Talk about a Barn Burner! A story of life and death.

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The heat “wave” in these parts is becoming unbearable.  Not even those lucky enough to have air conditioning are safe.  Crops are failing, the earth is soooooo dry.  We are outside with a hose everyday, trying to keep our plants alive long enough for the fall, because maybe then it will be cool enough for the tomatoes to set fruit.  It’s limping along, to put it nicely.  The heat is the prime topic of everyone’s conversation, especially those who have lived in these parts their whole lives.  Yesterday it hit between 108° F-110° F, reports vary.  Still, that’s the hottest temperatures this region has EVER seen.  Coming from the Central Valley of California, those temps aren’t too surprising, but I will agree with the locals, this isn’t supposed to happen here.

This morning, I went to take care of the chickens, feed them and bring them water.  I let out the birds, and I notice there aren’t as many.  I walk into the coop and see our red rooster dead and laying on the side of the laying boxes.  Hmmmm.  I look around and Peter, our turkin, is also missing.  At this point I panic.  Did something get into the coop?  Where are the other bodies?!  I walk back and find Paul and tell him about what I saw and didn’t see.

“Oh, yeah.  There were six dead chickens yesterday, probably from the heat.”

This damn heat.  Those poor chickens!  My beloved Peter.

The baby chickens, about a dozen have hatched and have been moved into their own home.  We have lost two due to heat or pecking, I’m not sure, but there are ten now.  We’ll have to take a recount at the end of the day.  Yesterday the kids pointed out to me that one of the baby chicks had the bald neck, “It’s a Turkin!” they said.  When I saw it, I felt tremendous joy.  I looked over at Peter in his separate coop and told him congratulations!  “You’re a father!”  It pains me to write about his death today.  He was one of two birds in our flock that I said we’d feed until they died because we all were so fond of them.  Here is a link of how he entered our lives.  It was such a neat story, scroll down to the entry titled “Crazy Freak Weather”.  R.I.P. Peter.  Hopefully your child is also a male.

Today there is cloud cover, and there were some raindrops, maybe ten.  Just enough to say yeah, remember this wet stuff that falls from the sky?  Well, I’m going over here, I’m not playing with you today.  We’ll see.

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11 responses »

  1. Have you tried cooling the birds with a spray from the hose? I used to do that and they were quite insulted at the time, but it really cooled the down. It’s actually pretty funny to watch!

  2. so sorry about your flock and Peter in general.
    you may want to try to hook up a fan to keep the air moving near their hen house. closing it up at night makes it safe but also a major HOT HOUSE.
    i realize that wouldn’t be easy, but it could save your flock.
    hit 114 here in the LR area, just to hot to even go out and get the mail, have the house set at 85 and the upstairs is OFF

  3. What a tough year to start out up there! I just want to give a shout out and a little encouragement, I think you guys are amazing. -Vita

  4. Wow, Amanda — I finally find your blog (took some doing, even with the addie), only to read this. I’m so sorry. This life thing is not for sissies, is it. Snakes, death, the Hades that is this weather . . . . Anyway I’m gonna subscribe-up, so I can keep track of what you’re doing. Too hot to stick my head out and actually *look* . . . . –Anita

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