Friday, September 26, 2008

trouble in poultry paradise

One of our chooks is sick. She was very quiet all of yesterday and finally laid a shell-less egg in the late afternoon, just plop out in the open. She has a red anus and is clearly unhappy and only eating and drinking a fraction of her usual enthusiasm. My initial research online suggests an infection which should be treated with antibiotics.

My chook guru friend Raelene rang back with ideas once I was in bed asleeep with the children (I'm up in the middle of the night because I don't have sensible sleep patterns at the moment. Nothing wrong, just not sensible), so I'll have to wait until the morning to learn about them. Pending Raelene's views, I'll probably have to ring the vet in the morning (I have never had anything to do with a vet before. This appears to be more responsibility on top of having two children. Cue: goggly eyes).

I'll also be down at the feed shop buying straw to replace the existing straw in the laying box. It wouldn't cost a great deal more to replace the straw in the run and perhaps that is even more important given that is the wet area. Presumably the existing stuff will go on the compost and diseases heat up and die. Not sure about bacteria dying at temperatures which won't rise above 70 degrees celsius and may be quite a bit less. But then the chooks aren't going to be living on the 'made' compost.

I'm also thinkg garlic. Planning on cooking up some wheat with garlic and cider vinegar in the morning and feeding that to the chooks. Everything benefits from garlic in my world view.

It is par for the course possibly that the run is so wet and that is a breeding ground for disease. I am liking the idea that we could build our glasshouse this summer and use it as a chook home out of tomato season and a tomato growing house the rest of the time. Living in a bog was never good for Irish potatoes and neither is it good for chooks, or so I'm learning.

I do continue to get huge satisfaction from collecting slugs every afternoon and feeding them to the chooks.

Last night's dinner was quiche which included eggs, leeks, thyme and parsley from our garden. I liked it. Favourite Handyman liked it. The short ones demonstrated their lack of sophistication and class on the taste preferences stakes and were rewarded with empty tummies.

I am making progress on Fionn's knitted sleeveless hoodie. I'm up to the armhole shaping on the back.

I have started a great book called "Mr Pip" by Lloyd Jones. I should be reading it now instead of blogging and knitting. Or perhaps I should be sleeping. Being sensible.

We don't have a television so I was unable to form my own opinion about a programme which apparently aired here in New Zealand showing that plastics recycled in New Zealand are shipped all the way to China where the create a huge plastic city of filth and are recycled into more plastic in unpleasant circumstances. Maybe it is not so bad that our Smallwettown's council provides no recycling facilities.

Our one solitary feijoa tree needs some food and a friend. I didn't realise feijoas were hungry until recently. So some blood and bone and mulch will be coming its way shortly. I've weeded around it. It was sold as a self-pollinating variety but apparently even self pollinating feijoas do better with other feijoas for company.

My seedlings are coming along nicely. If tomorrow is fine, then I'll be able to plant out some borage, calendula and silverbeet.

Have I mentioned that the yams are showing above the ground now?

The comfrey has risen from its winter slumber. I want more of it though. I wonder how it manages in bog soil. It would be more useful than Wandering Dew.

Out the front I pulled more onionweed yesterday. I'm weeding around the wild blackberry, which I've decided to cultivate this year. In the background to the onionweed, blackberry and the plots which await pumpkins and zucchini are tulips and irises. I like the idea that there are somewhat hidden treasures of beautiful flowers here. I have silverbeet growing around the perimeter of the zucchini patch at the moment. No place too wet, cold, hot, dry, sunny or shady for silverbeet round here.

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