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Farmette1769's Blog

by Monica Melograna-Ward

Category Archives: poultry

 

There is a full feature film of this from 1982. The title is a Hopi Native American word meaning “life out of balance”. I have not thought of it in a while, but it possibly describes what our life is really like. I write these blogs about our lifestyle here on the farmette, but they are merely glimpses into our lives. There are so many days when I feel the world is coming after us full force.

This time last fall, the medical issues of my husband started picking up speed. Early the next year, January 2018 (I think – it’s all a blur), it was confirmed that he had Lynch Syndrome. The tests and procedures continued until a major surgery this summer 2018.

It was brutal. The range of reactions, emotions, house prepping, financial insecurity, disability planning and so on, wore us down beyond belief. And that was before the big day. Jamie could have died on the operating table. He could have come out of this with chronic medical problems. With all that, we would also lose the farmette, in addition to living the nightmare of my lovely husband/devoted father’s suffering.

A few weeks ago, we were clearing the whole property of objects that could become weapons in a hurricane. Tropical Storm Florence did make it all the way from the coast, straight through our farmette, which falls within the Greater Charlotte, NC Area. Even though the winds and rain were not as bad as expected, it was a deadly storm in our county, Gaston. In Dallas, NC, a few towns over, a tree fell on a mobile home and killed an infant.

 

This Week.

On Sunday, our young dog, Mr. Barry White, ate a mystery something on his walk. He lunged for it, so I know it was something smelly and likely meat-based. On Monday, he got really sick. He had severe diarrhea and threw up a lot. I’m pretty positive that some of our chickens then ate the throw-up, because that mess miraculously disappeared. Wednesday or Thursday morning (It’s a blur), our dying rooster, Agador (The most spectacular rooster that we have ever had) was hunched over a dead hen. He did not last long after that, maybe an hour or two.

Barry stayed sick for a few days. I gave him a bit of plain Greek yogurt and then eventually some chicken and rice. He’s a healthy boy, so we managed his illness ourselves. He’s fine now.

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That ran into the next disaster.

On Wednesday evening, Deirdre, our eighty-five pound, twelve and a half year old Collie/Golden Retriever hybrid (Gollie), was laying on the floor, refusing to get up. Within a few hours, she was prone on the floor and would not lift her head or even a foot. If you whispered in her ear enough, she would wag her tail a little.

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The family gathered around her, crying and saying goodbye. In the wee hours, we eventually went to sleep, and woke up to Deirdre sitting up a bit.

On Friday, she made it up onto her feet. By mid-day she did not look good again, so I called the vet. I got off the phone and pondered the situation a bit. Then I called back and scheduled a fit-in appointment for 5pm.

X-rays were taken, and surgery was discussed. At that time I did not want to put an old dog through that. I called my husband at work. He did not want to put her through that. I took her home, after making plans to meet the vet at 7:30 am, Saturday morning, to put her to sleep.

Deirdre and I got home. Within a minute or two, she was bleeding from her back side – a lot. I walked out of that room and into the main living area. It was at that point that I saw Vincent.

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Vincent – the 19 month old, gorgeous, extremely smart, black cat.

I had taken him to the vet three weeks ago. He seemed to have lost weight. It was confirmed that he had. He had gone from 9.8 pounds down to 8.6.

Vincent had previously tested negative for feline leukemia at Tri-County Animal Rescue. The vet did not think he had a major illness like diabetes or a thyroid imbalance. We decided to monitor him and hold off on any testing.

Approximately 7 pm Friday night (It’s a blur).

The look of Vincent was bad. He was unbalanced. His eyes were somewhat glassy. However, when I picked him up, limp in my hands, he was purring. His symptoms worsened. By then, it was late at night and we had early plans with our dog. So, I caught a quick three hours of sleep.

At 4am, he was still alive – and purring. At 5am he was still alive, and quiet. At 6am, he started a painful cry.

I took Deirdre outside to the grass in the front yard. She wet. I did not have her on a leash. She took off trotting down the sidewalk and up the front stoop steps. Apparently that blood loss had also relieved pressure. She was acting like herself, full on.

At 6:45 am, Vincent was loaded into the van. Then my husband and I loaded his big, uncooperative dog into the back. At that time, the plan was to have the vet look at Deirdre second, and then, ATT, figure out what to do next with her, but try to save Vincent first.

At 7 am, Vincent was deceased, before we even left the driveway. That was when we really began to unravel, me more than my husband. My husband describes my behavior upon arrival at the vet’s office as unhinged. I wholeheartedly agree.

According to our description of what happened to Vincent, and especially his sudden distended abdomen, the vet is almost positive he had something that has a nearly 100 percent mortality rate. There is no effective vaccination or treatment for this virus. Albeit a contagious, yet uncommon, disease, it mysteriously affects indoor cats with no outdoor cat contact. Other cats in the household don’t normally fall ill after the fact. It hits kittens and young cats 0-2 years old.

Feline Infectious Peritonitis

We were at the vet with Deirdre. She was her happy self, but still bleeding a bit. Since xrays had been taken the night before, only a blood test was necessary at this point. Between all of those results and her heart rate, etc. she was good to go for surgery.

Deirdre was really tired and not upset by being there, so we left her with them for a projected afternoon surgery. We drove home.

My husband dug a hole out back. I wrapped Vincent up in a blanket and bag. And, we buried him.

Deirdre went into surgery as Jamie was driving into work for a partial shift.

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I drove back to Richard L. Hovis, DVM at Dickson Animal Clinic in Gastonia, NC. It’s worth the 25+ minute drive – they are reasonably priced and are as caring, professional and knowledgeable as a veterinary office could be. They let me sit with her while she came out of anesthesia.

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Our Deirdre is now home resting and recovering as well as can be expected for an old dog.

Vincent. Beautiful Vincent.

I had, a little, time, to take things in, and cry, a little, this morning. My husband did not. He’s on his way back out to work right now.

KOYAANISQATSI

 

 

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Farmette 1769’s honey bees are no worse for the wear after Tropical Storm Florence last weekend. I guess I can take the tent stakes out of the ground now. Or maybe my shadow can take care of that task.

 

Our honey bees were out enjoying this hot, sunny Saturday. They had been doing this all day while I was at Carolina Chickenstock. It’s like Woodstock, but with chickens.

It is actually a large poultry buy and sell gathering that happens twice a year in Taylorsville, NC. It is almost an hour away from me, which is doable. Breaking an hour and a half total driving in a day is difficult for me. I have degenerative discs in my cervical spine of the neck. I have had surgery, but you fix one spot and the one below crumbles more. I broke my self-inflicted limit and will pay for it for a day or two, but it was so much fun!

I purchased a pair of white homing pigeons, which were being sold in pairs only. We only had one pigeon here since Petunia’s boyfriend was killed by a snake.

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This is the new pair. They’re gorgeous!

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The quad travel cage was still in the back of my truck, so Petunia came all the way into the garage to investigate the familiar sounds of friends. The new pair will stay caged for 2-3 weeks until they know that this is their new home.

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I was lucky enough to happen upon a Dark Cuckoo Maran Hen for sale. They lay dark brown eggs. Even though the nutritional content is the same, we love having the variety of colors in our egg basket.

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I stole this pic off the net. This is what her eggs should look like. We have brown, tan, white and blue egg layers right now. It will be great to have this color too!

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It really was my lucky day. I found a juvenile pied guinea fowl. We have two juvenile pearl, which are this color without the chrome aka white splashes. The contrast is beautiful, albeit hard to see in this photo at this angle.

I got up really early to pack up for selling, did a lot of buying and chatting, came home and got the newbies settled in, took care of Barry the giant, crazy puppy and a gabillion other things.

So that’s all for now – I’m tired.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

 

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Since there really hasn’t been any change since last week, I decided to write a combo article.

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Here are a few bees at the entrance of the hive… The End

Just kidding. The really big news is that we finally released our homing pigeons. Actually, it is just a pigeon – singular.

I had purchased a pair, to train as wedding/memorial doves (yes, those are actually white homing pigeons, not real peace doves).

But, there was a small gap in the cage door. A snake got in and tried to eat the male pigeon. He could not, since the pigeon was too big, but in the process of getting to the impassable shoulders, he smothered the bird to death.

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This is the inside of the female pigeon’s new digs. I was in the process of building this when the snake got into the old cage.

It is designed specifically for homing pigeons. The photo shows “Petunia” inside, from the viewpoint of looking in from the newly opened gate entrance.

She had gotten settled in for about 2 weeks. This is long enough for homing pigeons to think of a new space as home.

My husband took a pic of me taking a pic of Petunia. She made it to the landing pad.

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Then our sole homing pigeon hopped up to the top of her house. It is attached to the main chicken/duck coop.

Petunia tried to hang out with the chickens on the ground. One of them got territorial and chased her, so she flew up to the coop’s roof.

26E8E98D-2A68-46D2-832F-1C03A6118267This photograph shows our one and only wedding rental, enjoying the top of her personal home. This image is from the day after her maiden voyage out into the world.

We’ll take our girl farther and farther away from our house, until she knows the home base location well; and can then be used for events.

I’m hoping that the people that sold me the pair are at Carolina Chickenstock poultry sale again in September (It is held twice per year in Taylorsville, NC.).

It would be wonderful to get a few more that are this smaller-sized pigeon (They tend to run larger.), so that she has some matching buddies.

Happy Weekend! Have a great one!!!

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