Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Soooo many mouths to feed...

So I tallied up the number of animals we have now. 

It's ridiculous.

It came to EIGHTY-TWO!!!! That includes ducks, chickens, quail, guinea fowl, turkeys, pot-bellied pigs, cats, ponies and a geriatric dog. 33 of those animals were rescues. The rest are ducks, chickens and guinea fowl. Five chickens, two quail, and two turkeys were adopted through the Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry OSPCA.

Let's just say that Homestead Organics loves us and it's a good thing Gordon's law practice is doing well.

The pig pen is now fully insulated and the electrician installed a nice little heater. We won't be cranking it up to Miami Beach temperatures, but we can now keep the air temp above freezing, which will be better for the pot-bellies, who can't take as much cold as a regular farm pig. Well, they can survive it but they won't be happy. 

It was suppertime!

Meanwhile, Esme and Finney are doing very well.

The farrier came to trim their hooves last week. Esme was great, Finney was an ass, but we got the job done. We are working on teaching Finney manners. He's sweet-natured but young and naughty. He was gelded at the end of September. He's a bit nippy and mouthy so I'm working with him on that, and also leading him (and Esme) around and teaching "walk" and "whoa", as we would love to have them as a driving team some day!

Fortunately I have quite a few friends around here who are experienced with horses and giving me lots of help and advice.

Esme is absolutely the sweetest. She is blind in one eye, probably due to uveitis (moon blindness.) Unfortunately this can recur and apparently has. I had the vet in last Friday to check her over and he gave me some ointment for her eye, which does seem to be helping.

Esme probably had laminitis at some point, too. We are going to make sure their hooves are well looked-after!

Speaking of eyes, I am sad to report that our 15-year-old kitty Julius has apparently gone mostly blind...

We noticed his pupils were suddenly dilated all the time, so I took him to the vet the week before last. We're still not entirely sure what's going on. His blood pressure is a little elevated, which could be the cause. He has been on meds for diminished kidney function for a year or so. His function has worsened a tiny bit in that year. The high BP could be causing the blindness, but the vet doesn't want to lower it and thus lower blood flow to the kidneys. Better a blind cat than a cat in end-stage renal failure.

And because this sort of blindness can be a symptom of toxoplasmosis, he tested Julius for that. His levels were very high, so he's now getting antibiotics for a month like Missy did. (We lost our barn cat Lionel to toxo about ten days after adopting him this fall.)  Apparently we're toxoplasmosis central around here! Many cats carry it and have no symptoms or problems, and a high reading is, as my vet said, "suggestive of an issue but not diagnostic of such." Julius is an indoor cat who's never had contact with Missy or Lionel. Regardless, he's on antibiotics and will have another blood test when they're done.

I also have steroidal eye drops for him that I'm putting in twice a day, but it looks like this condition is not going to reverse itself. We're sad for Julius but he's already adapting really well. Incredible, really! He's handling it much better than we are.

Speaking of dilated pupils, my friend Inari pointed out the similarities between Puss in Boots...

...and Redford.

Absolutely amazing! Redford's pupils are dilated because it's dimly lit in the barn at night.

Oh, and for people who think I spent 16 hours a day caring for animals, it's actually not so bad. I probably spend an hour  to 90 minutes a day feeding the barn crew, mucking out the pony stalls, and scrubbing buckets for the ducks, chickens and pigs's water. Any other time I spend with the animals is just fun. :) Because I work at home and for myself, I can structure my time the way I want, so it works great for me. I would like some barn help at some point, though. Dang, I knew I should have had kids... ;)

Hope you are all having a great evening. Thank you for all the lovely comments you leave me! They make me smile whenever I read them.

Snowstorm on the way. We may get up to a foot. We'll see if it fizzles out or if Environment Canada is right for a change!

PS Okay, I will 'fess up. I like cleaning manure out of pony stalls. It is immensely satisfying!


  1. 82? That's a zoo. :-) Also requires a darn good vet clinic on speed dial.

    Poor Julius...My boys are sending him purrs, for his Highest Good.

    BTW, if I had that many to care for, it *would* take me 16 hours a day. LOL.

    Oh, and personally, I'm hoping it's a miss with Environment Canada. Or, you can keep it, let it miss us. LOL

    1. We are, fortunately, friends with our vet for the regular animals. Time to get buddy-buddy with the farm vet, too! LOL

  2. We laughed like Kim at 82 too. You guys are awesome!!

    Julie and Poppy Q

    1. Awww thank you! Half the people think we're awesome, half the people think we're clinically insane! :)

  3. I had a dog once who went blind from cataracts. I just never rearranged the furniture.

  4. We've had blind cats..they do well as long as there are few changes to the environment...they adapt better than we do.
    Kisses for them all (how long will they take to deliver?!)
    Jane x

  5. Feeding that crew must keep you busy most of the day.

  6. Now how could any pig be unhappy with their very own piggy Christmas lights :)

  7. Sixteen hours a day caring for animals would be like heaven for me.
    I've had blind kitties too and they do adapt rather well.
    Meal times must be monitored to be sure the blind kitty actually gets and eats his food and the food is not eaten by some stealthy other cat.
    Maybe you could build a lovely small cottage on your farm and entice a nice vet to exchange his services for rent.

  8. I'm so sorry about Julius. I applaud all your efforts to keep him healthy and comfortable.

  9. Give a big hug and paws to Julius from us. Hey, and what about the bees you forgot to count?

  10. We're sad to hear Julius has lost his sight. Blind kitties do fine inside--just don't move the furniture around!

    I loved your last comment. I used to clean the FIV+ house at a no kill shelter. It gave me immense satisfaction when I was done. Fed kitties, clean building and fresh bedding. What more could the kitties ask for except a forever home?

  11. I just love reading about your animals. You take such good care of them. Sweet Julius. Our little 15 year old Pooh (poodle) we lost a year or so ago was blind.

  12. 82! Wow! Such lucky animals... and lucky you too! Caring for animals is a wonderful way to live. But I agree that at some point you may need some outside help. And my daughter and grand daughter would agree with you that cleaning horse stalls is very therapeutic work.

  13. Never to late to adopt a human for help :) I'll be putting myself on the market for adoption pretty soon :) (hint hint)
    A little tip I always use. Washing eyes with black tea is the best thing for eyes!

  14. If there really IS such a thing as Karma, you have enough for 20 lifetimes.


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!