Life, with my dogs, living on one acre in Tasmania. Living on a low income, and with Complex PTSD. I write about all sorts of things. I called my Blog Echidna Home because I have echidnas that live here
Thanks for asking, I took two of my older chooks well one is a rooster for a spa treatment. Blue skies, and not a breath of wind, in a thick top (winter here) I walked carefully down into my chook run, it was slippery with frost/dampness. Marshmallow my faviourite hen. She has little if any vision in one eye, however do not let that make you think she is not a strong and feisty hen! She is mighty and feared. Roopert my white and faviourite rooster. I had neglected their legs, and noted that both had very gnarly looking legs, Scaly and I realised shit they had mites! I also noted one of her feet was swollen.
She is a sweet gentle hen and settles in my arms easily, she became used to this when she was a house hen due to her eye being hurt by another chook. So I carried her to where the spa awaited. I soaked her feet in warm salty water with a little dish washing detergent. To soften the deformed scales mites had created on her legs, I then gently removed them and I did apply a diluted apple cider vinegar solution which was understandably a shock and a little painful but it helps against infection. Finally a genourous application of paw paw ointment. Vaseline based which stays in place for ages and reduces the risk of dirt entering any open wounds from the descaling process. Prior to this I also was relieve to see no bumble foot she did have a clump of dirt in a fold of skin that was beginning to fold over, (and this would have potential to become infected and bumble foot) so I gently cleaned her feet and dried them completely. Also applied paw paw ointment to them rubbing it in.
Roopert was less desirable of his spa treatment. He managed a few scratches, but I wear them in acceptance as a sign I need to check everyone’s legs and feet more often. Roopert seemed to enjoy the warm water, understandably not so keen on the descaling nor the diluted vinegar application. He did have a lump in the underside of his foot thankfully it was not infected but a small rock had embedded itself in his foot and skin had grown over it, I guess like a splinter that is not painful. I was able to remove the stone, and clean and again apply the diluted vinegar solution, to the indented skin and cut the skin that had folded over the stone. There was no blood, it was just new skin thankfully. The paw paw ointment finished the spa treatment.
I am very happy to say that in my observations; now 2 days after their spa treatment both Marshmallow and Roopert are showing no signs of infection. Their legs look great and they both appear to be moving better and happier which makes sense if you have mites under your skin, very disconcerting to think about. Who knew as a ‘homesteader’ I would also be offering spa treatments for chickens! The scale is a bit like old long toenails..and generally does not hurt to remove it and it takes effort.
Both Roopert and Marshmallow are much happier with their treated legs and all healed now.
How are you? Me? I am plodding along. Its Thursday evening here 18:46 the sky is filled with grey clouds. The sailing club is out racing and the hills along the river are so green and water filled that it is beyond belief that they can possibly hold anymore water. Yet we are forecast more very wet weather here in my valley. It has been amazing in the spring garden and the bulbs and fruit trees have blossomed so vibrantly. We seem to be having three-four days of very heavy rain and colder temperatures and tomorrow and Saturday are forecast to be single digit (Celcius) maximums. So I have just put some dry (as in not wet) but very dry (as in not green) wood ready to if need by light the fire in the morning. Snow forecast down to 600m(1967f) tomorrow in some areas too. Up to 40mm (1.6 inches) rain forecast in my valley. The preceding days were gorgeous, blue skies, still and hot. Lovely. I was working in the garden removing black berries roots and vines that were bursting into tendrils wrapping themselves about the chook runs fence and about one of my hazelnut bushes. Makes for very risky picking. Chuckle. Have you ever tried to dig out blackberry roots by hand? Oh my did my shoulder neck arms hands and fingers ache last night. It was a good ache and I slept so soundly. (which as one of the very lucky people in the world is not unusual for me). It was the sleep of having been doing hard slog! (physical work) I am extremely out of practice in that. I was covered in mud as the soil even after two days of dry weather was very wet.
I must say it was delightful to be able to have lunch on my deck with my two besties in the wonderful sunshine yesterday, listening to the birds, and watching the birds bathe in the bird bath.
I do believe in the power of sunshine and physical exercise as being extremely important for my mental illness. Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) along with physical well being. What is really hard for many people to truly understand mental illness along with those physical illnesses that do not have symptoms that can be seen is that those like myself can seem to be fine on the out side and yet be dealing with a lot just to be present out and about.
For example I went to pick up a package today from my little towns post office. I had been and attended to other things in town that morning along with taking the dogs for a walk in town enjoying the sunshine. I was chatting to the staff member and she was assisting me with a problem that had occurred; an item I had received at the post office a few days before had not been in the package. It had been packed but the package had torn. I had struggled to get in touch with Australia Post to see if the item missing had been located. I had spent ages on the phone 16 attempts to get through, which frustrated me. I had also attempted to contact the correct area via the Australia Post website. To be told that oops something went wrong, and to try back in a few minutes. I tried numerous times over the next few hours. Each time having to go through the complete process. Again I was feeling quite annoyed now. The good thing here is I was able to accept the problems as frustrated as I was and just emailed the Federal Government Minister who is in charge of Australia Post as a communication method for Australians, owned by the Government.
I may be seen as a Karen, but I wrote a very honest and factual email of the situation.
So the kind lady at my Post office was helping and contacted the people who bring the mail from the main sorting area in a suburb of Hobart to see if they had found anything. In the middle of this I found myself having a panic attack, sweats, heart palpitations and hands shaking. Oh how I dislike this, but it is much better than uncontrolled anger which has been an issue in the past a symptom of my CPTSD. So thankful for the improvement in my responses, from working with my Psychologist.
What does any of this have to do with the sunshine. I am not totally sure, laugh. I do know of course the importance of vitamin D, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) a form of depression experienced in winter time when sunshine is very short supply here in Tasmania.
I do not have the answers I just am finding what works for me. Of course it is different for everyone. What I found lovely at the Post Office staff were so kind offering a drink of water. I am not sure but having a panic attack over the fight response is perhaps a more positive? solution. I am still very much a work in practice.
Coming home I filled the bird baths, fed the chooks and went to collect eggs, only to find…. in my veggie garden..
Well I feel relived that Henny is healthy, and well my hope is that they are three hens? What are the chances?
I have shared about myself and what my life has been like over the past few months living with CPTSD. It seems to me writing here assists me so much. Seeing my thoughts/activities/feelings in print help me see how far I have come in my life with this illness. Learning to live my life accepting how I move through each day no matter how and what is happening in my life and life around me. I am proud of myself that I keep moving forward no matter how minuscule it may be.
Lets look at what is happening in the garden. Here in the Southern Hemisphere we being our Spring Season very soon; the problem tends to be I along with many others feel the days lengthen and see the weeds growing all the new growth everywhere. I feel the urge to sow seeds. I have to hold myself back and wait wait.. which I have been doing, today I intend to plant a few in pots to germinate in side.
Lets go for a walk around my gardens in the last few days of the yearly Winter season.
I feel like I have done very little during winter, yet when I review the photos I have been doing small things. On top of this each day I walk around and pull weeds out of the paddock area. We have had a very wet few weeks very wet. This has made it more difficult to continue to clear around the fruit trees as the ground is too wet.
The joy of my garden and the hope that I will get seeds in and growing for my own vegetables and food. Rain and colder days are on the agenda for a few more days.
The chooks ahh the chooks sadly I have three roosters, and only five girls. Rupert has been amazing with the chicks but they have all grown up now and I have to attend to reducing the number of roosters, as they will be to much and to mean for the few girls I have. Sadly only one of the female chicks have survived to now. I also lost one of my original hens one of the brown girls. Penny I am not holding out any hope that she is nesting anywhere. My neighbours have also got new hens, and both my neighbour and I have noted that a Sea Eagle has been flying around everyday. This may be part of why my hens have disappeared along with one of the rooster chicks (perhaps not so bad one less for me to attend).
I have been taking my vitamin D as down here we have such low levels of sun over this time of year it is a necessity. It also helps with mood and lessening seasonal affective disorder. (SAD)
It is great to wake up each day, to see how beautiful my garden is looking. I am so thankful to have such a great area to create my space.
I am thankful to those of you who read my posts, blessings to You all. Tazzie
I think it is Tuesday March 17th, just checked and it is. it is 13:20 on a stunning Autumn day in the Huon Valley my home region in Tasmania. I have taken a while to get a sense of what happened recently the after affects impaired me and I felt no desire to do or be anywhere, to be with anyone, just being with my dogs, chooks and at home is the recovery and medicine I have required. It has taken time, and a lot of management strategies to not sink towards the black hole, it would have been so easy. I work constantly at not going back.
I moved on from beating myself up and began to consider what a really good person I am. Compassionate, to empathetic and kind. Would I change myself NO. No I am me, and I honestly do like me more and more. I am so very very fortunate to be able to be totally myself and still part of such an incredible community. I sigh as I write and know that I am so very very fortunate. I m safe here. What an incredible gift that is.
I look at the horse tail wispy clouds with the blue sky listening to the hum of bees, and flies, the chug of a Aquaculture vessel coming up the river and feel the sun beating on my legs as I watch cabbage moths trying to find unprotected brassicas to lay her eggs on. My dogs are chewing bones near bye. I am aware of the European wasp that has invaded Tassie. As it will seek out any meat left outside as too flies. I know that is why the blowies (blow flies) are zooming about Miss Treacle as she is eating hers. Busby’s is all gone.
A wattle bird just let out a call that is hard to describe and was answered by another. This morning I have let out the chicks and Frida Kahol too free range in the chook run with everyone else. She is an incredible Mamma, I am a bit fearful as I lost two chicks in one fowl swoop to a grey Goshawk two weeks ago. The decision was made by Frida as I had put a fence (I use it on the deck to keep the wallabies off it at night) around their chick house. I had let them out and was tending to the other hens and Roopert when I heard much distressed chirping Frida Kahol had flown the coop! The smallest of the chicks, a bantam I feel as it is a great deal tinier than the others, had managed to get through the bars but the other six chicks were not able to follow their Mamma.
I had to remove the fence and allow nature and Frida to take their chances with the remaining seven chicks. I have noticed that Henny (the darker of my two brown hens her sister is Penny) is broody and I am working hard to ensure that I do not have more chicks this season.
I have also it seems been able to keep all the poultry in the run. I do miss seeing them outside in the paddock, I do not miss the digging up of plants and seeds, and dust bathing hollows they leave in my garden and paddock where I can stumble into them unwittingly.
It is green looking over the river and at parts of my paddock grass, yet here on this side of the river we have had little rain compared to across the river. It is very surreal to be sitting here in March with almost full rain water tanks (from a couple of weeks ago) and green grass. It is normally dry and I ponder if I need to consider buying water.
Am I repeating myself. Maybe its Ok, Pretty normal for me after being triggered.
Life has not stood still even with the emotions and dealing with the aftermath of being triggered. I have shared previously that I have been waiting on being notified of when I will be having a colonoscopy, unlike the USA in Australia you do not automatically have one on turning 50. Here it is only if there is a concern. I was listed in the highest priority case due to symptoms. I had not heard anything and the timeline I should have heard had passed. There are some things having been an RN helps with, and that is feeling able to contact the appropriate department to inquire. So last week I did phone them to discover my file was in a drawer, and who knows if I had not called when I might have heard. (off course my mind has taken me to dying with colon cancer and all that goes with it in the months I have been waiting). Knowing that Australia has one of the highest rates of colon cancer in the world does not help. Early diagnosis is the best help to survival. I rang and was rung back the next day first thing in the morning. I am booked in soon. I have recieved all the instructions in the mail, and I feel that the actual preparation will be far worse than the procedure, having worked in colonoscopy as a casual RN I am very aware of what occurs and I am not too concerned about the procedure. My only concerns were with what to do with my dogs.
The thing that is extremely difficult for me with my CPTSD is actually telling people in the first place and then asking for someone to assist me in anyway. I find it almost impossible to ask for help. At first I thought right I can not bare the thought of telling anyone, and I can not bare the thought of being away from my dogs. I wanted to drive myself there and back both things not supported by the hospital or I imagine my insurance. So I considered a dog friendly B and B for two nights. (My hospital wants you to be with someone overnight after the procedure, as its policy). That is not going to happen. I am not having a general anesthetic, it is a twilight one. While it is not safe enough to drive myself home, I do not need anyone with me overnight. I did share with someone who has kindly offered to drive me and bring me home. The appointment is made and I will be away from home less than 6 hours all up (proviso that all goes well). My dogs are quite content to be at home as long as they have had a run and used their bowels. So I put logic and fugal me in charge and will be home before and after the procedure.
I am now aware of how much distress was on me with not having any acknowledgement other than the letter advising me I was highest priority a date range that had past and me taking the bull by the horns and following up. I am so pleased I found the courage to do that. If anyone in Australia is in a similar situation contact the Endoscopy unit and ask them when your procedure will be please.
I have also been accepted for the National Disability Scheme (NDIS), and have a meeting with someone from their in the near future to see what I might need. As my mental illness/s has seen me accepted on the Disability Support Pension (DSP) it means that I can request my psychology appointments be on the NDIS, and that means my Psychologist can bulk bill me. I am not sure how she has been charging me before this, as I have paid nothing to see this wonderful woman. The veggie garden is doing OK my tomatoes the few I have picked have been delicious, I noted this morning something has taken two green tomatoes and pecked them I am blaming the blackbirds or starlings. I have pumpkins, and a couple of zucchinis. My peppers are fruiting but will they ripen before the cold sets in? Not a cucumber or tomatillo has appeared. I have at some stage to pull up the sweet potatoes. I hold no hope for any this year. I will cut some slips for next year. I have not emptied my last pot of potatoes as they have not flowered yet. It has been a better year this year for veggies than last year and I learn as I go. I am averaging 3 eggs a day. I will be winter glassing a lot of eggs. To provide me with eggs during the off season. I do not want to burn my girls out with keeping them laying or year. As hens only have as many eggs in their systems as they will lay over the course of their life.
I have not showered in way too long, and will be soon, I have been eating a bit better, and generally getting to bed early. Dogs are walking I am driving. Right now I am really just focusing on the things I need to do for next period of time and as too diet I have to follow instructions nearly every thing I actually eat is not on my menu for next period of time. Clear broths, clear juices, I have minimised my coffee in take already. I have noticed that the preparation fluid for the colonoscopy has aspartame in it sigh I really dislike any artificially sweeteners, but I have no choice. Thankfully I can take my medication.
While I know I am anxious about what is still to occur and the results. Just knowing the date and time it is going to happen is a relief.
Well hello so much has been happening down here on my little acre in the Huon Valley of Tasmania. Finally more sunshine, and heat. So my tomatoes are ripening and developing Yeah. Pumpkins and zucchinis are doing well for me. However the most exciting news is Frida Kahol’s chicks have arrived!
I just happened to hear Frida making the sweetest noises as I was walking to release the other hens. So I went in to see her and found the first chick. It was so wonderful. One other egg was pippin.
So next morning there were 5 chicks! Yeah. 3 yellow chicks and two darkish.
The weather forecast was for high temperatures the following day. 36dC/96.8dF. I went out in the morning and it was so hot. I checked the chicks and Frida Kahol. The chicks were standing outside and Frida Kahol was panting. I made the decision to move them all inside. As it was only 9am and it was already 26dC/79dF. The following three days were to be hotter. It ended up at 38dC/100dF and did not drop down below 23dC/73dF overnight which is very rare here.
So nine chicks. Bringing my flock numbers up to 15.. argh. I wait to discover the genders of them. I imagine if I have quiet a few females I will potentially sell them when they are point of lay which will cover the cost of raising them. My hope is there are very few roosters. Only time will tell. I am so glad that I did cull them as she would have hatched 18 chicks out of 20 eggs.
Above the chicks and Frida have been in side for four days now. I have to admit that I have to still fix the small coop for them all. I only need some nails. As I also need to fix the run as one of my neighbours said she almost ran over one of them. Not that it was an issue for them to have them over there. I just personally would prefer to have them confined a bit more and only let out for shorter periods during the cooler months. They are so delightful to listen to. I love listening to Frida just talking to them gently and teaching them. In the last photo above note where the food container is. Inside the nesting box. I set it outside in away from the entrance into the nesting box. Why would Frida be moving it into the nesting box.
Busby was so unsettled mid morning he kept heading up to the front door and back to me. I opened the door so he could go out, but he did not. I returned to the seat where I was working and he again came pacing back and forwards. I became annoyed as I was trying to concentrate and he was just distracting me The door was open and he could go out. A bit later I went to the loo, and as I approached (Busby was right by me) the door to the bathroom I heard distressed chirps and calls coming from inside. On opening the door I noticed one of the chicks had got through the pen rails so Frida was distressed the chick was distressed. I popped the chick back in and all was quiet. When I came out and sat down. Busby laid down and settled. Turns out he was trying to get me to go and see what was happening.
I took three of the chicks to visit a couple of my neighbours with young girls. The girls loved cuddling the chicks. The chicks were so sweet and settled with them. Frida is an amazing Mamma. She understandably does not want her babies taken or her removed from them. I decided before returning the chicks to Mamma I would introduce them to Busby. Miss Treacle was not interested.
Busby was so incredible in trying to get my attention earlier, I decided that he should meet the chicks. He did push his nose in a bit hard at first, so I gently lifted each chick up to his nose so he could sniff their bottoms. This worked well and he was so very gentle with them. The chicks did not seem perturbed by his big nose sniffing them. He is so good around the babies. He is improving around the big hens and Roopert too.
I have harvested some potatoes that I was growing in containers. Whilst the weight of the harvest has been reasonable for my first try. I have been disappointed with the size. Small to mini potatoes. I have harvest about 3kgs only. Looking at weight of seed potatoes I planted was just under 1kg, It is at least a gain. I have planted more in one container, and from reviewing my method of care feel I may not have watered them enough. Time will tell.
The top left photo looked promising with potatoes. This is the third pot I had dug on the right is the actual volume of potatoes. The two photos below are of potatoes harvested from two larger black pots a few days before. I did get two OK sized ones. They will be delicious and yes I am disappointed as I said. It is a learning curve. If anyone has any suggestions I am happy for input.
I was working on my deck and noticed a hen jump over the vegetable garden fence, it sort of looked like Fried, I had to turn the hose of and grab some shoes. I could not see a hen anywhere. I have in there for when Miss Treacle comes in to be with me but gets too hot. She goes in digs a shallow dip and lays in the shade coolness, as I work. I had looked for her there ages ago but this time I found her. She was right up in the back and it was only that I had a torch with me I think I could see her this time.. I was so happy that she was alive!.
I then checked under her,
She was sitting on 20 eggs. She was just managing to cover. I was not sure how long she has been there. So I am not sure how old some of the eggs are. I looked at my chicken coop and my little coop I have used to have a Mamma Hen sit on her eggs and care for her very young chicks.
I have had to come to a difficult decision and that is for the sake of the chicks and Frieda as well as myself I needed to cull the eggs. So yesterday I removed half of them. Nine of which were fertile. I must say Frieda looked at me as I took the eggs, she then looked at the ones she had near her. She looked at me and settled so much easier on the greatly reduced number of eggs. There is of course a possibility that more eggs will not be fertile. Having examined the eggs I removed I feel that she has probably a week to go before any begin to hatch. However I am no expert. I understand many of you may feel that this is horrible and cruel. Yet this is the reality of homesteading. I imagine I would have buyers of them in 20 weeks if they were mostly females for point of lay hens. I would still have to cull roosters (and will have to regardless as I can only have one rooster in my coop). Roopert is loud and frustrating but he is a wonderful rooster caring for his girls and obviously good father material.
I had no real desire to have chicks this year. My small coop needs some work so tomorrow I will be fixing it up if I have the things I need otherwise it will be Monday. I shall then move Frieda and her eggs to the new single Mamma’s Home Coop. It is in the chook run. This is so that the other hens and Roopert will hear and eventually see the chicks. I have put the chick mix to help reduce risk of Coccidiosis (I do not use the medicated one but one that is more herbs based. As Frieda is not laying eggs now she does not need the same food and she can eat this mix. As it is also not a ‘medicated’ mix her eggs when she begins laying again can be eaten. Normally you can not eat eggs from a hen that has eaten the medicated chick feed. for several weeks.
I am growing a bit clucky myself and look forward to having little chicks about. I love how the Mamma talks to them and settles them. How they race about and she teaches them all they need to know. Fingers crossed Frieda is a good Mamma.
So my little homestead is growing.
My meal worms have all become beetles and now I wait for them to lay eggs and worms to happen. It is not a fast process.
My worm farm is doing really well too.
Wallabies are being kept out of the chicken run at evening time I accidentally locked one in one night and it was very eager to leave when I arrived in the morning. I terrified the poor guy even more trying to get it out of the gate.
We have had a lot of humid weather and more storms and heavy rain. In the north of Tasmania flooding was happening, whilst in Western Australia over 80 homes were lost in bush fires. We are a harsh country. The weather has really played havoc with my veggie garden and nearly everyone I know who is only growing tomatoes outside is finding they are ripening very slowly. It is an extremely strange summer here.
Though as I sit here typing the sun is just going down and we have a very long dusk. There is not a cloud in the sky and very strange to see is the green grass on the hills across the river. It is February our hottest month usually and people are ordering water tracks as tanks can get low. Instead my tanks are overflowing and there is green grass. Some of my wattles are flowering again peculiar. If it is not climate change Mr Morrison (Australia’s Prime Minister who does not believe in it) what is it?
I am eating mostly with improvement, I am probably doing half of my routine. The walking the dogs instead of me driving and them running is not happening. I have been blaming it on humidity or heat. I do walk them when we are in towns. Just not the daily walk. Showering is going well and going to bed is much better all with improvement to be made. I am happy though as I am feeling on the whole better and not beating myself up at all. I am moving forward.
I have potted up some Autumn veggies in containers on the deck and some flowers. Reorganising, feeding and rearranging the deck garden. I will share more about the deck and veggie garden soon.
I began clearing out the car port, that continues. I still have to move more of last years wood so I have room for this years delivery.
I am thankful that Frieda is alive. I am thankful that I am managing my CPTSD better than I was last post, I am thankful I am mindful of my triggers, I am thankful for full water tanks, I am thankful we have had no cases of Covid-19 here in Tasmania for ages and life is fairly good here. I think of those in WA who are now homeless. I think of those who live in Melbourne and are back in total lockdown again, and for others around the world.
I hear Roopert crowing goodnight, I too shall take my leave.
I was driving home from my GP this afternoon. This is a 140km round trip and it is a pleasurable and scenic drive. Alongside both sides of the Huon River. Though this set of photos is my seeing a hen with her chicks on the road. I pulled over to watch them.
I feel it was Busby my large dog sticking his head out the rear seat window that really got the Mamma Hen to rally her chicks up the rather steep embankment of the sealed road. These wee chicks were not that old.
I did wonder how this little one would manage. I was awed by its determination and perhaps more so the drive that adrenaline and fear for ones life give. Mamma had not waited for this wee one, she was back under the fence and just seemed to keep telling the chicks to get back in the yard, It seems all parents are the same. All chicks made it and the little one is seen second from left back with its siblings and Mamma in the yard. I hope that their Mamma has learnt not to take her babies down on the main road again.
It was lovely to see this family and to watch the effort and achievement of this one little chick. At first after the other two chicks had left it. I really feared it was going to give up. (I would have jumped out and got it up there if it had) It was a delightful thing to observe and shoot with my camera.
This was not the only bird life we saw on the way home from the GPs. Another day to share more of the journey home with my dogs.
Having a mental illness such as CPTSD really can stuff up so many of your plans..then add the crazy summer weather here in my part of Tasmania and how my garden is somewhat neglected. I am doing OK though. It is a rough period in my treatment of my illness. Things coming from out of the blackness of my brain where for so long they have been stored. Being shared with my psychologist and now me working on how to manage the impacts of these. New symptoms such as nightmares, and grinding my teeth. Nightmares that are similar to ones I had as a child. This is the truth behind what it really is like when you are dealing with mental illness and attempting to keep moving ever so tiny amount forward.
This is my life, here on my little acre.
Rain is falling again as I type music to my ears. It is lovely to hear the rain on my metal roof, gurgling down the gutters and the water running into my tanks.
The garden will be very happy. I am very happy and the chooks will be ecstatic in the morning to go out and hunt for worms.
The chooks have been happy as we had rain last week so the grass was showing young green shoots.
At least five of my six hens and Roopert the rooster have. Sadly it seems I have lost one of my hens. I live in hope she is sitting on eggs somewhere and will return, there were no feathers to show bird of prey or animal took her. I have seen no sight of her in four days. It is Frieda my larger black hen with the frizzy top knot. Sigh I love and appreciate them all so much. She is a sweet nervous hen who was just getting to the stage of coming and eating out of my hand. I know at least it was not my dog Busby loving her to death. He has been incredibly good around them. I have been working with him to minimise harm to them and the wallabies. I am remaining hopeful.
Today was a lovely morning. The joy I feel when I go off to do my weekly bits and bobs in my local town is always pleasant. I meet and catch up with so many people. Today I had breakfast at Cygnet Port Hole Cafe which does a delicious menu. Very reasonably priced menu. Pretty good coffee too. It is lovely to sit outside with my dogs and look at the gardens about the cafe that grow herbs and some veggies flowers and I think there is an apple tree and plum. It has been several cafes in my time of living here most memorable and original was The Lotus Eaters, but this new cafe is equal to it as a meeting place and good food at reasonable prices. On Friday nights they do Tacos and music.
I really enjoy taking my library books back and looking for new ones. We have an amazing library with such a plethora of reading material available state wide. I know I am feeling somewhat more competent as I have picked up some books that are more emotive ie the rise of feminsim in China, and a few others that are of interest to me. One about the impact of social media on society. Depending on how they are written and if my brain can manage them with out to much frustration I look forward to enjoying them.
I am getting organised for winter. Though some days and nights here lately you can think winter has already arrived. A few people have had their fires going. I just turn my electric blanket on and head to bed with my laptop..lol or put on my Ugg boots and winter trackies. I ordered wood for winter. I have a good amount left over from last year and the year before I need to move and stack under cover. So the new wood can be put where this is. My mind says plenty of time for me to attend to that. It is no due until February. UNTIL I suddenly realised February is this week!
As the next day is just as likely to be super hot. My house if I put the fire on takes a day to cool down.
Routine wise I am eating better, and averaging out getting to bed earlier. Showering has improved and I have walked twice this week up the road and more when we have been out.
I also changed my bottle gas LPG provider. I was also able to provide my research information on the local community pages so people can see the differences. I have saved over $190+AUS/145Us /106.34GBP a year minimum by going with the new company who also delivers down here three times a week where as my old company delivered only once a week. So if you ran out of gas, which only happened once for me as I do have two bottles 45kg/99lbs ea, It was when I was really ill. Of course it happened on the day after I would have got the delivery. I had to wait a whole week for gas. Y ou pay rental yearly for the bottle and then each bottle of gas costs so much.
The new company had a great new customer deal so even without that I still save a lot of money a year with the new company. With my old company if you did not know to check what others in the area were paying you would get charged heaps more I saved money on each bottle just by doing this. Yet their price and rental were still dearer substantially and they have a yearly administration fee.
I have noted that I received a notice in my facebook thread today something that may have triggered my Obsessive part. A lady was travelling on the boat The Spirit of Tasmania (which connects Tasmania to mainland Australia arriving in Melbourne), it is an overnight trip and carries cars our trucks with supplies food and other things, holiday makers campervans etc, you can take your dogs on it. You can place them in their horrible metal crates, or you can pay extra and have them remain in your car, though the company makes you sign a waiver of rights even though it would not stand up in a court of law (since you paid for a service), if something happened. This poor lady was traveling with her much loved doberman, who was put into the dog crates, and somehow the dog escaped. (vanished) No trace so far has been found. You are only allowed down once on the journey if you want to check your dog, otherwise it is locked area only staff are allowed there. The dog this poor dog has not been found, and this woman I can only imagine is devastated.
My own experience of bringing my cat over when I moved here was bad enough I worried all night if my cat would be OK. When I picked him up he was in a huge metal dog crate with a dog bowl that was like a swimming pool that had flowed all over the place and he was saturated. He had also been one crate away from a very large German Shepherd. (most likely a lovely dog) my cat had never been around a dog at this point. Sigh when we took our dog over to the mainland he travelled in the car we still worried but all was fine with him as he knew where he was and obviously felt safe.
Now I have put posts out to all sorts of groups asking people to contact the Premier Peter Gutweins office and the Minister Michael Fergusons office. Explaining that my dogs are my family they are the reason I am still alive and if this had happened to one of my dogs well who knows how I might have reacted. I explained about my mental illness and the woman at the premiers office said oh like a companion animal yes exactly but not officially. I went on to say they should have dog friendly rooms available so dogs could travel with their owners in the rooms. That the cost of all the issues pertaining to animals that have had issues (16polo horses died a few years ago, traveling on the Spirit the court case is still happening I believe), but this is a cost that the Tasmanians people will have to pay someway. As I am sure the legal ramifications of this latest episode.
Plus the many people who travel with their dogs when they come here, will be fearful.
My problem is as much as I want to keep pushing this. For me it makes my mental health and physical health worse. So I have done what I can as one individual. I must not keep pursuing it or I will get ill again. As I have before when I obsessively operate. I am well enough to observe the potential for this to happen. I am pleased and proud of myself that I am happy to have done something, and must leave it for now. Hoping the dog is located, and reunited with its owner. Hoping that regardless something will change in the transport of dogs and rights of owners on this trip.
wow this has gone a bit all over the place, but this is how my head is working tonight..
Yet that is pretty much how my day has been. I am content and happy, I am thankful that I have tools helping me manage the things that are coming as I work through issues. I am thankful for the rain.
My lovely white hen who is blind in one eye, is fit and healthy and has begun to lay eggs. She is now back out with the rest of my flock. Her name was going to be ‘Turunga Leela’. Though I have reconsidered as she is sweet and comes running to me as she is now the lowest hen in the pecking order. She is gentle and isolates, anxiety is high, since her time in the house in isolation, I feed her extra treats and ensure she gets food as she is hunted away by Roopert (Rooster) and several of the other hens.
She is now called Marshmellow. I love marshmallows and I have fallen in love with her.
Actually I love all my poultry.
I forgive Roopert all his crowing in the wee small hours . Right now dawn breaks very early, yet my neighbours (who say they do not mind his crowing) say he usually goes off between 2-3am . I am so fortunate that they put up with his crowing, or sometimes I get that self talk of oh they are trying to tell me that they are annoyed by it, that it is not good. It is one of those things that is so hard to know unless people are truthful and tell you it is pissing them off. They are lovely neighbours and I am sure they would tell me, when I said I was fed up a few weeks ago they were horrified that I might get rid of him. They will be getting hens soon.
As we head to the Summer Solstice 21-22/12/2020 (depending on which local site I peruse), we will have over 16 hours of sunlight. As they say all it will pass, these really early crowings as the seasons change.. Though he is great when it is a new moon peace until 4:30am when dawn breaks and how lovely is all the birds song then and I mean that sincerely. The darkness is great for all. I guess we all need to catch up on sleep at some point.
He is a lovable rooster. Sitting here writing this today when the temperature is over 33 dC here which is really hot for Tasmania
I have given the chooks some watermelon which they are really enjoying. My dogs turned there noses up at it. So more for the chooks.
When it is a warmer night I leave the door open of there house home, so they can get more air circulation.
I love going in to see they are all settled and ensuring they have not knocked the water over. I see Roopert with his faviourite gals on the highest roost. The others all on the next one down. I know I would not be a happy hen living in that sort of hierarchy.
I am averaging 5 eggs a day now and occasionally six. I am inundated with eggs. Neither I or my dogs are complaining. I do share them with neighbours. Hmm the eggs count is fluctuating recently and I have a feeling that I will be discovering a nest of rotten eggs somewhere soon. Having so many eggs (which I do share with neighbours), I have decided to preserve some for winter. The dogs and I love them all year and well why not. I was thinking of water glassing though I believe there is a more modern alternative so will be You Tubing.
I have named all my hens now. Marshmellow because she is a mellow hen my one eyed girl she comes for a cuddle and is now sadly the lowest hen so I spoil her. She is the one I had to care for and we have a special bond.
The two brown gals who spend all their time together, and are Roopert’s gals now sharing the top roost position in the hen house. They have become Henny and Penny.
Then there are my two hens that are black with frizzle feathers on their heads and unusual combs. One is a big hen the other smaller. The big one is Frida, after the artist, and thus the little one is Kahlo. They are more timid.
My last hen is a gorgeous black green tinged feathered girl. She is Beauty.
I really enjoy going to the hen house in the evening to ensure they are all inside, and have not knocked over their water. They usually will tick me off for disturbing them and shuffle and fluff their feathers. I say thank you for the eggs ladies, and shut them in (tuck them in for the night). I love it as I walk away and here their little chatter , peeps and settling back on the roosts for sleep.
In the morning it is even more interesting if I am later than they would like to be let out, even though they have food and water, Roopert will tick me off. I open the door and he jumps out first, waits and then Henny and Penny are next, Marshmellow waits until they move away and races out, Frida will go join Rooopert. Kahol is waiting usually she is found in one of the nesting boxes. I have to toss her out before I leave to get her share of breakfast. Beauty is last and really she just regally hops out potters under the hen house then saunters over to the rest of the flock.
Of course there is the bickering and clucking of the girls when someone gets something one of the higher up the pecking order have not. Or when Roopert shows his Girls a special treat he has found for them. He also is a rooster and he does his roosterly duties, this will make a scene for the girls who do not want his advances. A run around the run occurs feathers and dust flowing.
Having chooks is not all happy life on the homestead, even when you only have hens fights occur.
I have been getting some double yolk eggs which takes me back to my childhood.
it is not hard caring for them, let them out in the morning feed them lovely food for great eggs, giving shell grit and ensuring they have little stones gravel for their gizzards. Keeping an eye on their feathers around their vents, and for any injuries or damage. Ensuring no mights. Fresh water and clean bedding regularly cool areas under trees. For such wonderful renumeration.
I have trimmed their wings to try and keep them in the run, but they still escape. It does look as if something untoward occurred there, and sounded like it as I left them in the hen house and grabbed each one to attend to their feathers. They still manage to get out. Sigh.
Free Range 100%. There is something so beautiful about having hens in my life again. I really enjoy their antics most of the time. Even the crowing in the wee small hours. Good quality ear plugs.
One of my neighbours found three chicks when he went out to his run this morning they are so cute. Another neighbour has bantams and has just got his gals a rooster.
Homesteading is all around me, summer is here and I am so thankful for my hens, my neighbours, eggs, and pretty full water tanks.
The end of a hot day and a warm night ahead, and all is settled, water bowls and bird baths all full for overnight visitors. A clear sky and stillness settling over my home.
‘There you are! Its about time. We are star…ving…STARVING!! Hope you have some food for us.” “What are you all doing out of your run? ” I say to them and chuckle to myself at their chatter. “You left us all day. We have only had lovely green grass, bugs, and insects to eat. We have been looking for you for hours. We were abandoned, and starved! “But girls you are meant to be in your run not out here. I am coming to feed you.” A Loud SQUAWK “Girls? Girls? I suddenly have a hen attacking my toes and ankles..take that we are not all GIRLS”
OUCH that hurts stop nipping me? Oh heck your a rooster! “You noticed…at last..now give me that food for my harem!”. Le Coq Arrogant is jumping up attempting to get at the grain container. “My harem must eat, we are neglected and Starving” he is demanding as he strikes me it hurts a little he really means business.
How anyone could mistake ME for a hen! I rule the roost and Echidna HOME! Le Coq Arrogant is almost crowing.
I am the boss of you all! YOU Rooster, and six hens are my flock and if you keep jumping at me and pecking me, I will not feed YOU and YOU will become soup!
I will not be intimated or bullied by any cockeral I say to him. I push him away and tell him You will be eating out of my hand or not at all!
I will not eat out of Your hand, what will my harem think of me..do not make me do this. I will not succomb..I have to be the …oh sunflower seeds….yum yum
“Girls look yummy seeds, we are loved and being fed sunflower seeds wheat and all sorts of deliciousness. Just bow down and eat, from our leaders hand. I assure you its safe, you are not at risk.” “Oooh Le Coq Arrogant thank you for ensuring we are safe. So so hungry.. yumm yum”
Le Coq Arrogant you have done well to accept my leadership I will ensure food water a lovely home to live in. Look how happy and content your harem is with full crops. Le Coq Arrogant ‘they do indeed but I must be off, things to do’
I have had them for about two months now and I grow to love them more and more every day.
I have a lovely hen house, and they have a huge run. The little black hen has finally decided being in the the hen house with the others is far better then in the tree in gale force winds and icy cold rain.
Le Coq Arrogant has been learning to crow. At five months approx it is about the normal time. I heard a strange noise in the night a bit like a pup crying. A few nights louder it sounded more like someone with a cough was in my garden. He has it almost down pat now and is doing a good job. Rather too good las night. I had not closed the hen house door. I think he was disturbed by nocturnal noises and crowed numerous times in the dark.
So tonight they are all in their house on their roosts and one up in the eves in an old birds nest. Full crops and tummys. Fresh water. Tired out from sunning themselves in the 21dC/69.8dF sunny day here. I hope my sleep is not disturbed in the very wee small hours of the night.
My Rooster Le CoqArrogant, is getting his mature feathers, and if you look at the activity happening in one of the above photo back ground, you will see he is doing his job as a rooster. He is also becoming a very attentive observer overseeing his girls. He keeps attention on any potential aerial attacks from Sea Eagle, Wedge Tail Eagles, Goshawks other hawks or falcons. He is no longer pecking at me, or kicking his feet and spur area at me. I love that he trusts me enough to eat out of my hand and he is encouraging the girls too.
Not all of the girls are delighted with Le Coq s attention. One of my brown girls seems to want to sit on all the eggs.
The little black hen who slept in the tree is very nervous, and she is on the bottom of the pecking order. I ensure she receives the same choice in her seed feed as I do for everyone. She is growing and looks beautiful. I have a feeling she is the layer of the smallest eggs I get.
Some of the hens are not laying as yet but should begin in the next few weeks. I love that I have my own eggs, and my dogs love eating them. Very good for their coats.
I had my first day with four eggs today, the photo was taken two days ago. The large plastic egg was stolen bye some critter who believed it was a real egg which is why it has marks all over it. It is about the size of a normal egg so you can see my girls that are laying are small hens. Or maybe some of them will lay larger eggs later on.
I love watching the chooks antics and listening to their chatter. When someone finds a tasty morsel and is squawking as they are being chased by someone else. How they love digging holes and dust bathing. Laying in the warm sunshine spread out almost flat.
Enchanting members of Echidna Home (stead). Contentment fills my heart having seen the seven birds settling into their roosts making their quite noises as they do so.
You must be logged in to post a comment.