Friday, August 13, 2010

Deadication....

It's been a hot one for the past couple of weeks. A few days over 100° - and a couple of 103°+ tossed in. It's not so much the HEAT that is the killer, but we've had high humidity added into it. This all sums up to a hot, muggy day.

The animals mostly stay in the shade during the heat - although, I HAVE caught an occasional goat laying out in the hot afternoon sun. Sometimes, they ain't too bright.

The cows hoover around one of 3 or 4 trees God provided for them, eating leaves, mowing grass in the shade, or stealing apples off the tree.

I TOLD them to eat windfalls but, you KNOW how cows are.....

Belle and Chuck (the two yearling cows) have plenty of nice shade in their pasture, and even a spring to drink out of. I still provide water in a small tank, though, just in case. I did manage to borrow another tub so I wouldn't need to fill the other so often. The only problem is - it smells like goat, and the two bovine have a "goat attitude" problem. They get pestered through the fence by the goats, so turn their noses up at anything that smells like one.

I can go outside at 2:00 or 3:00 pm and find the chickens huddled under various things like the car, pickup, cattle chute, a cow, etc, etc, anywhere there is shade.

There are even a couple that are in deep, dark holes, sitting on nests.

I check in on them every day or so, but they are in a couple places that are hard to SEE into, let alone GET to. One was in such a place that decided to leave her undisturbed, and see what would happen.

Well, you know how broody hens get - NOTHING keeps them from their appointed rounds. They are more stubborn than a mailman on his route - gloom of night, snow, hail, sleet, locusts, fire, brimstone, yada, yada, yada - only WORSE. Hens usually refuse food and water, too.

Well, things were progressing nicely, this one hen in particular was well into her second week, almost "full term" - when I noticed something strange. She was sitting in a odd way, almost like the chicks were hatching, and she was making room under her feathers for them.

So, I decided it was time to crawl in there and see what I could see.

I positioned myself within "stick poke range" and proceeded to give her a nudge. To my surprise, SHE DIDN'T MOVE. I poked her 3-4 more times until she flopped over on her side - stiff as a board.

I had seen this hen the day before at about noon, and she seemed fine. It was also the day we had a heat index close to 120°, too. There's not much you can do when they refuse food and water.....

Some folks (hens, in particular.....) need to learn the difference between "dedication" and "DEADication"......

1 comment:

  1. Poor little hen. With those kind of temperatures, the eggs might just hatch out anyway!

    ReplyDelete

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