Phil, my favorite rooster, passed away last week. He was fine, then one day he was a little sluggish, and the next day he died. Fortunately I was out doing barn chores and saw him go down, so I did get to hold him and say goodbye and comfort him in his last few minutes. I'm still heartbroken, and I will miss him trotting across the yard and following me like a puppy. He was an amazing bird and I openly admit, I ugly cried. Yes, he's "just a chicken" but he was my favorite, and he had the best personality.
The big date with the processing place was yesterday. I ended up taking four roosters and four drakes to be processed. All four of the ducks are ones we hatched this spring, none had names. The four roosters were Big Red (because he attacked me - twice), and three that we hatched this spring (Greasy, Spike, and Trump-bird). I know this is part of farming, and that it is the right choice to prevent fighting with too many males next spring. I know they were raised with love and have been well cared for. I know they had a good life, even if it was short. I know they will feed my family and be nutritious (and hopefully delicious). That still doesn't make me feel better about sending them to their deaths. I will especially miss Trump-bird. He was always the first bird out of the barn. When I opened the top part of the gate he'd jump up onto the bottom gate and fly over before I could open the bottom gate for all the other birds to come out. He wasn't a pretty bird, but he was unique.
We go back to pick up our frozen birds on Monday. We've never eaten duck before, so that will be new. Anyone have any really good duck recipes?
We have two heavily pregnant cats in the house. Zombie is due around the 4th of December and the kittens should be Netherquartz's (from before he was neutered). Floki is due around the same time, but nobody witnessed any action, so we'll have to see if her babies have fur (Netherquartz) or not (Henry). Once Zom has her babies we can schedule her for her big surgery. She will be spayed and have all of her teeth pulled. Her last vet appointment (10/31/18) she was diagnosed with feline oral resorptive lesions, which basically means her body is trying to reabsorb her teeth. Treatment involves surgically removing the teeth to prevent further dental disease, and putting her on a soft diet for the rest of her life. The antibiotic run for her bladder infection didn't work either. She was on ten days of antibiotics, then she had blood in her urine again, so I put her on another ten day antibiotic cycle that she just finished two days ago, but her urine is still tinted. As soon as she has babies I'll schedule another follow up. The vet isn't going to want to deal with her while she's pregnant, and I don't want to stress her any more than necessary this close to her due date.
I'm still waiting on a few items to come in the mail, but all of my Christmas and birthday shopping is done now. I even remembered to order a new UVB bulb for Minnow (our turtle).
December should be exciting and exhausting. I have gifts to wrap, birthday parties to plan, Christmas and New Year's to balance between both sides of the family, and one more seed swap (the Secret Santa one) to get sent off. The big seed swap should be coming back in January (sent it off earlier this month), and once all the seeds are back and sorted out, we can start figuring out what we will be growing in the garden for 2019. Winter-sowing can start as early as January.