Friday, June 17, 2011

Meet Mary Frances by Pam Todd of Bags and More by Pam

This is Mary Frances.  She is one of 52 chickens that my friends, Bill and Clarice, have in their flock. 

mary frances four

A coupe of weeks ago, they went to feed the chickens and found Mary Frances lying on her side.  She was dehydrated from the heat.  They took her straight to their house, where it was cool, and placed a bowl of water on the floor.  She drank and drank and drank that first day.  But, she didn’t eat.  The second day, she drank less and started eating a little bit.  They offered her corn and chicken feed.  The day I stopped to visit, and purchase some fresh brown eggs, my friends and Mary Frances were all sitting outside in the yard.  I asked whether the beautiful chicken was their newest pet.  That’s when they told me the story of her dehydration.

mary frances three

Clarice said, “She thinks she has her own private motel now,” and grinned.  I asked, “Why is that?”  Bill answered, “Well at night she comes into the house and sleeps in a cage.”  Then I asked what she does during the day.  They said that when they are outside in the lawn chairs, she stays close by, hunting for food in the lawn.  She likes bits of grass, too, they said.  When they are inside the house, Mary Frances stays on the patio, under the picnic table.

mary frances one

I asked how long it would take Mary Frances to fully recover. They thought about two more weeks, and then she would return to the flock and continue providing the fresh brown eggs that these well cared for, naturally fed chickens are producing. 

mary frances five eggs

When I think about the loving care my friends are giving to their chickens, I am thankful.  And when I think how delicious those eggs are, I feel fortunate that Bill and Clarice and their 52 chickens are just down the road.  And when I look at Mary Frances, with her beautiful golden brown feathers, well, she is just simply adorable.  I was so glad I stopped by.

This post written by Pam Todd,, an avid animal lover, who is fascinated and loves learning about all kinds of animals.  Pam hand crochets items for people, pets, and homes.  She contributes annually to The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee and provides gift certificates to fund-raisers benefitting animal shelters and rescue organizations.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Coyotes Next Door

We have two acres bordered on the west by our neighbor’s 20 acres, most of which is wooded areas, ravines, creeks, with lots of underbrush.  My husband mows probably three acres around the log home that sits there.  He often takes Eddie, our Boston Terrier, for walks on that property, with the neighbor’s permission, of course.  This morning, Eddie had his first encounter with a coyote.  We hear them often, and see them, sometimes even crossing our back yard.  Eddie isn’t very good at staying right with his buddy, and suddenly my husband heard yipping and other noises as if a fight was about to occur. A gunshot into the air brought Eddie running as fast as he could, and when the coyote saw my husband and heard the report of the gun, it also ran away.  Eddie thinks he can run right up to other dogs and sniff them out.  But, I expect that Eddie will stay closer to his protector next time they walk in the woods and across the mowed area next door because he has a bite on his butt.  We will be off to the vet in just a little bit.  He has had his rabies shots, thank goodness, but we don’t want to run the risk of infection or any other problems.

eddie front view

That isn’t the only encounter we have had with a coyote.  One day about two years ago, my husband motioned through the patio doors for me to come outside.  He walked to the storage shed, and there was an animal lying curled up in the front corner.  We stood and looked at it, wondering if it was a stray dog or what.  Then the animal saw us, stood up, and walked right past us, not four feet away from where we were standing.  It was a coyote!  It walked about twenty feet farther, turned and looked at us, and then continued on its way.

coyote one

Housing developments have forced animals into smaller and smaller areas, and it is no longer unusual to see coyotes where we live.  In a suburb of Indianapolis recently, a news report told how a small dog was taken by coyotes and killed.  The town has an ordinance that no guns may be fired within the town limits.  I feel so bad for those folks who lost their small furry family member to animals that shouldn’t be forced to live so close to people.

Would be interested in hearing from others who have experienced close encounters with coyotes where one wouldn’t expect to do that.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Is Humane Treatment for Farm Animals too Much to Ask?

A letter to the editor in our local newspaper certainly caught my attention.  The writer called attention to Factory Farming and the fact that three states are attempting to pass or have already passed legislation to prohibit videotaping or audio taping of conditions on their farms.  Meat, egg, and dairy producers in these states favor such legislation as they do not wish to have the inhumane treatment of animals publicized.

The letter writer gave some examples of farms with less than acceptable treatment of the animals: one in Texas where calves were chained in tiny crates and then bludgeoned to death with pickaxes and one in California that was found to be putting live chicks into a grinder.  He also mentioned the recall of millions  of eggs due to salmonella contamination at an Iowa farm.

He continued by saying that such horrible conditions will probably not change.  The writer suggested that people avoid eating animal products.  Other websites I checked suggested the same, as well as being sure our senators and representatives are aware that we care about how animals are treated and want regulations in place to assure that they are cared for in a humane way. 

Here are some links that you may wish to check out, giving more information about the laws mentioned above, and some of the conditions that have been exposed by undercover animal rights investigators.

It is my hope that we will find ways to support the humane treatment of animals that provide milk, eggs, and meat as part of our food supply.

This blog post written by Pam Todd, a member of the Crafting for Animals Guild on Artfire, an avid animal lover, and whose shop features hand-crocheted items for people, pets, and homes.