Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Weather Problems, Good Will, A Canada Goose? and "going light"

Now I won't bang on too much more about my Open Allotment day...
Even I am getting somewhat jaded with it's organisation
Suffice to say that after looking at the Met Office Weather forecast ( and around 10 other on line predictions) I have decided to postpone .
It's only a week further on ( the 24th of July) so hopefully my small army of cake bakers can reschedule their baking for seven days or so! New volunteers need to be conscripted, extra gazebos need to be organised and I need to re flyer the village again, but apart from being a royal pain in the arse ( I am working night shift next Saturday!), the "move" is do-able.
The forecast was for rain all day and blustery wind.......not a good backdrop for an outside event I am hoping that the 24th will provide slightly better weather.I have a great number of people to contact today

Just a quick insertion here!...I have just contacted all of the cake makers from the village and all bar one is able to bake for the ammended open day date! Several have volunteered to fill in the gaps in staffing and I have also had three others offering to make more cakes for the day!
In addition I recieved a parcle from Dronfield in the Peak District  this morning filled to capacity with home made aprons and other needlework........thank you Kathryn for your contribution to the is much appreciated

Anyhow on to nicer things
CJ the gosling is doing fine. He/she has now almost lost all of his baby down and is turning ( for the most part) into a somewhat beautiful black goose!.
With the lighter markings on his face...I am begining to wonder if he actually is a Canada Goose? perhaps someone could enlighten me?
 The "angel wings"  that I taped up, remain in a "normal" position , and by this weekend I will remove the bandage to see if he "looks" better.
Badger, the hen (you can just see him behind CJ'S neck) remains a constant companion, and by next week the two friends will be set up in their own  run outside with the three new bantam hens.
It is so sweet to see the two of them together.

Speaking of bantams, sitting quietly in the shed, and waiting to die is one of my old girls, a sweet natured bantam called Mary.
Poultry keepers will identify with the strange phenomenon of "going light". This occurs when a hen slowly starts to loose weight and her appetite and literally starts to disappear over a period of days or even weeks.
It is obviously due to some illness, but despite antibiotics, extra rations, TLC and other poultry  tricks of the trade, there is generally nothing you can do for these sad little birds except make them comfortable and wait for the inevitable to happen.
It is almost as if they give up totally and just fade away....

Funny...I have seen the same thing occur in patients sometime, it's as if the spark of life has left them in some way

This morning I removed her from her cage and placed her with the benign CJ and Badger. A bit of company won't do her any harm in her last days....even a dumb bird deserves a bit of companionship at the end eh?


  1. I will watch out for the 'going light' stage of a chicken's life. So far, though, here, when a chicken is less than fit they seem to disappear all together, possibly being taken by a fox or some other predator because they are weaker than the rest. I have seen it in other animals though, as well as in humans. Almost had the light switch almost switch off inside myself a few years ago! Fortunately it switched back on again because I am still here!

  2. Poor little thing. At least she is getting well cared for in her last days.

  3. I have seen it happen so often now with myhens John - they seem to accept it quite philsophically don't they? But it is always sad to lose an old friend.

    I suppose you are wise to cancel the allotment day - I am sure everyone will fit in with your plans.

  4. Good Morning John! I've had a really, really busy exhausting week and catching up on your blog and seeing all that you do makes me realize that I need to stop complaining. I don't know how you find the energy to keep up with everything. I think that if I did half of what you do, I would have 'gone light' long ago!

  5. I think the whole of Europe is having a miserable few days. In our case MUCH NEEDED.

    I remember this business with our hens. They know they're dying, and simply accept it.

  6. Anonymous11:04 am

    Nature knows best I guess, but it is still sad.

  7. Ah yes, I`ve had a birds that go light. We call it getting dumpy. And sure, Mary would love some company I`m sure.

  8. What a great descriptive phrase `going light`is. Makes sense when one thinks of it......just letting go of all the weight and burdens of life.

  9. "even a dumb bird deserves a bit of companionship at the end eh?" - Well that was certainly true for Princess Diana - The Queen of Hearts. And where were her two much-loved sons that night? Certainly not in the warm shelter of her maternal care.

  10. I hope she transcends gently John.

  11. This is the way I have seen most life end. Hard to watch, but it is part of the journey.

    So sweet of you to give her company during this time. You are a very compassionate man.

  12. I have lost a hen to this fading is sad but so much a part of the way things are I guess.I do hope the next weekend is sunny and beautiful for you!

  13. Anonymous2:32 pm

    Wishing Mary a peaceful "journey" kind of you to think to give her companions at the end! Sounds like you have the rescheduled even well in hand...and how wonderful to have folks offer to help out! Hoping for a fantastically beautiful day for the BIG event!

  14. Nurses are multi-taskers and you have your event well in hand as well as all your darling animals. I have never heard of "going light" but it is an apt description. I too have seen many patients fade away no matter how hard we try to stop the decline.

  15. Anonymous3:08 pm

    I get a lift each time I hear about CJ and Badger as little waif-companions. CJ looks like he may turn into an exceptionally handsome young man. We have Canadian Geese around here all year long and I love them.
    "Going light." What a lovely name for it. I've often thought of it as thinning but "going light" captures the essence of both the physical and non-physical aspects of the transition.
    I love that, too.

  16. Being an expert in all things Canadian, that does indeed appear to be a Canada Goose. I love them, even though they can be kind of 'bitey'.

    When I see parents letting their kids feed them in the park, I always wait for the kids to start crying because the geese have snapped at them. They're the bird equivalent of goats, I think they'll try to eat just about anything.

    Whenever we see a large group of them hanging out in a field (there are a lot of them here in NC, they're supposed to just fly South for the winter, but I think some of them don't go back!) Chuck says, 'Hey look, there's your homies!' :)

    Sorry about the hen. :(

  17. Going light is a symptom of a disease. I wouldn't put a sick bird in with the young ones, especially if it's a symptom of coccidia. I know, I'm a pest about poultry. Blame it on Dr. Bradley at UC Davis.

  18. she's already been treated for coccidia...looking at her..i suspect its something neuroloical in nature

  19. Poor little hen, but we all have to die from something, and you take such good care of your birds, it must be the only way.

    CJ yep a Canada! Didn't know they were in Wales.....

    Glad you were able to switch your dates, I only hope now that the fronts etc don't leave the day perfect and wait until the 24th to open up the skies. (Yes, leave it to me to be a pessimist)

  20. Good to read about CJ's wing!! I will keep my fingers crossed for you for your new July 24 date. Reference the comment Chris left at my place, perhaps you should stop dancing topless with a saucepot on your head!
    (Of course, that could have just been a hallucination he had whilst choking on a bit of egg from breakfast in bed.)

  21. Just so you know, when I start "going light" -- which I don't intend to do for a very, very, VERY long time -- I am coming to live with you.

  22. Sad news about the little hen, you are a kind soul giving her companionship in her last hours...
    So we'll keep our fingers crossed fo a sunny day on the fundraiser day !
    Yep, looks like a Canadian Goose to me :)

  23. CJ does look like a young Canada Goose. We have tons of them here. They are such a nuisance sometimes in the parks. It will be interesting to see how CJ turns out.

  24. Damn, I can't make it on the 24th. It's a shame; there was so much I was going to steal!

  25. John. Are you using Internet Express? If so, why not download Google Chrome and use that instead. You'll find it works much faster, and any 'comments' problems with Mr Blogger will be ironed out!

    If you already are using GC; please ignore.


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