11 December 2007

Trouble in the hen house

As if to illustrate the point I made yesterday about life not always being easy, just after I finished my post I heard a ruckus in the hen house. The dogs and I ran out there but a stray dog had somehow got into the backyard and already killed one chook and injured another, one was missing. Hanno came out soon after, caught the dog and locked it in our shed. I picked up big Martha, one of the Rhode Island red girls, and put her on a soft nest to recover. All the other chooks where terrified and up on the roost and nests. We found the other chook later, hiding in the vegetable garden. Hanno looked after the stray during the day - he feed and watered the little dog and combed the burrs out of his coat. The dog handler from the council came yesterday afternoon to collect the stray. I've just been outside to check on the Martha and take these photos and things don't look good for her. I wouldn't be surprised if she dies of delayed shock or an infection from the wounds. We've cleaned her up but dog bites are notorious for causing bad infections. I'm going to cover her with a clean cloth soon so the flies don't cause more problems for her today.

This is Martha on the right, you can see the missing feathers on her back, Cocobelle is the black girl standing guard and Mary is sitting on her eggs on the left.

I candled the eggs under Mary yesterday and I don't think any of them are developing. I'm no expert at candling, in fact this is the first time I've done it, so I haven't given up hope. Mary is still happily sitting on her little treasures so I hope all is well.

The tomatoes in the soil garden are growing incredibly well this year. We have tomatoes everywhere. If they all produce to their promise, I'll have a stockpile cupboard bursting at the seams with sauce, relish and diced tomatoes in February.

We've been very busy at work these past few weeks. Our town is incredibly supportive of the work we do and at the moment we're collecting toys, books, fairy dresses, CDs, sports equipment and lots of other gifts for our disadvantaged kids. We're also organising food hampers full of ham and Christmas food for their parents, and while all this food comes pouring in, and we do it up in festive hampers, we're flat out every day at work. I've also been ringing our local businesses asking for donations for our free Christmas breakfast. It does me good to experience the generosity and kindness of the people here. Almost every time I make a phone call, the response is: "sure, how much do you need!" Of course, it's all put together by the volunteers at the Centre and presented with personalised cards for all the girls and boys, and their parents. I am thankful that I share my days with these people.

I'll be at work again today and in the midst of this busy day to come my visitor counter will probably tick over to the 100,000 mark. I am really pleased with the little community we've all built here. It's not just me, it's also all the people who comment who make this blog what it is. The comments add so much that is thoughtful, friendly and caring, and also lets me know that I'm not just whistling in the wind when I type everyday. Thank you all for visiting and for adding your mark to this little space on the www. I'm looking forward to your next 100,000 visits.

8.05am update: Martha is dead. : (
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