This is Sarge and Rusty.
They are two roosters who came into the Seattle Animal Shelter as buddies.
They are little dudes, but have big hearts.
They’re active and curious, but also pretty friendly and with good temperaments.
They’re looking for a long-term commitment from a safe forever home, somewhere OUTSIDE the Seattle city limits. If you’re interested in these two and prepared to give them a safe forever home, find out more about them on Petfinder:
Good luck to them both on their search for a great forever home.
This Mother’s Day, our friends at LiberationBC.org are again featuring stories about mother and baby cows on their blog. Visit their site to read stories about Poncho and Jasper, two baby calves rescued from a factory farm. And learn more about the Cow Ribbon Campaign to support and honor baby calves who will never know their mothers because of factory farming.
Today we took Danny girl and Olly Astro to the vet. I had originally planned to take Olly in because she has had egg issues in the past, similar to what killed Cindy Buttons. I wanted to be sure she was okay since I was so shocked by Cindy’s sudden death. So I booked her for a check-up today. But then I noticed that poor Danny girl has a very swollen inside toe on her left foot. So she came along as well.
I wish I had noticed Danny’s swollen toe earlier, but hopefully it will be okay. She has antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, and we’ll keep a close eye on it.
Danny girl has also lost some weight, which isn’t good. I noticed she wasn’t feeding herself well yesterday, and that worried me.
So I brought her inside for the night, along with her buddy Lester Leroy, where I could watch her more closely. When Danny girl is feeling weak, she has trouble lining herself up with the food dish. I noticed her struggling with this tonight. If I grab her and hold her, she eats like a champ. But if she tries to get to the food dish by herself, she stumbles and gives up. This is partially due to her handicap left over from her metal poisoning, before she was rescued, but it could also be because she’s weak right now from her toe infection.
The good news is, she’ll eat really well with some help. So she’s not so weak that she has stopped eating. I think that in addition to her toe, the aviary is just too big of a space for her. She did well in winter because she was mostly in her confined night pen space, with her nest and her food area. In the aviary there’s more room to hide, and she ends up not getting to the food and water dish all day long. She has also been sharing space lately with Miles as well as Lester.
She really likes Miles, but I think he can be too aggressive sometimes, though I’ve never witnessed it. Also, she walks around more in the aviary, which I thought would be good for her. But because of her handicap, she drags her legs a bit, which is what caused her to scrape the top of her toe and get an infection there.
So she’s in the house at night for a while, and Lester is keeping her company. Once she has gained back the weight and her toe has improved, we’ll see if she can stay in a smaller space of the aviary with Lester, near – but not with – her buddy Miles.
As for Olly Astro, she was wrapped up at the vet’s so they could draw some blood. She got a pretty blue bandaid and we’ll know the results of the blood work in a few days.
Overall, she did very well and she looks pretty good. So that’s great. She was kind of mad about having to go to the vet’s office, but very happy to be home.
Lastly, we ran into this guy Buddy at the vet’s office. He’s a bird of a friend of ours, but we didn’t know he’d be at the vet while we were there. It was nice to say hello to a fellow bird nut.
We’ll keep you posted on Danny girl as well as Olly’s test results. Everything looks pretty good for now though. We’re just being cautious with Olly and Danny girl’s toe should mend up pretty quickly.
Quacks and clucks,
Tiff and the flock
Little Cindy Buttons passed away on Wednesday, April 24th after a very sudden illness that the vet has confirmed as “egg yolk coelomitis” or peritonitis, which is basically an infection that caused her to lay yolks internally. She was only about 2-years-old. This is the story of her life and times here with us at Ducks and Clucks.
Cindy Buttons came to us in July of 2011 at about 3-months-old. She had been bitten by a raccoon and lost a chunk out of her posterior region. Her owners surrendered her to the veterinarian rather than pay for her care.
She was actually a “surprise” rescue for us, as we were at the vet’s office to pick up these two characters. Remember them? Toro Roo and Persephone Kerfuffle were a broiler rooster and domestic turkey that were confiscated during a domestic dispute. (They have both since passed on from natural causes due to their breeds). When we went to the vet’s office to pick them up, we were in an exam room waiting and heard this conversation outside the door.
“Does Tiffany want this chicken, too?”
“She’s taking those other two.”
“Two… three… let’s just set her out on the floor and see what happens.”
I remember being in the room, hearing them talk outside and thinking “how can I climb out this window so I don’t have to see whatever they’re out there suckering me into taking home?
Of course, the instant I saw this goofy face I had to bring her home. And what an amazing stroke of good luck that was, since she turned out to be the most amazing little hen ever.
Even though her original family wouldn’t pay for her care, they must have treated her well. Whenever I sat down in the yard, Cindy Buttons hopped up on my lap, like that was just the thing all chickens do.
And though her raccoon wound healed, she never did grow a tail. She’s naturally a rumpless breed, which we weren’t sure of at first.
As Persephone the turkey and Toro the rooster grew, they were inseparable. But unfortunately, Persephone’s legs were deformed and when she was too heavy to stand, she became very stressed out and had to be euthanized. This left Toro alone, without his first love.
Would Cindy Buttons take a liking to Toro? Or would one of the other hens befriend him?
Cindy did love Toro Roo, very much. The two of them were inseparable after Persephone passed away.
They adored each other, in spite of their great difference in size and weight. Toro weighed nearly 17lbs while ittle Cindy weighed only 4 1/2 lbs. They didn’t care. They were in love.
In addition to being my knee-percher and lap hen, Cindy also gained the reputation of being a bossy pants and a mischief-maker.
Here she is stealing an entire slice of vegan pizza from me.
Cindy really lived life to the fullest. She ran full speed around the yard, whether running towards treats or running after ducks. Two of her favorite things were stealing cookies and stomping ducks.
She loved to chase Petunia and Lenora, who would crouch down submissively when caught. Then Cindy would gleefully stomp on them, while I ran over to save them.
Boy, she really loved that more than a chicken should. I’m sure it sounded pretty funny to hear me yelling “Cindy Buttons you stop that right now!” all of the time.
But she’ll be remembered most for being my constant lap companion.
Sit down and she’d perch.
Cross your legs and she’d perch.
Take a nap? She’d perch.
Already have a duck on your lap? No problem. She’d perch.
A BIG duck on your lap? Shove over, horsie. I’m perching!
How about a cat? She’s not afraid. She’d perch.
She was just the cutest little knee cap warmer there ever was.
And cute from every angle.
What am I going to do without this goofy little lap hen?
I just don’t know.
The knee caps will never be the same.
You were a great friend and a good, good chicken, Cindy Buttons. I love you and miss you so, so much. Thank you for being a funny, goofy, shining light in our lives. You’re irreplaceable. I’m heartbroken.
Rest in peace, Cindy Buttons.
I can’t believe I’m writing this right now. I can’t believe little Cindy is really gone. But unfortunately she is.
On Monday evening, Cindy Buttons was running around the yard, full speed, chasing ducks and getting into mischief per usual. She even caught Lenora Bea and stomped on her a bit. As you may know, birds are very good at hiding illness, but not usually THAT good. Cindy must already have been laying eggs internally and I just didn’t notice.
On Tuesday morning at 6:30am, I got up to open the chicken coop so the hens could quietly forage in the aviary until a reasonable hour. Cindy didn’t rush out of the chicken coop like usual, so I thought “I’ll have to see if she’s not feeling well when the vet’s office opens, and take her in.”
When I got up at 9:30am she was off by herself standing still. That’s not like her at all, so I brought her inside and made an appointment for 3pm at the vet’s office.
At the vet’s office, she didn’t look good at all. And by the end of the exam and x-rays, she looked even worse, and wasn’t standing up anymore. They didn’t find a stuck egg though, so we just got her some strong antibiotics and anti-inflammatories and hoped she could improve on her own with a few doses. I gave her the first dose immediately, and woke up very early to give her a second dose. The plan was to see if she was improving within a day or so, and if not, have surgery on Friday to clean up her abdomen and spay her so she wouldn’t lay internally anymore.
Unfortunately that was not to be. Early this morning she was awake and alert and not panting, but she was still not comfortable. By 10am I could tell she was definitely not improving, so I rushed her back to the vet for emergency surgery. She died in the car on the way to the vet’s office. I was concerned that she wouldn’t be strong enough to survive surgery, but I never thought she would pass away on her own. I couldn’t believe it was happening. I kept telling her “Oh no, Cindy. Don’t go! You can beat this!” But she very quickly and very quietly sighed and breathed her last breath. She died about a block from the vet’s office.
I can’t believe this happened so fast. It’s hard to understand why such a bright light had to burn out so young. The vet is going to call us with definitive results on what caused her death, but whatever it was, it moved too fast or went unnoticed too long to save her, and I’m so, so sad right now.
I’m going to write up her sweet story and a proper farewell, but I’ll do that separately.
Damnit, Cindy… why did you have to go?? Who’s going to perch on my knee now?
I’m so sad.
It’s baby bird time at area parks, which means it’s time for a reminder about proper wildlife stewardship. In Seattle, at Magnuson Park, Matthews Beach, Greenlake and more, wild birds are nesting and hoping to hatch a family.
At Magnuson Park in particular, it’s important to respect the rules in the areas that are designated as federally-protected wetlands. These areas are full of nesting wild birds who need their space.
Here’s a close-up on the rules. There are other areas nearby where it’s okay to have your dog off-leash, but the wetlands are NOT one of those areas. Just last year, a nesting goose was attacked by an off-leash dog and died from her injuries.
This Canada goose has four goslings that are just days old. They’re extremely vulnerable at this age, but both mom and dad do a good job at trying to keep them safe.
Another Canada goose nearby is still setting on her nest, keeping her eggs warm so they’ll hatch.
Her mate grazes nearby, but not too close. His job is to distract people from the nest, so he stays 10-30 yards away from it much of the time.
He keeps an eye out for trouble, and will protect the nest fiercely if threatened. Geese can charge and attack this time of year if they sense danger. So that’s another reason to give them extra space.
It’s important to remember that their aggression is meant to protect their family, and it’s not okay to lash out at them or let dogs chase them in response.
Also, teach children not to chase birds. As prey animals, birds are on constant alert for predators. What may seem like innocent fun letting your toddler or dog chase a bird is actually perceived as a life-threatening attack by that bird. The stress they experience can have long-term effects on their health. So please, never chase wildlife. You may know when your dog is on a leash, but the goose does not.
And if you see wrappers, cans, cigarettes or other packaging in wildlife areas, pick them up and put them in a trash can. That will go a long way toward keeping birds safe. This candy wrapper thankfully passed completely through this goose. But plastic consumption often results in death of birds, and many birds naturally eat shiny, colorful objects. A clean park is a wildlife-friendly park.
By following these few easy rules and tips, you are doing your part to protect and respect wildlife in our parks.
Stay safe, little goslings. We promise to be good wildlife stewards!
Last Monday, we had a few fun friends come over to feed the flock. I wasn’t so sure the flock would cooperate, because they just aren’t as social and friendly as the previous crew through the years.
But they did pretty good. Olly Astro was happy to take some treats from Evan.
Cindy Buttons was too.
Olly Astro even let Tristan hold her and pet her a bit.
Now Cindy… I couldn’t tell if she was being friendly or not. It looked a little bit like she might peck Evan in the face, so we put her down.
Miles didn’t seem like he’d be friendly. But I held him and he sucked up a few handfuls of peas just like a vacuum cleaner!
Danny girl sits a little awkwardly, but she was happy to have a few treats and visit for a bit.
Here she tells Tristan a funny joke, or she might have been tickling her a bit.
She sat with both kids for quite a while.
And then showed everyone how well she can run back to the pool.
O’Malley was a good visitor for a while, and very friendly, but we didn’t get any pictures of him. Tristan did manage to take home an O’Malley souvenir though. Just a little bite.
Thanks for visiting! And thanks for the cool drawing, too.
I had a hankering for coloring eggs this year. Usually I collect the eggs from the few members of the flock who lay eggs, then hard-boil them and feed them back to them. This gives them a lot of nutrients. They also get the egg shells to help them get enough calcium to make more egg shells.
But I wanted to do some coloring and dyeing first, so Ruby and Carol helped me out by lending me some of their eggs.
After I had fun coloring, I decided to see what the chickens thought about these colorful Easter eggs. So I set them out around the yard and let them have their own Easter egg hunt. Oh, chick chick chickies?
“What… in… the… cluck?! Whose eggs are these?” – Olivia
“Alert! I believe we’ve had a drive-by egging by a clown chicken! Or a very colorful toucan has escaped from the zoo! Alert!”
Actually, Olivia, a rabbit known as “the Easter bunny” brings eggs to the yard and hides them for children to find. Sometimes there are even surprises in the eggs.
“A bunny does what now?”
“If there were a rogue rabbit in the yard, I assure you I would have seen it, and stomped it.” – Cindy Buttons
“They do look very peculiar, but I think they’re kind of pretty. Definitely not from a rabbit though.”
You don’t believe in the Easter bunny, Olly Astro?
“I believe you are up to some funny business, treat lady.”
“They look a little bit like duck eggs to me, but more colorful. I think Lenora Bea is behind this mischief. And I would not be surprised if she knows some bunnies from her days in lock-up at the Seattle Animal Shelter.”
“If I can just get a few minutes alone with Lenora, I’m sure I could stomp the truth out of her.”
Oh! That’s not necessary, Cindy Buttons. I assure you Lenora had nothing to do with these magically-appearing eggs.
“I will stomp her a little bit just to make sure. You can never be too sure.”
No no, Cindy. No stomping.
“I really like the colorful eggs. I wish my eggs were many colors.” – Carol
“Tell me your secret, fancy eggs.”
“HEY! I found a surprise under this Easter egg. Treats!”
“Mmm I love corn bread. I don’t know what kind of funny business you’re up to lady, but as long as it involves treats, I approve.”
Well the chickens didn’t really believe my Easter bunny story, but they enjoyed the treats I hid under and around the eggs, and I had fun coloring the Easter eggs.
Olivia, who is over 12-years-old, would like to STRONGLY REMIND everyone that baby chicks, ducks and bunnies are NOT good Easter presents. This post is titled “Easter from a chicken’s perspective,” and often their experience of Easter is not good. Please don’t hatch or buy chicks or ducks this season, and don’t buy bunnies. Let Olivia’s age remind you that pets — all pets — are not a short-term commitment. Please consider gifting a stuffed animal or other treat and not a live animal. And when you bring an animal into your life, after much research and preparation, consider adoption instead of buying.
Thanks and quacks and clucks,
Tiff and the flock
P.S. Never, ever release a chick, duck or bunny in a park or other wild area. It is a death sentence. They cannot survive in the wild or even suburban parks on their own.
Yesterday as I was snuggling with O’Malley, I told him that today we would be going to the vet. He does not like the vet’s office and tends to get really stressed out, which in turn stresses me out. So I hate taking him to the vet.
But unfortunately he has a lump on his backside. It is not a small lump. He’s missing some feathers around his vent because he sits in the same spot all night, which means by morning he is sitting in poo. He gets clean shavings every night but he’s just a poo monster. So sorry for the graphic butt photo, but that’s his backside and that’s his lump. I noticed the lump right before I left for vacation, so we made an appointment for this week to get it checked out.
O’Malley was scared in the car, but calm. It’s hard to say who is the bigger baby about going to the vet: O’Malley or me. He did great in the car though, and stayed really calm.
Billy, the vet’s office mascot, was there to greet us. He may or may not have been eating some hot pink post-it notes before we arrived.
“If I did something bad, I’m really sorry.”
Poor O’Malley was pretty concerned by the time we were in the lobby, and trying to figure out if he had done something wrong. I told him he was a very good boy and I’d protect him and keep him safe.
“Let’s make a run for it!”
He decided that we were in danger so he tried to make a run for it, but didn’t get too far. The vet examined O’Malley and he was really calm and good. They even aspirated his lump and picked out the feathers stuck in it and he stayed calm and quiet.
But when they tried to lift him up to get blood out of his leg vein, he was not having it.
“No way, lady! Put me down, you mashers!”
That’s when I turned into a giant baby and said “Just forget it. Don’t draw blood. He’s too stressed, just put him down.” I don’t like to see him panting and upset, but really he was just fine.
“No! Make them stop, Mom!”
Thankfully they decided to take blood from the top of his webbed foot instead. That meant he could stand up on his own and he did much better with that. So did I.
But with three people holding and poking and touching and squishing him, he was not a happy camper. They were really good to him though, and took great care of him.
While the vet checked his slides to see what the lump was made of, he preened all the people cooties off of his feathers. So many cooties… so many.
“How do I get down from here? Let’s go home!”
O’Malley’s lump did not show any cancer cells, so that is good. The vet hopes it is just a lipoma, or benign fatty tumor. They did find some white blood cells though, so that’s why we did blood work to see if he has an infection. For now, the lump is just watch-and-wait. We’ll know tomorrow if he needs antibiotics, but overall he is a really healthy duck.
So that’s our day at the vet. He was VERY happy to be home and he even forgave me for taking him to the scary place with the grabby people. We’ll keep you posted on what’s next, but he’s likely fine.
In other news, we were looking through our chart at the vet’s office and noticed that Olivia hen’s birthday is listed as 2001. That means she is over 12-years-old now! I’ve been saying for a while “she’s over 10-years-old now” but I guess I’ve been saying that for years. She is old for a chicken, but still going strong. Petunia’s chart says she’s probably 9-years-old now, though it’s tough to get an exact birth date for any of them since they’re all rescues. Even O’Malley will be 8-years-old this September. We’re thankful that the crew is all doing well for now, and happy that O’Malley did well at the vet today.
Hope you all have a good week.
Quacks and clucks,
Tiff and the flock
Sadly, while I was visiting family in Utah and staying with my mom, her cat Braveheart passed away suddenly.
He was hanging out with us in the house and then went outside for a little less than an hour. When my mom opened the door to let him in, he was laying on his side on the porch, and he had just passed away.
He didn’t have any marks on him, no dirt or scuffs, no visible injuries and was very clean. No sign of poisoning or illness or anything else. It’s possible that he was hit by a car, but there are speed bumps in the neighborhood and he didn’t have any dirt or gravel on him. I think he may have just had heart failure or a stroke or aneurysm. Unfortunately we’ll never know for sure.
But we do know he was a very sweet kitty and will be missed very much. He was just over 12-years-old and very lovable. He wasn’t super fond of Roscoe the dog, but he tolerated him and maybe even liked him. He really liked his fellow cat Ebbe, even though she hides in the back of the house most of the time. They shared the bed together at night while Roscoe the dog was stuck on the floor.
Here he is as a kitten, one of seven that a pregnant rescued cat had at my sister’s house in Idaho. My mom adopted Braveheart along with Roscoe (the cat), who has since passed on. They are the two orange-and-white kittens in this video. Braveheart is featured prominently at about the :30 second mark to :50 seconds.
It’s very sad for my mom to lose Braveheart so suddenly, but he was a very good kitty to pass on the way he did. Whatever happened, he came home to the porch, which means she won’t have to search for him or wonder why he disappeared. He passed on suddenly, which means there are no vet bills and no end of life struggles about when it’s the right time to euthanize him. And he passed away while I was there, so I could help my mom take care of his body. Best of all, he didn’t suffer. Less than an hour before his passing he was jumping up on the counter and hanging out with us. He really couldn’t have passed on in a better way.
Rest in peace, Braveheart. You were a very, very good kitty.