Archives for category: Personal

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First attempt at spinning with a drop spindle went surprisingly well. Yarn lumpy as tapioca, but I was pleasantly surprised to get any yarn at all on a first go. I’m sure it will just take practice.

It’s amazing what you can learn off of YouTube.

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Three weeks old today!

As of 6am everybody alive, but one clearly ailing. I feel like the body collector from Monty Python.

“I’m not dead yet!”
“Ya will be in a minute!”
*sigh*

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Somewhere between 6:30 and 10am he expired.

Even more sure it’s a vitamin deficiency, most likely Vitamin A (the symptoms are right). Followed package directions (two continuous days per week) and the next day, yesterday, one looked sick & drowsy. Put them back on the electrolyte/vitamin mix in the water, but it was too late. Lost him/her in the night, and there’s another that looks like it’s going to go within the next day.

Now I’ve doubled the regular vitamin amount and am going to continue with it for the next two weeks. At this rate I’m wondering if I’ll have any left to take to the slaughterhouse.

Looking around online I understand it’s very common to have a steep learning curve and high mortality with Cornish the first time you raise them. It’s just depressing.

New feeder set-up:
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More space, higher elevation and much more difficult to tip over.

When I went to turn on the lights this morning at 5:30, I discovered that the space heater I was using to heat the isolation unit had died.  The fan part was still working, but no heat, so the poor little bird was huddled as far back as it could get, fluffed up and obviously unhappy.  I had to put it back under the heat lamp in the main pen as I had no other way of heating the isolation cage.  Sadly it expired a few hours later.

I really really really hope that was the last case of chills + malnutrition.  None of the others are showing any symptoms.  They’re all very active.  This has been a brutal learning curve.

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Brian’s been away for a few days. He was amazed at how much they’ve grown since he left.

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They’re also very scruffy, and likely to get worse before getting better on that count. They’re in the process of losing down and growing feathers, and it’s much like a kid hitting a growth spurt – awkward.

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Everybody still alive today, even one I was particularly worried about. It’s noticeably smaller and less active than its peers. I’ve rigged up an isolation unit for it as getting run over by its buddies certainly wasn’t helping.
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Now at least it’s got easy, direct access to food & water. It hasn’t moved since I put it in there, but I did manage to get some water/vitamins down its throat, and it’s standing up & opens its eyes to look at me when I go near.

It’s amazing the difference the electrolyte/vitamin mix has made in the other chicks already. WAY more energy. I fear they were literally being malnourished.  Combined with chilling, I can see how they simply wouldn’t have had the strength to keep going.

I wish my stupid noob mistakes hadn’t cost so many lives, but I’m hopeful that the problem may have been resolved now.

Ugh, three more dead this morning.

What am I doing wrong???!!!!

It’s like they just wind down and give up. They become lethargic and wobbly on their feet and then croak over the course of 24 hours. I don’t see blood in the stool, so I don’t think it’s cocci, and their vents are clear. Some kind of bacterial infection, maybe?

This is not a good first experience.
Broilers never again.
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I’ve lowered the light to give them a bit more heat. They seem to be appreciating. Our thermometer got broken early on, just replaced it today and found that the brooder was cooler than it ought to be.

Have also started adding an electrolyte/vitamin mix to the water. The feed we are using was supposed to be complete with all the necessary vitamins but at this point I’m not at all sure I believe it.
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Unfortunately the landlord has kiboshed the hydrogarden.

In the mean-time have downsized. One mini bubbler of mugwort, three dirt-plants (mint, aloe & Xmas cactus), and one flourescent light & reflectors. Set by window to capitalize on what feeble winter sunlight there is.

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Also experimenting with willow wands to see if I can get them to root.
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Happened to be in Calgary for a few days this week. Being gloriously myself for a morning, I made a b-line for the Aerospace Museum.

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After a long hiatus for… reasons… Gnomeland got back in the game today.  Not in a huge way, but we’ve got a system going.  Two rubbermaid DWC systems, 8 plant sites each.  3 high output T5s.  Planting tonight after the new moon.  Stay tuned for updates.  🙂