Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I've Been Pooped On

Yes, but not literally.

My life has sucked lately. I guess my last post was all about the 4th of July party that we were going to have. It was freaking awesome. I never lit the luminaries that I made, mostly because I had one too many from the keg, (which was placed in a wheel barrow, redneck style!) and I completely forgot to take pictures of everything. It doesn't really matter- we had an awesome turn out (I was getting upset at first because it seemed like everyone was cancelling... then everyone and their mother's cousin ended up showing up and we almost ran out of food!) and we all had a blast!
Anyways. For the "lately" stuff. Here is what is happening:

My grandfather walked me down the aisle at my wedding last May. Once he returned to his hometown in Pennsylvania, he found out that the cancer he was battling, had taken a turn for the worse and was beginning to spread. It started out as prostate, and then moved into his bones. The past 2 weeks he has gotten extremely worse. My mom flew up immediately to be with him and called me telling me that she did not feel he was going to make it past August. Getting that kind of news, RNH and I grabbed a rental car and drove up to PA. I got to spend a ton of time with "Poppy," and tell him how much he means to me. The worst part was having to officially say goodbye for the last time. It was terrible.

On a less-personal note, but tragic all the same, I've lost all but one of my first flock of chickens. The first one was taken by a fox. I saw the fox with my own bare-eyes, but it was in the middle of the night and I didn't have a gun ready. It ran off. The others began to mysteriously disappear. There weren't really any signs of entry to the coop, other than feathers where an obvious struggle had taken place. This past weekend I go out and find Roo, my beloved- yet hated rooster, bloody. His eye was badly damaged, his comb was bleeding, and he appeared to be in a lot of pain. His head would slowly droop as I tried to talk to him. RNH and I were faced with a very tough decision. I wanted very badly to try and nurse him back to health, but he looked pretty bad. After a long, long time of weighing all of our options, we decided to put Roo down. I cried. Once the worst of it was over, we examined him a bit further. He was way worse than we thought he was. Under his feathers he had a lot of bleeding and probably a lot of internal damage. I knew immediately that we had made the right decision. It hur though, and I couldn't get past the fact that he fought, almost to the death, inside his coop. It almost seemed as if he didn't need to fight the fight, but just stand back off the fencing so the animal could not get at him. It was all very strange and didn't make sense to me at the time...
Did I mention that all of this tragedy with Roo was happening right as I was leaving to go say goodbye to my grandfather for the last time in PA? I had a 9 hour drive ahead of me, and I was faced with all of this. Not good. While that happened, one of the girls got out. I spent almost 2 hours trying to coax her back in, no luck. I left her food and water and headed to PA. Worst road trip .ever.

I came home tonight. Only one chicken left in the pen. The craziest thing about all of this, even the whole Roo story, there didn't seem to be any place where the fox had gotten in. I was baffled, but so upset over the loss of many chickens, that I did my best to "patch up" places where I thought the fox may have entered. When I came home after my PA trip, it dawned on me... this was no fox. This had to be a skunk (which I smell ALL the time at night when I let the dog out!) or a possum. My belief is furthered by the fact that I found one of my chickens with its head cut off. I heard that skunks do this? Chop off their heads and suck their blood?

So anyways, I got my last hen and put her in a large rabbit cage. The poor thing has been in a struggle and seen a lot, but she appears to not be injured at all. She is in the rabbit cage and the rabbit cage is inside the dog's pen. There is also a wild life camera facing the pen to try and catch whatever is terrorizing my poor babies. Needless to say, I've had a lot of tragedy with my chickens lately, and it doesn't help with family matters.

THEN, when I get home from the PA trip, take care of my last baby, I get a phone call from my mother-in-law, telling me that my niece on my husband's side, had a blood sugar level of 500+ she is 9 years old... Diabetes is genetic on her mother's side, and her father probably has diabetes because he is over weight. Apparently she is doing fine now, but she had to be transported to UNC's Children's Hospital. Poor thing. I hope we get to see her tomorrow.

This has been a week of me getting pooped on! :(

2 comments:

  1. Oh, girl, I'm so sorry!!! This is such a sad post! I've heard skunks will rip the chicken's head off like that.

    This makes me glad that we fortified our chicken pen fence with concrete underground so nothing could dig in. Every time we let our chickens free-range, they are killed and their bodies are never seen again, just a pile of feathers left behind. We think our culprit is a fox.

    I bet your one remaining chicken is terrorized, poor girl!

    ~Lynn

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  2. Thanks Lynn, definitely a lot of tragedy around here lately!

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