Monday, February 21, 2022

DE and ACV - Love it or Hate it

 I'm crossing my fingers as I make this statement.

I think I have averted health crises involving two hens through the guidance of Fresh Eggs Daily with Lisa Steele.

A couple of months ago Peggy Sue was acting quite lethargic.  As my fellow chicken keepers know, one of the first signs of a health issue is when your bird distances themselves from the rest of the flock and simply stands alone inactive  I was ready to dose her with an antibiotic and now I don't recall why I refrained.  I followed the online trail of putting diatomaceous earth (DE)  in the chicken feed for parasite control initially through Lisa's blog.  I know, I know - two subjects bound to raise a ruckus with chicken owners are DE and apple cider vinegar (ACV).  One chicken group's admin stated users would be removed permanently if they recommended either remedy.  So please, no hate comments if you think my usage is not what you would choose.

Anyway, that's the only action I took and she is right as rain.  She has become food aggressive with the rest of the vultures, her comb color has improved tremendously and she looks great.

  from l-r on the top shelf, the 2 JoannieLu's, Sweet Pea and Pegs 

Look at the color of Peggy's comb, a nice bright red
Formerly it was a pale pink -- also not a good sign

Speaking of JoannieLu, within the past week I noticed her breathing was a bit raspy -- again she was standing off alone.  I immediately re-located Lisa's article on respiratory issues and administered some VetRx to her nostrils (with Rick's help) and put a few drops in the waterer for a couple of days.  She is now (knock on wood) an easy brathing active girl.  

Not that Lisa does not recommend seeking the advice of a vet, but she provides alternative go-to options prior to making the call.

Rick and I were just remarking that February seems to be a bad month for our chickens.  Last year we lost Lily in February, shortly after Luigi died.  I am hoping against hope we have changed the normal course.

I made another batch of coconut oil suet for the girls, but used a smaller glass container (maybe 4-5" diameter) and it was just about perfect.

I cut it into three section so I was able to put a chunk in each of the three chicken bowls.  Gone before you knew it.  Full of chicken heavenly treats -- old apricots, raisins, peanuts, organic oats, Grubblies, sunflower seeds and wild bird seed. 

     Peace in the Valley

*  *  *  *  *  Say Yes *  *  *  *  *

I found a recipe for the most scrumptious vegan cheese sauce and I must share.  I used it on a boiled potato, steamed broccoli dish.  It's made in the blender (couldn't be easier) and I found myself scraping out the leftover sauce to just plain eat.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Donkeys Refuse to Shovel

 I have a confession.  I am a leave-too-many-tabs-open-on-my-computer aholic.  It's true.  And sometimes that can cause a problem when trying to post a new blog post.  Last week I had photos ready to transfer from my phone to the PC to begin a blog story, but due to the many tabs, my computer said no.  Not going to happen.  Let's give it a whirl now.

A couple of weeks ago we got warnings of a h-u-g-e snowstorm coming.  Where we are located in Michigan the deluge didn't occur.  Perhaps 6-8" fell.

Here's the perfect map to show you where we're located.  Pinpoint halfway between Ann Arbor and Flint and you've got it. 

I've probably showed you this driveway shot before, but I'm telling you, every time it snows it's my favorite scene.

Of course now it's two week later.  The snow got packed down and now footing is getting dicey.  Hard packed snow can be difficult, let alone the ice.  I'm choosing footing carefully on parts of the driveway and in the donkey yard and the donks are too.

When the snow first fell, it was my job to shovel paths in the donkey yard.  The three ladies can form their own, but they prefer for me to shoulder the heavy labor.  Not only do the donks need the paths, but Rick and I do too to bring in the water on the sled and to wheel in the manure wheelbarrow.  Problems arise when the path gets blocked.  There are no passing lanes.  And yes, the little black nuggets you see is manure frozen in place.  It gets a little unsightly quickly.  Avert your gaze if necessary.

Then it's time to clear out eating areas.  Two or three is best as Sugar and Spice are very good at crowding Gabby out.

On the left you can see one of the official eating areas.  The other two donks are finishing off Sunday hot slop in bowls, while Violet investigates what's left in the third bowl.

Speaking of that little devil, here is a close-up of the hellion

The weather forecast on my phone says we can expect 5-8" on Thursday so I guess I'd better do my arm exercises to get ready to start the path/dining areas fun all over again!