Surprise Birthday Present!
Today is my birthday. I’m now the ripe old age of 26.
To be honest it wasn’t a very great birthday. The girls have been sick with a cold and Ada hasn’t slept more than two hours in the past three days. I am totally exhausted, like to the point of being non-functional.
When I went out to check on our chicks this morning something had eaten the skin off of the head of one chick. The poor little thing was still alive, but it had a bare skull. The rest of its body was unharmed. Disturbing and sad. I held it for several hours this morning to keep it warm while it died. I thought about putting it out of its misery but then I didn’t really know how to easily do that. It was still peeping and trying to open its eyes and move around.
What is really creepy is that the same thing happened to another chick the night before. There’s a serial chick killer! It scalps my chicks!
The chicks are in the garage with two Silkie hens brooding them. The garage door is closed, and I know the Silkies didn’t do that to their own babies because they are very protective and loving mamas.
When I called my mom to tell her about it she suggested that it could be crickets. My garage is infested with these freaky monster crickets. They’re called camel crickets, or cave crickets. They’re huge, the size of a man’s thumb, and they have humped backs. They even have toes. There are so many of them in the garage. They only come out at night. If you go in there in the dark the floor is just solid with them. They are on the walls too. Chickens sleep very soundly in the dark, so it’s possible that these disgusting creepy freak monster crickets could sneak into the nest and eat a chick.
Since the broody hens have been in the garage I’ve been closing the door, thus trapping the cricket population inside without food. Before this the door was always ajar because it doesn’t latch well. I already knew that it’s not safe to leave crickets overnight in the lizard cage because they will eat the lizard. I guess they eat chicks too.
My mom suggested I put up lights over the nest so that the crickets are deterred. My garage is lit up like a Christmas tree tonight. I went in there earlier, after dark, and I didn’t see a single cricket. Fingers crossed they don’t murder anymore of my fluffies tonight. :(
On top of that tragedy, I must have eaten something wrong by accident because my intestines had that awful flaming sensation brewing inside of them today.
I found out that I am extremely allergic to rye–did I ever write about that? The testing also showed I’m allergic to pistachios, which are easy to avoid. Unfortunately it’s hard to avoid rye because of cross contamination. Really annoying. I must have accidentally eaten some rye hidden in bakery goods (like crumbs on it by accident or mixed in the wheat flour) because eating rye gives me liquid fire in my lower abdomen the following day, plus my mouth feels irritated and swollen, and my nose is extremely stuffy.
I’m glad I figured out what causes it, I just wish it was easier to avoid. (I’m also lactose intolerant, which isn’t as big of a deal to me as the stupid rye allergy.)
Randomly I am not allergic to any other grains even though they are closely related. Just rye. Not gluten, or wheat. My body hates rye!
Anyway, I spent the day feeling like crap and doing nothing. My kids were grumpy from being sick and tired. Tyler had to be at work early. My house is a mess. My intestines were too angry to even eat birthday cake or go to birthday dinner with my parents. How sad.
Tomorrow will be a better day, right? Right.
I was feeling rather sorry for myself and considering a lame pity party until I went outside this afternoon to water the birds and the garden. I heard this huge commotion and suddenly my duck June came marching out from her hidden nest way back under the chicken coop. She quack honks so loudly when she comes out. I think she likes to announce her presence.
She had four ducklings following her!
I couldn’t believe it. She’s been hiding under the chicken coop on and off for months but nothing has ever happened. I was beginning to wonder what she was doing under there.
Benny and June made adorable babies! Squee!
She hatched ducklings ON MY BIRTHDAY! Of all days!
All the chickens were staring at the ducklings as if they were thinking, “What the heck are those things?”
Here they are trying food and water for the first time. Well they didn’t try it so much as just look at it.
Watching their daddy duck eat:
“Hey guys, what is this wet stuff?”
Warning me to scoot back from her babies. Shocking, she’s usually very tame and will eat from your hand.
Don’t mess with Mama Duck, huh?
Oh, hello there! See how tiny they are?
I love it when ducks peer upwards with one eye. (Especially when they all do it in unison.)
Ah, they are so cute. It’s nearly unbearable. I just love ducks.
I’m thrilled to have surprise birthday ducklings!
They totally made my day better.