Monday, April 30, 2018

Zombie Chicken!

The kid just came up to me showing me Blossom's right foot (the uninjured one) and said, "She's missing the end of THIS toe, now!"
I look. "Haha, she couldn't have hurt herself in the house. Naw, her *toe* is there, she's just snapped off a claw." There is a tiny drop of dried blood, but Blossom is fine.
Kid INSISTS part of her toe is gone. I give it a closer look, comparison to purple bandaged toe on other foot is made.
Blossom is missing the end of her fucking toe and claw.

Terrific, now we have to search my house for a chicken toe.
Step one: Look for blood in area chicken hangs out.
Success, we find a couple of *tiny* blood spots (on the carpet I just cleaned, BTW)

ToeHunt 2018 begins.
My husband finally finds it, next to the couch.


This is about a 10 on my Weird-Shit-O-Meter.
Apparently she'd injured *both* toes originally, this one had stayed in place and today the broken off part finally fell off. Creepy thing is, I had thoroughly inspected her feet with my hands to check for other injuries and never saw this. Kinda glad because if her toe had suddenly come off in my hands while the kid was holding her it would have traumatized that poor girl.

...Or we have a Zombie Chicken. I'm personally going the Zombie Chicken route.

And yes, that IS a previously broken outer toe on the foot with the claw flipped upwards. Chickens LOVE to do this, it's a very common injury.

For crying out LOUD...my life is just one dumb, weird thing after another, I swear.


That settles it, Blossom is a goddamned ZOMBIE.

Hours later, I was just putting my shoes on and found this NEW tidbit sitting *right* where my husband found the first one. 'Oh HAHA,' I thought, 'husband dug the toe out of the trash and put it there to mess with me.' Then I realize that IT'S NOT THE SAME TOE.

Inspect chicken. Yup, she's shed another toe!

At this point I'm off to the Intenet to see what new weird chicken disease that causes the damned birds to shed body parts is going around. Happily, no chicken leprosy...nearest we can figure is that it was caused likely by frostbite months ago and the toe bits are just now falling off. Chicken people experiencing the same thing are saying Silkies and Cochins are prone to it.

But, I mean, LOOK at the first pictures I posted--that damned toe is ON there, right?! And it looks FINE.
It's freakish.

Stupid bird has 3 toe tips/claws left. And yes, I pulled on them all to make sure no more were about to fall off like damned autumn leaves.

 Who knew that the zombie apocalypse would start with a chicken?

Thursday, April 19, 2018


So the kid just got home from her volunteer job at a local thrift store, she has to perform 20 hours of community service to qualify for the Nevada Promise program (2 free years of college, baby!).

She bought something. I know this is true because my husband walks in and says she bought something. In kind of a warning tone. Also, he's smirking.
OK, I say, where is it?
*insert Holy Crap Moment here*
*also insert maniacal laughter from the kid*
*GoTo HolyCrap*
Next thing I hear as I make my way out to the living room to see what the Hell this thing is, is Blossom the househen who is NOT PLEASED and is LOUDLY vocalizing as such.
I continue and round the corner...
Apparantly it's my new favorite phrase, at least for today.

Yeah, the kid had gone shopping. This damned thing is as tall as I am. I realize that ain't saying much...but lordy. I can't imagine how much real estate getting rid of this thing freed up at the store.

And yeah, OF COURSE we showed it to the chicks.

...who couldn't care less.

Blossom the housechicken, she of the broken toe--SHE cared when the thing first came through the door.

...Oh look, chicken food!
After this all interest was lost in their distant relative who has come to live with us in our house. Forever.

That's a looong time, forever.
Maybe I just won't go in the kid's room any more.

Meanwhile, the baby chicks have decided to pose like little feathered delinquents as they finalize their plan to use the cinder block/camera setup to escape the box.
I mean, if you came across a group of human kids lounging SO purposefully nonchalantly, you'd mutter, "Juvenile delinquents..." and get the Hell outta there, yes?

Next I fully expect to find 'Fuck The PoPo' and 'JETS' written on the side of the box...

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Chickens, Great And Small

The baby chicks are doing great...although wings have come in and the start of tails, and we can tell that we got skunked on Frizzles.

The traditional grassy dirt clod that provides dirt to scratch & dustbathe in, green material to eat, hidden bugs to find, grit for crops, a first introduction to our local pathogens to help build immunities--plus a primo thing to leap on your sister from--was introduced.

...and there was much chickspicion.
 As in lots of glaring and pointedly turning their backs to it because that'll fix THAT weird new thing.

Eventually the grassy clod was accepted and is being joyfully used.

But who needs a dirt-clod-toy when you can just go and flat-out LAY in your food like a little feathered heathen?

Or, when that gets old, roost your big butt on your poor little sisters. Because why sit on just one of your siblings when you can camp on two of them?

Geez Nora, move your butt.  Poor Gumdrop and Bobo--!
Zuul prefers to ignore all these goings-on.

Meanwhile in big chicken news, Blossom the Silkie mix hen is still in the house recovering from her attempt to rip off one of her toes via a compound fracture.  I had to reset (poor thing!), bandage and splint it and so far she's doing fine, having herself another housechicken stint until she is healed up enough to go outside again.  I have no idea how she managed this one.

But wait, there's more!  Why have ONE entitled, grumpy hen in the house when you can have TWO?

Cue Alice, the Barred Rock hen who we discovered one day as a 3 day old chick at Tractor Supply, her broodmates had attacked her vent and had wounded her so grievously that the guy who came to remove her headed for the back door...where I'm sure she was destined for the trash can and death. I asked him if I could have her and he gave her to us...frankly she was so profoundly injured at only three days of age I never expected her to live, I just didn't think that death in a trash can was something she should have to suffer.

So we took her home, treated her wounds and gave her her own little section of the brooder box where amazingly, she lived and eventually grew up to join the flock!

 Alice has been glowingly healthy...until today.  Today we found her suffering from a condition known as Ascites, or Water Belly--a buildup of fluid in the abdomen, usually in laying hens, that can be caused by Fatty Liver Syndrome, amongst other things (I suspect her injuries as a chick have come back to haunt her).  I have a home treatment for it gleaned from other chicken people, and I'm also going to drain off some of the fluid with a syringe to make her more comfortable.

When you keep chickens, you learn pretty quick to take a deep breath, woman up, buckle down and be your own vet. Chicken keeping frequently involves smelly, disgusting procedures that you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy.

But first, since Alice apparantly hasn't been able to perform her poop curtsy properly and has badly soiled vent feathers--a bath!
This is the beginning of the bath, before the warm water soaked off all the gunk.  You don't want to see the 'after' condition of that bathtub.

After the bath will come meds and sticking her with a syringe to draw off some of the fluid, then she and Blossom can hang out and watch TV together.


Friday, April 6, 2018

Chicken Migration!

We got fed up with UStream throttling back our data stream, so my husband shopped around and found Chickam a new home on YouTube!

The new Chickam!

Come and see, the picture is VASTLY improved, yay!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

395, Again...

Another trip down highway 395, where weird things await...

One thing that has bugged me, literally since about 1980, is this sign with the weird squashed-bug symbol on the bottom. It looks like a right-facing Pac Man with six legs.  The sign is just ahead of a curve in the highway as you are going southbound. There is no matching sign going northbound.


I've even taken to the Internet to try and find out what the stupid thing means. No dice. All I can figure is, it is a warning that several (three) dirt roads offshoot the highway ahead.  But I've never seen anything like it where other dirt roads join the highway...and there isn't any kind of flashing warning light nearby, either (my other thought).

I grump my way down the highway.

Continuing the weird sign theme, further down is a Seventh Day Adventist billboard on the outskirts of Big Pine.  It used to have a message to the effect of 'Saturday is the sabbath, changed to Sunday by the Anti-Christ'. Not entirely friendly for a church, but oh, well.

They've upped the ante.

WOW.  That's some serious hate-slinging, there. Why would a church (and more importantly, the members) tolerate such a hateful message being displayed...? Truly a sign of our sad times, I guess.

So much for peace and love at church. Just based on that sign, I'd never join that one.

A little further down the road...
When you start to suspect that at this point, your doctor is just being a dick.

One happy note--the Give and Take sculpture garden outside Olancha has another new installation!

A raven who looks like he's either wearing the Wicked Witch of the East's striped socks and ruby slippers or some rad toe socks.
I love him, and he's a lot closer to the highway so hopefully he'll attract more attention to the sculpture garden!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Chickam 10th Anniversary Chicks!

We ended up with a total of 8 chicks--5 are bantam Cochins from eggs I bought off ebay, 3 are from our own flock's eggs.

First, some pictures of Club Flamingo in full swing!

The marbles in the water dish are to keep the chicks from drowning, after about a week it's safe to remove the marbles. The water dispenser has electrolyte solution in it for the first few days, hatching is VERY stressful and the electrolyte solution is great for giving the chicks a bit of a boost. We feed medicated chick starter since our area has tons of wild birds and things like coccidiosis are a real problem.  The octopus gives the kids something to cuddle against since we have no broody mama this year. The flamingo lamp wasn't *quite* providing enough heat so we put in a second lamp, the base is weighted with rocks so the thing doesn't fall over and burn my house down.

Some of the chicks may get a food color spot on their chest to make it easier to tell them apart at this stage, the food color is harmless and will go as the chicks molt their chick fluff all over my house over the next few weeks.

Now for the chicks, in order of hatch from oldest to youngest with their egg number.

#37, Nora, a chick from our flock. I suspect that Cam is daddy and Pie or Rambo is mama.

#23, Fireball, a bantam Cochin

#21, Bobo, a bantam Cochin
 Bobo is wearing his superhero mask, please do not reveal his secret identity.

#24, Luna, a bantam Cochin. Luna is the chick that had pipped at the wrong (small) end of her egg and got stuck.  I had to assist her a bit by *carefully* removing the membrane that had dried and stuck to her face, then partially unzipping her shell about 1/3 of the way before returning the egg to the incubator and letting her finish up the rest.

#26, Pongo, a chick from our flock. I suspect that Milton our banty roo is dad, Popcorn or Tater Tot *might* be mom. Pongo's face isn't lopsided, just the dark markings on her beak are.

#19, Gumdrop, a bantam Cochin who is actually pretty big for a banty.

#25, Pickle, a tiny bantam Cochin

And finally #29, Zuul, a chick from our flock. Groot, our large Dark India Cornish roo might be dad, mom might be one of our Brahma mix girls--I suspect Cluckadorkle.

Zuul just had to poop during picture time...

All the chicks are doing great, there are still unhatched eggs in the incubator that I suspect are quitters. We'll run the incubator for another day, then remove any unhatched eggs and shut everything down.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Club Flamingo Is Open!

The incubator was getting crowded so we moved the two oldest chicks to the brooder box. More chicks will follow later as they get sturdy enough to get around. The stuffed octopus gives the chicks something to cuddle against, for the first time in years we have no broody hens right now! Club Flamingo's first nighters Nora (the large red/brown chick) and Fireball (dark gray bantam Cochin):

You can see Nora's face fluffies starting to come in.

First to hatch Nora, a chick from our flock. Dad is likely Cam, mom could be Pie, Rambo or Strychnine:

Nora NOT amused.

Fireball, a dark grey bantam Cochin.

It tickles me no end to have a short, round bantam Cochin named 'Fireball'.

More pics of the other 3 chicks hatched, and the three still to hatch, as they join the gang at Club Flamingo!