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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Will you help my poor hens?

Okay, I am desperate and so are the three hens. I cannot afford all the measures to make their pen (10'x10'x6' dog pen) secure from raccoons. If you can get to the two or three posts before and after this one in blue, there is more about the raccoon problem. This blogger blog is so messed up, something in code I am told, that I could not find the previous posts!

It is making me and hens crazy having them cooped up in the house from 6 pm to 8 am or later. They are upset because they cannot live a normal chicken life. They are in a hamster or gerbil cage or something like that, about 24" tall, 22" wide, and 30" long.

Plus, they need more than a Rubbermaid container to live in. I have asked on freecyle for wood, all manner of things, like the little children's playhouses. There is no one to help me haul home things on the side of the road--no one that can/will come and help until three or four days and by then free stuff is gone. Yes, lumber yards and new home construction sites are not willing or the lumber is thrown directly into a dumpster that I cannot get into. Or, someone else gets what they leave me. My energy level and the cost of gas are not conducive to making free happen. I do have a bit of wood stashed here, not much. Wood that I have found that is free and long enough is treated, so that won't work.

Carrying their cage with them in it, even without them in it is hurting my shoulder and back. Next week, I have to be driven an hour to the doctor for a late afternoon appointment. So, I will be on pins and needles, worrying about the few hours at dusk and after dark that they will be in danger. The appointment is for back, knee, and shoulder. I may have torn my rotator cuff. So, this is for me as well. If I cannot care for them....cannot think of that.

Like I said, this is desperation. I have been putting them in the house since August 18th, 2010. If I have to go into the hospital, they cannot stay in or out until I get back. If they are out, I can just leave water and food. Nope, not much help available here.

I really HATE to ask. You notice I have no ads....for a good reason...just wanting this to be all fun. I live on less than $700/month.

Since my mail gets misdelivered or tampered with, my friend has said he will bring it to me from his address.

Your turn
Would you rather I did not post the "help" plea on the top right of the blog? Is it tacky? My face is getting hot as I think of hit "PUBLISH POST" button. Here goes!

Will you contact me at pparsimony if you do send anything?


  1. hi, Practical, have you considered contacting churches? Youth groups often take on projects just like the one I think you're needing...even if you're not a member!

  2. For chicken security? No, churches have told me when I needed help in the past to go ask my own church. So, not going there on a bet. Others want me to join first. Not going there. Another told me to pray for what I needed, to rexamine my life...

    This will involve metal posts, hardware cloth, power tools, not jobs for children. My insurance would cancel if anyone got hurt.

    The church I was a member of told me I was going to hell because I was divorced and they were not obligated to help me because I was divorced and my children did not attend church there. Okay, they live 1000 miles away and I left an abusive husband/preacher when I divorced.

    I never allow anyone under 19 to work in my yard, paid or volunteer. Guys I pay to mow cannot bring children that they are watching while the mother shops! Yes, they bring the kids to work. Yes, parents or guardians will be there, but there are dangerous things in my yard that running boys can get hurt on. Nope, you cannot take the shovel or hose and beat the trees. Please don't throw my driveway gravel into the grass. That rock has a rotting tree stump under it. Then, parents get angry. My friend brought his son, but that kid had a military dad and did not smile without persmission. That was years ago.

  3. I looked back but don't think I could find the posts to which you this something like what you're wanting to do with your dog house?

  4. I don't have a dog house. I have three hens.

  5. *chuckle* guess I read wrong when I thought you were also using a dog house for your hens! :-D

  6. clearly too much blog hopping tonight! time to get off the pc, but will be back to find out more, Practical.

  7. I will be happy to donate, it won't be much because I live on SSI & Food Stamps but my sister just gave me $50.00, I would feel blessed to be able to share $25.00 with you, just let me know where to send it. Have you thought about adding a 'ChipIn' button to your blog? I've seen quit a few blogs with ChipIn buttons.
    nothing wrong with asking for help to care for animals who are in need of our help.
    I wish you a speedy recovery. I understand what it's like living with constant pain and the ever-so-frustrating physical limitations, I've had 2 back surgeries with spinal fusion.
    One other thought that may help in the meantime. A large metal dog crate to hold your hens during the night? Are there ANY Animal Rescue Organizations in your area that you could send a Plea for help to? One other thought; maybe there's a kindly shop-keeper who would allow you to put a Donation Container on their counter?


    P.S. There is absolutely no shame in asking for help to protect your hens. It shows that you are a good-hearted, compassionate person.

  8. A dog crate would not protect the hens from raccoons. Raccoons can reach in. Besides, I don't want a raccoon to frighten them and cause them to die. A raccoon could get to close to them. It happens. I would still have to lift it into the house. No, the animal rescue people took animals from a woman asking for help. Not going there! She said they do that to lots of people. The address to send to is in the top right of the blog. Yhanks. Really, maybe you should send less. It won't bother me if you do. THANKS for anything.

  9. Hi Linda
    I don't think its tacky for you to ask for help. I'm glad that you reached out. If I can, I will though it probably won't be much.
    I was just thinking that maybe you can get in touch with any permaculture groups in your area if they exist. Can you go on to Yahoos Meetup and see if you can find a local group? It could be homesteading groups instead of permaculture ones. I know that the people who tend to congregate at these events are often generous in spirit. Many who cannot keep their own chickens would love the opportunity to help you out.

    I've noticed that you blog lately has taken a lot of time to load. I don't know if that has to do with your problems or its my own computer but it happens on the iPad too. Maybe its your layout?

  10. No permaculture groups around. I am in small town. I approached a guy at CSA about a pen when these were chicks. He said to me, "YOU cannot afford what I make." I knew these people and they knew my finances sort of. He was so haughty. No, I did not ask for a break so I could afford it. Most people around here look out for themselves and large extended families. If I could have found help locally, I would not have asked here! One of my country friends who knew everyone I need to know and could have helped out, died last year. This is my last resort. Period.

  11. Sorry, Linda, didn't mean to frustrate you with my suggestions. I misread your dog pen as being a dog house, so that's why I sent the link to the dog house to chicken coop conversion. Sorry about that. :(

  12. Dmarie, I was really I reread the post for what I said.

    A woman needed help with her parrot while she was not able to care for it for whatever reason--a move to be exact with--and reached out. An animal rescue group told her she was cruel to the bird under the present circumstances and threatened to have the police and animal control seize the bird unless she allowed them to find a good foster home. When she could regain the bird and had all the right things for the bird to thrive, she contacted the group who then told her she had to pay for board, feed, care, and some sort of fee on top of that. The fee was around $1K, yep, a thousand dollars.

    I want to be able to fortify the fenced in yard under and over and "cracks" at corners. Then, it needs at least a tarp for a cover. The tarp on it right now is cracked and sagging. The sag holds more debris and water and causes more rotting cracks. I can push up to rid it of water, but debris is impossible. Hardware cloth and labor are expensive. Actually, I may be able to barter for the labor. We will see. So far...just My friends I asked for help last year knew I had an emergency with ice and being out of town on a mission of mercy.

  13. There is no shame in asking for help. I know these things are expensive. Chicken coops are expensive. They are expensive even with making them home-made like we are.

    I'm so sorry you are going through all of this. :-( I am impressed to hear that you live off of $700/month!

  14. Megen, I did not recognize your new blog name! Yes, expensive! Thanks. Then, you know the price of hardware cloth.

  15. Sparing change, Tonight, I will post for celery discards. If they haul me away in a padded wagon, it's too After your comment, I decided maybe it's not too weird.


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