More Bird Deaths

Last week was a little rough when it came to homesteading/farming. The owl continued to pick off my ducks and chicks at night and I even lost a chick or two in the daytime to a hawk. My owl deterrent did not work. Sometimes I would go out just after dark to lock up my birds and would find chicks or full grown ducks already picked off, with their throats mangled. I lost as many as seven chicks in one day, inside the chicken tractor, though the door was open. I have been capturing what is left of the chicks and putting them into the mobile egg unit to train them to go there instead of the chicken tractor. They’re learning but haven’t gotten it down yet.

After the fiasco of trying to integrate the pigs last week, one of my sows, Daisy, was left without a shelter. I had thought that I could move her to a new paddock inside the bigger paddock of the other pigs after church on Sunday. I knew rain was coming. Well, the rain arrived early and I needed to get Daisy where she could get out of the cold rain. I needed help in doing this. I know that my husband is a man that moves very slowly. That’s just the way he is. I needed someone who could move quickly to get the fencing up for her while all the pigs were distracted with eating their breakfast. It was not to be. Before it was over, I had pigs out all over the place. They had already eaten and had no desire for me to lure back into their paddocks. The stress of all the bird deaths and now the pigs roaming freely put me over the top. I had a melt-down, lying on my face in the dirt, crying and pounding the ground in frustration. I did not go to church that morning. I needed to stick around in case a pig wandered off to the road and I was in no condition to be in public and pretend to be nice. I’m not any good at that on a good day, let alone on a day of a major melt-down.

That evening, all the pigs eagerly followed me back into their paddocks for their evening meal and Daisy had shelter again. Wattles kept trying to bully her, even through an electrified fence. The next morning, Daisy was wandering around the property again, aggravating my dogs with her mere presence. Because it was morning and she hadn’t eaten yet, I was able to corral her again pretty easily. After getting the morning chores done, I still had time to pick up around the property and fill the dumpster up before they arrived to empty it. Believe me, there is plenty lying around to fill it up many times!

That evening, I drove to Copan to watch Kinzie play basketball. I’ve started another YouTube channel just for her sports events, Kinzie Lackey Sports. The highlighted portions of that game can be seen here.

The next was uneventful and I was grateful. There were no bird deaths and no pigs were out. I was able to edit and post the video “Battling a Sneaky Aerial Predator” on my Grandma’s Homestead YouTube channel. It can be seen here.

Wednesday afternoon, by brother called me to tell me that Mom had fallen and they were on the way to the hospital. She ended up with a broken humerus near her shoulder and a fracture near her elbow. She also sustained three broken ribs and a scan found a blood clot in her heart. She spent the holiday in the hospital waiting for Monday to be assessed further. In the end, the arm breaks were clean and did not need casting or surgery. There is little anyone can do about broken ribs. It turned out that the blood clot in her heart had been there long enough that it was attached firmly and not a concern at this time. Apparently, Mom and Dad had been arguing about whether she could drive or not because Dad can no longer drive. Mom shouldn’t either because she lost her whole right side when she had her stroke years ago. She didn’t want to take into consideration that she needed a working foot for the pedals and insisted that she could turn a steering wheel–if someone would shift gears for her. She had gotten angry enough at Dad in their argument that she got up too quickly and passed out. I’m grateful that she wasn’t hurt any worse than she was. That could have been a death sentence for someone in their eighties.

You may have already guessed by my meltdown with the pigs that I inherited my mother’s temper. I’ve worked very hard over the years to overcome it and I don’t always win.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with Tom’s family. He has several cousins and we all gather with our own family at one of their homes. Tom’s Aunt Frankie is ninety years old now and the matriarch of the family. She used to sit at the head of the table but she was feeble enough this year that she was settled comfortably in a cozy living room chair. I always love sitting with her and hearing her stories of her eventful life. Kinzie went with a friend to Yukon, Oklahoma for her holiday. I have to admit that I really missed her while she was gone. She stays so busy when she’s home, I’m not seeing her as often as I’d like to then either. I guess she’s growing up on me.

The next day, Tom broke down a buck he had shot to prepare to process it on down. The first deer of the season is important to us. Any deer after that are welcome bonuses and will certainly be eaten. I ended up removing the “owl repellent” on the adult bird paddock. It wasn’t working anyway and we moved the birds to new pasture the next day.

By now, the deer is processed and in the freezer and I have a huge roaster oven full of venison broth simmering and ready to be canned up.

On a whole other note, my master bathroom is finally getting back on track, and it’s on a fast track too. I will be having pretty major foot surgery in a couple of weeks and I have some wonderful men of our church coming to help Tom get the bathroom together enough so I can shower in my own bathroom and not have to travel to the barn to shower. Tom is on vacation this week to help and it is truly exciting to see a long-awaited project finally happening. I am so very grateful.

I pray that you not only survived your thanksgiving holiday, but actually enjoyed. The holiday season is upon us! See you next week!

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