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Friday, May 1, 2015

Carnage, Coppertox and Green Cheerios.

If that heading doesn't make you want to pull the covers up over your head, I want what you're having for breakfast...

In my usual chaotic week's activities, Wednesday was more chaotic than usual.  I had scheduled my shearer to come mid-afternoon-ish, so had planned on taking a half-day of vacation.  I really should know better by now.  Really.

Late morning, I got a call from my post office.  My meat chick order had come in and needed to be picked up before 3.  I was surprised, as they were supposed to be shipped Tuesday and I usually received them in the early morning of the second day.  This is the first time that I have ordered chicks from this hatchery.  I chose them for all good reasons:  1) they were closer than the hatchery I usually use (meaning less stress and a shorter transport for the chicks); 2) they hatched their own chicks, as opposed to contracting them out; 3) they were notably cheaper - including vaccinations in the per-chick price and their shipping was less than half of what I had been paying; 4) it was a family-run, small operation; and 5) they had gotten rave reviews. 

I hurried through the basics at the office and headed out to the post office.  When I walked in, the postmistress and a customer were discussing my chick shipment.  Both were shaking their heads sadly.  As I stepped up to claim my shipment, I noticed that the box did not make the usual ear-splitting peeping.  That was because, out of 20 chicks, only six had survived.  And only one of those had a good pair of lungs.  I was devastated.  As ironic as it sounds - I mean, meat chicks are for, well, meat - it is heartbreaking to see that many tiny yellow bodies.  I had gotten the car good and warmed up, so popped the box under the floor heater and headed for home. 

At home there awaited and brandy-new brooder, with whizzbang heaters, warm lights and safely snugged in my shed.  Blissfully away from the  house.  The reality was that I could not put six extremely stressed chicks in that big brooder.  Le sigh.  Into the laundry room they went, with a Jerry-rigged brooder, warm lights, specially treated water with probiotics and electrolytes.  They were pretty droopy.  They remain stressed, but are alive and I hope that they pull through.  I called the hatchery and was informed that, yes, they had had trouble with the shipper.  I would say so.  They are replacing the order next week.  Which means more time off and now I have a LOT of them.  Le sigh again.  I really should stop trying to plan.

****
The shearer did not arrive until almost 5:45 - over two hours after our scheduled appointment.  Although I knew there was a high probability that he would be running late, I had almost given up hope.  Good thing I didn't.  I love my shearer - and he brought along his fiance who I now equally love.  All three sheep were in good shape, with the exception of my problem-child, Linden.  He has perennial hoof problems.  His hoof rot was back, dammit.  However, J, my shearer, knows his stuff and is not afraid to cut down drastically to get as much of the damaged foot material off.  He draws blood, something I am loathe to do.  And, his fiance is a nurse!  She doctored his gory foot, drenched it in Coppertox, then Wound Kote, then bandaged him up.  They also took charge of all the drenching and vaccinating, so all I did was fetch and carry.  We have a long way to go, and I have to paint Coppertox on Lindy's hooves for a few weeks, but I think we have a chance.  It was the best $40 I ever spent.

****
 
Dexter continues to thrive - he's a handful.  Even though his man parts were banded this past Sunday.  As my farmer neighbor and his fairly-useless sidekick labored away, he said, "Wow, I'm glad we're not using these on ME - they look like little green Cheerios!"  Ouch.

15 comments:

  1. Susan,

    I'm sorry to hear about your chicks, but glad to hear you'll have a replacement shipment. I hope the new shipment won't have the same issues with the shipper.
    I thought about you when I walked into Atwoods Ranch store on Thursday to pickup a few things. They were unloading boxes of chicks and placing them in the store for sale. Those babies were so loud, you couldn't hear anything else but chicks chirping. Again, I was so tempted on purchasing a few..........I know hubby would have wanted to strangle me if I did. He wants chickens but wants to wait until we move further out of town.

    It's real good to have a good quality shearer on hand, someone you can trust who provides the best service possible to your animals.

    Cheerios!!!! OMG green ones............are you sure they're not FRUIT LOOPS??

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    1. Sandy - Fruit Loops! I used to love those as a kid!

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  2. Such a shame with the chicks. Doesn't probably leave a good feeling about the new hatchery. Hope you get it all sorted out.

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    1. Sue - We'll see how the next shipment works out. I am giving them the benefit of the doubt, but if there are more than two DOA, that's it!

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  3. Every time we get a shipment of goslings or ducklings or chicks, I'm alway Nervous Nellie when we lift the lid to see how the little fuzz balls survived the trip. I don't think we've ever had such a loss as yours though. Good that the hatchery is making good on your order . . . but still.

    Your shearer guy sounds like a gem. He did as good a job on Linden as a vet would have done. Hoping this treatment does the trick and Linden's foot problems are OVER! I know, you wish that and Linden no doubt does, too.

    As far as the green Cheerios, I'm not even gonna go there. :o/

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    1. Mama Pea - Isn't it amazing? Hatch to box in one day and then out the door! It's a wonder any of them make it!

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  4. ouch with the foot and the balls. sorry about the chicks. that is just sad!

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    1. Jaz - It really is sad to see those little yellow fluffy bodies. Geez. I hope the next batch thrives.

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  5. Oh no, that's terrible! Poor chicks! I am glad I am following your escapades, not sure if I am cut out for farming....I want everything to live and thrive! :)

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    1. Mrs DM - This farming/homesteading stuff can be pretty hard on you. It is difficult enough to raise vegetables!

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  6. Sorry about your chicks. If they arrived early wonder what the problem was? Some days just get away from you.

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    1. DFW - I think it's because they were not properly cared for on the overnight part of their journey - probably stuck in a very cold warehouse. They need lots of heat the first few days.

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  7. Susan, I was enjoying your post ( except for the dead chicks part) until I got to the end and read, " Even though his man parts were banded this past Sunday." That's when I turned green myself and passed out. I sure don't know who poor Dexter is but now I am starting to understand why you don't have a man there helping you out! I hope your next shipment of chicks arrive healthy and peeping loudly! And.. tell Dexter I feel for him. Crap, I think I'm going to pass out again.

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    1. Spiderjohn - Well, I fell on the floor with laughter! I should have put a warning at the beginning of the post!

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  8. Oh wow, that is quite a day. Sorry to hear about the chicks, I know that must be frustrating! Your shearer sounds like a gem!

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