Our humble on-going project of getting the house ready to live in never fails to surprise. For those that don’t already know — Jim is disabled and after working an hour or two, he has to stop to rest. After a few of the necessary rest periods, he has to quit for the day. If he pushes too hard, he gets laid up for days, so to answer the question posed by a few folks — its taking a while to get everything done because of physical limitations. I have zero mechanical ability and poor Jim is a loveable gimp.
We planned on filling in the gaps between the boards of the ceilings first, but with the cold weather Jim thought we should check out the insulation. It seemed that the house kept getting cold rather quickly despite fixing all the holes in the exterior walls and sealing the windows. **sigh**
We crawled up there and discovered the planks held some trash and about 1/8 inch of dusty dirt, most of which kept leaking through the cracks between the planks into the house. We also discovered that the propanel metal sheets were nailed onto the roof beams without backing or sealing, so there are huge holes letting in the rain, snow and cold air.
We have an old house trailer that we have been stripping for materials (i.e., the kitchen cabinets). So we spent one day taking down the ceiling tiles, ripping out the plastic sheeting, and removing the insulation..
Early the next morning we carted the insulation to the house and coated the entire attic with the insulation. Since we plan on doing the roof this summer, we are not going to worry about all the excess “ventilation” right away. We have noticed a significant difference already. Now we plan on returning to the job of caulking all the gaps between all the planks in the ceiling, then painting.
Meanwhile, my “ladies” never fail to entertain me. Whenever one of my chickens is ill or injured, I utilize a cat carrier that is lined with straw and paper strips. I put the sickie in the carrier, bring it into the house, and they have a quiet corner with a food dish loaded with goodies and a water dispenser — all to themself. Usually the sickie spends one full day (a few rare times more than one day) and when they improve, they rejoin the colony outside.
Well, I recently tended to an injured rooster and a few days later I discovered one of my hens was limping. I watched her for a while, then checked her feet and legs to be sure. She seemed to be okay and I let her stay.
The next day when I went into the chicken run, this one hen took a few steps, flopped over and refused to move any further. I really got worried and went to check her. She cooed when I picked her up to inspect her legs and feet. I didn’t see anything wrong, put her back down and went to prepare the cat carrier despite not knowing what could be wrong.
Before returning I looked out the window and guess who was running, jumping and scurrying around for the scratch and dried worms with the rest of the ladies…. yep, you guessed it. My “wounded” lady was doing fine — until I went back outside and approached the chicken run. All of a sudden, she stopped, dropped and drooped her head while watching me closely.
I decided to leave her out there that day. The next day, sure enough, when she saw me, she was just pitiful. When I was out of view, she was doing just fine. No one ever told me that chickens could be drama queens!