As y’all know, I had occasion to pick up some hatching and unhatched eggs abandoned by the mother hen, stick them in my Hovabator incubator, and became the stepmom of 7 peeping bantam chicks. Since I didn’t have a brooder built and wanted to build a better one than the makeshift heat lamp on a tub that I had used previously, I’d been putting them outside in a pen in the warm afternoon air while I cleaned the Hovabator, leaving the eggs inside, then returning the chicks to the incubator in the evening. I’ll build a brooder today. (Note, the Hovabator was never meant to be a brooder. However, it does the job rather well in an emergency.)
As I was removing the chicks from the incubator Thursday afternoon to transport to the protective pen outside on the grass in the fresh air and warm sunshine, I noted one poor little chick was quite wet. The poor tiny little black chick must have fallen into the water, although I didn’t think it was possible. Oh, well, no harm done, and I put him into the transport bucket and removed the rest of his siblings from the incubator, then did a quick count to make sure that an especially entrepid little explorer hadn’t escaped over the side. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven….eight? Hunh. Must have counted one twice. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, EIGHT! The eggs all looked intact in the Hovabator, but I checked again, and found that one egg had an end missing. Well, how about that!
So, today will be spent building brooders, cleaning my yucky house (because I’d rather do things like build brooders than clean, my house is very neglected), and cleaning up after the puppy (my fault). Things found on the porch steps this morning: One rake, handle chewed (d’oh!), one glove, fingers only (AAAARGH!) one plastic bucket, in small pieces, and one shoe, mine, of course (dope slap to head, again). I was raking up the mess the puppy had created Thursday evening when I got home Friday afternoon, but the breeze was getting chilly, so I put down the rake, gloves, etc. by the temporary chick cage, brought them inside to the Hovabator, went back outside, fed the ewe with the bottle lamb, watered her, brought her hay, gave the horse some grain, threw some corn to the chickens and ducks, ran to the feed store to get another bag of horse feed but couldn’t find a parking place, came back home, fed some grain to the ewes and lambs as the pasture is too dry to produce much in the way of sustenance, ran back inside and started dinner, mixed up more milk replacer for the lamb, fed lamb, fed husband, fed dogs and cats, and completely forgot the rake, gloves and bucket left beside the chick cage, as well as the walking shoes shed on the back porch.
Note to self: Buy another pair of New Balance shoes today. Then buy a rake handle, gardening gloves, and a new bucket.
Puppies are expensive!
Update: Puppy and Odie somehow got outside the back pasture fence this morning through a small hole that allowed egress but not entrance, and refused to walk around to the front gate. Apparently, they were in pursuit of a smaller predator (probably a fox, as there are chicken feathers scattered about out there, as well as the remains of a nest), and Odie was raising Cain at that location two evenings ago.
So, donning a heavy jacket, I had to push my way through thick brush, blackberry thickets, and hanging thorny vines to the back fence where I had to function as Odie’s seeing eye person. Four feet away from the fence I couldn’t even see the fence.
Now I’m plucking thorns out of my legs and asking myself why do I like dogs? The cats have had me extricate them from some roof situations, but no thorns were involved. And there was zero chance that I’d step on a bigass sleepy rattlesnake covered in a blanket of leaves.