Thursday, March 05, 2009

And This Year's Garden Will Contain...And Bonus Sick Chicken Post!

...a number of oddball items I swore I wouldn't plant. Eh, that's what you get for letting a four year old pick seed packets.

Black Crimean heirloom tomatoes
Brandywine Heirloom tomatoes
Roma tomatoes
Multi-coloured bell peppers
Bright orange bell peppers(California Wonder Orange)
Shelling peas (heirloom Green Arrow dwarf variety)
Cherry Belle radishes
Royal Burgundy Bush Beans
Little Marvel peas
More varieties of basil than I can count, including the Thai kind
Borage (purchased solely for freezing the flowers in ice cubes to dress-up a Pimm's cup. Gosh, I'm my mother's daughter, aren't I?)
Red Onions

We'll see how it goes.

Bonus Fun-we went to the farm supply store to see the first of the chicks and ducks and to pick up our USDA Backyard Biosecurity Calendar-aka, "The Sick Chicken Calendar." I did a long-ish post at the other blog last year, but it was so positively inspired, I'll reprint it here.

Dirty Birdie in The Sky, Why'd You Die In My Backyard?

When you visit farm supply stores this time of year many are selling chicks and ducks. Knowing this, the USDA dumps tons of literature and calendars there, free for the taking. Always looking for an interesting opportunity to educate the youngin’, I grabbed a calendar.

In what is probably a sign that I’ve lived in the country too long, I didn’t even notice the "how to identify sick birds" section-but Danny did! I should have figured "Backyard Biosecurity" would have something to do with sick birds.

"Why does that chicken have a runny nose?"

Yep, that’s one sick chicken. Long, long ropey-snot hanging to the ground in waterfall fashion. Still, a free calendar is a free calendar so I placed it back on the nail I’d hammered into my kitchen wall as the designated "calendar spot" seven years earlier and went back to cooking (not chicken). Sure, I guess snot-nosed infected poultry aren’t typically the sort of thing one wants to look at where they prepare food, but free is free, and if I get any runny-nosed chickens stumbling about I’ve my calendar at hand to help with the identification process. I’m inclined to think if I had a chicken with a booger waterfall I’d know it was sick without the helpful photo, but I guess they want to drive home the point.

So I know, you’re curious now. I wrote a little song about keeping birds safe from disease:

If your little birdie is lookin’ sort of dirty

Call your vet.

If your poor old chicken has a cough that’s really kickin’

Call your State poultry diagnostic lab.

If your duck has green diarrhea, droopy wings, and doesn’t see ya’

Take her out.

And wash your hands.

If your bird’s eggs are gross misshapen

And the wattle’s really gapin’

Take it out

(And scrub your shoes with disinfectant).

If your rooster’s not so large and has a thick nasal discharge

Call the vet.

If the swans begin to sneeze it might be Exotic Newcastle Disease!

Call a vet!

Some creepy genius guy from MENSA

Caught Avian Influenza

When he stuffed and mounted a pheasant head

And now poor Einstein’s DEAD!

Don’t play with dead birds your find in the wild!

And don’t eat them either.

If you must handle a dead bird with your fingers or your toes

Please don’t go rubbing your eyes

Or pick your nose.

Get some water. Get some soap. Call the State!

Why did the chicken cross the road? Who knows? He might have been sick!

Don’t take chances

Call the State!

And wash your hands.


JK said...

The choice of seeds sound very colorful and interesting. Have you had luck before planting the Arugala?

LOL Danny doesn't sing the sick chicken song does he?

Goody said...

I've never grown arugala, and I'm not sure what I'll do if I end up with a great deal of it. I use it sparingly, like an herb-I can't imagine having a whole salad of it.

I should teach Danny the song, eh? People already think we're strange ;)