Farming with Quarantine

So yesterday morning I felt fine.  And then we were doing chore, I was walking though a field after checking on the sheep, like I do every morning, and I was overcome with feelings of illness.  I felt dizzy, hot, shaking and nauseous all at once.  I made it to the barn and leaned against a wall waiting for Tom to come back in.  I kept him at a safe distance, told him my symptoms and what chores still needed doing.  I was having trouble staying standing.  I made it to the house, put out Lysol wipes and gloves and crawled to our guest bedroom/library upstairs.  When Tom was done with the chores he wiped down everything that I could have touch in the previous 24 hours.  And then he called me on my cell phone to create a plan.

Our plan was always been that if I got sick first (which is most likely) that he would go to our mountain trailer for quarantine.  We have a small house and only one tiny bathroom so isolating myself here would be very difficult.  And if I made Tom sick I could not forgive myself.

So he quickly packed up while I contacted my workmates and Employee Health.  I asked for him to bring me some food and water to see if that would help plus our thermometer.  I was asked to get testing for COVID-19 so I had to figure out how to arrange that.  Thankfully one of my co-workers Erin did a lot of research for me.  I had no fever.  I tested my sense of smell with a JP Patches air freshener, and I could smell it.

After Tom left (which was sad) I drove myself to the Acute Respiratory Clinic.  By this time I was also having muscle aches and chills.  No fever though but I have been taking indomethacin which could mask one.  And no cough or breathing problems.  I got tested, which took about 1 hour, then headed home.  I crashed on the couch and watched This Farming Life the rest of the evening.  I was able to eat a small amount but it did not taste good.  Then I went to bed.

I had trouble sleeping last night despite my complete exhaustion.  The feverishness and alternating chills were difficult.  I finally pulled myself out of bed at 8:00.  Just after that I got a text message and then a phone call that chicks I had ordered were ready for pickup.

So great!  I put clothes on and headed to the post office.  When I returned I headed out to the barn to get them situated.  Here are the older chicks.  There’s 4 of the Leghorn cross chicks and then only 10 left of the previous order.  I think they were chilled on shipping due to unseasonably cold weather.  And then we had issues with poopy butts and possibly coccidiosis.  We got that all sorted, and I decided last week to order more chicks.

And here are the new chicks in their mailing box.  I got them sorted out and there were no dead chicks this time.

Here they are starting to peck around.

And I spotted our exotic chick.

The older chicks were initially quite freaked out.

But then they started coming out of the corner checking out the new chicks.  Here are the size differences between the two orders.

And then they started commingling.  There was no fighting, so that was good.

I also spotted this chick with feathered legs.

Here is a video of the sounds that newly shipped chicks make on their arrival.  It is quite loud.

I was done sorting things out so was taking the empty box to the feed shed to throw it away.  I could barely hear a cheep sound that appeared to come from the box over all the cheeping that the chicks were done.  It turns out there was one chick under the bedding in the box.  I almost threw him away.  That was scary.

So after sorting that chick out, I did the rest of the animal chores.  It was a struggle doing them while feeling so crappy.  But I did it.  It has been raining  and cool here.  So yesterday just before I became ill I had moved the shorn sheep to a new pasture for grazing.  But we were thoughtful enough to open up the hog pen so they could access shelter if they wanted.

Finishing up the chores I did notice how pretty the crab apple near the barn is with all of its flowers.

I did check out grampa’s rain gauge.  This is all of the rain we have had in the last 20 days.  That is dry, especially for April.

I did notice a coyote howling loudly nearby.  I feel vulnerable not having Tom here and not having guard llamas anymore.  But we haven’t lost anything yet to coyotes but they do seem to be getting bolder.

So just now as I was typing this I received a phone call.  My COVID-19 results are negative.  So that is good news, for what it is worth.  Now I just need to get better.

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8 Responses to Farming with Quarantine

  1. Teresa says:

    So glad the test was negative; hope you feel better soon. The chicks are adorable!

  2. Jeanne says:

    What a relief, that your test was negative!! I’m so glad the tests are faster now. Now you must get better! You need to be well.

  3. I couldn’t hear the coyote. Will Tom come home now that you have negative test results? Kudos to you for having a plan in place!

    • Donna says:

      I had to turn it up to hear him. It was much louder in person, of course. Tom will probably stay away a few more days just to make sure I am not contagious. At this point I am just exhausted so taking things slowly and sleeping a lot. We had this plan in place in early March and were already stocking the trailer with extra food in case. It seemed inevitable that it would happen at some point And since my testing as negative it may happen again. I think everyone should have a plan in place, but hopefully others are less at risk for getting this than I am.

  4. FullyFleeced says:

    so glad for the negative covid test and hope you feel better soon- sounds like something hit you pretty hard.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Denise! It hit me suddenly and hard. Still completely wore out. The only times I have felt this are the times I have had influenza.

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