Sunday, 24 February 2013

Sunday 24th

Today was surly, overcast and humid all day, only brightening up at sunset. We were supposed to have rain, but up here we believe it when we see it. Talking of which, the Allora bridge has been patched up after the recent floods, and today there was a sign on the way home to say that the Warwick road is open again. Great, as the loop around the back roads, while scenic, takes a fairly long time. 

I had a phone call from someone wanting to view the house. It's been officially on the market since June last year, but I haven't exactly been pushing it along, so I was very surprised by the call. Darn, now I have to tidy it all up and pretend to be civilised by Wednesday. The lady was actually very sweet and said not to worry about any mess.Right, like who wants others to see what barbarians dwell here? This afternoon I hastily contacted my lovely cleaning lady, talked to the nice man who slashes the paddock for me, and left a message fro the mowing man. That's all a good start!

Now, puppish developments: I did a call-back to the youngster whose dog I had napped, and asked why he hadn't collected his dog from the Pound. He said, well, they hadn't got around to it. I had been losing sleep imagining him missing his dog, and he didn't care? The Pound people were right after all. The lad then said it was fine for me to have the dog as, 'I only had him for a month or so...' So the dog is a hand-me-down to anyone who would take him. No wonder he was desperate to stay here. Also, no wonder he is such a handful - he has never bonded with anyone, from the look of it.

From all this, I have decided he is to be called Banjo and he will come home as planned tomorrow. I shall just be very broke after paying all his bills, but this is a fairly usual event (sigh).

Now for a cautionary tale. I bought three beautiful golden-speckled Hamburg chicks for the grandchildren for Christmas. Although advertised on the Net they were available locally, from a very lovely farmer who adored her birds. I felt a great sense of responsibility to have the three beautiful little things. This is what the adults look like:
Lachlan and Rebecca were greatly taken with the sweet-natured creatures and all started off well. Until, that is, one chicken became sick. Sadly, it turned out that she had something called Marek's Disease from which she died. Then one of the roosters went down with it. Clearly the farmer had not inoculated the chicks against infectious diseases.

I am going to see whether I can find replacement birds, but this time around I will know that I need to ask more questions: one cannot assume that breeders are efficient at disease control within their flocks. Theoretically I should have been more aware to start with, but I have kept chooks for over 20 years and had never heard of this, apparently common, disease.

As usual unfortunately it is Buyer Beware (okay, for intellectual snobs the other version of the saying: Caveat emptor!).

May your weather be kind, your families be healthy and animals happy.


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