Some days, you just want to be over. Yesterday was one of those days. If you don't want to read about animals behaving badly, or yelling, hollering, running and screaming...huffing and puffing and sweating...well, you can skip this entry. If you do want to read about it, then you may proceed with caution. ;)
Ian was off yesterday. For some reason mayhem always ensues with the animals when he is home. I am not saying he causes it, it just happens this way. He must think the animals are running wild every day like they do when he catches them being bad or crazy, or whatever you want to call it.
But let me start from the beginning.
There was tension in the air as I called for Shelby from upstairs. I really really hate it when I call someone and they don't answer, or don't come when called. Usually, if I am calling your name I want something from you that is going to result in you rising off your fanny to come get something or do something, so just get up and come see what I want. Makes both our lives easier. When you have a teenager in the house, this all goes out the window. All this commotion over the fact that I was about to fix her lunch.
After lunch, and much hurt feelings, I go out to pick the mud out of Derbys feet. I ask Shelby to please get his comb and come get all the loose hair coming out of him before we let him out. She asks where is it, I say on the table up there on the porch. "I cant find it" she says...then all hell breaks loose. I turn around and the emus are stomping on one of my sultan girls...and why this is I have no idea, seeing as they are confined to their own personal pen, but nevertheless...there is one out, and it is being pummelled as I run my butt across the yard and out the gate to intercept the emus from killing my bird. Sultans are very dumb, so they will not try hard to get away from danger, they will just stand there and be killed.
Yelling does no good with emus. But I still yell, I don't know why, I guess I think maybe one of these times they may listen and actually STOP. It hasnt worked so far. So I am yelling and hoofing it across the way and I run the emus off and pick up the sultan hen. The latch on their pen was not latched. I don't know if it was me, or maybe the horse. He is very itchy right now and will rub against anything to relieve the itching. When he is shedding his winter coat, its an itchy affair. My guess is he was rubbing and the latch came undone, and the door to the pen was just slightly ajar enough for one of the birds to squeeze out. I would say I bet she won't do that again, but Sultans are really really dense, I mean...they are not fast learners, if at all, ever. They are pretty, and they are very sweet, but they are not smart, at all.
With no permanent damage done, I put her back in the pen and made sure to lock it up tight. While all this was going on, Derby saw his chance and pushed the gate open and out he went to start munching on grass. This was not the plan. The plan was for Shelby to brush out the loose hair first.
Oh yeah, and then..after all that...I yelled, did you find the comb???
WHERE WAS IT???
On the table...
RIGHT WHERE I SAID IT WAS!!!
I was sweating and mad and out of breath. I told her to get out back and brush that dang horse, so she did.
Oh but it gets BETTER, or worse...depending on how you look at it.
Later in the day...I go outside to see what is going on, Ian had been outside for awhile, and I am greeted with him carrying Einstein back towards the house.
Ian says he was out of the fenced area...and the emus got to him, were stomping him. His leg had become dislocated and Ian popped it back into place. I don't think its broken. Earlier that day I had seen the white crested black polish pullet, his sister, flying BACK over the fence into the chicken area, so she had made a narrow escape. Einstein had not been so lucky. If Ian had not been out there, he would probably be dead right now.
I took Einstein inside and he has a splint on his leg and I have his toes splinted outward, spread out. He has shown promise of trying to use that leg, but I am sure it hurts. It will take some time, but I am really really hoping he will recover.
Patrick and Laury were supposed to come over last night to help me with Everett. Everett is one of my yard roosters, he is a silver spangled hamburg. He can't seem to stay out of things and gets string wrapped around his legs and feet all the time. Well, one of these times he got the string wrapped so tight it cut into his foot, and now he has an infected foot and it is swollen up. I have tried penicillin shots, I have tried draining it with a small hole poked in it, I have soaked it. I have done everything short of cutting his foot off to solve the problem. Laury is a vet tech, so she was going to come over and she was going to cut his foot wide open and we were going to drain that sucker and pack it with antibiotic, bandage and wrap it up good and put him in a recovery carrier to rest up and heal up. I cancelled that. It had just been one of those days where if I had one more thing to happen, I was going to self destruct. Patrick understood, and he said some days down on the farm are like that, he should know, some days are good, some are bad. We are going to try again today.
So...what is the bottom line of all this. I will tell you, I was debating on whether to just sell the three emus and get a llama. I have this vision of the horse, two pigs, two goats, and three emus...along with chickens, free ranging, grazing...out back...together. I have seen it happen, but things don't always turn out so serene and picture perfect. Sometimes the goats get on the emus nerves, and the emus give chase. Sometimes the horse tries to nip the emus. Sometimes the horse harrasses the pigs.
and sometimes...the chickens get stomped by the emus.
Those of you that know me, know my chickens come first. So, I had to make a decision as to what to do about this. The emus were not going to stop this. Sometimes they can be so calm and quiet, then all of the sudden, they lose their minds and go after a chicken. Last week one of my layers was found dead with her head jammed in a corner, trying to get away I imagine.
Often times, when I mad as hell, and my dander is up, as I stand an stew over all this chaos, Ian has the solution. Ian does not lose his head like I do. I was ready to sell off half the animals yesterday. You see, I did not get these animals to be stressed to my breaking point. They are supposed to have a calming affect. My therapy if you will. This was not the circumstance at the moment.
Ian suggested I pen the emus. The goats were not using their pen area anymore since they have been put out to eat pasture, so why not. What an easy solution. The emus won't like it, but right now I really don't give a flip what they like and don't like. They can lump it. I hate it, because I wanted them to eat grass over the summer, but it doesnt look like that is going to happen.
I do believe they are the reason I haven't had predators at night. The chickens are asleep at night, so I am thinking, fine, the emus can have the run of the pasture at night, to protect the yard, and during the day, they stay penned. That works for me. It will have to work for them too. Its easy to wrangle them back into the pen, just have to have some bread in hand and they will follow me anywhere.
Ian also took it upon himself to get the goats original HEAVY dog house I bought for them when I first got them and put it on a pallet, hook a chain up to the mower and the pallet, and drag their house out of the chicken pen area and out into the pasture area so they will have good shelter from the rain. He is always thinking way ahead of me. All I am good at is yelling and fuming over a situation. He is a man of action. He is my calm in the midst of chaos.
So, here I sit, the new day is upon me. I plan on this day being MUCH better than yesterday. I know it will be. Einstein is resting comfortably in the living room in a carrier. The emus are penned, and the chickens SHOULD be safe today. That makes me feel much better just knowing that.
So that is a day in the life of little ole me having a bad day. I guess it could be a lot worse. Lots of people have much bigger problems than I do. I realize that. But in my world, yesterday was a bad day. Today, will be a good day, and it will be a good day, because I SAID SO! ;)
6 days ago