The Old Folks Home

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

  1. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Ever notice that there is something special about the way a Georgian says "peaches?" You can just hear how yummy they are![​IMG]
     
  2. CanuckBock

    CanuckBock THE Village Ijit

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    Alberta, Canada
    My Coop
    If it is rickets (osteomalacia or rachitic chicks), you will find bendy or rubbery bones. Can you gently bend the beak in ways it should not go (don't harm the bird but see if it is softer than it should be)?

    All things in balance as you can easily over do Vit D...the things needed for healthy birds is access to sunshine (and shade when they want it) and calcium (oyster shell-soluable grit- with a marble grit-insoluable grit- allows the chooks to top up in whatever quantities they personally require...you know how we crave things we need, so do birds/beasts and having a mix of things available allows them to pick and choose individually--why we here feed whole grains of oats, wheat and bit of cracked corn in summer, more in winter for the HEAT!).

    I had issues with a duck that had been from a long, long line of waterfowl fed antibiotic feeds (very bad for waterfowl) as in commercial duck grower (held in horrid conditions, fed this ration they were medicated constantly just to endure the horror of filth & crowding!). The egg shells were pathetic, sometimes eggs without shells at all were produced! I let the ducks affected clean their systems out here for two years and had them have access to sunshine and shade, oyster shell with grit and good pelleted species rations (duck/goose grower that has no medications!) with grains and GREENS (time out on the lawns to chase bugs--nothing funnier than fly hunting duck a lucks, time outside to soak up sunshine, enjoy fresh air, and be OH natural). Get the birds on some grass in the good weather as in ranging on legume/grass pasture helps cures Rickets.

    Rickets is a deficiency of Vit D3 but be very aware...too much Vit D is bad as is too much Calcium which ties up Phosphorus and anything in excess or deficiency has consequences to your critters. Ricket like symptoms can also mimic infectious stunting syndrome.

    Anytime I have growth too fast (angel wing in waterfowl and limping in canines), I tend to blame protein (there are other more technical things involved too but in my small minded way, I see "high" protein diets and shudder) so in the birds, I increase the oats in their diet which is more difficult to digest (not hulled oats, whole heavy oats which are fed here very early so the birds accept eating oats--especially during moulting as it helps make great patterns, structures, & colours in feathers!) and the growth slows down to a more manageable pace so other parts of the body can catch up like leg and wing ligaments. If you have huge geese or turkeys, want to fatten them down for breeding purposes (or health too), a diet of whole oats helps sllm them up. Many old timer Toulouse breeders would allow the waterfowl to get thru a winter and as spring came on, they would increase the oat content and get the birds out on the pasture walking about and eating grasses...a fitness program so the birds could breed! [​IMG]

    So my suggestion is to offer up oyster shell with grit in a bowl, put some whole grains in their ration so they can balance their own feed to suit themselves...have shade and sunshine...get them out and about on the greens or pick shortened grass...never feed long strands as that can cause impacted crops. Scissors work well to cut to one inch lengths or less.

    Got any black feathers in this buff cockerel?


    Here is what Gail Damerow in The Chicken Health Book suggests for Rickets (if that is what it is!):
    I expect that you already will do this but whatever he does have, don't use him to breed forward with. We don't want more of the same as in not easy keepers. [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Made a triple batch of blueberry muffins yesterday afternoon. On Saturday, we bought one of my fav Booberries, so what better way to indulge in those antioxidants? [​IMG]

    2/3 cup Whole Wheat flour
    1/2 cup Flour
    1 cup Brown Sugar
    3/4 cup Rolled Oats
    1/2 tsp Salt
    1/4 tsp Nutmeg
    1/8 tsp Cinnamon
    1 tbsp. Baking Powder
    1 Egg (this time Crested Duck eggs)
    1 cup Milk
    1/4 cup Veg Oil
    1 cup Fresh Blueberries (beauty crop this year, big and delicious!)

    Turn oven to 400F.

    [​IMG]


    Grease muffin tins or use muffin cup liners. Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir in oats. Whisk egg, oil and milk together in a bowl and then add this liquid to the dry ingredients. Stir only enough to mix and make moist. Gently fold in BOOberries. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Makes one dozen muffins.

    [​IMG]


    Quite nice if you like oatmeal as it has a very rich oaty cereal like quality. Not my fav recipe but interesting. I froze up two batches of a dozen muffins each and will have these on and off over the next while for Breakfast. Rick quite liked them and he is not much of a muffin fan but he does like oatmeal cookies so I see the connection.



    Should be a good cherry harvest here...

    [​IMG]

    Fruit is setting up and we had a great deluge of rain last night...so me don't have to water today...yee haw! [​IMG]

    Went to put the ruminants into their barn off pasture and this cute widdle sap sucker was flitting about in the shelterbelt.

    [​IMG]

    Sweet bird bird...​


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    The plants in the Man Porch are thriving...with the heat, I am watering every other day now. Rick should get an excellent harvest of cherry tomatoes and reg heritage tomatoes...go nice in his lunch.

    [​IMG]


    The squirrels are harvesting up a storm of cones....hope that don't mean another historically huge snow dump winter is in store for us? I'd like to think after the last one, we get one FREE lazy person's winter for a change...a kinder and easier on us all winter!

    [​IMG]


    These are especially nasty ones...like mini porcupines! I remember there was a discussion here on a tree that left nasty "fruits" with sharp points scattered...these things (pine cones) are horrid and I spend a few minutes each day now casting these thorned suckers off the bird lawns! My son made a cute porcupine outta one some years back...two pins with a red head for eyes and a black one for a snoot. Ah...that's my resourceful boy...

    [​IMG]

    Rick came home and dumped my refuse bins, contents to be composed up in the ram pasture. Duece Coop runs need a topping with new oat straw and on to the next cleaning project. Just like housework, never ending circle of...well FUN...bwa ha ha...
    [​IMG]


    All this talk about crippled and sickly birds reminds me of how many blind ducks I have here. If a bird shows a want to live...we have no issues. I won't let things suffer a life of pain, but if they are less than perfect but can still manage...well we say, "BRING IT ON!"

    I discovered in the Call Ducks...there is another kind of white colour...not just recessive white but a progressively whiter gene which I labelled "white pattern." Each generation would go from say a bib->pied->magpie->ancona-> to entirely white.

    As some have discovered...the white colour can cause deafness. Proven scientifically now too...in dogs for hearing...the hearing cells consume pigment to develop and well, if there is NO pigment (white colour lacks pigment)...then the hearing cells cannot grow. Dogs are born deaf in both ears or sometimes one (harder to detect in one ear but they tend to favour one side, the side they can hear on, when working).

    Another incident where colour affects health is in sight. Some excessively white patterned birds are also blind! I had one duck we called Pudgy that was white from too much progression of the white pattern gene...she had cataracts. NO pain, but peripherial vision only. When hatched, you could see a white dot in the center of each eye which obliterated full on vision. She got on quite well and would babysit (Auntie Pudgy) finished brooded young ducklings...she would quack out commands to the babies and she would sit quite happy surrounded by HER brood of ducklings giving them a calm and happy duck to look up to. Worth her weight in gold that one. Miss her now terribly!


    [​IMG]
    Blind hen and her mate just a few paces away, head turned and HE waits for his beloved hen! Such devotion humans would be envious of. ​

    This is an Aus Spotted hen (left bottom corner) that I brought in when a person got out of the breed. I am told that she came direct from Holderreads, as a duckling the female never developed the split for her EYE lids...way weird--covered over eyes...she has some sight of light and dark through the lids but she relies on sound and has a great follow response for obvious reasons! I don't breed from her but she has a lovely mate (silver drake) that takes great care of her. Waits for her, quacks directions for her, always there by her side and helping her...a seeing eye drake perhaps!

    When the birds themselves will accommodate the gimps and the cripples...well us humans would be put to utter shame in not making amends to accommodate our handicapped friends. When you have LOTS of animals, some of them will show up gimped and it is a real sign of compassion and ability to make allowances so these less than PERECT (so much like moi!) specimens enjoy a very good decent life. Reward that will to live we say!

    We bought Quassi before we knew any better at an auction...our first duck in a box at the auction mart when we were just learning about auctions (not a good thing to do BTW and yet... our lives would have been far less without her!). Most often, auctions are dumping grounds and everyone needs to learn about that in their own ways I suppose. We never had auctions that we knew of to go to before we moved here.

    Sorry Wisher, can't recall if I have posted this (one of me many stories...) but here it is...tissue warning of course! [​IMG]

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Ode to Quassey Motto
    By Tara Lee Higgins - December 2, 2007 ​

    There are some birds you never forget. Some there is nothing very special about them. They do not cause fights, mind their business, and just blend in with the rest of the bevy…if someone snagged them, you’d only miss them because the head count was one short. And then there are the once in a lifetime birds like our dearest QM…our Quassey Motto.

    She was one of our first ducks. She was bought at a bird auction in a box with another hen. She joined the other box of birds we bought, a pair of production Rouens. We met the fellow that sold these birds as he was sitting behind us when we started bidding on the boxes. He tried to encourage us to buy more of the Rouens he had in the sale, but we only wanted one drake and a few hens. These were our first Rouens and we wanted to get to know the breed. I had somehow been convinced that we needed some ducks as “stock” for our stock dogs (Australian Cattle Dogs) to work at herding. What people did not warn me about is that we would bring home these ducks and fall head over heels in love with them. How then could someone allow novice dogs to work them—no bloomin’ way! So the dogs continued to work inanimate objects (other than Makes, she will always be our duck dog as she is gentle and never harms any creature!) and the Rouens instigated the first of our many bird building projects.

    Quassey taught us many things. She taught us that everyone is important, do not judge someone by their physical appearance, for true worth is not measured by this.

    What we learned from buying those first boxes at the auction was that you are suppose to closely examine the birds. Make sure they were disease free and physically capable of moving, walking, etc. Now that we know this, we may never again get to enjoy another bird like Quassey. For this we may be cheating ourselves out of some very memorable moments. Perfection is not everything. Correctness to a standard, well that counts in exhibition and for breeding, but in life, what other qualities are we missing out on for that skin deep beauty.

    Quassey should not have lived. In real reality, as breeders, we are suppose to cull deformed birds. We are not suppose to let those creatures that are physically hindered, survive. Birds are simple creatures, many things can and do go wrong, yet that duckling or chick hatches and lives. When do we play god and decide what lives and what dies? The will to live, the want to survive, it can overcome great odds. I will intervene if I figure an animal is suffering, if the animal is in pain and discomfort. That quality of life, I feel it is my duty to end suffering if it cannot be mended…that tough “love” side none of us ever feels “adult” enough to shoulder but we do because it is what we do as the keepers of the birds. We are suppose to accept the responsibility when we acquired the animal. The bird never asked to be hatched, bought, given away or sold. Sometimes just its gender seals its fate…too many males fight and make it miserable for everyone else…sigh.
    So here we had a duck that was obviously gibbled. She had a wry tail and a roach back, it was apparent her spine was not straight and this gave her difficulty moving. She was hunched up, walked with a lurch and even in her youth, she could not keep up with the rest of the ducks. Rick, of course, has a soft heart for the down trodden, so he immediately named her and our fates were sealed.

    We figured we were going to have to separate QM from the rest of the Rouens we had bought but this was not to be. What surprised us is that the other ducks respected her, they actually placed her in charge. She told them when to move, where they were going and if the other ducks got excited and began moving too fast for her to keep up, she’d let out a loud QUACK and back the others would go. She was the first to eat, the first to drink and man did that duck luv her bathes. Quassey decided where the flock would sleep during their outings and she led the group back to wait outside their pen when she thought it was enough. When it came time the next spring for a duck to go setty, it was QM that did the incubating and wonders of wonders, you would not believe what a good mother she was. She raised up those ducklings and the whole flock rallied around her. Quassey Motto, the crippled duck in an auction box turned out to be the center of the universe for us and our Rouens.

    We lost Quassey today. She passed away beside the food pan. Leaving behind her group of buddies, the original drake and two hens. Sometimes I hate winter. I realize we need it to have the other three seasons and without it, there would be a lot more parasites to contend with, but it certainly taxes your system. The weaker, the older, the young; they seem to take this time of year the hardest. If given a choice, I’d rather all our birds pass on during the summer months. Late summer; August or September. Let them all pass away about 5 o’clock, peacefully in the shade, with a full crop, surrounded by their fellow friends. When we came round to put them away, we’d find them resting. We had a Buff Brahma hen go that way two years ago. It was so peaceful I swear I want to go the same way. Ha ha ha.

    We are going to miss that duck. I know I will be looking for her for a long time to come. Always in the pen to check the Rouens, and my first glance was to see how Quassey was doing.

    In her later years, her ovaries quit working. She stopped laying eggs (like we cared, I was glad she did not have egg production to compromise her otherwise taxed body) and her plumage resembled a drake. She (or “it” as she had become) was still beautiful to us. We’ve been noticing over the summer she was sitting in the shade longer on a summer’s day. She was tired when the rest of the Rouens decided it was a day to do laps around the duck yard. She was no longer in charge and she showed no real interest in maintaining order according to QM. I helped her in to their pen a few times. She was a bit lighter than she use to be and I guess I knew she was not going to be with us much longer. It does not mean you do not hope for lil’ miracles tho but who am I kidding. Most “meat” ducks do not live from more than a few months let alone that she was with us for almost seven years.

    I’ve put her body in the freezer. Certainly not to eat, my goodness not going to eat a “pet” and a cripple. She has to go in the freezer for it is far too frozen up now to dig her little grave. I have a head stone to paint, a rock we brought down from the Wappiabi. She can go on the hill with the three kings (3 poplar trees in a triangle watch over the pet cemetery overlooking the West pasture). And to think, two novice auction goers could learn so much from a five buck duck. Thank you Quassey. Best dang bid we ever made, we made on you. Sleep my dear. If there is a heaven, you’ll be there and that spine of yours won’t be slowing you down any. You’d be flying circles around me quacking at me to hurry up and bring that lettuce treat before your other friends decide to come to stay & play.

    Rest well QM.

    Tara Lee Higgins – Higgins Rat Ranch Conservation Farm, Alberta

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    So a busy day yester...so made a simple but good for the guts meal to end the day. Classic three slots...potatoe, corn and meat--a manly meal for the cooking in the MAN porch.

    [​IMG]

    Baked potatoe with slice of onion, corn on the cob, beef steak on the Man Porch BQ with homemade BQ sauce...simple fair 'cause I was tired. [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Made lunch for my Hero and after feeding the dog, we sat for a while and I carved out the outline on the sign for the cabin. Then the said dog told us it was sleep time and we obeyed her command.

    "You are sleepy...very sleepy...you must retire INTO the house...." [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Called it a night and a GOOD DAY. [​IMG]

    Doggone & Chicken UP!

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

    subhanalah Overrun With Chickens

    @CanuckBock
    Sorry to hear about QM.
    Do your chickens not like picking out the pine nuts from the cones?
     
  4. chickadoodles

    chickadoodles True BYC Addict

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    South West Alabama
    Hi Tara, Thank you for the info on Rickets I appreciate your help so much. My birds do have an outside run with sun and plenty of shade if they want it and I have a large grassy area in the back of their run that I let them in to forage and eat the grass but they get limited access to it so they don't kill the grass.
    I will go out and check his beak later when it cools off some.
    I don't know I may just need to go ahead and put him in freezer camp and they are all cockerels in that pen waiting to go there anyways.

    I am so sorry for your loss Tara. [​IMG]
    You always make food look so delish! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014
  5. CanuckBock

    CanuckBock THE Village Ijit

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    Oct 25, 2013
    Alberta, Canada
    My Coop
    That was a time ago...2007...pretty much dealt with it but the intial go round, you are rather raw. I learned a lot from that duck. [​IMG]

    Theodor Seuss Geisel aka Dr. Seuss (March 2, 1904 – September 24, 1991): These cones are very hard & tight. I think they are harvested by the squirrels when new (cut off the branches and litter the ground) and the cones must mature and open up to retrieve the seeds.

    Some types of pines (Jack pine) have cones that require a fire to go thru before the cones open up and seeds are able to be loosened. I have visions of the squirrels up in the attic "roasting" their cones on the woodstove pipe in the winter....[​IMG]

    Forrest Hall - physicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/BOREASFire/:
    Aborigines of Australia were sometimes referred to as keepers of the fire as they would do planned burnings to keep the Land in healthy condition--new growth and rebirth and such. Now we don't let fires rage thru and when a fire does happen, holy moly it can be very intense because there is SO much tinder and debris to turn the fire from a fast not too harmful kind to really intense destructive ones.

    Tara
     
  6. subhanalah

    subhanalah Overrun With Chickens

    for sure. Fire is a very spiritual mechanism for us as human beings and as creatures of the earth. It is what enabled us to excel as we have as a species.
    It's a shame we aren't as the earth, in a transient state all the time, then She would get her renewals as necessary and places wouldn't be turning into desert everywhere you look. San Diego is drying out and about to crumble into the ocean. Madagascar is already having desert sprawl from their "Easter Island syndrome" and being unwilling to cooperate/compromise with mother nature. Africa's deserts are spreading and they are massacring their native fauna at alarming rates because their food source (the sea) has become barren.

    This.
    Is not.
    Looking.
    Good.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    St. Louis, MO
    Good luck on your bird but whenever I've had one like that closer to maturity, I have never been able to reverse it. I think it's a combination of things that causes it, genetics being one of them. Keep us updated.

    Pre-Columbian Native Americans would burn forests to open them up for grasses encouraging bison and other large grazers to range farther east.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. CanuckBock

    CanuckBock THE Village Ijit

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    Oct 25, 2013
    Alberta, Canada
    My Coop
    I guess this one boy is more sensitive--you got ALL the things you need to be doing on the go (and you become more and more a keeper of the land than a caretaker of fowls when the animals would happily destroy the place and then look all pathetic because it was a dust bowl or muck hole!--I spend many an evening hosing down the duck yard of plops that smother the grass and would make the lawns die) ...You got it going on...so I am at a loss...no more help past "Yeh, I guess he makes a great sandwich?" [​IMG]


    I am told that proper "food photography" makes the food totally uneatable (zit zit with oil?). It can be hard to make things look enticing sometimes...you need the smell and taste...tee hee.

    AND that extra physical work...work your buns off (out in the cold is worse!)...you deserve that second slice of booberry pie, eh? [​IMG]

    I think I told this one before but as a young couple, I tried making some chicken curried rice once. I showed it to Rick and he said simply, "Some people would do anything to get a dog!" Yeh, he got the deer in the headlights blank stare from me too...he meant it looked like a DOG's breakfast. He is my worst foodie critique...that bugger but then again...I was never one to back off a challenge...

    Hmm...now I know why he needed me to marry his forever bachelor bound butt and ruin his life ever after, eh! [​IMG]

    We are told that the happiest men are married and the happiest women are single...somehow there seems to be someone in there that will be UNhappy! [​IMG]

    Tara
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    It isn't looking good.
    Just too many people crammed onto a small planet. The Easter Island syndrome has repeated itself over and over.
    Archeological digs in the housing of cliff dwellers of the Southwest discovered that mice had stored seeds of trees that today don't exist for hundreds of miles from the digs, indicating that the same trees used to make forests in what is now desert.

    This is a very good read on the topic.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=LX...page&q=anasazi easter island syndrome&f=false

    "Another book is Jared Diamond’s Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, in which he recounts in harrowing detail how and why societies such as that of the Mayas, of Easter Island and of the Anasazi collapsed utterly, to the point where no one survived. What these societies had in common, he shows, was that they ignored the signs that they were destroying the ecosystems that sustained them, until it was too late to stop the process. He also points to all the symptoms in today’s world that what happened on a limited scale in those societies, is evidently happening on a global scale today. Diamond’s book is a wake-up call that reminds one that what is required today is a scrupulous discernment of signs that we are on the wrong path, the path of total eco-destruction."

    What was going through the head of the Easter Islander as he/she was cutting down the last tree?

    Historic societies that failed to thrive like the Olmec, Maya and others seem to all have made the same fatal decisions according to Jared Diamond; failure to anticipate, failure to perceive, rational bad behavior and failure to resolve a perceived problem.



    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/01/seven-billion/olson-photography?source=news_7billion
     
  10. subhanalah

    subhanalah Overrun With Chickens

    it surely is a test for us all.
     

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