Monday, June 26, 2006


Ok, word is the assembly bill wasn't voted either way, it's going to be re-written (some disagreement over what things mean, apparently) and re-heard in August. I will be there! Let's get more people there! Not just poultry people, but all critter people. And lots of kids!

In other news..

Bad news on the barn swallows. Yesterday one of the babies was on the ground under the nest (nowhere near fledging age). While putting it back in, I realized this was the absolute worst case of mite infestation that I have EVER seen. It was absolutely disgusting, and the whole wall area around the nest was crawling with mites too. *ugh* So, I made up a little tub of pyrethrin-shampoo bath water, took the baby back out of the nest, washed it (sooooo many mites, ewwwww!) dried it (still so many mites, eww!) and powdered it VERY thoroughly with mite dust. No more mites, yay!

I can't actually see into the nest because it's so close to the ceiling so I held a mirror up there and looked in, and there were two more babies. Unfortunately, both were dead, though they obviously hadn't been dead for long. I suspect they died of blood loss from the mites, and I'm sure that's the reason the one live baby bailed out. So I sprayed the walls and ceiling with mite spray, and dumped some powder into the nest itself. The live baby, now named "Itchy" was pretty weak. I gave it some water, and put it back in the nest. The adult swallows were around, but wouldn't come right up to the nest, and did not feed Itchy (who seemed to be too weak to respond to the adults).

By nightfall, the adults had not been around for several hours, so I brought Itchy in the house and fed it a moth and a grasshopper (perhaps not ideal but it was all I could find!). I fed it two more grasshoppers this morning, and then figured I'd try putting it back in the nest. When I returned after several hours away, the adults were coming to the nest quite regularly, and Itchy was up and loudly begging for food. Though I never actually saw them feeding it, I'm sure they must have been. The adults are not out there tonight though and that does concern me a bit. I feel really bad that two babies died, but there's no way I could have known that if Itchy hadn't jumped out. Keep your fingers crossed for Itchy, and I will keep you posted.

In other news...

Had another fantastic riding session with E and Shylah tonight. Shylah is getting more responsive to rein and leg, and she's walking/trotting off the lunge line now. Last time I'd had her do one lap each direction at a trot, so today I asked for more (I'm still the one on the ground, E is riding). Shylah had no problem going forward but she seemed a bit hesitant somehow, put her head way up, just didn't look like she was moving nicely. Later in the lesson E trotted off the lunge line and Shylah was SO much better, she appeared much more balanced and confident, didn't stick her head up, etc. Even did a few canter steps though that was unplanned! :-) (Shylah tries hard to please, sometimes when you ask her to do something she does a little more than you want!)

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