We parked a car in our yard

dogs and the VW

Mark recently did a gig that included a brightly colored VW Super Beetle as entertainment for the guests. They were given sharpies and stickers and told to decorate the Bug as they saw fit. After the show, the client didn't want the car shell and since Mark's employer didn't have plans for it, he asked if we could take it home with us, much like a lost puppy.

Anyone want a ride?

And so there it is, in my yard. The girls put chairs inside and "drive it" occasionally, enjoying the buttons and switches on the dash and the key that lives in the ignition. We planted a fig tree in the back seat with hopes that one day it's arms will reach outside the windows and grow up towards the sky. And in the engine compartment? That's where the compost goes, of course:

We had to move the compost bin for upcoming house build. Found the perfect spot!

My next plan is to remove the hood and fill the trunk with good dirt and bright flowers. Anyone have any suggestions as to what should go in there?

Perfect day to hang laundry

 

Perfect day to hang laundry. by Wannabe Hippie

We've had Santa Ana's all week with hot, dry winds coming from the East. Today was breezy and lovely, perfect for hanging laundry on the line. I even did some research as to how to properly hang items, so I feel totally competent and everything. I imagine most of you are tilting your head at me and wondering why one would need to look up how to hang laundry. This skill was not one I learned as a kid; back then I systematically rebuffed all my mother's attempts to teach me how to be a girl. There were only boys in my neighborhood and I learned early and often that if you didn't want to have to play alone all the time, you better pretend not to be a girl. So cooking, cleaning, sewing... you name it, I shunned it.

 

That's all changed, of course. Knowing how to do stuff is nice. Really nice. And today, today was a lovely day to learn.

What did you refuse to learn as a child that is now become important as an adult?

 

 

New Batch of Chicks!

Because 27 chickens was not enough we took on 9 more chicks today. Hatched, I kid you not, from a 12 pack of Trader Joe's fertile eggs.

We took on a new batch of baby chicks!

They were, I kid you not, hatched from a dozen fertile eggs purchased at Trader Joe's and put under a broody chicken. Nine of the 12 hatched. The woman who tried this grand experiment couldn't keep them so they live with us now spending their time on our stove top where it's warm and dry. At least two are starting to look like roosters. So who knows how many will be laying hens and how many will go the way of the soup pot.

Good morning.

I know. It's totally terrible to say "soup pot" and then show you that face. I'm, admittedly, broken. But that's life on the "farm".

How Does Your Garden Grow? *cough FUNGUS cough*

The Mister has been working himself silly 'round these parts with lots of home improvement projects. We were lucky enough to score several hundred dollars worth of fruit trees for free recently so we've moved forward with creating our orchard* on the hillside, complete with irrigation system that critters (like gophers and bunnies and coyotes) can't gnaw through to get at the water when it's hot. Mark even set it up on a timer so it'll water in the early morning without us even thinking about it. I love technology.


Of course, I went to go check things out today and discovered we have Peach Leaf Curl on a couple of the trees.
Peach Leaf Curl
I love the diversity of advice out there on treating this fungus. Some say, "Meh, it depends solely on the weather, you can't do anything" to "pick up and dispose of affected leaves and spray copper next Winter" to "Get out the blow torch and bomb the orchard, you're screwed forever. Why did you think you could grow things?" I decided to collect the affected leaves for the trash and then go talk to my favorite farmer. Farmer Bill always knows what to do. At least, I hope he will...


I was also delighted to discover that of the four Mulberries we got this year, one was covered in tiny little berries, just waiting to grow up big and strong so we can eat them.
MULBERRIES!
I'll admit that when I first saw them from a bit of a distance, I thought they were some crazy-ass bug that was trying to further ruin my image as a gardener. Imagine my delight when I realized I will soon be able to eat those delicious little not-bugs!


In addition to planting trees, Mark has also been working on putting in steps down the side of the house as well as building a ramp off the front porch so we can move the wheel barrel around without killing anyone.
no more death by giant pit
It's really pretty amazing. I had no idea you could build a fancy looking ramp in a morning. I envisioned WEEKS! Which, to be fair, is how long it took him to get to the project after he removed the wooden stairs that had been there. Seriously, when Sonja came to visit, I had palpitations about making a pregnant woman jump off my porch to go visit the chickens. But that's how we roll around here. DANGEROUSLY.


Next up is putting in the stairs, which you can see he started to cut into the hillside for here:
Cutting in the stairs
Working with urbanite is awesome. IT'S FREE. We know a guy who will come drop off broken concrete whenever we ask and then Mark builds things with the stuff. Takes forever, sure, but did I mention it's free? And I love the look.


As always, there's a ton more happening in our world, I just don't have the time to report it anymore. The 7 Days Photography Projects starts tomorrow though, so if you want to see what self portraits I'm making time for, you can follow along here.
*The orchard current has:

  • 1 Avocado (not yet in the ground)
  • 3 Cheramoyas
  • 6 Figs (2 planted, 4 waiting for homes)
  • 1 Double Delight Nectarine
  • 1 Eva's Pride Peach
  • 1 Babcock Peach
  • 1 Santa Rosa Plum
  • 3 Loquats
  • 4 Mulberries

 

Make your own Elderberry syrup, sister!

Make your own Elderberry Syrup

Who is sick of being sick?

*Raises hand, then violently sneezes into elbow, a la Dracula.*

Seriously, I'm done with this crap.  Everyone in my house has been sick lately and that makes it very hard to get anything done.  Anya and I have been luckier than the Mister and Lily, but right now I'm nursing a sore throat and it feel like someone stuffed my head full of cotton.  To that person I say, NOT COOL!
The Mister blew through a bottle of Elderberry syrup with his last round of ick and so I decided it would be way less expensive to make my own.  Plus, I could spruce it up a bit.  Wanna know how?

I SHALL SHARE!

That is, if I can stop sneezing long enough to finish this.

The basic idea is this:

Take some Elderberries, simmer them in water, add honey.

I like to complicate things a bit so mine looked like this:
making elderberry syrup
1/2 cup elderberries, 1 stick of astragalus root, 1 cinnamon stick, some ginger.

added water
Add 2 cups water and boil down for 30-60 minutes (depends on thickness desired)

honey
Allow to cool* and add one cup local, raw, organic honey.

Store in a jar in the fridge. Decant to smaller jars for daily use, if you want to be able to bring it with you places or just suck it straight out of the jar in the fridge, same to me.

Now, there is some debate about if you should allow the elderberry mixtures to cool before adding the honey.  Thus my * above.  For honey to truly keep all it's awesome healing properties, it's best that it never get hot.  Some will even say they can taste the difference between honey that is separated from the comb with a hot knife and that which is removed the old fashioned, no-heat way.  Many will say that you cannot get truly raw honey in a store, because if it gets shipped, it'll heat up in the truck.  I don't really know.

I do know these things:

  • My honey is actually raw and I prefer to keep it that way, so I let the elderberry cool first.  This makes it hard to mix and most of the honey will settle at the bottom of your jar.
  • I also know that honey should not be given to babies.
  • See my disclaimer below, especially if you like to sue people who are broke. 

SO if you want a syrup that's all incorporated and stuff add the honey while the elderberry is hot.

 

As for dosage, I go by feel so please look it up elsewhere.  I do know this stuff makes an awesome tea... if you're OK with your honey being hot (I'll make an exception when tea is involved). Also? It tastes delicious.  Seriously.

Now excuse me while I go over treat myself.

And I should note for the record that I'm just a chick who likes to use natural remedies as often as possible. I am not, in any way, a doctor NOR have I ever played one on TV. So please remember not to be a dumbass and just consult a licensed health care professional when you're seriously jacked up. I prefer HHP's and Acupuncturist, but your body should always be your call.

Betty the Banty

hatched


We have this crazy chicken.  She is one of the three we got from our favorite local nursery and was, of the three, the hardest to catch.  She was originally named Starly, but Mark started calling her Black Betty and it kind of stuck.  From the start she insisted on sleeping in a tree, rather than with the rest of the flock and once went missing for a week.  She turned up at the end of the week, screaming at me while racing around the coop eating everything in sight.  Turns out she had gone broody and was off sitting on a clutch of eggs that never would hatch.  Eventually we waited for her to return and sealed up the coop so she couldn't go out again.  We were too worried she'd be discovered on her nest by the local coyote pack and that would be the end of Betty the Banty.

 

Not long ago we accepted a pair of rescue chickens who both turned out to be roosters.  We hadn't planned on having roosters, but honestly, they are ridiculously funny and have provided us with so many examples of awkward chicken p0rn, we just couldn't get rid of them.  And this time, when Betty went broody, we figured we'd give the girl a chance to be a mama.  She stole every egg she could get and wit the addition of some straw Mark provided made herself a nest in one of the laying boxes.  For a while it was only six eggs but at the latest count it was a total of ten.


A couple days ago, our motherly little hen finally got everything she ever wanted.  One of the eggs hatched.

 

Back with Mama

Today, another chick was found, stumbling around looking confused.

new chick!


I decided that since Betty was still trying to add to her clutch of eggs, she and the babies needed to get moved.  Their access to food and water is rather limited in the laying box, so I moved the whole lot of them to the side car coop.  I moved Betty first and the poor thing went frantic when she wasn't with the babies.  I ran around and snatched the peeping little fluffs and ran them back to where she was, instantly calming her down.  After that I moved her nest with all the eggs.  The guy at the feed store told me they wouldn't all hatch, but I have no idea at what point to throw in the towel.  The babies that did hatch took about three weeks and I think the last two eggs were added to the nest in the last couple of days so in another three weeks we should be done with all this business.

 

in their new home
Anyone want to wager a guess on how many babies we'll end up with?

FLUFF!

 

Goat Laser Protection System 2000

At work today I was talking to one of the tech guys about how we want to get a goat*. He suggested I could just let it roam free about the property and it would eat things with wild abandon.  Which would be great, if, you know, we didn't have coyotes on the property that also tend to eat (living) things with wild abandon. 

"Oh, that's simple!" he proclaimed, "All you need is a Goat Laser Protection System."
"Um, why don't you draw that up for me, Dean."


Less than an hour later he came by my office and presented me with this:
Goat Laser Protection System
We're totally going into business.

*Dean and I go way back, are excellent friends and tend to talk about all manor of things, so discussing a goat isn't that odd for me and the Tech guy to be doing.

funky chicken

7 Days: 6 - funky chicken

About a month or two back my Mister rescued a pair of chickens.  They were in need of a home or a soup pot and we decided to give them a home for a while.  We were told that one was what's called a "naked neck" and before he picked them up, we all speculated as to how odd this bird would look. 

She's ridiculous. 

I think she's silly enough that she needs a name (we don't name all our chickens). 

Any suggestions?

sometimes loss leads you to love

A couple days ago Lily went to collect our ever growing bounty of eggs from the hen house and forgot to close the laying box door.  Her hands were full and I think she probably told herself she'd come back for it, but she didn't.  Sometime between then and the next morning, most of our newly laying hens decided to take a walk.  Seven of them were discovered by coyotes.

When I delivered this news to Lily she was in the midst of packing for the end of the year beach trip her class would take that day.  She made a sad face, asked a few questions and then got back to the task at hand.  My child, who usually reacts to all things in a deeply emotional way, showed very little emotion, pushing it off immediately.  This concerned me.  I couldn't quite figure out if she didn't fully understand her role in this or if she took all that emotion and stuffed it.  After all, she doesn't handle transitions well and it's the end of the school year.  It's possible she's simply sticking this incident aside and that emotion will find it's way out later.
Talking to her teachers (who so often double as child psychologists) Mr. V suggested that once school is over he & Ms. K should come for a home visit and talk with Lily about what happened.  Maybe, he thought, with the school transition under her belt and with someone not invested in the event Lily could talk about how this whole thing is making her feel.  And if she can talk to him about it, maybe she can process it in a healthy way.

Do you see why we love this school so much?

Today was the last day and Lily came home with a pile of stuff, workbooks and project folders, art and love notes from classmates.  Also, a class CD including liner notes, each track selected by her fellow students.  At the end are songs from her teachers, the last from a sub who filled in when Ms. K had a baby.  It's a song Mrs. L wrote and her daughter (who heads to High School in the fall) performed.  Listening to it, I found myself suddenly sobbing with the understanding of how deeply my kid is loved.  She has such amazing support all around her; the team of teachers that shepherded her through her school year are some of the more brilliant souls I've ever met.  At the beginning of the year I remember them telling the kids every day that they loved them and the cynical part of me said, "Pfft.  Love them?  They don't even know them."  But now?  Now I know.  Now I know what love really means here. Now I can see what a positive school culture, a social emotional curriculum and the love of some wonderful teachers can really mean.

There's been some major upset at this school lately, with almost half the teaching staff moving on to other opportunities and (the most difficult of it all) two teacher whose contracts were not renewed. It has divided the parents, made many consider leaving the school, and made the end of the year more emotional than anyone could expect.   And yet, I look at the year my child had and the love that has been offered her (and Anya, who was around enough to get her own dose of affection) and I can't help feeling like we're in the right place. Especially in moments of such clarity as I had this week though the kind offering of time from one teacher and song from another.

We are so damn lucky.

home, sweet (too much work to do) home

We've been wanting to take the large, flat area near the house that used to hold the kids play structure and turn it into a garden.  Today we finally got started, though didn't make as much progress as I'd have liked.  Turns out I can only do this kind of stuff for an hour before I get all weak kneed and have to sit down.  But at least we got the area laid out.  Here's what we did:
So you know what it used to look like, here's a shot (taken from the deck) from several years ago when the kids actually used the play structure:
25 of 30: sunny days

We got rid of the play structure a while back and turned the sandbox into a strawberry planter a couple months ago. Today we just had to empty out and move the small playhouse.  Then we ripped up all the artificial turf, turned it over to dump out all the sand that migrated from the kids sandbox, and freaked out about a million ants.  Here's what it looks like, ready for inspiration, a blank canvas (if you will):
cleared
I then figured out where I wanted the greenhouse to go and then traced back a three foot path all the way across the garden.
laying out the path
The greenhouse will go at the far right.
I traced a line from the path entering the garden to the back, this one closer to two feet wide.
sketching out the path
After that we dropped in a 6 foot wide circle to put a center planter in and then gave it an extra two feet circle around that for the path.
drawing out the center circle planter laying out the path
With the vertical & horizontal path outlined in and the double circle drawn in the middle, the shape of our "boxes" became obvious.  From there, we gathered up a bunch of smooth rocks and blocked out the shapes, leaving the circular planter in the middle for later.  We’re teaching a garden class at the end of the month so will have the kids attending help us lay out the center circular garden bed, but all the side ones are outlined and now just need to be built up with cobble.  You can get the basic idea of the shape by looking at this:
basic outline

Most of the pictures were taken from a lovely little spot in the shade of some trees.  I'm hoping to put a table and chairs there so we can gaze lovingly at our beautiful garden once it's done.  There is still a TON of work before we can call it done and drop the seedlings into their homes, but today marked a really good first step!

stinky escape artists

The latest batch of babies (see below) are growing nicely.  They are, by far, the stinkiest chickens I have every smelled, shockingly rank even.  The last batch could go a couple days with the same bedding in their box but these girls need a change every single day.  And they seem to have an odd obsession with filling their water cup as full as possible with shredded paper.  It's as though we have offended them somehow, by providing them with clean drinking water, and this monstrosity must be corrected.  Immediately.  And with lots of very loud peeping.

They are doing their damnedest to escape, as well, which could have something to do with the stink.  If you even crack the top of the box you will be greeted with the most emphatic flapping of wings and a platoon of fluff flinging itself at you.   I wonder if it's a breed thing, but really haven't a clue.  We just refer to them as the stinky escape artists.

We're heading out of town for a bit and they'll stay with Lorien, but as soon as we return it's going to be time to introduce them to the side-car coop so they can stink up the joint AWAY from the house.  They're so ready to take on the world.

bigger
Chicks hanging out on our deck, growing big and making stink.

Dorothy in the yard
Anya hanging out in the yard with the Dorothy costume we scored at a thrift store.

she's a nature lover
Lily enjoying the plants at a local nursery.

How is everyone?  I miss you.

Cheeping along to Freddie Mercury

Friday was Mark's last day of full time work, spitting him out onto the job market at an awesome time in our economy.  You'd think I'd be more panicked about that.  But not so much.  We have always found a way to get by and at least we have a gorgeous four story theatre complex with a stunning black-box theatre (which features a fully trapped stage... theatre geeks, commence the ohhhhs and ahhhs!), education center and banquet hall to show for his time.  Not many of us can point to something vital to the community and say, "I helped build that."  I'm insanely proud of that man and the work he did.

But, in absence of a project to manage, he did get itchy for more chickens.  On Sunday we drove out to a 4-H-er's home and picked up seven new chicks, bringing our total chicken count to twenty.  These new babies are only five-days-old and so cute you want to just pop them all in your mouth at once.  And yes, I know that doesn't make a damn bit of sense.  But just look at them:
so soft and fuzzy
This one is a Buff Orpington and is the one that makes me most melty.  I can't stop touching that fuzzy little head of hers.
standing in your food
Chicks learn quickly that standing in your food is a good way to protect it.  If by "protect" you mean that you might get poop in it and other chicks will be constantly nipping at your feet.
the fuzziness is eating her face
I'm a little afraid her face will get lost in all that fuzz.
in love
Lily is deeply in love.  Anya has always been a bit suspicious but today got brave enough to hold one.  I haven't caught a picture of her with a chick yet, since she spooks easily when you point a camera at her, but I'll get her yet.

And finally, a tiny video for your amusement.  Lorien said her favorite part of this video was the cheeping along to Freddie Mercury.  I have to agree.

the circle of life can suck it

The very day after I posted about our new chickens we had a catastrophe.  Our best laying hen, Isabella (seen under Henrietta in this photo and in the photo below, foreground)  was snatched by a coyote in broad daylight.  Usually coyotes don't hunt during the day but lately, they've become more bold and have disregarded eons of natural patterns.  I guess that's what happens when humans encroach more and more on wild territory.  While I feel utterly and completely pissed off about this, I also have a hard time blaming the coyote.  A chicken makes good food and he couldn't have known that Isabella was our best layer.  I'd like to think that had we been able to discuss it he would have taken a less valuable chicken.
Alas, the world doesn't work that way.

Farewell, Isabella.  You were a damn fine chicken.
big meets little

Forgive me readers, for I have sinned. It's been three weeks since my last (real) post.

So much going on here.  For one, this is what recently happened to my chickens:
What happens when they molt

Molting is awesome.  There are feathers ALL over the yard.  It looks like a crazy person went into the coop, grabbed the chickens by their feet and just went to town with the swinging action.  For a while, Isabella had this awesome bare patch running straight down her back.  Henrietta and Sparkle Heart were both way more lady like with their molting, a feather here and there coming lose as the new one grew in.  But damn if Isabella didn't just go full out. At least they finished the majority of the process before the rains came.  Silly chickens.

In other news I got a new camera.  I had saved up most of the money needed for the thing and then said, SCREW IT and bought the camera anyway.  The next day (I kid you not) a relative sent me a check that more than covered the cost.   So then I decided I would finally buy myself a Wii and another relative said she'd pay for it if I let her play with it some time.  HOT DAMN! Then I went to the company holiday party at the theatre where Mark and I work and won a weekend at a fancy hotel on the bay.  WHAT THE?  HELL YES!

And then I came thisclose to getting smeared all over an intersection when a car ran a red light and the screech of tires and the smoke and the terrified expression on her face (which probably matched my own) put me back into my place and I stopped feeling like the Universe was my new best friend and would do anything I wanted.

So I'm calming down.

But hey, I'm taking photos again!  And that's fun.  Not that I have any computer time to actually, you know, upload them.  Or share them with you here. Whatever, they exist and I'll get to them when I can.

Which leads me to my next thing: I'm out of time.  Must dash.  Love to you all and hope you're having a fantastic holiday season.

And now we have five...

We lost another chicken.

This one got nabbed by a coyote, we think.  She was one of the new ones and was simply not smart enough to stay put inside the hen house one night.  Mark found her in the morning and disposed of all but the array of feathers left behind.

The two new bantams are refusing to stay put as well, often finding opportunities to escape and simply not coming back at night.  I don't see them lasting too much longer and am considering bringing them back to Farmer Bill before someone nabs them as well.  They're not laying either, or at least if they are, they're not doing so in the coop.  We've gotten one, teeny-tiny egg from them so far, which is ridiculously cute.  Wanna see?

little and big

But I'm thinking we need to get chicks so they can learn that the hen house is home and we are safe.  At this rate, we're just going to keep finding dead chickens and that is simply no good.
At least I hadn't gotten attached to the new chickens.

Sigh.

Goodbye to Sassy; hello to Lola, Rose & Starly

It turns out that it was all for nothing.  Sassy did really well for a couple days, seeming to get better.  Then yesterday she started sitting really awkwardly and looking like there was just nothing left to her.  When Mark went to check on her this morning, she was in terrible shape and obviously in pain, so he decided it was best to end it for her. The girls showed up at the end and he explained it to them... they seemed to understand. Anya needed to be sad for a while, so he held her on his lap and let her cry. I was (thankfully) at work when this all went down.  Lorien, who I went to visit at the Farmer's Market after I got off work and found out, reminded me how very awesome my husband is.  He didn't call me up at work and expect me to make this decision.  He just saw that it had to happen and released me from the responsibility of it.  I am truly grateful to him for that.
When we got back from our vacation last week Mark built a small coop (which he likes to call the Mini-Cooper, for obvious reasons) as we planned to get more chickens as soon as possible.  It was the perfect place to put Sassy for recovery; nobody could pick on her and she had a nice, soft, enclosed space to be.  We figured we'd wait until she was better to get the new chickens but when the girls discovered Mark post-chicken-murder, he promised them we'd try to get new ones today.

SO. First we tried the feed store nearby, since they always have pullets. 
Today? No.

I'd remembered seeing chicks at our favorite nursery (which also has a barnyard) so we headed over there on a whim. I asked Bill if he had any chicks but he had none for sale, so told us if we could catch a couple adult chickens from his barnyard, we could have them. We took home three: two smaller ones and a big red. They are getting acquainted with our current chickens through a fence and will join the main coop in a couple days time.

And, despite my reservations regarding naming this bunch, there was no keeping the girls from assigning them names. So, without further ado:

Meet Lola
Meet Lola
She's a bantam sized, buff colored bird who has nothing but attitude.

In the middle is Starly
In the middle is Starly

She's a bantam sized, Americana (which is what both Sparkle Heart & Sassafras are/were) looking girl who seems pretty damn skittish. She was the hardest of the three to catch as Mark and I ran around the barnyard like idiots.

And here's Rose
Meet Rose
She's most likely a Rhode Island Red and is the only one of the three who totally got that the stuff we were throwing at her was for eating.  The other two have no clue what to do with table scraps, but will likely pick it up quickly.

And if you want to know why they'll be spending a few days in a smaller, separate coop, here's why:

Here's hoping things will go a bit better for these three girls.  If not, Bill just told me to bring them back and chase another around the yard to replace it.  See why it's our favorite nursery?

What we do when we love a stupid chicken

From the time we first got our chickens, we noticed one of them was different.  Sassafras had a heavier front end, looking like she was smuggling things around in a pouch hung around her neck.  And it continued to grow. Big. Like, STUPID BIG.  Not knowing anything about the anatomy of a chicken, we didn't think much of it until we returned home from our vacation to discover she could no longer walk.  She was crawling around (which is disturbing when you have wings) and not pooping and clearly unwell.

Mark's first instinct was to kill her.

I vetoed that idea.

Then I called the vet and discovered it would be $50 just to look at her.  A chicken.

Then I turned to google and discovered that we were looking at a much higher vet bill to actually solve the problem, which we had diagnosed as an impacted crop.  What's a "crop" you say?  Check this out:

 

So, the food goes down the esophagus, hangs out in the crop, where the gravel they've also swallowed acts to grind up the food, then it carries on through the digestive system.  With Sassy, her crop had a huge ball (egg sized) of undigested greens and she had been swallowing rock after rock to try to solve the problem. This left her with over two pounds of crap in there while she was slowly starving to death.

Evil.


So after googling like a mad-woman I figured out how to fix it.  And it was simple, really. Just slice her open, cut into the crop and empty it.  Easy peasy, right?

 

Oh, dear God, no.

But actually, it wasn't as bad as we thought it would be.  When we started, she was looking terrible, eyes glazed and energy nonexistent.  Mark cut into her without a response and then into the crop, spending the next hour carefully removing the contents of her crop through a hole only slightly bigger than his index finger.  I held her for that hour over a bucket, both of us cramping up from squatting and trying not to hurl at the smell of the stuff coming out of her.  About 3/4 of the way through she let out a huge BAWK! that startled both of us, but then she just chilled out, started looking around and became more and more alert and energetic.  By the end, she was downright sassy and while she still couldn't walk, had decided she best get away from those crazy people with the knife.  In other words, she had more fight in her than we'd seen in days.  She never once showed any signs of pain, which would have made the whole thing darn near impossible for me to endure.
After it was all over and we had, literally, two pounds of greens and gravel to dispose of, we put her back together, poured a ton of disinfectant over her incision and set her up with a warm towel in the house we had recently built for the new chicks we want to get. This morning I fed her a little olive oil, some arnica, made sure she was comfy and had water and smeared her incision with neosporian.  She's pooping again, in great spirits, though still not able to walk, and just might recover.

Crazy.

But mostly crazy because I can now say that I have performed open crop surgery on a chicken, which will look lovely on my resume.  Fingers crossed the patient will recover.