Ohhh-possum

Homesteading Fun!

So, I did this thing last week and I rescued yet another wild living creature. Let’s pretend like the 4 human beings and numerous animals we already have aren’t enough to keep alive. I rescued 9, yes, I said 9 baby opossums!

Long story short, mom did not live through a traumatic trapping event and I felt the need to care for her young. I quickly fell in love with these little creatures. I am guessing through observation and what I have read these little guys are between 50-60 days old.

I am down to 2 babies to date and they have survived with me for 7 days so far. I went to our pet supplies store and bought puppy formula and I mix one teaspoon to 4 teaspoons of water into a small kitten bottle. I then use a eye dropper and feed them 2-3 droppers full at a time every 2-4 hours depending on the ferocity of their appetite.

Our local vet said they didn’t need to eat so frequently through the night. They have been making 5-6 hour stretches. Their eyes are completely open and they have their hair. These are apparently key in what I have read when it comes to survival without their mother.

They still can not regulate their own body temperature so I am using a water bottle and a rice bag to moderate their body temperate. I try to keep them the same temperature as myself throughout the day. So, as fun as this sounds, it is not! I go to lengths sometimes as wearing them inside of my shirt. Whatever it takes at this point. They both travel to work with me daily.

4-19-18

I hope you stick around and follow our journey on the road to survival for Polly and Peter. I will be sure to update their progress weekly!

(Picture 4-20-18)

4/26/18

Tomorrow the babies have been with me one week and two days. I cannot believe how much they have grown this far.

They are becoming more active and their feeding times are becoming more generous on me. They are eating anywhere between every 3-4 hours and 5-6 hours. I don’t feed them unless they are wanting their bottle of course. I never over feed and fill their tummy’s to the brim. I am still using a damp and warm towel to make them use the bathroom.

They are getting more of that course peppered hair and they clean their own coats now. They will also clean each other’s.

I am still keeping them inside of my sons winter hat during the day. I take them to work with me. I slide that down inside a purse just for them with their rice bag that is gently warmed. This is the easiest way to produce a “pouch-like” environment.

Chickens Chickens Everywhere….

Homesteading Fun!

So, we bought a new house and all we have ever wanted was a little farm with our chickens producing enough eggs to feed all six of us. Well…. it’s happening and I couldn’t be more excited!

We have 17 hens and we did have a rooster. He suffered the ill fate of the fox that keeps creeping around. We have also lost a couple of our hens. I guess that is part of the farming game. I don’t know. It is very sad if you ask me. My husband on the other hand, he says, “it is the name of the game”. We are learning though. Here are some of our insights into our latest chicken adventures.

We have 7 large hens who already lay (my husbands friend got us started with these girls) and we then got some baby chicks that we are hoping lay in the next 4-5 months. First order of business was to keep the babies alive and then introduce the two flocks.

In my mind all birds should live in peace. They seem sweet and innocent. I guess that is not true. Apparently there is a pecking order and the birds are hard core about it.

Bringing home the babes…. they were fun and grew quite quickly. We put them under a heat lamp in our garage until they were all feathered.

We tried to handle these girls as much as possible so they wouldn’t be difficult to catch.

We slowly acclimated them with our first flock of girls…we were told the older birds would peck their heads to gain the proper pecking order. (More terrible farm shenanigans)

When the weather broke and the girls were well feathered we would let both flocks out at the same time. This was just a guessing game for us. We tried to acclimate them daily. I didn’t want any turf wars going on.

The only down side to this was chicken shit literally everywhere….I mean everywhere! We love the free range idea. What I do not like is the constant fecal matter in random places around the house. Apparently that comes with the territory.

The Coop:

I love our coop…

My husband may have went to extremes with the coop. He felt they needed some space. I am so glad he did though. It is very roomy for them. It works perfectly for all of our girls.

He has a door on the back we pull down so we can just reach in and grab the eggs. It works so well when you don’t want to go into the coop to retrieve the goodies! The girls also have a run to the goat pen and a door to the outside to free range. It is the best of all worlds because we weren’t sure which would work best when a predator was near and we couldn’t be home to keep an eye on them.