That which does not kill you makes you stronger. So they say.
I have completed the installation of a gleaming new roof on my smithy, aka “the chicken coop”. The following weekend I rewarded myself by spending and hour in the coop hand forging my first blade blank. The blank turned out okay (I’ll post that when completed), but I, on the other hand, have been ill for four days following my time spent there. I blamed my illness first on carbon monoxide fumes from the propane forge, but after some research I concluded my symptoms didn’t match those of CO poisoning, but, in fact, pointed to a severe allergic reaction to bird dust, and probably chicken shit as well. I presume, as an added bonus, the heat and stirring exhaust fumes from the forge acted as a catalyst to kick everything into high gear.
Apparently, aviary houses such as chicken coops contain severely allergic levels of bird dust from feathers and feces contributing to diseases such as Histoplasmosis, Bird Breeders Lung, among others, which pleasantly read…”Prolonged exposure to bird dust or other organic particles can lead to permanent damage and disability. For example, pulmonary fibrosis, which is a scarring of lung tissue, can be caused by repeated bouts of hypersensitivity pneumonitis.” (http://www.multiscope.com/hotspot/bird_breeders_lung.htm).
Scary stuff indeed. For now, I guess I’m relocating to another barn.