farming FAIL

Posted by on July 14, 2009 in farm | 14 comments

I don't even want to write this post, but I just have to do it anyway. It's going to start out bad, I'm just warning you. I'll try to end on a happier note, though, so I hope you stick with me.

Saturday I came home from visiting my family in Idaho. It was lovely, but earlier in the week Mr. HeyLucy called and said that something was wrong with Sally, she wasn't eating and was mostly just sitting on the nest she made to lay her eggs earlier this Spring. He was bringing her water and setting her in her little pool regularly, and she would drink, but wouldn't even eat apple slices-her very favorite food. This continued the rest of the time I was away. When Mr. HeyLucy met me at the airport he said she was in her pool when he left, and had even gotten in all on her own, so we were hoping that she was improving. Sadly, by the time we got home she was gone, we found her body still in her pool. I was glad that she was at least in one of her favorite spots, but so sad that I wasn't there for her at the end.


Good-bye little Miss Sally, we're going to miss you!

We're not sure what was wrong, but it could have been one of several things: 1) I was gone, and she was really bonded to me, so she felt abandoned. She followed me all over when I was outside, and she didn't particularly like being held, but would let me pick her up any time I wanted. I really hope this wasn't why she stopped eating. 2) She and Bear had a rather rocky relationship. She would often pull on his tail, and he knew he wasn't supposed to hurt her, but sometimes he just couldn't take it and would pin her down between his front paws and really growl at her. He might have unintentionally hurt her internally. Or 3) She nibbled on something poisonous. I can't think of anything that she might have found, we don't keep any plant food or weed killer around, but who knows what could be out there, she wandered all over the whole yard.

As if this wasn't enough to spoil my homecoming, I went and checked my garden and found two little hens having the time of their lives out there. Apparently a four-foot fence is not enough to keep a couple determined chickens out of the garden. I suspected chickens were the mysterious diggers, but I hadn't ever seen them out there. I guess I should be glad that mystery is solved.

Of course, while I was there I had to check on the bees. I noticed that they had pushed another rubber band out the front door, but not all the way, so I thought I'd help them out, and pulled it out the rest of the way. Unfortunately, there were a few bees hanging on to the other end and they were not happy about being yanked out of the hive. A couple of them were mad enough to sting me, one on my calf, just below my knee, and the other, through my pants on the front of my thigh on the other leg. I got the stingers out right away, and went straight to the house where I took a Benedryl and crushed up some aspirin, making a paste with a little water to put on the sting sites. I read about these treatments on one of my beekeeping lists, and I have to say, they worked brilliantly! Of course the Benedryl put me to sleep, but the aspirin got rid of the pain within minutes, and I didn't have any swelling at all. Now there are just small red blotches and they itch about as much as a mosquito bite, but that's it!

How about some better news? Remember these little creations? I got to see them modeled on this pretty little girl. My brother had a portrait session with the new family, and I got to be the lighting assistant. I have more photos to share from my trip, but it was really nice, and a lot of fun, and I'm still recovering at the moment, so the pictures will have to wait a few more days.


  1. Poor Sally- poor you! What a sad thing to come home to. I’m glad everyone else is well and accounted for. Chickens in your garden? Don’t these two things go together? I thought chickens in the garden was a good thing? Keep the bugs at bay and poop away all day…. I obviously don’t have chickens in my garden or I would know better. My “garden” isn’t doing the best right now- I think it’s my dirt mix. The tomato plants look healthy, but they aren’t flowering now? Wierd. My squash died and my peppers are struggling. I have loads more baby plants to plant, but I keep putting it off because I don’t want to kill them too. I need to mix in more compost, I think? Good thing we don’t have to depend totally on my gardening skills to feed us- we would be thin and lean though, hmm…. haha:) Glad you had fun meeting up with your family.

  2. Oh no! 🙁 That is so sad, poor you, and poor sally. What a day you had!
    On the upside the baby is so sweet in the outfit you made.

  3. Oh what a horrible thing.I am so so sorry about Miss Sally.I know you absolutely loved her to bits.xx

  4. Poor Sally. Farm life is a bit unforgiving…things are always dying. I really don’t think it’s a FAIL. It’s just…the way things are! Poor little thing, though — she was awfully pretty and nice!
    Here the bees have had a wretched summer with five weeks of rain. This week they are valiantly trying to make up for it, but my husband is not hopeful about the honey harvest. I see the chestnut trees (Chinese chestnuts) in bloom, so maybe they can do something with that!
    And the critter in our garden is a groundhog who is having a heyday with my lettuce and broccoli. Between the rain and the wedding I haven’t tackled him, not that I exactly know what to do except yell for the kids to go shoo him away –and I’m pretty disappointed about those crops! Oh well, there’s always next year!

  5. I’m so sorry about Sally. I’m sure she’s in her little pool in farm heaven.

  6. I’m really sorry to hear about Sally, and I hope the chickens didn’t do too much damage in the garden! I’ll have to remember that aspirin trick – I’ve only been stung by a bee once but it HURT.

  7. I’m sorry to hear about your loss of Sally. Poultry don’t tend to show illness until the very end. Birds get cancer and liver damage and all sorts of other things that we never know about. I think it’s unlikely that one of the other animals harmed her, (you would have seen more obvious, specific discomfort or external injury) so put your mind at ease. For something to cheer you up – my is up. Check out my new babies, Pip and Caper.

  8. Thank you :o) Reading all these sweet comments is making me cry, but the sympathy is so appreciated!

  9. 🙁 So sad!!! I’m so sorry!

  10. I’m sorry about Sally. That would be heartbreaking.
    The outfit looks lovely on her. I like the name – Beren. She looks really sweet.
    My chooks dig horrendously. They have managed to unearth most of my bulbs, and even dug out a hydrangea bush! Glad you caought the culprits.

  11. I’m so sorry to hear about Sally. What a special bond you had. I’m sure you’ll miss her. Poor thing. So many hard things to come home to.

  12. I’m sorry about Miss Sally. 🙁 Boy you did not have a good day. I hope that tomorrow’s a little better for you.

  13. Sorry to hear about Sally. 🙁

  14. Oh no! Good bye Miss Sally! I’m so sorry to hear this sad news….

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