Waddling Towards A Better Tomorrow

Today may seem hard, but there are so many reasons to feel hopeful about the future. One small good act at a time, we can make this place a little better.

— Butterball (left) and Squeaker (right)


Here’s What’s Happening At Good Spirits Farm

  • Honestly, this has been a hard week on the farm. (“A Hard Week on the Farm” might as well be my memoir title.) Last Sunday we lost Super Mama Chicken to a predator attack. We did not see the attack, but we found a pile of feathers and all 12 of her babies hunkered down in the deep grass, waiting for Mama to return. She likely died protecting her babies from whatever came after them. We are working on getting a livestock guardian dog, but until we do, we’re going to have to be extra vigilant, because a fox or a coyote knows there’s a quick and easy lunch available here.

  • I gathered up the baby chicks and merged them with the chicks I’d been hand-raising. They’re all about the same age, and they seem to be getting along well in their mobile coop. Unfortunately, when Hurricane Ida came through, several of these babies hunkered down in the one section of their coop that isn’t covered. They got rained on all night, and when I came out in the morning, a handful had died from hypothermia. On closer inspection, though, a few that looked dead were still breathing, though very faintly. I grabbed them, sprinted inside, and put them under a blow-drier turned all the way up to “Sahara Blast.” Amazingly, I fully revived three, and they’re all doing so well. But I feel terrible that I didn’t go out and check the chicks one last time before bed to make sure they were sleeping in a dry spot.

  • To add to the week of chaos, Juliet came down with pinkeye! An emergency vet visit later, she’s doing much better and will likely make a full recovery, but I’ve worried about her all week!

  • Lastly, the turkeys decided to gang up on one of their flock, picking on him until he was in pretty rough shape. As soon as I saw what was happening, I scooped him up and put him in his own safe little pen, but they’d already done their damage. The swelling from his wounds caused his eyes to swell shut, so I’ve been hand-feeding this poor guy. Yesterday, he was able to open his eyes again, so that’s progress! He’ll stay in isolation until his wounds heal, and I’ve expanded the area the turkeys have to roam, which should help cut down on any bickering.

    Here’s What I Loved This Week

  • I found out that a piece I wrote for Bicycling Magazine will be included in this year’s edition of “Best American Sportswriting.: I feel so honored to be included [and now all of you know what you’re getting for Christmas]. If you’re a fan of sportswriting, you can pre-order the edition here.