Thursday, November 14, 2013


Yesterday morning the blue-banded Sex Link pullet came into focus. By that I mean the little niggling clues that had been registering in the back of my mind came to the fore. When I opened the pop-door, she came out on the ramp and just stood there, with that slightly dull demeanor that portends trouble. I really looked at her, and noticed that her comb and wattles were a dark red, almost burgundy, while the other pullets' were bright red. And her tail was fanned out vertically, with odd frizzled ends.

I feel so helpless when it comes to chicken health. Rick didn't get much education on it in vet school, and at any rate, that was a quarter-century ago (ACK!). I've learned a lot from Community Chickens, but not enough to turn around a hen in decline. Sigh.

Sarai was hiding behind the farthest tree in the lot again yesterday morning. She had changed positions, but I decided (especially after taking better notice of the chicken!) that I should investigate. I walked out to check on her and she got up and stretched, then moved away, looking completely normal. This morning she was in the fold with the rest of the sheep and the hay was cleaned up for the first time in days, so maybe she's gone out of heat and things are settling down. I'd like to think she's bred, but I have not once seen her act receptive to the ram in any way, shape or form, and she didn't settle the one other season she was in a breeding group (different ram). Another fretful sigh....

So I distracted myself with the Japanese maples just outside my front door.
The big specimen in the island is busily dropping its leaves, but these in front are still glorious (well, minus the almost naked laceleaf that you can't see). The biggest one on left has the "coat of many colors," best appreciated up close:

The darker one on the right is starting to come into its own,

and my little Mikawa Yatsubusa hidden beyond is still thinking about fall – and spring!

It's been sporting those bright green terminal leaves for awhile; now the leaves below it are starting to bronze. Endless entertainment, these Japanese maples!

Here's another juxtaposition:
The blooms on my protected fuschia have not yet been touched by frost, while the daphne odora branches that embrace it are starting to set buds for their winter blooms.

Nearby, one of my new Japanese maples (still in their pots) is showing off:

What a wonderful world, at . . .


Tammy said...

Sorry about your hen. I just lost my old Sue hen last week. I had a vet once tell me to give a sick hen the powdered horse supplements (mixed in food). It actually worked, but I know what you mean--I've seldom been able to bring back a sick hen.

Take care,

thecrazysheeplady said...

Always tough... Your maples are a lovely distraction.

Laura said...

Sorry about the chicken... Potentially could be heart problems (cyanosis due to inadequate blood flow?).

Next year, you should try using a marking harness on the ram. Because you use coats, the marking on the fleece will be minimal and it does wash out. Then, you can be SURE when/if a ewe is bred. Those that don't have to leave, regardless of their fleece - if they're not productive, they really shouldn't get a free ride!