Archive for the ‘Pets’ Category

How to Spoil a Pet Chicken

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

You may remember our Candyland playing, stock watching chicken, Chirp, whose mom tried to ‘get rid of him’ shortly after he hatched.

He’s doing fine and after spending the first 10 weeks of his life in the house he is adjusting to life outside with, of all things, chickens.

He still likes to follow us around, and he stands at the back door to come in when he’s out of the coop, but he has made a chicken friend.

And in case of terrible rain like we had recently,  Alexandra guilts me into bringing him inside to hang out in the garage with the rabbits till the storm passes.

The other chickens are jealous.

Rescuing a Baby Squirrel

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

File under ‘Things to do in my spare time’.  Feed and care for a baby squirrel…make that a paralyzed baby squirrel.

Would it not have been for the fact that my cousin introduced this adorable little thing to my three kids, I would have let nature run it’s course.  However, that was not possible when my kids were about to burst into tears.

“He won’t survive even if we try to help him,” I said.

“But you didn’t think Nibbles would live either, and he’s two now,” was the response from the twins.  

Nibbles is a bunny who was the only one of his three siblings to survive a run in with our riding mower.  You can see his story here.

So I lost the battle and am now caring for the squirrel, who I adamantly refuse to name for fear he won’t make it.  Yet he seems to be flourshing, as evidenced by the way he tries to attack me every time I go to feed him.

Which has now led to the question, if he continues to thrive, what do you do with a paralyzed squirrel who  obviously can’t be put back in the wild?

Anyone know a good wildlife rehabilitator in Eastern Pennsylvania who would be willing to take on a squirrel for it’s lifetime?

Who Says Chickens are Dumb

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Just look at Chirp checking out stock prices.

Socializing Cats at Animals in Distress

Monday, April 12th, 2010

 Makenna is a huge animal lover, so rather than do girl scouts or dance we spend one evening a week  socializing kitties at Animals In Distress, a local no-kill animal shelter near our home. 

There’s young kitties, old kitties, paralyzed kitties and kitties missing eyes and they all live happily in big rooms decked out with all kinds of toys and beds like the jungle roo

Since there are so many cats that each kitty has their photo and name shown on the door of their room so we can always check the door and call each kitty by name.   

 We’ve made them lots of toys that they love to play with, although I have yet to remember to take a picture of a finished one before giving it to the kitties.

They also have dogs at Animals in Distress but only volunteers who are 18 or older are allowed to help walk them.   With the kitties children can be as young as eight to come and play.

So if you’re in the market for a cute cat or dog, or want to do some fun volunteer work check out Animals in Distress located in Coopersburg, PA.

Anyone want to make a kitty toy?

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Makenna desperately wanted to make a kitty toy for the homeless cats at Animals in Distress.  She bugged me for days.

So we hit my fabric and ribbon stash… and this fish was what we came up with as a first effort.   Well it was stuffed too, but of course, after taking the pictures of all the different steps to make the fish, I forgot to take a picture of the finished project before we gave it to the kitties.  (My adorable son will tell you that is because ‘mommy has a small brain’.)

It was important that the toy could be made by Makenna alone, since she wants to make lots of them for the different kitty rooms at the shelter.   Since I already have a long list of sewing projects to do myself, the kitty toys need to be on her list.

The toy was made from my fabric stash with fabric ribbon and then stuffed with cut up sheets (in case the kitties managed to rip open the toy I didn’t want them choking on stuffing).

Lesson learned for the next toy.  Use strips of thin fleece (or something else that won’t fray) for the tassles because the cats claws had the ribbon shredded in about a minute.

We cut out a fish shape that was about 5 inches long by 3.5 inches high.  Next we cut pieces of ribbon in varying 4-5 inch lengths, and one 15 inch piece to use to dangle the toy.

With the right side of fabric facing up, we layed the ribbons down with the ends at the back of the fish and the long ends out past the head.  This way the ribbons will hang out the back of the fish like you want. 

Attach the ribbon with a piece of scotch tape about an inch from the end of the ribbon (where you won’t be sewing) in order to hold the ribbon in place while you sew.

With your sewing machine, run a straight stitch along the ribbons twice to attach them to the fish.

Remove the tape that was holding them inplace.

Next tape the long piece of ribbon with the end near the fish’s mouth and the long end hanging over the tail.  Tape, and sew as you did the back ribbons.

Now gather the ribbons together in the middle of the fish and tape down away from the edges so that you don’t accidently sew through them when you sew the two pieces of the fish together.

With right sides facing each other pin the pieces together and then sew a straight stitch around the perimeter of the fish about 1/4 inch from the edge leaving a 1.5 inch opening at the base of the fish for turning it right side out.

Turn your toy right side out.  Remove the tape from the ribbons.

Stuff with small pieces (about 1/2 inch) of recycled fabric.

Hand stitch the opening closed and your toy is ready.

Next toy I plan on buying 3/8 inch dowel rods which we will drill a hole through (mommy will have to do that part), and then we can tie the long ribbon through it and dangle the toy more easily for the kitties.

As soon as we make a few more toys (this weekend since we go to see the kitties again Monday) I will add some better pictures, including a few completely finished ones, and they’ll show the stick for dangling them too.

4/9/10  I still haven’t remembered to take a picture of these since we’re always so excited to give them to the kitties, but one thing we learned is to use thin fleece instead of ribbon because it holds up much better to kitty claws.

Homemade Wild Bird Food

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

When the weather gets cold, we always make sure to take extra care of our wild feathered friends.  We give them plenty of birdseed and fresh water each day.  But, for our animal loving child (Makenna) that wasn’t enough.  She wanted to make them something.  Her first choice was pinecones lathered in peanut butter and rolled in birdseed but we’ve done those in the past….so I headed to the internet to find other recipes.

This is the first one we’ve tried, and we had lots of fun, so we’ll be sure to try some more recipes before the winter is over.

The Recipe.  Homemade Bird Food.

In large bowl combine..

1 cup Cornmeal,  1 cup Peanut Butter,  1 cup Sugar, 1/2 cup Flour

Add 1/2 cup Water.

Microwave on high 4-5 minutes until very thick.

Add 1 cup Birdseed.    Stir.   Let Cool.

Press into mold.  Milk Carton, Cool Whip container, Sour Cream container, etc. (We tried in a pie plate and it got to thin and didn’t hold together as well as we would have liked.)

Put in refrigerator to cool and harden.

Unmold and put outside for the birdies to enjoy!

There are more homemade birdfood recipes here and here.

 

 

 

Homemade Chicken Coop

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

We are so excited we finally got our chicken coop done! 

And getting so excited about building a chicken coop means we are 1.  Getting old  2.  Need more friends/hobbies or both  3.  Are a little odd  or 4.  All of the above.

We are proud that we built the entire thing for free, with stuff we had laying around the garage (yes, we do have alot of junk stuff laying around our home).  The base for the coop began its life as a potting table my dad made for me a few years ago that I didn’t use anymore.  The vinyl flooring is for easy cleaning and was leftover from our addition last year.

We’re starting with just three chickens.  Peep Peep the rooster and Golden Star and Golden Splash the girls (Peep, Star and Splash for short in case I’m lonely and need to be out there talking to a bunch of chickens by name).  We figure we’ll hatch a few more in the spring to get the whole egg to chick education.

 

 

 

Tame Ducks

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Some ducks have taken to visiting our house daily.

To say they’re tame is an understatement as they run up to us and eat bread out of our hands.

The kids are loving it.  And the ducks are pretty happy too.

The dogs…. they’re hoping for a duck breakfast sometime soon.

And pappy isn’t exactly thrilled with the duck poop on the back porch, or that there’s no bread left in the house.

Hot Dogs in Spring

Monday, April 27th, 2009

I’m all for warmer weather, but somewhere along the line I think we skipped spring here in Pennsylvania.

Even the dogs aren’t happy about temperature in the 90’s. 

They wanted outside in the worst way today, and then I put them out.  I watched them as they stood side by side on the porch, panting and looking miserable.  And I know what they were saying to each other. 

“Did you know it was this hot?”

“Nah, I didn’t know….I wouldn’t begged to go out if I knew it was this hot.”

 

“Maybe if we lay down on the sun-baked concrete we’ll feel better.”

“Good idea.”

   A few minutes go by.

“Are you still hot?”

“Yeah….  How about we just go back inside.”

“OK, you bark first.”

“I’m to hot to bark, you bark first, besides it was your idea.”

“Fine.   Woof!”

Then I let them back in and I don’t suspect they’ll be bugging me to go back out anytime soon.

Ducklings and Chicks

Monday, April 20th, 2009

It doesn’t get much cuter than ducklings and chicks.

They have some at the Flint Hill Farm that we volunteer at each week.

The kids couldn’t get enough of them.

Although I am quite certain the ducklings and chicks had enough of them and the photo shoot.