Thursday, October 08, 2015

Fall Fullness

It seems as if, every year, when it starts working on getting cooler, we are running around like crazy people. No matter how hard we worked all summer, we just can't get caught back up. Pens need to be built or repaired to hold stock that has been on pasture all summer. Flocks need to be thinned or re-arranged for the cold months. We are getting one last bast of warm, so I am holding off on harvesting the dredges of the garden. There are still some little peppers out there trying their best to grow. A few baby squash hold some promise, and there are a handful of tomato plants still working on their fruits. 

We had had hopes of getting a few apple and peach trees put in this fall. At this point I think it has faded to a dream for this year, and a plan for next spring. Things are just so crazy.

Yesterday we finally got the hood on my old jeep open. Darned thing was rusted right shut. I think the culprit for the problem was the radiator that blew 2 years ago. Alas my hood shall never be the same again, but frankly I use that poor SUV like it was a full sized pick up. Now to get the brake parts it needs, once we figure out exactly what they are, a new bell crank for the hood, and get the bugger inspected. I want my vehicle back!

Friday, October 02, 2015

End of Summer

Hard to believe the summer is already over. The chill is heavy in the air, we have a frost warning for tonight, the remainder of the peppers and tomatoes need to be grabbed so they make it into our freezer. 

We are doing our end-of-year button ups as quickly as we can. Jade has taken a couple extra days off, started with his "vacation" yesterday. We spent the day making repairs to his grandmother's old Jeep. It needed front brakes and a new exhaust system.  Today we are working on caulking windows in our bedroom and the kitchen, Once that is finished we are going to the lumber mill/yard and picking up the corner posts we need to start doing lamb/calf/hog pens. We want to get the first one built, and then we are going to move the lambs over to it and start re-doing the last chicken coop and move some birds around. Klondike the monster lamb is going for slaughter after the husbands next pay check. I love lamb and cannot wait to get some fresh in our freezer. It has been many many years since we had one to eat. We are down to one chicken in the freezer, I am thinking if my RIR rooster doesn't sell he will be joining it. 

For the last few weekends we have been cleaning out the old heifer barn. The last of the old pens were ripped out, and all of the old debris on the floor cleaned up and hauled out. Now we have a huge open area that is just waiting for cow and small critter pens. We were fortunate enough to get a lovely wooden gate from the husband's grandparents last night. We are going to short term use it for the sheep front pen, and after we get a long term gate built I am going to use it for the front on lambing jugs once we get a few ewes to breed and such.

Big plans are in the making, hopefully as summer winds down I can post again with frequency. For now though it is time to go do my chores. Horses and chickens and lambs are likely hungry. Have a lovely weekend folks!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Am I really seeing what I think I am seeing

Taken with my cell phone, so its a bit blurry

Mornings are my favorite time of day. Either the husband is off driving rig somewhere, delivering groceries and good, and P the wild is asleep, or they are both still resting and I can have a bit of quiet me time. This means sitting at the computer, coffee at my side, just resting for a few minutes, then tackling the multitude of chores that abound and delight me every day. The barn awash in morning glow from the sun, dew glistening like tiny diamonds bestowed upon the grass by some wealthy suitor, horses nickering for attention and feed (feed being their first request), chickens and turkeys and rabbits snuffling and clucking, and the lambs bellowing like old bulls fill my heart to the brim with joy at the new found day. 

This morning I took Sunny up to the paddock like so many mornings before, and there were the 2 cows that remain after decades of dedicated dairy farming. 8 years each they grazed peacefully, I stopped Sunny, just to look and feel the love for a life passed by, another small farm fallen to the burden of high taxes, low milk prices etc. Watching my lady Moon, and then turning to old Bama, 

I realized something just wasn't quite what it should be. 

 The joy of a new baby, and look at the rib on that old cow!

Small, perky ears, o that is a big fawn.

Wait a minute, since when do fawns come in black and white...Holy heck that is a calf! 

We thought Moon, if pregnant, should have calved back in late March or early April. I kept swearing my brain remembered a later breeding to the shorthorn bull we used to have. Promise. And sure enough I am not losing what few marbles were left in my tired mind. There bumbling behind the old girl was a bit of a heifer, at least a few days old, all dry and content, happy to trail behind her big black hided momma. I called mom and was literally incoherent with my joy. I've been missing cattle, and calves, to the point of driving my poor husband mad with my pleading for a bred heifer this fall. Now I need beg no more. We have a calf to raise to fill the freezer, and, once mom returns from camp so there is someone to watch the sprite that is my daughter, I have a cow to milk.  And a favored much beloved cow at that. The husband offered to, within reason, get me whatever bull I wanted to breed her with, in hopes of continuing my line of registered cattle. I believe I shall take him up on that offer.

Anyone know where I can find some Royland Jordan semen for a reasonable price?

Also these little beauties finally arrived. One little boy already thinks he rules the roost, and struts like a fool every time I open the brooder to check on them.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

So Much Wet

I have reached the conclusion that we no longer live in upstate NY, but rather in perhaps Washington where it rains so often. This has frankly gotten ridiculous. The plans to put in new pastures, new this new that, repair reclaim etc are on hold. The pond which is generally drying up this time of year is overflowing. Flood watches are blasting on the tv. It was a couple years ago today that the massive flooding occurred in the town I was living in with my new husband at the time. I am praying we don't see more today. I had hoped for a nice afternoon, as it is my dear nephew's birthday party today, but well as it is pouring out that obviously isn't going to happen.

Birds are moved around, I cleaned and tidied the upper coop that I used as a grow out for the Cornish we raised, and moved my BLR Wyandotte and her 9 babies up there. In another week or two I am going to pull them off of her, and move them in with the cochins, turkeys and the 5 other mixes that are in the big coop at the moment. There was a snafu with my bb turkeys, and I am still waiting for them. It may work out well, they will be right at the 21 week mark at butcher time, and well I was ready but I wasn't. We are going to move Mr. Blue and his two ladies, Smurff and Silver, up to the grow out to have a little coop of their own. I will re build the large outside run, make it nice and comfy for them, and hopefully we can start mixing and breeding our own Cochins for next year.  

If anyone has use for this rain, please, come and get it!

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Weekend

Ah Father's Day Weekend, when fathers young and old's thoughts turn to things such as Gas Up's, tractor pulls, bbq's and the hammock. Peg and I picked our guy up a cute card, and he gets to pick his activities for the weekend. I believe tomorrow we are going to the tractor show/pull at SunnyCrest in the morning, followed by an afternoon and a bbq lunch at the Gas-Up in Gallopville. It will be a great time for us all, as P loves motors and watching tractors run. 

Sunday morning I don't know if we have plans yet or not, but the afternoon will be spent at his cousin and her new husband's I Do reception. Another day of bbq, family, including a few folks who haven't been to visit in ages, and fun time for he, myself, and the wild one. 

I do believe this afternoon he and I will be taking a jaunt to go see if we can't find me something a little nicer than dirt and grass stained blue jeans and t's. May try and coax him into stopping for some ice cream if time allows. Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Busy busy

My BLR Wyandott with her share of the mixes, all 9 :)

Things have been wild here lately. Hatched out 2 batches of barnyard mix chicks under 2 broodies. Had 3 other nests go rotten, the one hen left hers, the other two are being totally stubborn beyond belief so I am frantically searching for some hatching eggs to stick under them. I am so frustrated, the 3 hens were swapping nests around and around. Basically they bombed their own efforts. The 15 chicks I did get are amazing colored. I did get one pure BLR Wyandott. Cute little cuss. 

The cochin chicks, with a few abandoned mixes and the turkeys

My Cochin chicks and turkey poults I got for my birthday are thriving. The one bronze tom is a little stinker, loving to fly up out of the brooder and have me chase him around. Once I catch him he just snuggles right in like a baby and adores being held. I am so pleased with the colors on the Cochin chicks. I have to get myself the poultry SOP book so I can educate myself on selecting the ones to breed, the ones to "cull". I won't actually cull them, as far as sell or eat, but the non-breed quality will go to making us some cool mix chicks, as I love the stunning colors the barnyard crosses come in!

Upper photo: one of a pair of Holland White turkeys
Lower photo: the bronze tom

Next Thursday I am going to Clifton Springs NY, to a poultry breeding place to pick up our BB turkeys. I have no idea what color I will end up with. I told them I needed birds, and if they were pink and polka dotted I didn't care. With the husband's help I am going to set up the old upper coop that I finished our Cornish off in with a heat light to brood them and then we will set up the outer yard so that they can learn to go in and out. After that the 15 will split into two groups, by size at first, then by gender at finish time. 

Some of the gardens when it wasn't pouring :)

The garden is growing by leaps and are the weeds. It has been so very very wet these last weeks that weeding is a problem. The peas and beans look more weed than crop at the moment. Our onions are doing fantastic at the moment though. Still have more tomatoes, onions, carrots, beets, beans radishes and the like to plant tough. Perhaps a fall crop of peas as we all love them. 
Really I think you ought to move that over a row

Princess of all she surveys, Peg has become quite the little supervisor. She is walking and slowly learning to talk. She certainly loves her time outside and in the barns.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Young Flock- Video

Sat down in the coop with the little ones, and got this super awesome video. Young stock, be it birds, ponies, cattle or any of the dozens of other ag animals, are so very much fun!