Monday, May 23, 2016

Sink or Swim

We knew rain was expected this week, so we prepared by moving all the coops to fresh grass.  There seemed to be plenty of room between the chickens and the ditches, so we thought we were okay.

However, the rain began around 8 this morning and continued for another 7 hours, until the rain gauge registered 3.2" of rain.  On our way home from therapy at 11 am, in the midst of the endless pouring rain, I passed paved roads through town that were underwater.  When I reached out outskirts, I found the road to our neighborhood flooded twice.  By the time I turned into the road that ends at our neighborhood, I called my sister to help me decide if I should turn back.
I continued on, and the scene I discovered at home made me nauseous.  The three laying hen coops at the bottom of the property were knee deep in water.  These pictures don't even express the full severity of it, but know the chickens had to either swim or be on their roosts.  I called James home, and I don't think he comprehended the severity either until he drove the tractor down into it.
Thank God for the tractor and a skilled operator.

 This coop was by far the worst off.  James unfortunately found the rooster dead in the water as well as one soaked hen.  We've been able to revive the hen, but here ends the days of A.J., a beloved one-eyed rooster.
 See that water behind the strip of green grass?  That's the road.  Where James and the coop stand was usually on dry ground even in the wettest of weather.
The water is finally receding, but we are tentatively expecting 2+" of rain today and chances of rain over the next three days.  We will do our best to provide plenty of dry bedding for the hens and extra food, and then we will all have to sink or swim.

Until next time, remember, this is not paradise.  It's Purgatory Ranch.