New furnace and A/C, Simon PIgeon inspects

151123 New furnace and A/C
Simon Pigeon just HAD to inspect our brand new furnace and A/C.
. . The A/C works great... it's really cold.
(Furnace works great too).

Pics 151120ma 2731 Pigeon New furnace installed Simon.JPG
151120t 2731 New furnace AC installed Pigeon Simon.JPG
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Velcro hanging upside down, injured

I was sure she was dead.... eyes closed, she looked so very very dead. 

It was a bit later than usual when I went out to close up the Chickens, in the thunder, lightning, and pouring rain. Everyone was there except for my sweet Velcro Pigeon. She would never stay out on purpose so I feared the worst. This is my prize pigeon, my friend, my companion, my treasure…we’ve been thru a lot together... she has nine lives it seems (she's already used up 4).  With flashlight I looked everywhere, several times, no sign of her. I was about to give up and hoped she might return the next morning. Then, for no good reason, I shined the light at the top vent in back of the aviary and to my amazement, there she was, hanging upside down by her leg, looking so very very very dead, I was sure she was dead.

I grabbed a ladder and with the light in one hand and rain pouring down… then I saw her blink so I knew she had a chance to live but a very short time longer and she would have died. I think she was there for a few hours. I lifted her limp body and was attempting to free her foot when the ladder started to sink in the mud and tip over in the wet soil. I was afraid if I dropped her, her leg would twist and break... the ladder was tipping over. The hole was small and I could not reach past her to free her leg. The ladder kept tilting further so I quickly pushed her back into the vent without freeing her leg and hoped for the best. Success, when she fell inside (just a 4" drop to the nest roof) her leg was freed.
 PIC Stuck here = 100527eda 2731 Aviary Vent Velcro Injured-leg 2731.jpg

I ran inside the aviary and she was laying on the nest roof, eyes closed, exhausted and not moving, near death. Her leg did not appear to be broken but she was nearly unconscious. I held her in my arms on the couch and she promptly fell sound asleep... or ... was she dying?  I held her for hours and hours, hoping she’d survive.

WHY? Did she go out the vent ? It seemed strange, she never had before and the door was wide open anyway. But the next night, our Tuna cat desperately wanted to go outside, so we let him. It was because there was a neighborhood cat returned to the scene of the crime. Velcro had managed to escape, but got trapped upside down. Tuna promptly chased him away. Tuna pays no attention to the pigeons, chickens, or Doves, ignores them, but doesn’t like stray cats.

The next morning Velcro’s leg was badly swollen and getting worse so I took her to the vet. The Vet said she would likely lose her leg, it was totally limp and no control or sensation at all... nerve damage?  But she gave Velcro an exam and an x-ray. There were no fractures so then the vet said there was a 75% chance she'd lose her leg. By then I was so upset, the vet hugged me to comfort me.

The next day Velcro showed signs of being able to control her leg just a little bit, but not her toes (dangling) so there was a bit of hope. When she walked she’d fall on her face. By that evening she was able to use her leg just a little bit for support and could limp with difficulty. By the third day her leg had much improved and she seemed to be able to control her front toes just a little bit. By evening, she could sorta walk but with a very severe limp, NO pressure on her toes and foot. While recovering, she spent many many hours sleeping in my arms.
PIC in my arms = 100526ck 2731 VelcroSleeping Injured-Leg Les.jpg

Her life partner, 2.5 the Homer pigeon, was so very upset, frantic, and desperate to see Velcro… she didn’t know what to do, cooing loudly and pacing. She seemed to know that Velcro was in trouble. When I put Velcro’s cage on the deck, 2.5 immediately flew up from the aviary to be with Velcro.
 100526aq 2731 VelcroInjuredLegTravelCage 2.5pecking &Velcro.avi

Later I put Velcro in the house and before I could close the door, 2.5 had flown in to be near Velcro. The bond between those two birds is so amazing, so complete…. They truly love each other so very much.
VIDEO Limping= 1000527aa 2731 2.5 in house near Velcro-legInjury Limping.avi

The forth day Velcro was doing so much better I decided she could be free inside the aviary to be with her lover 2.5. For the entire day, they hugged and kissed and coo’ed and coo’ed.

The 5th day she still limped badly, but it seemed she would be able to be free and lead a mostly normal life so I let them both outside. It was a pleasure to see their happiness. They were jubilant to be together again, much hugging and kissing. They flew around the neighborhood so happy to be reunited and free to fly. Velcro was still limping badly but otherwise seemed in pretty good shape.

This is such a sweet video.

BUT THEN that evening, I went to the aviary late in the day.  I noticed Velcro laying a very large pool of blood. Velcro was laying on the aviary platform instead of up high by the nest. She seemed to be bleeding to death and hadn’t the strength to get up to the nest, SO much blood lost. She was covered in blood and I couldn’t tell where it was coming from. I finally discovered that she had NO control of her back toe and had been walking with her toe folded under her foot all day and the knuckle was bleeding badly. I cleaned her up some and got the bleeding to stop. . We taped a cotton ball on her foot to restrict movement and protect the wound. Afraid it may start bleeding again, I held her in my arms for many hours again and she slept soundly. I was hoping she hadn’t lost TOO much blood, and that it wasn’t too late.

The next morning we made a splint… a cast… of styrofoam and gauze patches, carved with deep grooves to keep all her toes in place.

PIC me holding Velcro=  100531ba 2731 Velcro injured-Leg splint.jpg
100531fp 2731 AviaryCage VelcroSplint Closeup.avi

I’m hoping that when we remove it tomorrow (Fri) that her back toe stays in the right position… then maybe… a day in the aviary and if that’s successful, then Saturday she and 2.5 can be free to fly together again. I’m hoping.

 = = = = = = =    UPDATE 6/4/10 9:30pm. The day started out great. Removed the splint and Velcro was in good spirits and walking pretty good with a limp, but with all her toes where they should be. I let her loose in the aviary and watched her close for many hours and it looked very promising. Her back toe was always straight behind her... all day long. She doesn't have perfect control of her leg yet so stumbles occasionally but overall, doing quite nicely.
BUT by evening, she was walking with her back toe under her foot again so we immediately put the splint back on and confined her to a cage. Will check again in a few days, but I fear it means she cannot control it at all? ? ? then her back toe may have to be amputated ???
...Another potential problem. Her leg is still quite swollen and feels hot to the touch, she gets daily medication for it.  I was hoping it would be normal by now. Also her digestive system is not right. Pigeon droppings should contain no liquid, but hers does, quite a lot. That means all is not well, but maybe that's to be expected under the circumstances... lots of stress. Otherwise, she seems healthy, alert and happy.

UPDATE 6/11/2010 12 noon, Doing well except that she still has almost no control of her toes. The problem is that her rear toe folds under her foot then she walks on it and it bleeds. The splint prevents that but if she's to get control back, her toes need exercise. I'm taking her back to the vet this afternoon for some advice and more pain medication. I'm still keeping her confined in my office. She just now managed to land on my arm.

GOOD NEWS update 7/9/2010 - Success. Almost 100% recovered. Her limp is barely noticeable.


She REALLY wanted a baby. Switched at birth ..

She REALLY wanted a baby.
Oops, Mom is not the real mom, The other mom is.
Switched at birth ...
. Two hens (white, brown) on nests hatching eggs ...
Egg rolls out onto floor ...
I placed the egg back in the nest that it fell out of (brown)..
Wrong ... As the chick grew older it became clear it belonged to Shmoo, the white hen. The father (Barney) is mostly brown so the baby is mostly brown but has feathers like Shmoo's (fuzzy), not like the other hen.
So Sorry Shmoo.

 Pics 151108d 2731 Chicken Shmoo baby raised by Sebright.JPG
100809 2731 Shmoo in chair.jpg
150705a 2731 Chicken Sebright baby 4 day old.JPG
151108k 2731 Chicken Shmoo baby raised by Sebright Barney.JPG
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Simon insists that I cover him with both hands... Then he's happy.

151116 Simon insists that I cover him with both hands... Then he's happy.
He loves to snuggle, cuddly and be massaged.

Vid= 151101e 2731 Pigeon holding peck at hands to hug Simon edited 1.avi
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Mail box for fire pit Helpful hint

1511114 Mail box for fire pit Helpful hint   
Handy for keeping supplies safe from squirrels, mice and weather around our fire pit (or other remote locations).... (These are now 20 years old).
Paper towels, napkins, Hand cleaner, lighter, lighter fluid, bug spray, misc., and whatever. #HelpfulHints

Pic = 151107 2731 fire pit storage mailbox.JPG
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Dodge caravan 14.8 mpg

151108 Dodge caravan 14.8 mpg
It's time to retire this Dodge Grand Caravan, BUT on a recent trip from Minneapolis to the N Shore of Lake Superior... it gets such great mileage ... ... ... (34.8 mpg).
. . . So amazingly trouble free and reliable with almost no maintenance, hard to part with it. And it's an AWD van and they don't make them anymore.... so what would I replace it with? I still need 4'x8' cargo space and AWD. It gets one more winter I guess.

 . The mileage was "moving mileage", no stops for 150 miles, about 65mph. Average for the entire round trip was 32.5 mpg (Not so good in town though 20mpg).
(BTW - The LED mpg indicator and the odometer calculated mpg are very close to the same).

Pics 111106 MWD Pigeon Waiting In Van Car.JPG
151010n N Shore 01 Van Odometer mpg.jpg
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151106 Simon down the hall 9:00pm, standard time not DST

151106  Simon down the hall, standard time not DST
It was quite unusual. He usually comes down the hall to my office for his goodnight hug around 10:00 pm ... it's 8:55pm ...
BUT ...
then I remembered, ... it's not daylight savings time anymore. Simon has not reset his clock.

pic 151106 2731 Pigeon hall 9pm not DST.jpg
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