Monday, November 5, 2012

NSO, Chicken Review & Snipped

There's actually not much to review in my latest No Spend Month.  October was officially a bomb.

Between vehicle and homestead equipment expenses, weak-willed trips past the take-out pizza joint,  kid clothing and Halloween candy, it ended up being a pretty spendy No Spend October.  I even gave up tallying the cash outlays after the second week.

So I failed, and pretty miserably at that.  But you know what?  There's always next month.  Or the next, next month.  January sounds like a good time to try again.  There's no way I can even pretend to not spend money during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons.  Not that I'll be looking to bust the bank or anything, but let's be realistic.  Although I could possibly kill a wild turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, those French's Fried Onions required for the obligatory Green Bean Casserole just ain't gonn'a pop up in my garden.  And last time I checked, my non-existent mushroom log was still pretty much non-existent and we have to have homemade cream of mushroom soup with Christmas dinner.  A grocery-shopping I will go.

On the livestock front......most of the Creepy Meats are still with us.  But we were down by two before I even started butchering on Sunday.  The first one drowned a few weeks ago because of my stupidity and I went to feed the birds a last week and found another one of them dead.  Not picked at, not decapitated by a hungry opossum, just dead.  I have to get the remaining seventeen birds butchered ASAP.  They are over nine weeks old now, they won't be getting much bigger and I'm sick of spending ten bucks for each fifty pound bag of feed....that they go through in about five days.

I also found one of my homegrown chicks laying by the corner of the barn.  Dead.  And I guess it happened just before I went in the goat / chicken pen as it was still warm and very flexible.  No peck marks, no feathers missing.  Just dead.  That same evening while I was milking, Rhiannon came up to me with a chick in her hands.  As they are usually very spry and mobile, I was surprised that Rhiannon actually caught one.  But when she gave it to me, it was in no mood to flap or run away, it just looked really, really tired.  I put it in a small pen with food and water.  Then next day, it was dead.  Of course, the two deceased homegrown chicks were hens; I'm going to end up with a dozen stinking roosters.  I hope that there's not some chicken pandemic going on in our barnyard.  I don't even know how to treat them as I'm don't know why they are keeling over.  If anymore of them die, I may do an autopsy in an attempt to see what the problem is.

On a happier note, guess who showed up on Sunday afternoon?

Wallace came back for a visit!  Well, most of him anyhow.  What do I mean by "most" of him?  He had been relieved of his, uhm, manly package and was sporting a new collar with a rabies tag on it!  I'm so glad that he's fixed now.  I was going to bite the bullet and take him to the vet the next time he stayed for a visit, but he hadn't been around for a while.  His fur also seemed a little softer.  The neighbor about a half-mile up the road mentioned occasionally seeing him and feeding him, so I'll have to inquire if it was he that took him to the vet or if his "owner" finally realized that it's irresponsible to let your dog wander without an ID and ultra-irresponsible to let your intact dog wander the county.

Wallace only stayed for a few hours, following me for evening barn chores, running around with Rhiannon and chewing on one of the numerous bones in the yard.  I was happy to see him, and even happier to see less of a particular part of him.


  1. Wallace...has avery nice face.
    Dead birds...are apain in the arse
    No Spending...never easy but when you "fail" the other economy gets a little boost
    It's all good. Funny post

  2. I laugh everytime I see you write "Creepy Meats" LOL! I do hope you find out what's ailing your chickens, that's got to be frustrating. Yay for Wallace!

  3. Cocciodiosis????? I lost a bunch of chicks to it one time... fine one day, dying the next.

    Love the picture of Wallace, happy without his ... err... manliness!

  4. Regarding the no spending, the best laid plans and all. No matter how hard we try, $$$ seems to fly out of our wallets for one necessary thing or another. But certain times of the year make no spending easier than others. The holiday season is NOT one of those easy times!

    Sorry to hear of your chicken fatalities. There's probably no dread disease rampaging through your homestead. So often these things do seem to come in clumps, and then disappear ne'er to happen again. (Until the next time.) Especially with little chicks, ducklings, goslings, etc.

    Wallace has developed some bad habits (roaming) that will shorten his happy-go-lucky vagabond life. Hope somebody starts to take better care of him.

    Those creepy meats are becoming very expensive sources of homegrown dinners. Get thee (or them rather) to the butcher!

  5. I agree with Mary Ann sounds like you have something going on to lose that many so close together, but if you are ready to butcher some don't know if you want to medicate them all now. Time to do some research. January sounds like a good no spend time, forget November and December.

  6. Try putting some apple cider vinegar in the chicks water. Not much. We had some of our chicks keel over for no apparent reason and tried the more dead chickies. No guarantees, but it could help.

    Creepy meats~could you imagine THAT on a meat package in the store? hehe...

    Wallace seems much happier now that he's traveling a little lighter...;)

  7. I totally bombed NSO also... Oy vay, it was just totally pathetic! I got lucky this year about November. Hubby and I usually host Thanksgiving at our house, and since I generally hate all the food his family brings over, I end up making everything. And it gets pricey! BUT this year, we are GOING OUT. Yes, I know that totally contradicts everything the holiday is supposed to be about, but I don't care. Instead of spending 200-300 bucks on dinner and working my arse off for days, we get to spend 50 bucks and actually enjoy the day. Sounds like a win to me!

    Sorry about your chickens. As I consider myself a chicken novice still, I have no clue what is going on...

    Wallace the Community dog! Love him! If we had one of those in the city, I am sure it would be dead...

  8. Creepy meats, a phrase that seems to stick around, lol

    Sorry to hear about the loss of more chicks. The apple cide vinegar in the water is a thought.

    Wallace is an adorable dog, I'm happy to hear someone took control of the situation, lol

  9. Carolyn~ Spray Rhiannon and yourself with bug spray before you go outside!!! Chickens die from west nile virus! It's still warm and buggy here and I'm sure it's the same in MO. I hope you don't lose anymore birds and that it's not the west nile!
    I'm still not blogging, and this is the first comment I have made in a week but I have been keeping up with everyones posts! I think I'm a blogger junkie LOL!!!!

  10. Ten bucks for each fifty pound bag of feed? That's cheap compared to here! Do you worm your chickens? I lost several then put them on a all natural wormer, no more sick/dead chickens...

    Cute dog...

  11. I hope you solve the dead chickie mystery, that has to be a bummer. Better get the Creepy Meats butchered soon or they will eat you out of house and home! Yikes!! I'm glad someone is taking care of Wallace. He doesn't look too concerned about his missing parts! LOL!!

  12. Donna, you going all "poetry" on us? :)

    Erin, I can't take credit for the "Creepy Meats", I believe it was Ohio Farm Girl who started it.

    Mary Ann, I'll have to look up Cocciodiosis; I've heard about it, but really don't know the symptoms.

    Mama Pea, you do have a point about everyone keeling over at once....really gives the homesteader a complex. And as for the creepy meats...their time is very limited.

    Tombstone, I think I'll try a NSJ. Although it doesn't have the same ring as "NSO".

    Kim, I put out some ACV just last night, hopefully it helps, even if only the healthier birds.

    Tiny, The Holidays are supposed to be about spending time with your FAMILY (or just significant other), there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with going out for dinner instead of slaving over the kitchen all day and spending buco bucks on food! As much as I enjoy the family togetherness, an occasional Holiday Dinner OUT sounds fantastic!! Enjoy :)

    Sandy, Yeah, I'm glad someone went and took care of him, although I do feel a bit guilty for not doing it myself sooner.

    Kelly, you've broken your blogging sabbatical?! I'll have to see if WNV has any particular symptoms or if I can see anything with an autopsy.

    Nancy, the $10 bag isn't "chicken" feed, it's just a 10% custom mix from the local feed store. I supplement with whey, milk, scraps, etc. to up the protein count. If I bought a "real" chicken crumbles, it's about $12.99.

    Candy, Wallace seemed perfectly fine & happy!!