Jen Fan

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since Nov 05, 2016
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Recent posts by Jen Fan

What kind of land are you clearing?  Is this brush-y, desert, fallow meadow, old crop land?  Wet or dry?  

The precursor question to what animals you might want might be "What kind of infrastructure and fencing are you interested in installing and maintaining?"  And also "What kind of feed and housing are you willing to handle?"

We have steep forested land and we run a combo of pigs and goats to clear new areas.  The goats can clear brush up to 6' tall (standing against the trunks/trees to reach up) and sometimes higher if they can manage to bend a tall sapling or mature brush down.  They'll strip the bark, wood, leaves, and needles.  We value that for fire mitigation.  
The pigs are useful for cutting trails and working the soil.  They root and help clear the land, they trample sticks and debris into finer pieces.  Their poop mixes with the earth more readily than goat pellets that take a long time to break apart and work in.  A large breed pig can easily move several hundred pounds (moving logs and boulders).  They can dig huge holes very quickly.  Smaller breeds are generally bred to root less and will do less 'land shaping' than the big pigs tend to do.

Fencing for goats and pigs is pretty similar, except that you need fences to come up at least 3-4' to keep the goats in, whereas a pig fence can stop at 2' high.  But both animals will readily go under a fence- and also through it.   So it needs to be tight and strong.  And the best guarantee is to incorporate electric.

As far as predator protection, an adult pig is probably safe than an adult goat?  Depends on the pig and its size and temperament I suppose.  Miniature goats will be the most prone to predation.  My experiences with minis are limited, but in the time I had them, I could not fence them in.  They jump high, they fit through absolutely tiny holes, and the ones I had were infinitely more mischievous and bored than any large breed goats I had.  They were utterly discontented to stay behind any fence.  But maybe it was just the mini's I had.

Both goats and pigs need similar housing.  Goats are safer up off the ground, pigs do well in low cave-like structures.  Both animals will benefit greatly from fresh, fluffy bedding like hay or straw.  Goats need dry conditions for their feet or you'll start seeing hoof rot, whereas pigs can handle constant moisture very well.

A good pasturing breed of pig might grow and sustain acceptably on pure forage, but they will benefit greatly from getting grains and other food supplementation as well.  They are omnivores, afterall.  Whereas goats can readily sustain themselves in a brushy/woody environment year-round, depending on the size of their territory and the size of the herd.  They are browsers and primarily eat leaves, buds, wood, and bark.   People often use goats to graze grassy pasture, but honestly it's not their natural diet and you'll need to supplement them with minerals.  If the pasture they're on is short and stubbly, you'll probably want to offer a long and fibrous hay as well.  They can develop rumen problems when they eat just short, wet grass.  They get worms easier that way, too.  But goats don't need grain, and IMO shouldn't get grain as they can't digest it properly.  It also turns them into screamers.

Which is another point; pigs and goats can both be very quiet, or very noisy.  The potential of pigs is happy pigs = minimal noise, upset hungry pigs = screaming noises.  Happy well-fed goats = silent goats, hungry goats or goats with cravings = screaming monsters.  Pigs are never truly silent, but I'd take pig noises over screaming goats any day!

As far as breeds go, I've become biased against floppy-eared goats and associate them with being overly vocal escape artists.  Larger breeds can actually be easier to fence.  My big goats are over 200lbs and they can't jump a 4' fence.  They could when they were kids, but they're just too big and heavy to get that kind of clearance now.  3' they can manage, but not 4'.  They require a much bigger gab in the fence to get through . Then again, they have more power and more ability to destroy wire fencing than a mini does.  My minis would take advantage of any gap over 4" and escape. Electric fencing had to be 2-3" off the ground to keep them from going under it, and wires had to be no more than 4" apart to keep them from jumping through it.  It was hellish. Way harder for me to contain.  It was easy to pick a mini up, sure, but it's also easy to grab one of my big goats by the beard and escort them where they need to go.  I've milked minis and big breeds, and I by far prefer the big teats on a large doe, and the satisfaction of watching quart jars zoom up to the full line in just a minute or two of milking.  Compared to the tiny little teats of the minis that could only accommodate 2-3 fingers, fingers that were constantly covered in milk, and it took me twice as long just to get a pint of milk out of them.  But some people have trouble handling large goats, or have wrist and hand ailments that benefit from the size difference.  So there's a goat for every application!

The pain with goats, is if you're going to breed them (you mentioned meat production) they can take 3-5 years to reach their adult size.  So a tiny baby goat will be a tiny PITA for a few years until it matures and finished growing.  I think of this in terms of the first 3 years of raising my big packers, and how much EASIER they are to live with now that they're 'adults' at 5 years old.  Those first few years saw a lot of destroyed fences and goat-damage from small, agile, bored kids spending all day long learning how to break a fence or gate.   Whereas pigs (yes I know you didn't mention them, but I figured I'd suggest them since they're good land workers and might fit your needs), grow to adult size and mellow out in the first 6-12 months.  For meat production, you can't beat pigs either.  A goat will have a potential for 4 kids a year (unless she has triplets or singles, but they usually have twins).  Those kids will dress out to just a few pounds of meat unless you get a big meat breed.  Which, in this case, something like a boer goat might actually be what you want.  You'll get way more meat off them and they might fit your needs better.   A pig can produce over 20 piglets in a year. And those piglets can reach several hundred pounds within 6 months, even if they're a mini breed.  Our minis grow almost as fast as full sized meat hogs, hitting 150lbs in about 3-4 months, but then they plateau and don't get much bigger, taking another 6-8 months to reach 250-300lbs.  Whereas a full size hog might be 150-200lbs in 3-4 months (depends on how you feed em) and in another 8 months could be 800lbs!

- Need tight, strong fencing and/or hotwire, but fencing can be very short and they're otherwise fairly easy to fence compared to a lot of livestock.
- If producing meat, need grains offered to them, which are generally more expensive than hay.  A robust litter of full size meat hogs can eat through 1 ton of grain in a month during peak growth period, putting on 10-20+ pounds a week.
- Housing needs are simple and rustic
- Fairly predator resistant
- Excellent at fertilizing and tilling the ground
- Will graze on pasture, rip out and eat roots, root up and eat rodents, etc
- One of the more dangerous animals to keep, being omnivores.  Gentle loving stock is needed.
- Comes in minis (300-500lbs) and full size breeds (700-1,000lbs)
- Very rapid growth, making them good for meat production at the expense of higher feed costs
- If breeding, you need a boar around.  They're not stinky, not excessively noisy or offensive.  Our have never gotten aggressive when the girls are in heat, but we've made a point to keep very nice pigs.  Boars don't "rut" like goats do, they just love on the ladies when the ladies cycle and sleep most of the rest of the time.

- Need tough, strong, tight, tall, and thorough fencing, ideally incorporating hotwire
- If supplemental feed is needed, grass hay suffices and is one of the cheapest livestock feeds to be had
- Need added minerals to their diets if on pasture, since pasture/grass/hay isn't a natural diet for them
- Housing must be clean and dry, and their safety & enrichment benefits from having places up off the ground (cable spools and such)
- In danger of predation from almost all predators, especially during kidding season, so fences are best built to also keep predators out (foxes, coyotes, dogs, eagles, bobcats, cougars, bears, etc)
- Goats don't really work the ground but they have mild poop that plants love
- Will eat the best of the best and move on.  It's hard to force a goat to eat something it doesn't want to eat (they won't mow a lawn for you!)
- Fairly docile, safe, lovable animals unless you have a real stinker on your hands, or an unruly buck in rut
- Comes in minis (30-60lbs) and full size breeds (100-250+lbs)
- Meat turn-around in goats (and sheep) is minimal, but if you have a local market it could be in high demand.  Meat breeds like boers are popular for their massive, bulky bodies.
- If breeding, you need a buck.  Bucks are noisy and stinky and offensive in rut (pee in their mouths and froth it all over their bodies and get super musty smelling- like you can smell it 1/4 mile away or more).  Most folks I know give their bucks a lot of space during the rut, even if they're normally a loving, trustworthy goat.  I've only ever had a mini goat and  rutting was the only time he's try to headbutt us without instigation or warning, the little pooper.  
- Goats can be milked!  A mini can produce anywhere from a quart to 1/2 gallon a day, more or less depending on the doe.  Most minis have a higher cream/fat content in their milk than any large breed, making them popular for cheese making.  Large breed goats can produce 1 gallon or more per day, again depends on the doe.  Milking requires equipment and punctual daily schedules that go on for months.  But the calories and good food you get are so worth it.
- Goats also come in fiber breeds!  If you're into shearing and selling/working mohair or cashmere, fiber goats can do everything the other goats can (graze, meat, milk) + provide one more resource for you.  Shearing must be done twice a year for the goats' health.

Sheep are similar to goats in many aspects but are easier to contain.  My experiences with them is that they're less intelligent and more panic-prone than most goats.  Sheep, if afraid of you or frightened suddenly, can jump and kick you or attack you or ram you.  Not that a goat can't, but I've never met a sheep as tame as a goat can be, and have never met a goat as prone to the wild throws of terror like a sheep can be.  I've never seen a sheep weasel through a tiny gap in a fence and defect from the herd for fun, like a goat will.  But I've had to doctor many sheep that badly damaged themselves panicking and smashing themselves or others into a fence or gate, spraining or breaking limbs, trampling lambs to death, etc. when trying to move them from one pasture to another.  I've never had goats damage themselves in flightly brainless terror like I've seen with sheep.  But I've only worked with large meat sheep herds, not hand raised pet sheep.  Sheep are dedicated grazers, unlike goats, and do best on pure pasture.  They don't work the ground much, like goats, they need dry ground, like goats, and they offer the same variety of benefits as goats; fiber, milk, and meat.  Lamb meat is often more lucrative than goat meat is.  You can also get hair sheep that require no shearing.

Quail usually means domesticated coturnix.  Coturnix are meat animals.  I've got some in a large aviary and I have to be careful in there so that I don't step on them.  They'll just stand there and look at my shoe bearing down on them and they won't move.  They're also TINY.  And fragile.  They will not "home" in a coop like a chicken will and must be contained, not only to keep them in one place, but to keep them alive, as everything wants to eat them.  They also won't do anything for you in regards to working the land.  I garden in my quail pen.  They don't dig, they don't trample earth, they don't destroy plants.  They're a delight to keep, but they won't help with this particular task you've mentioned.
- Need 3-dimensional fencing
- Need specialized pasture and seed crops, with supplemented high protein feed grains
- Can live outside with little or no shelter year-round, very hardy in that respect.  If in a large enclosure, have high ceilings to prevent them from spooking and hitting the roof.
- In danger of predation from almost all predators, including tiny predators like house cats, rats, and weasels
- They don't work the land much and are very gentle on the environment around them
- Utterly harmless to keep and incapable of hurting a person
- Quail weigh just a few ounces, usually (there might be some jumbo specialty breed out there)
- Meat turn around is excellent if you have a way to hatch their eggs
- If breeding, you need a rooster.  A quail rooster is just like the ladies except he makes cool "warning chirps" sometimes and other cute little noises.
- Coturnix quail tend to lay almost daily and can produce over 300 eggs a year.  Semi-wild quail varieties are seasonal layers.

Chickens are definitely turn a field of pasture into a field of dirt and poop if you graze enough of them on it for long enough.  They will eat plants down to stubble and then dig until the roots are ripped out; IF they are grazed intensively in one spot.  Chickens are harder to contain though (they dont' care about fences and can end up in the neighbor's field or your backyard garden if not given incentive to stay in one location).  They are heavily predated on by all sorts of mammals and birds of prey.  They are easy to raise though, all things considered.
- Need fencing to keep predators out more than to keep them in, but are prone to roaming if they get a wild hair or don't have enough food near their coop
- If pasture is lean, they need supplemented grain/feed.  But a beautiful pasture can sustain them just fine as long as its available.
- Conventional ideas of coops are safe, dry, and strong.  I've kept birds coopless though; they will nest in trees, in rafter of a barn, or wherever.  The safer they are, the better, obviously.  To me the safest factor is the roosts.  Roosts 5-8' off the ground keep them the safest at night, with a roof over their head to keep nocturnal predators from plucking them off the perch.  Whether those are indoors or outdoors, whether they're rafters or branches, the biddies won't be too picky.  
- In danger of predation from almost all predators, including tiny predators like house cats, rats, and weasels
- They will graze, dig, hunt bugs, and poop with enthusiasm and help to work the ground. Their feces will NOT pass viable seeds like pigs and goats and rabbits.
- Obviously a pretty safe animal to keep unless you have an unruly rooster
- Comes in minis (1-2lbs) and full size breeds (3-8+lbs)
- Meat turn-around is decent, especially if you let hens sit their own eggs and raise their own babies on pasture.  You'll have meat chickens in 3-6 months (breed dependent) that you spent no money or time on if you let them do it naturally
- If breeding, you need a rooster.  A good rooster will watch over the hens, warn them of danger, and offer himself up/fight off a predator.  A good rooster will respect you.  A bad rooster will feed himself an no one else, run from danger, and/or attack you.  All roosters crow and it can be quite loud, traveling 1/4-1/2 mile and waking out out of a dead sleep at 2am.
- Chickens also provide eggs, which is awesome, obviously!  A good hen can lay 250-300 eggs a year.
- Chickens are very easily/cheaply replaced (by comparison to other animals) if butchered or predated on.

Turkeys are like chickens except they're far more prone to roaming (at least heritage are), are seasonal layers (usually), and they don't dig like chickens do.  They graze very well though and can produce a lot of offspring and meat in a season, as they tend to be enthusiastic mothers.  Double breasted meat birds are different.  The meat turkeys I've helped raise lived next to their feeder and barely roamed 50' from it from chick-hood to butcher time.  They could turn any patch of ground into a mat of feces very quickly, trampling the ground with huge heavy feet and laying in one spot all day.  They generally don't lay eggs well and don't raise babies well.

Rabbits are a good choice for target grazing or tractoring, but won't work for free ranging.  Generally, a free-ranging population gets predated to extinction.  If not, they absolutely take over and become a pest.  Pregnant does will dig burrows for their kits, and communities of rabbits will dig many kinds of tunnels; "oh s**t tunnels", as I call them; prolific small, shallow tunnels they dig everywhere to dart into quickly if a predator shows up, as well as cooling tunnels for the hot summer (they find get ground and dig special tunnels, almost like P-traps, that will trap moisture below them at the deepest point in the tunnel, with a smooth upper tunnel that stays moist and cool, but never "wet"), and they dig shelter and sleeping warrens, which are often separate from the others.  So their tunneling might not be what you want in a field like this.   Rabbits do not "home" to one place and will roam as food and predation directs them.   But they are a rewarding animal to keep and can prime soil for you if needed.
- Need 3-dimensional fencing to contain and protect them- yes rabbits can just up to 4' high and simultaneously propel themselves through a 2x4" gap to escape.
- Will graze on brush and grasses alike, but will not do much digging or tearing up the ground if in a wired pen
- Can live outside with little or no shelter year-round, as long as they have escape from heat and rain/snow.  
- In danger of predation from almost all predators, including tiny predators like house cats, and weasels
- Pleasant and peaceful animals to keep, but can inflict a lot of damage if you pick them up and they don't like it
- Rabbits come in miniatures (1-2lbs) and larger breeds (4-10lbs+)
- Meat turn around is excellent, with 1 doe producing 5-10 kits per month.  They take 3-5 months to grow out, depending on your breed and preferred eating size/age.
- If breeding, you need a buck.  Most rabbit bucks are the same as does.  A few rare bucks will "tag" territory and spray it with a skunk-like smell.  They're generally not mean or violent unless in with another buck.
- Rabbits also produce fur/hides and fiber.  Picking breeds/individuals with luscious fur can make for good hide production.  Or raise angoras for fiber!  Though angoras are a whole 'nother beast and can't quite be kept the same as the standard meat rabbit.
3 years ago
Never thought about balanced charging before.  How does that work with a  series/parallel setup?
3 years ago
For what it's worth, I've caught my turkey hens CARRYING eggs before.  They nudge the eggs up into their elbows, the 'scoops' of their wings, and hold the eggs against their bodies.  I had a turkey hen who was raiding my chicken lay boxes and somehow transporting the eggs to her nest.  I would find occasional broken eggs along the way.  I was perplexed until I picked her up one day, moved her aside, and when I set her down nearby, eggs tumbled out of her wings!  I've also watched them pick their babies up and carrying them that way, too.  Maybe if a hen doesn't feel safe, or finds a better nest, she will transport her eggs to a new location.  That's my most hopeful guess
3 years ago
I made a soap last year that I'm in love with.  We use it for laundry, house cleaning, dishes, and tough messes.  It cuts grease with no waters or cold water.  I made it out of necessity when we had no hot water last summer and 'eco friendly' dish soap couldn't hope to contend with our greasy dishes.

I've made it into bars, which are nice for cleaning very gross farm hands, and it's also decent at dish work, just rubbing the bar into a lightly wetted greasy pan and it's like a grease eraser.  Mostly though I make big 5 gallon bucket fulls of it in liquid form.  It can be as thick as guacamole or as thin as kefir.  It's super satisfying when it's thick, but I try to run it on the kefir side because it's so strong and, really, a little goes a long way.  So having it super runny helps stretch it farther when we  over-use it.

The recipe is lard (or other oils), water, lye, and borax.  That's it.  The borax is the detergent agent there.  The soft/liquid soap is also insanely easy to make.  The first time I ever made it I did this recipe:
7.5lbs oil
1.1lbs lye
8cups borax
4.5~gallons water
(I also like to add about 20 drops of eucalyptus and 20 drops of lavender EOs, it leaves a very subtle scent that's simply 'fresh')

Put 3 gallons of water in your 5 gallon bucket and slowly add lye, stirring and incorporating it.  Monitor temp with metal meat thermometer, meanwhile heat oil up gently on stove.  When the lye water cools to about 120º and the oil heats up to about 120º, gently and slowly mix the oil into the lye water.  Once oil is added and the mix begins to trace (firm up and leave streaks from stirring) add the borax and stir fitfully.  Add fragrances at same time as borax.  Add more water until the bucket is close to full.  Once the borax is in I generally just keep the bucket nearby and stir it as frequently as I think about it, every hour or so maybe.  It might take 2-3 days, but the liquidy soap will turn into yogurt.  
We now use a paint mixer with a drill to quickly mix and incorporate our setting soap bucket, since it's hard to really mix it fully with a stick or whisk in that volume.  Once it turns into yogurt, even if it's still 'hot' and hasn't settled, it can be used promptly on dishes and greasy messes.  

This recipe is pretty powerful.  It doesn't bug my skin at all, but some folks I've given it to have said it makes their skin tingle or is generally harsh on their skin.  The ingredients could be toned down quite a bit to reduce its intensity.  But like I said, we made this to cut grease in ice cold water and wash grimy farm clothing in cold water.  Less borax would help tone it down if desired.

You can store the bucket with a lid on it.  I like to keep a 1 gallon bucket full for laundry and dish use and keep the rest in a big bucket.  If the bucket(s) are left open you'll need to add a bit of water now and again as it evaporates and thickens.    We use this soap for virtually everything and 5 gallons lasts us about 6 months.

We've observed no adverse affects using it in our laundry on a wide assortment of garments, blankets, etc.  It keeps sponges alive FOREVER.  It strips blood out of fabric (as long as the blood hasn't been 'set' with hot water yet).  We run the dish water into a compost heap and the worms in there don't complain one bit.  It has not yet adversely affected our compost soil.  The only thing you want to avoid (maybe besides getting it in your eyes or open wounds) is leaving a blob sitting out to dry.  It will crust and leave a white residue you have to scrub off.  We use about 1/4 cup of runny soap in out miniature washing machine.  And honestly we could probably go with half that and be fine.

The bar version of this was very similar in recipe, but must be made more "properly" like finicky bar soaps do, and had way less water in it.  The bar version was a soft bar, but I think I used olive oil in mine because I actually wanted a softer bar that I could smoosh into a greasy plate a little bit.  Versus a pure lard bar that sets up super hard and resists melting with water.  The liquid soap is REALLY satisfying to me.  Pure white and super creamy.  Fun to throw down a blob onto a greasy pan with a "splat" and scrub it all around, watch the grease disappear.  Woohooo!
3 years ago
Don't know for sure about root grubs, but I've gotten to a point where I will not plant beets without planting marigolds with them.  Everything eats beets!  And they eat beets before anything else in the garden!  Leaf borers are the worst on my beets, usually.  But when I have marigolds right in there with em, my beets generally do very well and are bug-free.  I scatter marigold seed wantonly around my gardens every year and encourage them to go bonkers.
Alliteration absolutely approved!  And also- super relieved to know I'm not the only one.  I give the seed at least a month before passing judgement.  Sometimes I get an early popper at 2 weeks and I get my hopes up about the rest.  I'm about to mass germinate a bunch of varieties and hop I come out with a few dozen for planting!  Hang in there, one of em's gotta sprout one of these days!
Her shoulder is now back to 100%, it would seem.  It will probably be awhile before I see her run and jump, but she's no longer having issues getting around on it.

Her impairments at the moment are intense nerve pain throughout her limbs (doing lots of pain control to keep her sane), and her vision changes.  The right eye is slowly coming back and the left is slowing going out.  Her right eye, the one that went "blind" first, got super bloodshot for awhile and started eliminating thick mucus.  I've been flushing it with usnea and holy basil tea and it's cleared up wonderfully.  I don't think the eye washes are encouraging the return of normal sight, I think that's a time-thing, since it happened like this last time.  She can see light changes in it now and isn't totally 'blind' on that side anymore.

I decided to insist on her taking the lion's mane since the nerve pain has started up and it's supposed to be specific to nerve repair. Systemic nerve pain is also an observed stage of recovery from aldicarb poisoning.  I'm certainly not against the possibility of it being something else, but so far both cases have totally fit the signs of this poison.  This time around it's been way easier on her though, if it was poison she didn't get much of it.  
Doing powdered dock leaf for liver support, small amounts of holy basil in her food for pancreatic health and over immune support, a few other herbs, MSM dosing per the container's dog guidelines, and lots of raw eggs, good fats, bone broth, bone, meat, and organs.

A hawk tried to snatch and grab one of the puppies yesterday!  AH!  Now I've got 2 patients in the infirmary...  The pup will be fine, but she'll need a few days.  It hooked a talon inside her ear and she has a deep puncture in the folds of her cartilage (ooooouuuuch), a slice/puncture across her scalp, and some minor cuts on her face.  Super relieved the puncture in her ear wasn't INSIDE the ear canal itself, that would've been really bad.  

When it rains, it pours.
3 years ago

Erica Cawood wrote:I have a broody turkey with 15 eggs. She sits on her nest a lot during the day and all night. But every day she gets off for 3 to 5 hours!!! Are my eggs ok? They get cold obviously.. it’s her first year

How long has she been sitting the eggs?  

There are 2 ways to find out if the eggs are okay.  1, you wait it out and see if any hatch.  Or 2, go out after dark (or bring a heavy blanket or something to make some darkness) with a small but bright flashlight and, one at a time, place the flashlight to the fat end of each egg to inspect it.  If it's not viable, it'll be bright and clear, and you may be able to see the yolk as a little blurry round shadow.   If it's developing, depending on how long it's been incubating, you may see a network of veins, and a tiny little peanut (fetal chick) or a larger black peanut (bigger fetal chick), and possibly a pulse and some movement.  If it's close to hatching (within 5-7 days or so), the majority of the egg will be black and you probably won't see much definition or movement.  If the eggs started incubating and died you'll see mushy yellow goo with no definition, "blood rings" or dark bands that do not resemble veins, or a displaced/enlarged air pocket that is not confined to the fat end of the egg, accompanied by cloudy, milky, or yellow contents without definition.  If a chick died very close to hatching it's much harder to tell if it's dead or alive, you generally need to sit and be patient and watch for movement.  But if they're that close to hatching you should just leave them and see what happens.

First timers sometimes wreck the clutch.  But usually they learn.  Then their first successful brood of babies sometimes don't make it.  Also sometimes the second.  

I personally have a saying with turkeys "If you want more than just 1 or 2 poults to survive, DON'T let the mama hen take care of them".  Baby turkeys (poults) are super fragile and incredibly "not-smart" compared to chicks.  Poults excel at dying.  They're frighteningly good at it.  And mama turkeys don't often fuss over their babes studiously, so it's a bad combo.  

Anyway.  I hope the eggs are all kickin' strong and you have a great hatch  Turkey eggs take 28 days to incubate, so if you know when she started sitting, you can figure out how far along they are.
3 years ago

Mark Reed wrote:I'm so sorry this happened to your friend. It is eerily similar to what happened to my little friend Ethel except the culprit there was something called tremorgenic mycotoxins., it was awful but she pulled through and was her old self for two years when she passed away suddenly from kidney failure. She was 14, and seemed happy and healthy, we will never know if it was a residual effect of the toxin.  

I'm sorry to hear about your dog as well :(   I'm glad she had 2 happy, healthy years after the incident!  I initially ruled out poisoning because she never vomited.   Almost all poison issues I read about involve vomiting.  That's one other thing about nerve-agents like aldicarb; they don't generally induce gastric distress and they're not often thrown up.  She also seemed fine going to bed but woke up with issues.  I've read timelines on aldicarb range can range from 2 to 20 hours post-exposure before major symptoms arise.

We don't have any composting food items, all of our kitchen mics. goes to the pigs.  The only compost we have around here is old poopy hay.  She's also an ultra picky eater and not food motivated at all, I would think if it was eating bad food one of the other ravenous food hounds would be the victims.  That's very interested to read about though, and a good thing to bear in mind!

She just pestered me into taking her out to pee.  Even sedated, she's finally had enough of peeing herself and is refusing to continue peeing her bedding (that's getting changed as needed).  She's been holding it since last night >_>  The booger.  So I caved.  She walked (virtually dragged me around she was going so fast...) like a champ on her shoulder and was well coordinated.  She's 'blind' in her left eye still and is having navigation issues as such.  She's weak and her limbs are stiff and she's still hurting quite a bit.  But it was heartening to see...  I'm always reserving a small readiness for it to go south on me, but I am hopeful, once again, that she can pull through this a second time.
3 years ago