleaning, keeping warm. I see the whole fun and adventure but I guess I just don't see the point in it if I can enjoy sorta "camping" here every day...cheating I guess. Last place I want to be is working to do what humans invented our luxury slave like appliances for.

    I don't think I will ever get use to the "tough love" scenario...but as many say here...If you eat meat, well the best is your own. I don't name the ones destined for the pot and I think and plan many days in advance for when the DAY is to happen. Walk in, all ready with a designated area away from the other's sight, sound and smell, someone is picked up (never the wiser--because I handled everyone so often)...and the happy existence makes for happy oblivious meat. Instantly over and done...and then there's those dinners. [​IMG]

    Not only do the birds fill out (the meat gets firmer and fatter with time) and make the processing much more worth the effort...the texture/taste improves substantially. I found that in our heritage turkeys especially, I use to process at nine or ten months...they were certainly big enough at 35 pounds in the toms, but I now wait till they are 16 months old. I served my son and spouse ten and then sixteen month olds and we three agreed the 16 month olds tasted more delightfully turkyish in flavour. I get to give them half a year more to enjoy their lives and my family gets to enjoy even more tasty meat, gravies and soups. I don't do what I do with an eye on the economics of it all. I am positive that feeding turkeys for 6 months more is not in any way saving us any feed, housing or resources BUT I do this because it makes happiness. As I said, I'll never get wholly comfy processing and taking a life, but to see males fight and harm, crowding, potential diseases, and the horror that too many birds have in a is with the knowledge that extra individuals have to be dealt with properly--otherwise you don't ever hatch more because you are simply FULL up. I tend to keep a 50/50 ratio of the genders, especially in my Chanteclers since I keep whole pens of just males for breeding...but in species like the turkeys, I like two males and the females in each pen, so it makes the expectations of half of each gender hatched so I can expect to process the excess males in future to get the ratio I prefer. I don't have to set eggs but if I do, I have the responsibility of humanely dealing with any I don't keep--I understand allowing others to process and agree with that way, too. I bring forth life and feel responsible to keep things on the happy side.

    These here are my Dingoes and they don't eat babies...they protect them from other things that would like to eat the baby birds, critters...

    Fixins and Foamy...out on inspection at the Point Pasture.​

    All I have to do is whisper BAD BIRDY and off to the races go them girls...barking and ripping about ready to attack crow, raven, hawk, owl, eagle or magpie!

    Savage savage creatures...monitor lizards and yet, I like the looks of them. If my climate was not so cold, I would LOVE to set such a beast loose at night to clear out any mice that thought about wandering around! Bwa ha ha...can see the Beware signs already...of Goanna...sure people would think with a name like that...was some team spirited Lassie...ha ha ha!

    I would probably lose my wabbits and I am betting they dig pretty decently so when they tired of a diet of lil'd be into my bird pens and eating the feast quite well. Eep!

    No worries, you are not alone with living amongst places where skunks reside! Skunks are more than happy to add eggs and birds to their menu listings. [​IMG]

    OK...deterrents first...skunks DO NOT like bright lights and loud music (no Disco Dancing fer dem!) if you find them under a can try flooding it with light and LOUD sounds. Skunks DO like to take residence UNDER will note that many of our buildings are surrounded in hardware cloth and white lattice...any holes big enough for them to reside in, like from our pipe skids, I fill in with a thick layer of gravel...try not to invite trouble to take up residence!

    Skunk populations and interactions with humans cycle. We have good years for skunks when feed is plentiful...then the kits all seem to survive well and it takes a few years for the population explosion to settle on out. Lots of road kill and yeh, you do want to avoid driving over the kill spot and collecting up the spray of their scent glands under your vehicles!...YUCKY!

    I have written articles for the local papers on what to do to prevent skunks and how to clean up the spray! Lovely topic...

    As with anything, an ounce of prevention is worth the pound of cure you have to use AFTER they start showing keep the place tidy--not just for looks and enjoyment but for predator prevention measures. Don't let the junk pile up, remove the brush and tall grasses that can build up around your buildings and invite wild offensive critters to take up house and home at your place. When building, wire in the skirt of the building to prevent them getting under your coops--good advice to have a clean perimeter around the buildings so you can easily inspect it for intruders that dig (skunks have some awesome claws for digging with!). Now IF a skunk DOES set up a nest under a building...well you can laugh now at the cure.

    Take some Exlax (nfi) or generic similar and toss that piece a candy or two under the spot where you think the skunk now lives (a hole or space to gain access into a darkened quiet like nesty area and that faint wiff on the wind of Peppy la PEW eau de toilette). I would ensure all your wandering at large other creatures can't access it as giving a dose of the runs to something you love is not really a good plan--that is unless you somehow revel in cleaning up smelly messes (not my idea of good times!). What happens is the skunk has a sweet tooth and EATS the laxative and wait for it...messes in their own HOME which causes them to move along and won't for a time, attract other skunks to move in either--double edge counter move this one!

    As Snagglepuss would say, "Heavens to Murgatroyd!"... a skunk can't STAND its own body functions as in POO is OOOOH!...that smell is just one they cannot stand. Bwa ha ha...imagine that and imagine how bad that has got to smell! Skunks find own their poop highly offensive--offensive enough to move out and have to find a new home! [​IMG]

    Skunks have certain limitations...a certain savoir faire!

    OK...action plan for just in case something DOES get sprayed...have a coupla bottles of fresh Peroxide (it changes to water over time!) on hand...forget tomato juice and other home remedies...this one WORKS...yeh, I have a Oz Cattle Dog that chose to bite the butt of a skunk (yeh, nothing like a dog breed that easily catches [email protected] and feels the ever present need to BITE things and ask questions later!) never mind how I know this works...blah, blah, blah--blick!

    What you do NOT want to do is make up this concoction and bath something IN yer bathroom tub because it lifts the skunk spray (what it is meant to do!) and the spray then goes into your drains/pipes and your bathroom stinks to high heaven like forever (again, zip yer lip on how I learned THIS one, eh!). The item/being that was washed and they no longer smell so bad but now your HOME stinks for like ever! That is unless you are Fixins and you INGESTED the spray 'cause you had to focus on targeting the most ARMED spot on a skunk! ...AGH...for months afterwards...I would run her and she would repay my "NOT" due diligence by huffing and puffy skunk in her very breath...yeh, fond good times! She's lucky we LOVE her so.


    2 bottles (1 quart) of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
    1/4 cup Baking Soda
    1/4 cup White Vinegar
    1 tsp Dishwashing Detergent (or shampoo will work too)

    Mix and apply immediately. Wait five minutes while it bubbles, foams up & froths and LIFTS the stench. Rinse with COLD water.

    Repeat as necessary.

    If the subject of the washing has hair you are concerned about bleaching (peroxide can do that), you can substitute all to White Vinegar (so 1/2 cup and skip the Peroxide).


    FYI, there is something like over 220+ chemicals in skunk spray and skunks DO NOT like spraying...they will warn by chattering and is taxing to them to spray but a last point defence for them. The chemicals in the spray cause red blood cells to EXPLODE and sometimes dogs that get skunked have auto immune responses that can act up MONTHS can cause ongoing lifelong health problems! Avoidance besides it down right stinks is preferred by far.

    Best advice is to stop whatever is attracting the fault on Fixins' spray as I had left ONE egg in a garbage pail by the garage and Fixins went out and confronted the skunk that I had attracted to make its nightly rounds! Once skunks (any predator in fact) finds some reason to put you on their food rounds...they will be very insistent about coming back time and again.

    I am told that if a skunk cannot RAISE its tail, it cannot spray, so anyway to confine them in a small enclosure where the tail up cannot happen, less likely you are to suffer consequences of the spray.


    I brood in grocery store bins...shorter and made from a harder plastic. I hatch in a GQF 1266 (nfi) high velocity fanned Sportsman...all species at once--so I have turkeys, ducks, sometimes geese & pheasants, and chickens all as day olds and I like to brood them in separate spaces...even so far as bantams from standard sizes too...size matters. [​IMG]


    I noted that I have not been able to purchase these exact bins to replace my older ones and see the grocery store I use to get them at has changed to a vented or gridded bottomed bin. So I looked at an old standby and bought these taller bins because the plastic is more rubberized...might survive here longer.

    Keeping in mind, plastic retains contaminants (unlike glass which we can more easily santize)--styra foam and plastic incubators are notoriously likely to get contaminated over time and usage so unless you use something like Potassium Permanganate (not a nice chemical!) to detox the plastics, eventually they too need to be replaced with new ones. People often say that they get great hatch rates initially and over time/use, that drops off because of contaminants that keep building up.

    I wipe down the inside of my Buster 'bator after the season with disinfectant (Lysol - nfi) and then dry it out in Alberta sunshine. Sunlight (those chickens are pretty brainy stretched out having dust baths in the sunny spots!) is a proven disinfectant that works to kill lots of nasty nasties! No wonder the birds enjoy feathers being exposed to that glowing globe. [​IMG]


    Not sure I will like these for the height (work out nice for turkeys as they get a bit older and taller) but will see. I do have about eight green bins in pretty decent shape still but shall try out these new taller ones in the new hatch building and see. The hatching room is at a decently warm enough temperature, not 99.5F though so the heat lamp suspended over the taller containers might work out quite right (see as a test with a thermometer ON the oat straw litter). I do know one fella that "heats the room" and does not use ANY red heat lights at all. I am not sure I will be attempting to do that but well, new building to try out and new things to figure. Might be wonderful, might bomb... [​IMG]

    Nicely coloured co-ordinated BINS but as with most things...function wins over form...pretty is as pretty DOES! LOL

    Doggone & Chicken UP!

    Tara Lee Higgins
    Higgins Rat Ranch Conservation Farm, Alberta, Canada
  2. subhanalah

    subhanalah Overrun With Chickens

    hahaha, all I read was the first part "normal" and a mention of my husband insisting on something, then I saw the picture and thought yes...This is what I must get. Hahahaha, funny how the mind works sometimes. I think my husband would give birth to a cow if I brought home one of those lol. I would like some NN, @Kassaundra has some in my area, I guess I'm just waiting on her birdslol
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Welcome to all the newcomers.
    I was convinced for a long time that I was THE thread killer.
    I read an article once in the International Wildlife magazine (published by the NWF). It had a story about the 10 most poisonous animals on earth. 8 of them were in Australia.

    Dogs are a big problem here too. Do you have the same kind of possums that we have? I suspect a transplant? Or are they just another of your many marsupials.
    I'm in the burbs and have lots of snakes. I love them for what they do but I'm still startled when I open something and there's a snake coiled in there.
    I guess that would eat a chicken.

    That's all they need with the crazy list of the other invasive things moronic humans have brought there. Cane toads, camels, fox, rabbits, horses, donkeys, cats, water buffalos, goats, pigs, deer. At least I guess they can make use of the horses at least.

    Bummer on the spray.

    I think I had some mink activity. The live trap has been tripped both the last 2 nights so I may have to quit using it. Either it was a coon too big for the trap or the mink somehow squeezed out. The pipe trap with the conibear at the end baited with sardines was turned completely at a 90 degree angle for access to the bait without getting caught.
    I'm picking up some more conibears today and set them all over. I've caught 2 possums in the last week.

    Andalusia gets to 110 often but farther up the coast where Penes and Emps are from is a bit milder. Neither area gets down to zero so my birds are troopers to have handled last winter.

    My pullets' eggs should be big enough to start incubating in another month.

    "Where did tucker run off too?"
    You're a bad man. No wonder you get in trouble. [​IMG] I do like that sense of humor but many don't get it.
  4. Cynthia12

    Cynthia12 Always Grateful Premium Member

    Apr 11, 2010
    SCG...sorry about the bad company there! Ugh! Hope you can get the smell out soon, from everywhere. Your nostrils will be smelling it everywhere you go now..for a while.

    A chicken that does well in the heat? I am finding that the Rhodebar does real well. I will see all of the others out there panting and have their wings spread out but her. I did see her wings out a bit on the 4th, it was 102 here. But, not panting! And, she has been laying almost everyday since she started a month ago. Pretty bird for the yard too. My NN also does very well. She is at POL. Can't wait to see what she will lay, she has green legs.

    Here is a photo I took of my Rhodebar last week.


    Ok, so here's a couple. :D

    It was hot out there when I took this, in the high 90's..I wanted to go in, she came running up to me. Treats?
  5. LindaB220

    LindaB220 Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 23, 2013
    Portland/Vancouver area
    @CanuckBock Really enjoyed your post and pictures. Love the humor. [​IMG]
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Other than Mediterranean breeds for heat, Cubalayas and Fayoumis are good.
    The best bird I've found for extreme heat and extreme cold is the smallish, tight feathered Jaer. They're fast maturing, lay a good size white egg for their size. They work well since I have temp extremes.
  7. ronott1

    ronott1 A chicken will always remember the egg Premium Member Project Manager

    Mar 31, 2011
    Wodland, CA
    My Coop
    Naked Necks and Rhode Bars would be good choices.

    They do not lay eggs like this though:

    Last edited: Jul 6, 2014
  8. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

    Jan 10, 2010
    Vacationland, Maine
    You just had to do that to me, didn't you? Those are gorgeous.
  9. ronott1

    ronott1 A chicken will always remember the egg Premium Member Project Manager

    Mar 31, 2011
    Wodland, CA
    My Coop
    They are Partridge Penedesenca, Pita Pinta, my OEs made from Cream Legbar and Crele Penedesenca. The Blue eggs are Arakansas Blues- Aracauna x Leghorn.

    I am making OEs by crossing the Arkansas Blues x Crele Penes.

    The egg colors are amazing!
  10. subhanalah

    subhanalah Overrun With Chickens

    Haha, it also only works when you're dealing with someone who plays nice. Poor kid. It totally backfires when you do it to some jerk.
    I have some rhodebars in the incubator. ..but..I'm not sure How those will turn out, I waited too long to set them...bah. Anyway, the one I've noticed having the biggest problem, is my brahma. He pants in the open coop when it's 80 degrees? Maybe cooler? Poor dude. I didn't intend on having him, he came with some fertile hatching eggs... Oh, and here are some of my eggs...not nearly as impressive, but I'm very thankful for these two little blessings every morning lol. [​IMG] Please ignore the dirty fake egg in the middle.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2014

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