Wednesday, April 24, 2013

This Mite Be Trouble

Some time ago it was evident that one of our newer roosters was having some trouble walking -- it would almost goose step. I noticed that its legs had developed a white crust on them, but thought that it was perhaps just a genetic defect or something. I picked off one of the crusties on the leg, and it looked like moist skin, like when a layer of human skin is removed. I wondered what was going on, but at the time, I just let it go. Then, over time, several of our chickens seemed to start getting the same crust on their legs or their scales started to look and feel "odd," and I noticed that some of them were starting to have trouble walking, even some preferring not to do much of it.

Ok, something appeared to be wrong; and at that point, I figured I'd better investigate.

Here is a picture of the rooster's legs:

Chicken Scaly Leg Mites Crusty Legs

In searching the Internet, and after finally working out a helpful search term, and after viewing several images, I discovered what I believed to be the culprit: scaly leg. This is apparently caused by a mite that burrows into the legs and causes the scales to protrude or that white crust I was seeing, and can in the end cause lameness. Wow! I was then glad I finally looked into it, although I felt badly for that rooster because I hadn't researched it earlier.

And so, after further investigation, the simplest way I found to remedy this situation is to get some cheap cooking oil (not motor oil, because of the potential toxicity) and dip each leg in it for a couple of seconds (from an off off-gird standpoint, I assume we could probably use lard, but we just bought the oil instead rather than use up any lard now). This was supposed to be done for at least several days, and needed to be done to all infected birds, as the mite apparently spreads from bird to bird.

What I ended up doing was dipping each bird's legs at night for about four days in a row, and then switched to every other day for about another week, and a couple more times at three days apart. Because we had so many to do, when I was dipping them every other day, I started alternating days with part of the flock. I used a pint jar so I didn't have to have a lot of oil used at one time. It took a day or two to get the hang of not allowing the chicken to spill the oil, which I did by also holding the jar with the dipping hand.

Here I am dipping that rooster's legs:

Chicken Scaly Leg Mites Dipping in Cooking Oil
Chicken Scaly Leg Mites Close Up of Dipping in Cooking Oil

And sure enough, a few weeks later, apparently the mites died, and their legs began to heal. And here is that original rooster:

Chicken Scaly Leg Mites Healed Legs


Well, that little therapy appeared to work really well; and since then, it looks like the other chickens have had similar results.

We are thankful to the Lord for allowing us to fairly easily help the chickens, and we are grateful to Him for Him granting the healing that He did.

-- David

Monday, April 15, 2013

Goat Milking Stand - Update I

Last year I built us another goat milking stand, and with it tried to add some extra bracing to the uprights, as we've had trouble with them getting loose with all of the goat activity while on the stand. Well, even with the extra materials and screws, the wood started to split and still come loose and get wobbly. Here is the split one:

Goat Milking Stand Loose Upright


And so, here's what I decided to do to try to help. I thought I'd add 2x4s along the sides of the base and then use plywood corners attached to those 2x4s and the uprights. Here are the cut-out parts:

Goat Milking Stand Upright Bracing Parts

And the 2x4 blocks in place:

Goat Milking Stand Bracing Block

And then the plywood corners attached:

Goat Milking Stand Plywood Corner Brace

Hopefully now this will hold better. Lord willing in several weeks we'll get to find out, as the results of breeding time are almost here!

-- David

Monday, April 8, 2013

David's Digest: Exodus Marks the Plot

This is short book review for Michael Bunker and Chris Awalt's third volume in their W1CK series, W1CK 3: Exodus. W1CK 3 picks up right where Wick 2: The Charm School left off, and follows the several sets of escapees from W1CK 2 as they make their ways to "wherever" -- some with plans, some not. Their biggest/most dangerous obstacles end up being others trying to do the same thing -- most of them ill-prepared, uneducated (in this type of situation), and desperate. It continues to be an interesting story, with good character development, surprising situations, preparedness information, and thought-provoking ideas, all tied into modern-day, relevant situations.

The book, once again, is well written, well told, picturesque, and exciting; and it really starts to pick up steam in the end. In looking at the entire W1CK series, it reminds me of a funnel, where things start out seemingly slower, and then build and intensify as you get nearer the spout end, finally rushing through it. To me, the end of W1CK 3 is where you just start to get shot into the funnel's spout, where I figure W1CK 4 will be the ride through the spout to the end. The authors excellently bring all the various story-line paths of travel together by the end, and get the reader expectingly ready for what's next. And, being this series is a prequel to The Last Pilgrims, for you TLP fans, things start to take just a little more shape to that end.

It should be fun and interesting to see how everything that's going on at the end of W1CK 3 plays out in the next volume!

You can purchase W1CK 3: Exodus from

(Thanks to Sue for the title of this blog post! :) )

-- David

Monday, April 1, 2013

Passover 2013

Each year we celebrate the Passover as a group, and this year we met last Monday evening. We do this to remember Christ and His sacrifice, and to teach the children about His great work.

Here is the group before the celebration:

Passover 2013 Before the Seder

And as the seder began:

Passover 2013 At the Start of the Seder

Here, Mrs. Bunker lights the candles to start the seder, in memory of Christ, the Light of the world:

Passover 2013 Lighting the Candles

This is the seder plate. The lamb represents Christ, the Lamb of God; the bitter herbs (horseradish here) represent the bitterness of bondage; the "matzah" is unleavened, representing how quickly the Israelites had to leave Egypt; the "karpas" (parsley here) symbolizes the new life for the Jewish people and the hyssop used to sprinkle the blood on the door posts; and the "haroset," a mixture of apples, nuts, grape juice and cinnamon, represents the mortar the Israelites used to build the Egyptian cities, and the sweetness of a better world:

Passover 2013 Seder Plate

Here the karpas is dipped into salt water representing the tears of slavery:

Passover 2013 Dipping the Herbs

A a part of tradition, a child reads four questions about why this night is different from all other nights:

Passover 2013 Questions Reading

And here we dip our fingers in one of the cups, setting a drop of wine on the plate 10 times to represent the 10 plagues brought on Egypt:

Passover 2013 Dipping to Represent the Egyptian Plagues

The seder also involves Psalms singing, and then the meal:

Passover 2013 Meal
Passover 2013 Fellowshipping Around the Table

We are grateful to the Lord for this opportunity to remember Christ, His atoning work, and the freedom from the penalty and bondage to sin, Satan, and the world and the freedom to obey Him, all provided for by His great loving and condescending sacrifice. May this remembrance and thankfulness be in our hearts for eternity!

-- David