Chilling Weather and Orphaned chickens

It was still dark when I left for work last Thursday morning at -5* and Eddie said it would drop more as it became daylight.  He had both stoves going when I got home that night, extra bedding in the dog boxes, extra hay left in the woods for the cows, wood boxes filled to overflowing, made sure new chickens given by a friend of his were settling in and he’s taking them warm water several times a day.  The house was a “toasty 81*” when I got home but the wind was howling and made it feel like 75*.  We even threw on an extra blanket and the bedroom window was closed.  Even though my waist isn’t thinning I believe my blood may be!!  I think the winter is just getting started this year and we’ve lots more cold, wind and snow yet to come.
As for the new chickens, a friend of my husbands had to get rid of them because they were eating his neighbors cat food everyday.  This has caused my usual 3-5 eggs a day to  jump to 12-18!!!  French toast in the making!!  Custard pies on the horizon (to heck with the weight)!!  Egg salad for lunch!  I could go on and on and of course we can’t forget the infamous fried egg sandwich w/cheese!!​  Of course, our benefactor will receive free eggs for a time.

I think he is a crossed Americauna, small but handsome!

I think he is a crossed Americauna, small but handsome!

Barred Rocks

Barred Rocks

Different breeds but beautiful eggs.

Different breeds but beautiful eggs.

Got to think of a name for him.

Got to think of a name for him.

Very pretty hen and very friendly.

Very pretty hen and very friendly.

They stay together most of the time and don't mingle with my old girls.

They stay together most of the time and don’t mingle with my old girls.

The new chickens and my old chickens fought each other most of the day and the rooster that came with them is thankfully one of a kind and will not be with us long.  I want a Barred Rock, Buff Orpington, Black Orpington or a Dominique.  Sussex and Americana are beautiful and good egg layers.  I’ll check around in the spring when some of my girls tend to get broody!!
My older hens stick close to the hen-house and aren’t ranging out very far but there’s a very good reason.  A couple of weeks ago a bird hawk, smaller than my hens, decided to invade the inside of the henhouse and killed two of my hens and the day before we found Ms. Crow dead in front of the door.  We have a feeling the hawk got it as well but couldn’t carry her off.  The hens are still skittish and stay close to buildings they can get under fast.  They quit laying for a couple of days or are dropping the eggs outside of the nesting area.
This winter is the first in a long time that I’ve had to buy store-bought eggs and glad it was only for a couple of weeks.  There’s nothing like fresh eggs from the farm.  The eggs are coming more generously now and I can start selling them again but we’ve decided to raise the price on them to $2.00 per dozen because the  is needing a new roof and we’ve had to supplement their feed with scratch grains because of the very cold winter.  Keep them fat and the cold won’t hurt so bad!!  We don’t believe in heated and lighted chicken houses.  We keep everything as natural as possible.
On another note, Fuzzy is missing!!

Fuzzy, my orphaned cat.  She was dropped at our home long before we arrived and survived wild until I finally coaxed her to my lap!!

Fuzzy, my orphaned cat. She was dropped at our home long before we arrived and survived wild until I finally coaxed her to my lap!!

I haven’t seen her since last Wednesday when she came to meet when I got home from work.  I fed her that evening and haven’t seen her since.  She left once before for about four days but this has been over  a week and I’m so afraid a coyote pack got her.  I hope I go home today and she has returned.

9 responses to “Chilling Weather and Orphaned chickens

  1. Good to see you back and be able to read all about your interesting country life-style.
    Well I think you can say “adios” to that old cat – 14 years is a pretty long life span for a cat and I think (sorry) that she has just gone off somewhere peaceful and died. Domestic pets like cats have been known to do that. Far better thoughts than being killed by coyotes

    Such a colourful flock of chooks you have??? I get quite a laugh at all the varieties – there is a “funny” (???) Aussie expression to describe this mis-mash of colour! Nope at 6.10 am and already sauna conditions coming on I can’t think of it. Yesterday was terrible as we have been getting rain and the heat on the moisture – “phew” is the nicest and most polite word I can think of – ha ha!
    It was only 36 Celsius but felt like 45 plus. I expected some rain overnight but a cool breeze did come from somewhere (??) so sleeping was possible. This daily/nighty rain is the cause of the heat – moisture everywhere and thus the very much hated – “HUMIDITY”!
    Dry heat is bad – but humid heat is bloody well murderous and the older you get the worse it seems to get???

    I must say I expected to see heaps of white “stuff” all over the place at this time of year. What has happened to it?

    I can’t see any reason why eating eggs would increase the waistline?
    I thought fresh eggs were very nutritious and good for you. I can assure you, Rita, I’ll have your fresh eggs any day. The bloody old “stone age” eggs served up in supermarkets – words fail me and anyhow I would use most vulgar words – most unfit for a blog.

    Cheers mate and welcome back from all your unfortunate family illnesses etc.
    Your already heat wise (sauna) stuffed Aussie mate
    Colin

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    • The weight would come from those custard pies if and I do say IF I make them.
      I’m sure my cat still had several good years to go because she is so active and not like the other fat cat at the farm.
      I wish I had some of your warmth. It’s been down right frigid here and wet. At least today wasn’t foggy!! Cool off my friend and get that sleep! More news to come!!
      Rita

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      • My dear “Virginia Belle”.
        I would be only too pleased to send you some of our sauna conditions, but I can’t – most unfortunately. ha ha. Pointing fingers in the direction of the USA just doesn’t work, Canute way back tried this stunt with the waves (sea tides).
        I note without my usual checking Richmond,,VA time on google, that it is work hours – 3.54 pm Thursday (above) – OR are you on holidays or stuck presently in today because of hazardous road conditions?

        Hmmmmmmmmm! Custard pies – no thank you. I don’t like custard.
        Obviously you did not go to boarding school/college – if so you would have been totally weaned off custard for 50 LIFETIMES!!!
        Custard was the covering, way back in the 1950’s, for all dessert dishes – I say no more. I feel a vomit coming on – ha ha!

        Now – off to the CBD before my beloved tennis comes on TV.
        January is world tennis here – Australian Open.

        Cheers
        “Custard Col” !!!!! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

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  2. I have seen what I believe to be an Eastern coyote (twice) – either that or perhaps a grey(?) fox.

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  3. I sure hope she comes back. She ran the country road for about seven years before I saw her close to the house. I started putting out food for her and it took about year to get her to come to me. We’re fast friends now and she meets me every night at the car when I come home. Our vet says she’s about 14 years old, spayed, and an expensive cat. We’re not sure how she got in our neck of the woods but glad she did. She hunts all the time and I’m not sure how she ever lived in the wild as long as she did. Our place has had coyotes for years and most small animals don’t last long. We have one more cat but this one is my “bud”!! My husband is not a lover of cats but he likes this one.

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  4. Three “wild” cats outside our back door this moring all at the same time – but none has long hair.

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