Above and beyond above and beyond.

You know, we still haven’t fixed that pop door. It just hasn’t risen to the top of the list yet, especially as snow has rendered the passage from the run unusable for much of the winter. It’s not that big of a deal; the girls wait for me to open the inner coop door in the morning. Until I do, however, they don’t have much in the way of light. They have food, but the heated water dish is in the showroom.

It’s not ideal, but it works. Some mornings, I wake them up on the roost. Others. like today, I sleep in a bit, and I open the inner coop door to some very impatient hens. Now that days are getting longer, I’ll find eggs already laid when I get there, or hens bursting out of the door, running for their favourite nests.

A Barred Rock with a straight comb (Maisie) rushed past me this morning and into the Not a Tennis Racket Nest, which is Maisie’s go-to nest. Nothing to see there.

I went back a while later to collect the egg, surmising that she’d have laid it quickly, and she had. I reached under her and found this:


Ruh roh. Blood on eggs is not unusual, especially for new layers, but I thought this to be rather a lot for an experienced girl like Maisie, even for an egg just shy of a jumbo, like this one. I picked her up and turned her butt to the window. There was no blood around the vent, so I decided to stand down red alert. So to speak.

What did concern me was how pale her comb was. That was cause for concern, especially as she’d just laid. I took her out to to have some treats, but she wasn’t having it. She flapped a lot, as Maisie does.

And that’s when I finally figured out that it wasn’t Maisie.

Abby, who laid while all the other 1.0s were off duty in November and December, who only began to molt at the beginning of January, who looks like a ragamuffin because her feathers haven’t yet regrown, whose comb is so pale and small that it isn’t even leaning left, as it does in full bloom, but sticking straight up like her sister’s, who has been squatting for me for a week, much to my bemusement…is back.

And with an-almost jumbo first egg back. No wonder she bled.

Will someone get this girl a medal, already?!


8 thoughts on “Above and beyond above and beyond.

  1. Hey there.. I just had to let you know something completely heart-wrenching took place at our farm on Monday morning at 1:30 am. Our entire barn and all the animals in it perished. My heart is breaking. I can’t breathe. I can’t sleep.

    You have been a big part in my life. Whether you know it or not. I just thought I should tell you.

      • I have no idea. My in laws started screaming our names at 1:30 “The barn is on fire!” We jumped out of bed and raced to see. The barn.. It was completely ablaze. Not even an ounce of wood not on fire. We lost 2 sheep, 4 turkeys, 100+ chickens, 6 ducks, 4 geese and our precious livestock guardian dog Clementine. Everything is gone. All of our love. All of our pets. I have never heard our farm so silent.

        We happened to have 14 chicks in the basement that we had planned to move to the barn on Sunday but we were exhausted from building our breeding pens and put it off for another day. We have nothing to house them in. We are just heartbroken and lost. We have insurance on the barn itself, but not the animals. We had many, many breeds that are endangered. Now they are gone. I just can’t stop crying. It hurts to breathe. The community on facebook has come together and started a donation fund for a temporary coop for our precious babies who are left without a home.. We have just spent everything we had on building the breeding pens and paying for all the feed a month in advance because of a huge snowstorm that happened this weekend – making it hard to get feed down to the barn. I just am at a loss. My babies.. My poor babies…

      • I am so sick for you. I wish I could give you a hug. Your poor babies. I have already posted a link to your donate button on my facebook page; may I blog your story as well?

        Money won’t begin to touch your loss, but it can help you start again. I’m so very sorry; I’ve never met you, yet I consider you a good friend…

      • That would be very nice. I would really appreciate it. All the support is so greatly needed.

        I would love for you to explain to others how extension cords are such a high fire risk.. as well as dust.. dust + outlets is a very bad combo. I would have never known. Honestly people keep saying at least it didn’t get your house. I would have rather have lost all of my possessions than my poor babies. :( Thank you for your kind words. I am rebuilding. I am not giving up. I love this too much to let it go.

      • Oh God, we have so many extension cords! I don’t know how I’ll sleep tonight. Writing a post now, and have just posted the info to my heritage turkey group…

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