Friday, December 30, 2011

pumas, banjos, blood and cancer

I only have four things to discuss tonight because this woman is tired, and seriously in need of an adult beverage. I got some rest today but also unloaded a truck of hay, entertained some guests, and did some serious stall mucking. However, these four items are of great import in the life of this farm and blog:

1. A catamount has been sighted in Cambridge, 6 miles from Cold Antler!!! I heard it from the horses mouth (err, Julie Dugan's mouth) when her and her husband Dennis stopped by the farm today to check out my Bun Baker wood stove and sit for tea. They told me they both saw what was certainly a catamount, a tawny brown cat about 3-4+ feet long with a tail easily 3 feet long, at close range to their farmhouse. And for those of you certain "It's not a puma!" (I hope you said that with an Arnold Schwarzenegger accent). These are educators in the community who know wildlife and exactly what they saw. They are the fourth sighting in the last few weeks around this area as well, I am told. They have since bought a rifle, air horns, mace, and set up a gamer camera! Suddenly my backyard has turned into a place of mystery and concern, as silly as that may sound. But I sure did look up in the trees when I did my night rounds tonight!

2. Julie agreed to come instruct and play at the Mountain Music workshop! This is a HUGE DEAL! She's a nationally known clawhammer player, and has taught all over the nation at banjo camps and festivals. She's amazingly talented and said she'd bring her whole music group and old mountain instruments too (she has over 30 banjos!). This is a great treat to any banjo folks coming to the workshop this winter! And remember, farm food and a fiddle giveaway happen that day too!

3. A reader emailed me about blood in her hen's eggs. More than the usual little red spot. She asked what to do. I tried to email you darling, but Comcast blocks itsafarwalk.com as spam, so no dice. Here is my best guess: red spots (more than usual) mean a vitamin A deficiency. Put a teaspoon (no more!) or it diluted in a cup of warm water and mix it into an entire gallon of feed every day for the flock (depending on flock size, the ration of liver oil to feed is 2%). If the yokes are blood red, like the whole yoke, DO NOT EAT THE EGGS and know this might be cholera. Research both of these online and be mindful of the symptoms! Remove any infected birds from the flock by culling. Don't get the hatchet out right away though, most of the time it's the vitamin A thing.

4. Test results came back from the lab. My mole was not cancerous, and melanoma has been defeated, at least for now! I'm okay! It's not a puma!

Everyone with a backyard flock should pick up The Chicken Health Handbook. It is like having a poultry vet on your bookshelf (you can actually afford) and understand!

44 Comments:

Blogger Drummond Farms Alpacas and Woolens said...

Congratulations on the "all clear" on your mole. Stay safe and Happy New Year!!!! I am a bit early, but who knows what tomorrow has in store for this farm. Blessings and thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have shared this year. I have looked forward to reading your thoughts, sharing your highs and lows. Cheers to you!

December 30, 2011 at 7:57 PM  
Blogger Kathy P. said...

So glad the mole was "nothing". Phew.

The DEC's official position on mountain lions in NYS seems to be that any that *might* be here are released pets and probably won't survive long.

(Of course, they probably wouldn't admit publicly that Hitler's plan to release the big cats in the Adirondacks isn't going well. You can watch a video on that here: http://youtu.be/qsdxyTNn3ko - very, very funny.)

December 30, 2011 at 8:08 PM  
Blogger Flartus said...

"I'm OK! It's not a puma!" Lol--yeah, you do need an adult beverage! Enjoy ringing (or hootin', hollerin' and howlin') in the new year.

December 30, 2011 at 8:23 PM  
Blogger georgie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 30, 2011 at 8:32 PM  
Blogger georgie said...

How many of us scrolled immediately to the last paragraph? Glad you are okay Jenna!
Thanks for the chicken book suggestion. Neighbor just spent over $200 for vet to operate on a laying hen with rectal prolapse. I figure the originally $20 chick is now worth about $30 a pound.
Hope the puma avoids CAF.

December 30, 2011 at 8:33 PM  
Blogger Margie said...

Yikes! Think this must be what we called panthers when I was growing up in Arkansas. My brother had me so scared that I wouldn't go ten feet away from the house after dark. Kate Campbell recorded a song several years ago, "When Panthers Roamed in Arkansas." (There's also another great song on that album about Rock City, but that's another story.) Keep the flashlight handy and the rifle loaded.
Good news on the mole.
Happy New Year!

December 30, 2011 at 8:35 PM  
Blogger Margie said...

Yikes! Think this must be what we called panthers when I was growing up in Arkansas. My brother had me so scared that I wouldn't go ten feet away from the house after dark. Kate Campbell recorded a song several years ago, "When Panthers Roamed in Arkansas." (There's also another great song on that album about Rock City, but that's another story.) Keep the flashlight handy and the rifle loaded.
Good news on the mole.
Happy New Year!

December 30, 2011 at 8:35 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

I'm glad everything is okay with the mole (that is the best news of the post!); we have bobcats down here in CT - in my good friends back yard with the pictures to prove it (I'm not sure what a catamount is); Congrats on getting Julie to instruct at your workshop; I've only seen regular teeny tiny spots in my hens eggs once in a blue moon, but now that I know that there could be an issue, I'll be sure to check into it, if I ever come across it.

I learn something new on this blog everyday - thank you!

December 30, 2011 at 8:37 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Catamount is a mountain lion ! Seen in CT too! o e was recently roamed there from sd !!

December 30, 2011 at 8:43 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

Holy Smokes I knew there were mountain lions here! My husband and I argue over this very issue on a weekly basis! I personally know both Julie and Dennis and if they say that is what they saw then watch out! They terrify the crap out of me!!! You can keep them in your neck of the woods. We have bobcats here as well. Honestly I would take 100 bobcats over 1 mountain lion any day! They are nasty cats! Yes I used to pet sit at a house that subscribed to the readers digest and always had stories of cougar/mountain lion/puma attacks.

December 30, 2011 at 8:50 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

I'm glad you got good news, Jenna. And thanks for the answer on the eggs. It's funny, I got an email from you a year or so ago, I don't know what's changed with the comcast...I guess I'll isolate the girls one by one till I figure out who's to blame. This isn't going to be pretty, though. We only have 5 hens and they're all pet-like.

December 30, 2011 at 8:59 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

I think that there is a good possiblity that mtn lions could be in your area. They have large ranges, and young ones leave home to find their own area. Here is Oregon the wildlife folks are radio tracking a young male wolf that has traveled over 600 miles across the state, in search of other wolves. Happy about your mole, you are young and melanoma is deadly. I had one removed in 1997, and have been in remission (or cured by the dr).

December 30, 2011 at 9:16 PM  
Blogger sheila said...

I know where you can get some livestock guardian dogs. Great Pyrenees are the best!

December 30, 2011 at 9:19 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

You might get a kick out of this!! When you said your mole wasn't cancerous....I was thinking 'garden' mole as in ground dwelling creature and was wondering why you were worried about it...maybe one of the dogs ate one (which they usually don't!) I think I'm so used to writing about farming stuff I was in 'farm speak'!! HaHa!

December 30, 2011 at 9:48 PM  
Blogger jim said...

jenna- do your homework on Mt.Lions
They can be very dangerous---Congrats on the mole-stay warm-

December 30, 2011 at 10:22 PM  
Blogger jim said...

jenna- do your homework on Mt.Lions
They can be very dangerous---Congrats on the mole-stay warm-

December 30, 2011 at 10:23 PM  
Blogger pawsfurme said...

Glad to hear that your mole was nothing major. Good news to end the year.
There are unconfirmed rumors of Mountain Lions/Catamounts/Cougars in MD. Scary thought that they are seen so often in the Eastern US. The wiki description says to NOT run OR play dead, but to yell and throw sticks and such.

December 30, 2011 at 10:45 PM  
Blogger Trekout2 said...

Wow I need that book... I have 2 chickens and I was checking on them today and they are well it sounds like a cough about every three minutes. I called my vet and he is closed for the weekend. I have never seen a chicken do this...

December 30, 2011 at 11:20 PM  
Blogger Misty said...

Michigan Department of Natural Resources claims there are no big cats in the State. However, there have been cougar sightings in addition to a horse ended up with gigantic claw marks down it's back. And, as a teenager, I remember hearing regular bobcat cries in the woods behind our house.

Lately all we hear are coyotes.

December 30, 2011 at 11:41 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

The DEC laughed when my grandmother told them she watched one walk down the road in Northern Berkshire, MA. But I will never forget her looking me dead in the eye and saying "I'm old, but I'm not blind. And what I saw was NOT a barn cat. They can say what they want, but that was a mountain lion." I've never believed the official position on such things since.

December 31, 2011 at 12:01 AM  
Blogger Nadia said...

I love The Chicken Health Handbook! My neighbor gave it to me when I got my first chickens.

December 31, 2011 at 1:56 AM  
Blogger Greentwinsmummy said...

Enjoy the silly juice as we call it here x so glad the mole removal was ok x and Happy New Year to you Jenna, I love the thought of a freah new year waiting for us all to learn new things and have more adventures in.
GTM x x

December 31, 2011 at 5:01 AM  
Blogger Kelpie and Collie said...

Having Jasper hanging with your sheep ought to give you a measure of safety.

December 31, 2011 at 6:27 AM  
Blogger Kelpie and Collie said...

PS: NYDEC will never admit that there ARE mountain lions in NY. They refuse to, because they state that the cats would be endangered. Don't bother reporting to them..........

December 31, 2011 at 6:30 AM  
Blogger Peacemom said...

Hi Jenna!

Blessings to you for the benign mole, that's a relief! My mother up on coastal maine has had a catamount visit her yard several times. The official word there is they aren't in the area and that can't be what she saw...but it was. My mother has been a country dweller a very large portion of her life and she knows what she saw...I'll have to get the Chicken Health Handbook, sounds like a winner. Hope you have a wonderful new year, I know for me personally, it's got to get better then last year. Peace to you, Jenna-~Vonnie

December 31, 2011 at 8:10 AM  
Blogger Patsy said...

I live in east central Illinois and every once in awhile there are mountain lion sightings. Yes, they are real. And yes, please be careful even though they would probably take the sheep before you. Dog barking will usually scare them off but don't count on it.
That being said, have a good new year Jenna. Give the dogs hugs from all of us. God bless.

December 31, 2011 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger Patsy said...

I live in east central Illinois and every once in awhile there are mountain lion sightings. Yes, they are real. And yes, please be careful even though they would probably take the sheep before you. Dog barking will usually scare them off but don't count on it.
That being said, have a good new year Jenna. Give the dogs hugs from all of us. God bless.

December 31, 2011 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

We have plenty of bobcats around here, and they are probably the most destructive animal that ever infiltrates our ranks! Notoriously hard to deal with too, since they're sneakier than we are (cats, after all). We had one come through last winter that killed a very large Muscovy drake and both our Pilgrim geese the same night. Good luck with your big cat, and be careful!

December 31, 2011 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger Mimi's Tapawingo said...

The best news for the New Year - congratulations on No Cancer! Keep yourself and animals safe from the big beautiful dangerous cat!

December 31, 2011 at 9:51 AM  
Blogger Firecracker Farm said...

I am cracking up. "It's not a puma!"
That is the funniest thing I've read all week!

December 31, 2011 at 10:03 AM  
Blogger kate said...

Jenna,

What I learned from some practice is it is best to stay in after dark - finish the chores - and if you are out turn on a lot of light and make noise.

It could be dumb luck, but I've had some adventures to tell about later in upstate NY and rural VT.

Kate

December 31, 2011 at 10:03 AM  
Blogger The Sprouting Acorn said...

We have occasional reports of mountain lions in IN, but who knows if they've traveled in or have escaped from captivity. Also have seen bobcat here as well. Here kitty, kitty, kitty. :) When I was in Sharon Springs, NY, this past fall, heading to Meadowlark Inn, saw a bobcat cross the road. Way cool!

Be safe out there!! and Happy New Year!

December 31, 2011 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger doglady said...

A mountain lion in Veryork. That is great. The states of VT or NY are unlikely to officially acknowledge their presence because then they have to classify them as game animals or endangered. It is just easier to not admit they are around. Kind of like wolves in ME. There are unofficial breeding pairs in the hinterlands.

December 31, 2011 at 12:38 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

And glad to hear your cancer scare was for naught.

December 31, 2011 at 12:39 PM  
Blogger Glyndalyn said...

What a wonderful feeling to know it is not cancer!

How cool to see a big cat. I understand "varmits" on the homestead. Still hope the farmers in upstate NY let it live. Must be a rare thing to see. Dogs living with livestock can be wonderful for discouraging coyotes, other dogs, and probably large cats.

Planning the coming year's garden, made a great batch of soap and bread. Now outside to bring some wood to the house. Sixty degrees out there! But the almanac calender
and the weatherman say an artic blast is coming.

Happy New Year from the Phony Farm in Middle Tennessee.

December 31, 2011 at 1:23 PM  
OpenID meatbagz said...

my uncle owns a dairy farm outside of greenwich and he's had many-a mountain lion sightings! thankfully it has never bothered any of the livestock, but helps itself to some of the deer in the back fields.

and hooray for good test results-definitely something to celebrate!

kate.

December 31, 2011 at 2:06 PM  
Blogger redbird said...

So glad it’s not a puma!

December 31, 2011 at 4:15 PM  
Blogger redbird said...

Best of luck with the real deal—make lots of noise at night if one's roaming in your area. They hate human commotion as a rule.

December 31, 2011 at 4:25 PM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

Totally off topic here, but I just sighted Chick Days in the local library in.....Dickinson, ND. Your fame is spreading!

December 31, 2011 at 5:47 PM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

And Congrats on the mole not being...a puma!

December 31, 2011 at 5:52 PM  
Blogger Melanie J. said...

Happy new year, Jenna! Enjoyed the heck out of Barnheart, and looking forward to rereading your first 2...for me, 2012 is gonna be the year to immerse in the knowledge needed to move the dream forward. Thanks so much for the continued inspiration.

December 31, 2011 at 9:01 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

No cancer is the best news to end the year with!
Concerning mountain lions: my sister has seen one in Temple, NH. A co-worker's brother, who is on the DPW in Plainfield, Conn., has a picture of one that was shot there. The guy was holding it up and it was nearly as long as he was tall! I went looking on the Conn. DEM website, and no mention of it!
Be careful out there.

December 31, 2011 at 9:14 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Contests on the results and I hope the cat stays away from CAF!

Lara if you are out there: just left Taos and I found the yarn shop you mentioned! I wanted to buy all of the herb dyed yarn!!!! I'm dragging home as much as I could afford.

Happy New Year to all.

January 1, 2012 at 4:51 PM  
Blogger redbird said...

Awesome Kate—it’s certainly special stuff! Happy New Year to you, Jason, and the family—and have fun with that yarn!

January 2, 2012 at 12:51 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home