We had a great first day of Spring Break today. A waterfall hike in Quilcene followed by late-lunch-early-dinner at a roadhouse (doesn’t that just sound great?!). The waterfall and rushing river were really peaceful, and we caught a patch of sun out there in the woods. Then we laughed and made “a spectacle” of ourselves at the roadhouse (even though I pointed out to Dave that the only other couple there was not watching so it wasn’t really a spectacle, right?). You’ll see below why I was laughing so much.
I had so much stuff in my car they could not believe it. I suggested we take bets so I bought candy for the winner. This lady was so funny – she kept revising her bet as the stuff came through. She started with $150-170 then she noticed the subtotal was $201 already so she said “Ok! $150-250!”
This poor hen got really picked on after a blissful first afternoon integrating 4 new hens into the flock. The first afternoon I carefully monitored “recess” and let the hens mingle. Roosting time went without incident and all four new hens managed to get a roosting spot just fine. Wow, I thought to myself, this is why people integrate several MATURE hens at once. It was super easy compared to my usual experience trying to integrate pullets (which takes a good 4 days of high-maintenance managed segregation then integration with separate pens, food, water and coop apartments).
Anyway – when I opened the coop the next morning I thought all was fine until I found this poor hen had one eye closed. I quickly scooped her up and put her in my infirmary in the garage to rest, eat and for observation. I came out a couple hours later to check on her, gave her a walk in the grass and noticed the swelling in her eye was pretty good. I couldn’t even tell if she still had an eye, unfortunately. I felt so badly. Humans should not let this happen to animals. I gave her some yogurt, water and grass time, and hoped for the best. That night I built an apartment for her in the coop so she wouldn’t get too out of sync with the others (it would only make reintegration even worse because she’d be new all over again vs. part of a pack). More careful watching, feed, rest, and care…swelling was going down. I still couldn’t tell if she had an eye.
Skip to three days later – I see the eyelid is opening and part of an eye is visible! It’s a little low, maybe damaged tissues, maybe displaced by swelling…I didn’t know but was so glad she could see a little out of that eye! She was flying out of her separate run and roosting with the others, too. What a scrappy little bird she is. By the fourth day her eye had nearly completely filled the socket just like normal. She just had a bit of a black eye left. Here are a few pictures of her out on a little jaunt. She is a fearless little bird, and seems to like us humans because we are a source of safety and protection for her now.
Thank you to the friends who joined us on this incredible spring day (it’s the Equinox or something, right?) for a long walk to a road end and the beach, rock cracking, mineral hunting, and some mischief. We walked 5.2 miles from our house, down to Bay Hay and Feed, raided a friend’s house who we thought might be joining us, walked along the beach rock hunting, then back up hill with our loot to Jiffy Mart for ice cream and then back home. It was a great time!
Here are some pictures (click on the picture below to see more).
Sam is solving a Rubik’s cube relay with his principal, Sheryl Belt, assisting in the act. Ben is providing accompaniment on the ukulele. It was a wonderful show and took quite a bit of coordination by the principal to preview all the acts and ensure there was high quality. Sam did a very good job – very business-like, not rattled at all by solving in front of 200 people, and made sure his brother came with him at the right time to arrive at the stage entrance on cue. This was a third and fourth grade show, so some older students were asking Ben what he was doing with an uke, and did he really know how to play it. Well…see for yourself 🙂 It was a great show! (I was soooo relieved it went off ok!)
We went for a nice walk today because the sun was out (!) and Ben found a rock on the beach which seemed to work as a good controller. He made Daddy and Sam do many (MANY) kinds of walks: left, right, up, jump, split toe walk, beard walk, run, skip, etc. You get the idea. Daddy was very cooperative. It was so funny we were laughing out loud. Here’s a smattering of pictures.