Thursday, October 18, 2012

Broccoli, Spinach, and Cabbage...

Ellie greeted me this afternoon when I returned home from work with anticipation. I would love to believe that she missed my company, but I suspect she was more interested in what treats I would come home bearing.

Today it was 2 stalks and heads of raw broccoli and about 2 cups of fresh spinach. Since, I know that she was deathly anemic just a week ago, I am still trying my best to find and offer foods high in iron to help her get her red blood cells up. I discovered that broccoli, like kale is wonderfully rich in vitamins and minerals. Each bunch carries a whopping 3788 mcg Vitamin A, 542 mg Vitamin C, 618 mcg Vitamin K, 286 mg Calcium, 128 mg Magnesium, 1921 mg Potassium, 4.4 mg Iron, and 15.2 mcg Selenium (the highest amount I found so far). Popeye is not the only one who benefits from eating his spinach (though I question it coming from an aluminum can). Spinach has 26627 mcg Vitamin A, 80 mg Vitamin C, 1372 Vitamin K, 281 mg Calcium, 7.7 mg Iron, 224 mg Magnesium, 1585 mg Potassium, and 2.8 mcg Selenium.

I am changing the variety of foods I offer in the hopes that Ellie will not get too much or too little of any one nutrient. For example, I would be a little concerned about Ellie consuming 26,000 mcg Vitamin A daily for weeks. An excess of Vitamin A in humans can cause liver failure. I don't know of the effects of an overdose on animals, but it seems reasonable to conclude that it could cause problems for them, also. Offering Ellie a variety of foods rich in different vitamins and minerals seems a good way to limit the possibility of an inadvertent overdose.

It seems to be working. Ellie is looking so much better. I want to see her gain a little more weight back before she returns to the barn with the rest of her herd, but all signs are looking really, really good. I keep teasing Sean that one afternoon, we will return from work to find Ellie's hopped the gate, made herself a nice snack and settled in front of the XBOX watching some Netflix. If she wasn't so sweet natured, we would worry that all this fuss is spoiling her for life in the barn.

I decided that since Ellie was getting treats, it seemed only fair to give some to the rest of the herd, too. When the chickens saw this, they immediately began peeping for their fair share. I read somewhere yesterday (sorry, whoever posted about this- I tried looking again, but couldn't find the post to give you credit) about hanging cabbage heads in the yard for our chickens. I tried that this afternoon and they went wild pecking at them. I will definitely do that again through these colder months when greens won't be as available in these parts. It was very funny to watch, but I didn't have my camera with me to share it with you. Next time, though.

Thanks for stopping in today!
Sonja ♥


  1. Yay! Go Ellie.

    My chickens were scared of hanging cabbage the first time they saw it! I've heard people say their chickens love to peck at it when it's hanging, but mine much prefer it on the ground haha.

    1. They weren't sure about it at first, but quickly decided it was a fun game. When I do it again, I will definitely get some video.

  2. I'm so happy to hear about Ellie. She really does look like she's recovering. Now, is there any way to keep the worms from recurring?
    On another note--I LOVED the cat video. The accompaniment was perfect. How DO you find this music??


    1. The vast majority of goats have worms and that is not usually the problem. It is when the levels get out of control that it becomes dangerous. With a regular worming schedule every 6 months, varying wormers, this should be able to be kept in check. The most important lesson we learned about this, was to check the eyelids of our goats frequently. We've taken to doing it every time we get close to one. If the lid begins to fade in color from red to pink, a worming is in order.

      I am glad you liked the video. I confess, it was almost what I was hoping for. It took me 3 hours to edit. Since I only had 4 video clips totally 5 minutes, that made it more difficult, but in the end- the video made me laugh. ♥