Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Bless Her Cotton Socks Exchange

Is this a good idea? Yes

Can I accomplish it? Sure, if I try.

Do I want to? I THINK so.

I better think about it for a day or so.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald

Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald
Just discovered this blog this morning. Even though he is thought to be a conservative, and I am thought to be a liberal, I haven't read anything yet I disagree with. I plan to read this on a regular basis.

Ideal day old chicks

Actually they were 48 hours old in the photo. They were hatched at 8 AM Monday and shipped to me. The PO called me at 7 AM Wed and I had them home and in the brooder box by 8 AM. Aren't they just the cutest things? And they are stronger and more active than the ones I get from the feed store. THey come from Texas, and the feed store ones are from New Mexico, but these were shipped by air, AND I picked them up shortly after arrival rather than waiting for them to be delivered. That would be at least another 6-7 hours delay. And it is my understanding that the NM chicks are 3 days in transit rather than 2. So I guess its no wonder that these chicks recovered from it faster.
Oh, when I got home from work, there were 2!!
small perfect green eggs in the nest box. Yay!
However, I soon noticed that one of the pullets,
Sisty Ugler was straining, and that she has a
prolapsed cloaca. I put her in a sink of warm
water until I was able to massage the impacted egg out, but I wasn't able to make the prolapsed tissue. She continued to strain off and on, and that pushed it out again. I knew the other chickens would peck it, the evil little buggers, so I put her in the small crate overnight.
I haven't decided yet whether to kill her this morning by myself or confine her all day and let DH do it tonight. We were going to eat a Barred Rock this weekend, but we will eat her instead. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Ideal Hatchery

I just got back from picking my my new chicks from the Buckeye Post Office. They are assorted straight run chicks from Ideal Hatchery in Texas and are all happy and healthy. Ideal threw in 3 extras, so I have 28, and it is going to be so much fun figuring out what breeds the chicks are. There seem to be at least 3 of each kind, and are at least 6 different kinds. So cute. They are all eating and drinking and cheeping and hopping and running, etc, etc.
I was going to put them out in the large airy chicken house right away, but after reading on chicken lists about people losing baby chicks to rats, and then this morning, to snakes, I changed my mind and put them in the brooder box on the front porch. It won't take them long to outgrow it, but at least they will be bigger and more able to run from danger when I move them. Perching would be a plus. I'll put in the practice perch tomorrow.
See my previous post about Privett. Ideal is proving to be the exact opposite. Every communication I have had with them has been prompt and informative, and I received one phone call from Ideal as to when the chicks would be shipped, along with emails from 2 different CSRs. Ideal also attached a note to the box for the post office to call me right away. So they have made a customer. Even with the small order charge and the postage, the chicks work out to be $1.16 apiece. Can't beat that. Granted, I will pay more when I pick the breed, but the service can't be beat.

Privett Hatchery

Here is a copy of what I emailed to Privett.
"You have lost me as a customer. I have gotten chicks from you twice through my local feed store and thought it was great to have you just in the next state. However, I have emailed you twice asking why 2 of my 10 Fayoumis are brown and gold, and you have not bothered to even acknowledge the question.
I have come to believe that you sent Golden Campines in with the Fayoumis, since I have no other information to go on. So it was either a careless mistake or a deliberate one, and neither is acceptable.
If anyone had bothered to answer and tell me that the brown do occur in Fayoumis things would be different, but that didn't happen."

Thursday, May 04, 2006

My front yard

Just as an aside, the round garden contained strawberries, and no, the pie tins did NOT protect them from the birds. I had to buy bird netting like people use on their fruit trees and weight it
do all around, then peel it back to look for strawberries. Boy, they were sure good.
Since then I have used the bird netting to cover the chicken yard and protect from hawks and owls.
Since I can only handle a few obsessions at a time, the gardening is definitely suffering now. But with putting in the fish pond, and cleaning the chicken coops, I am going to have so much organic fertilizer it would be a crime NOT to have an organic vegetable patch. Next, next. Just let us get the fish pond set up and going first. Posted by Picasa

Cool cool Kuku Kitty

This must be the coolest place in the house. Kuku sure seems to think so. Posted by Picasa

Whose blog is this, anyway?

One of my knitting group says she came across my blog and really liked the Avian Influenza rant, but she chided me for not writing in it more often. Well, I chide myself often enough for that already, thanks. If I ever get something better than this dial-up connection, I can sit down and write whenever I feel like it, instead of having to turn it off when I am not actively using it to avoid tying up the phone.
However, if I get a hi-speed connection, it is almost surely going to cost a whole lot more than the $9.95 per month I pay now. And I'm cheap. After all, it is our refusal to acquire and pay for all the extras in this modern society that enables us both to work part-time instead of spending all waking hours commuting and at work like most people our age. So, 6 of one.
I AM applying again, for an online customer service position, with the promise to buy hi-speed if they hire me. That would be 15 hours a week, and I would be able to quit the museum and discontinue driving into Buckeye 2-3 days a week. That would save 48-72 miles a week on the Liberty and 3-4 gallons of gas. Doesn't seem like much, but it all adds up.
I'm not worried about becoming a hermit and not knowing what goes on in the world. After all, I will still be knitting and teaching quilt classes at Cotton Fields. Hmmm, better get started filling out the form for the CSR job.

Monday, May 01, 2006

More Avian Influenza info

Thought you would be interested in this article from The Nation.
Avian Flu Over the Cuckoo's Nest
by Nicholas von Hoffman
Is it Mother Nature or Father Human Greed whom we have to blame for
avian flu?
A few days ago the Union of Concerned Scientists sent out an e-mail saying, "A
study by the international non-governmental organization GRAIN suggests
that avian influenza is spread primarily by the global poultry trade,
not migratory birds or free-range poultry operations as has been
suggested, and that confined factory farm production contributed to its
mutation into its current deadly form. The organization tracked the
movements of the disease over time and found that they were correlated,
not with migratory bird routes or the locations of free-range farms,
but with integrated trade networks involving poultry, eggs, meat,
feathers, manure and animal feed. US Department of Agriculture
Secretary Mike Johanns warned that bird flu will almost certainly come
to the United States."
An article on the website of the biodiversity agency Grain titled "Fowl Play: The Poultry
Industry's Central Role in the Bird Flu Crisis" is yet one more
reminder that things are not always as they tell us they are. Maybe the
migrating swallows and arctic terns are not carrying the H5N1 flu virus
after all, and why do we have to wait for the Union of Concerned
Scientists to hip us to the knowledge that the disease rarely occurs in
small family flocks but rather mostly in farm factories where chickens
are raised by the tens of thousands inside, under unsanitary and
debilitating conditions that make them soft prey for the virus. Overly
large, unregulated agribusiness is at it again.
All of this is but a new version of an old truth: There is no money, or
not enough money, in health. From a business point of view prevention
of disease or disability is a chump's game, whether you are talking
about Canadian geese, a Rhode Island red hen or a person. The big bucks
are in sickness. You can make money getting people sick by selling them
bad food and make more money selling them remedies for what you did to
So the same Grain article also brings the startling news that
"one of the standard ingredients in industrial chicken feed, and most
industrial animal feed, is 'poultry litter.' This is a euphemism for
whatever is found on the floor of the factory farms: fecal matter,
feathers, bedding, etc. Chicken meat, under the label 'animal byproduct
meal,' also goes into industrial chicken feed. The WHO (World Health
Organization) says that bird flu can survive in bird feces for up to 35
days and, in a recent update to its bird flu fact sheet, it mentions
feed as a possible medium for the spread of bird flu between farms.
Russian authorities pointed to feed as one of the main suspected
sources of an H5N1 outbreak at a large-scale factory farm in Kurgan
province, where 460,000 birds were killed. Yet globally, nothing is
being done to tighten regulations or monitoring of the feed industry.
Instead it often seems that the industry, not governments, is calling
the shots."
Thus the don't-fence-me-in, don't-regulate-me cowboys of the food
business may kill us by breeding sick chickens and may kill the
chickens by feeding them contaminated food--which, of course, they sell.
Yippeee-ay-yea, bring on the pandemic! But there is yet another way of
wringing legitimate profits out of this disease, which, if the most
pessimistic predictions turn out to be true, may cause one out of five
of us to turn up our toes and head for the great chicken factory in the
That other way is selling us expensive medicine that does not work in
case we come down with avian flu. The medicine in question is Tamiflu, which may cure Tamiflu but doesn't cure avian flu. Nevertheless, they can't make the stuff fast
enough. They are back-ordered into the next century.
If that were not fun enough, Grain has also discovered that Donald Rumsfeld is a major stockholder in Gilead Sciences, which licenses Tamiflu.
Whether or not Tamiflu is of the slightest use to avian flu sufferers,
it is of great profitability to the secretary of defense, since Gilead
is expected to make $118 million from Tamiflu sales this year. Somebody
has laid a big, fat egg here.
This article can be found on the web at:
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