Three things have been uppermost on my mind the past week. The first, the terrifying world situation stopped me from posting last week. I deeply considered whether to continue with the blog this week - to speak of relative inconsequential matters seemed insensitive. I am posting tonight, although I'm still not sure it's the "right" thing to do.
Secondly, the avian flu has reached Michigan. A case was reported on the west side of the state (we live in the southeast). Many chicken keepers are now on high alert, assessing what measures can be taken in their specific situations to protect flocks. The flu is brought in by migratory waterfowl and yes the geese have started to arrive here. Biosecurity measures to be taken: do not let the flock free range. Not an issue on our teeny tiny farm at the moment since there is still snow on the ground and the girls don't travel much beyond the donkey barn in these conditions. Cover your runs. Not possible here. Rick and I have discussed it and the construction of our run makes it quite difficult.
Speaking of which you can see how part of the overhead netting came loose from the run and is on the ground.
And the weight of the snow bent the poles
The third precaution being advised is to set up a sanitizing area for footwear before entering the coop. We're simply going to use a bleach solution spray bottle but have to wait for overnight temps to remain above freezing before trying to keep it in the barn.
A couple of days ago, Fluffy told me not to worry.
And then there's the ice. The glacier, also known as our driveway, has been treacherous for about two weeks, forcing me to wear cleats every time I go out to the animals. Even with the cleats I've had to take little mincing steps. We had the big thaw over the weekend removing 85% of the ice and snow. From ice to deep mud instantly. And then temps fell and it snowed today. It's quite hard to maneuver the water wagon and the manure wheelbarrow in the mud but I'll take anything over the ice. Even Rick, who has the balance of a monkey, fell a couple of times. No.thank.you!
I worried about the ice in the donkey yard, even they were slipping.