As I have mentioned before, the chicks are outgrowing their pen. But we have bald eagles eating our chickens. Here are the chicks in their pen.
So Tom went out to find netting for the “pheasant pen”. In the past we could get used fishing nets for relatively cheap in Anacortes. But the company we used is no longer in business. So after a search, Tom ended up purchasing bird netting from Hardware Sales in Bellingham. So yesterday morning Tom set it up before the worst of the heat set in.
So this morning, the plan was to move the chicks to their new pen. But Tom didn’t have enough netting to cover the fence panels so there were holes that the smaller chicks could easily get out. So I decided just to move the larger chicks in for now. That would decrease the crowding in the original pen. I was hoping it would help with the heat too with less crowding. Unfortunately I got home late from work this morning so it was already starting to heat up.
So I moved 12 of the larger birds to the new pen after getting the shavings down and food and water moved. They immediately escaped through the fence holes so we had to recatch them and point out the nice shed with food and water. Then they seemed to stay put, panting due to the heat and exertion.
At this point I remembered that the donkeys still needed hay. I walked to the hay barn and started feeling really dizzy with palpitations and shortness of breath. I had to sit down where I was. This happened despite the fact that I had sprayed myself with cold water and was drinking electrolyte solution. Fortunately I found a brick to sit on, and there was shade. The sheep came over to check on me.
I thought maybe they were concerned about me, but actually I think they just wanted petting.
I kept calling for Tom out as I couldn’t stand up. Here is my view while I waited.
Tom found me after about 15-20 minutes. I was able to hold onto him to get back to the house. I sat for a while, drinking fluids until I could stand long enough to take a cool shower. Then I felt better. I ate lunch and then headed to our air-conditioned bedroom to try to sleep.
But just as I was falling asleep I woke to an intermittent alarm. It took me a bit to figure out what it was, but I finally sorted out that it was the weather station that I got for Christmas (thanks Mom and Al!). Apparently I had stupidly set it to alarm when the temperature reach 0 and 100 degrees. I did manage to reset that, but I was so awake I couldn’t go back to sleep. The outdoor probe for this is on our back porch on the north side of our house so I think it is fairly accurate. So quite hot.
I am hanging out in the somewhat air conditioned house until it cools a little. Then I will go out again and check on the plants and animals.
In sad news, I did check on the bees a couple of days ago. It appears that my queen died and what I have left is Laying Workers. So my hive is basically dead.
I am not sure if I will try it again or not.
Now I am watching the Olympic Track and Field trials from Eugene. They were using ice vest to cool their core temperatures before competing. I need an ice vest!
This evening at 9:30, when it got down to 85 degrees, I went to check on the plants and animals. The plants seemed OK. But I found one of the chicks I had moved was dead, and another obviously with heat stress. I dunked her in cool water, but she didn’t improve much. So I brought her into the house to the bathtub to cool her off more. Doubt she will make it. I forgot to mention that one of our older Araucana hens was dead in the barn this morning. And my older black ewe Jet is huffing hard. This heat is taking its toll, and I am not sure what more I can do. And it is supposed to be much worse tomorrow.