Yesterday was rough, from a caretaker perspective and a migraine perspective.
Once the temperature had gotten up to one that I could personally tolerate, I got help carrying 4 gallons of warm water up to the “barnyard.”
Only to get up there, and discover a hawk eating a chick who’d gotten out of the primary coop. Bold as fucking brass, that asshole. Finally got the damn thing to LEAVE and we discovered that I lost a total of three of the “teenager” chicks, half way to laying age. 🙁 Two just flat out got lost in the big coop, went the wrong way, and froze to death. They shouldn’t have been ABLE to get where they did but … obviously they did.
We actually can’t get the carcasses of the two out until the temperatures warm up. They’re too frozen.
So. Dealing with that. Turn to work on the rabbits, since there’s nothing I can do for the frozen chicks.
Only to discover that the pipe warming tape just hadn’t been able to keep up with -10F and below. The waterer system was frozen solid. Again. At least it looks like I didn’t lose any *pipes* this time.
But this still left me with the dilemma of how to handle this until things thaw enough to function. I tried to melt the ice blocks in the end cap pipes — didn’t work. Couldn’t get the bottles to defrost enough to use the last time I tried that. (During this, I had to chase the hawk off AGAIN. It was throwing itself into the fence at the adult chickens … with me STANDING there. Bold as fucking brass.) So I brought two bottles down to take back up for the doe with the weaning litter once I had them unfrozen and refilled. Started researching crocks for the rabbits, and felt really nauseous as I warmed back up.
Got up to take ibuprofen, came back to my desk, complained to a friend about the nausea, and then while my husband was standing there talking to me, got slammed by a cluster migraine, all in less than five minutes. Curled up / around my desk, and tried to not scream. He helped as he could, and once I was stable enough to make my way to bed, I passed out for a few hours. (I’m not actually sure how long.)
When I got back up, I resumed researching crocks, trying to buy some online. (Regular bowls are … bad under these circumstances. And no crocks in with the hoppity bunnies.) I wanted basically these, as I’ve had similar ones before, in larger sizes:
OK, well, fine. A tad expensive but … I need ten total, so five sets. Which means I can’t get them until … Tuesday? That doesn’t help.
I proceeded to check every pet store, Walmart, Target, etc., I could check online, in the area. They all had maybe one, maybe two ceramic, metal, or plastic crocks. One of each in stores, or simply out of stock.
Gave up when I started getting sick again. Went to bed.
Tonight, we went out, and went to the Kroger with a fancier pet section.
KROGER had the exact crocks (linked above). Not just one, or two. No, they had a dozen, in each of the three sizes. The small ones, the ones I needed, were $2.79 each, versus the next best price I’d found of about $4.15 each (Amazon).
So I came home with enough crocks to get everyone water, for about $25, instead of the $45-50 it would have cost trying to piecemeal enough from everywhere else.
Fortunately, I did not discover any further casualties, so far, of either species. All of the rabbit kits are fine, all of the chickens (young and older) alive yesterday appear to be accounted for and still alive. I am very relieved, given the casualty rate of the last week on my livestock.
The rabbits were all very happy to get their warm water in brand new crocks. The doe with the weaning litter got the two water bottles, and all the kits were trying to hog the bottles. Hopefully, that’s the last of the “drama” for a week or two.