Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Spring

Bitty baby bunnies :)

Makes even the best of us a little crazy. The busy work tidying the mess made by the winter months seems to usurp all hours of the waking part of the day. Lately the horses have taken to shedding with a vengeance. Red and black and white hairs cover every article of clothing I own. Literally. Doesn't matter how careful one is, or how many times one washes their jackets that fluffy hair of the cold time sticks to everything...Grooming is a dirty messy job as well, as the mud is just o so inviting for itchy ponies and geldings to roll about in and coat every inch of their bodies with the thick black stuff.

The chicks are growing like fiends, devouring every drop and crumb of food that comes near them. The cornish rocks ought to be ready for butcher within another 2-3 weeks. Four at the most. I look forward to seeing how much better they taste than the store bought, as I have always enjoyed the fresh taste of our extra roos that have ended up on the dinner table. 



Babies are abounding in other places as well. May, my beautiful meat mix doe, has a gorgeous litter of 5 kits. Two are white and black, one is pure white, one black, and one is a mix of black and orange that is evidently called a harlequin. The color is stunning, simply stunning. We had planned to sell the buck that came with May, and get an "upgrade" to a high pound production meat buck. Instead we are going to keep Button, as he has come to be known, to breed colored pet bunnies, and just get a second buck to cross her with for meat kits. Because well, that harlequin is staying with me, and I have had several interested in having it for a pet.

Our bum lambs are growing fools. Klondike is weaned, Echo is on the down hill side of being on milk, our other two, Mo and Monster Truck, are getting 3 and 5 feedings a day respectively. They all gobble their feed like they haven't seen a meal in months rather than hours. It makes for every day being filled to the brim with work and fun.
Last bum lamb for the year, Monster Truck

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

It's Just



Hard some days to keep up with everything. Yesterday was just go go go. My own fault. I set the goal for myself of cleaning the brooder. Well this has become an undertaking and a half. It requires pulling all of the chicks out, putting them in boxes, shoveling it out, bedding it down, then putting them all back in. 

We took our smallest lamb with us to Easter. The twin to him we lost in a freakish accident. I won't go into details but we were simply heartbroken. Mo is still doing great though. So at least we have his sweet self to entertain us still.

With the mud and muck the horses are sloppy messes, no amount of grooming keeps their coats tidy, I cannot wait for the frost to be totally out of the ground, and for the dry up to happen so that 5 seconds after I turn out in the morning the grooming efforts I make aren't in vain.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Wild Ride

Uhm I know I like just ate an hour ago...but plleeeaaseee

Things sure have been busy here on the farm. The cornish rock cross chicks my brother, husband and I picked up are growing so quickly that well needless to say they are 3-5 times the size of the layer group we picked up the same time. Al's "specialty" straight run chicks are turning into the most gorgeous red spangled birds. I believe they may be Welsummers but until they are fully feathered out I'm not going to say for sure. My Ameracaunas are feathering out into an amazing and splendid array of colors. From dark deep brown, the color of a mink, to soft hues of tan and black they delight the eyes. The red sex links...well...they are just a plain old red. But still a nice chick to watch grow. 


Klondike is developing quite the bum...

My does (rabbits) are due in about 3-7 days. Give or take. I'm fairly certain both are pregnant, as their bellies are like small soft balls underneath them, where previously they were just nice sleek stream lined girls. I'm so excited by the prospect of both rabbit kits to put in the grow out to fill our freezers with another source of meat, and babies to be pets and give me a little extra income potential at the swap meets this year. The husband and I are trying very very hard to get a good base of livestock diversity, Hence our other new critters.


For some reason the girls will only use these 2 boxes, out of 10 :/

Thursday night I got a private message on facebook, from a friend, about another wonderful sheep and dog handler/breeder, who had a pair of bum ram lambs available. So now in a "jug" in the pen with my Clun Forest-Border Leichester crosses are a pair of WONDERFUL Scottish Black Face rams. We are planning to get a few bred ewes this fall from the same lady, as she plans to reduce her flock, and well the husband fell right in love with her boys and girls. If we had the money and space we'd buy a lot more than just a handful!



One of the Turkens I bought Al, LOVING this chick! 

Bunch of babes, see how much bigger the Cornish (whites) are?

The weekend was spent run run Rudophing. We went to the grandparents and pulled Grandpa's plow off his truck and got it summerized so to speak. Hubs got the oil changed in his truck (only like 1500 miles over due, on a "regular" truck not such a big deal, on an ancient dodge with 240000+ miles? Definitely not a good thing to do on a continuous basis). Then there is all the "normal" weekend stuff. Feed store runs, moving this that or the other thing so there is progress on coops and buildings etc. By the time the weekend is over I think we are both ready for the "break" the work week provides. 


Easter Egger chick, such pretties! 

Cornish-Rock chick. Developing so well for us!

For now back out to work in the barn while the Princess of Screams naps...for what is never long enough :)



Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sunday Stills: Agriculture

This one was pretty easy for me, as, aside from my family, my entire world is animal agriculture. Enjoy!


Miss Frizz this summer and now, she sure has grown

The new babies in their warm brooder

My darling black mottled hen

Bama and her bull calf last summer on the hill

For more Sunday Stills

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Catching up

Sorry for not posting to anyone who actually reads this blog. Things have just been so insane and difficult, with the cold, sick baby, same baby turning 1, husband being ill, me being ill, did I mention the ridiculous cold wind snow and ice?

Some of the new babies, this is the 1st batch of 30

The brother and my husband built a fantastic brooder, by adding new parts and altering an older style model that my uncle was nice enough to gift us on the condition that we actually make use of it. Given that it is currently housing 82 or 83 chicks yeah it is getting put to very very good use!

The princess turned a year on the 6th. Much hilarity and happiness ensued. She has some delightful new outfits for summer and next fall, a butterfly that talks, and two yes two ride on toys. One is a super cool noise making airplane that she utterly adores, the other a simple bright pink Case IH push tractor that JD and I got for her. Currently she is experimenting to see if there is a way she can make use of both at one time.

Whole brooder 

We've also been battling the head and chest cold from he double hockey sticks. Poor princess caught it earlier in the week. A doctors appointment had us upping her dose of tylenol, and temporarily adding in some ibuprofen on days that she couldn't quite keep her fever down. She and I are slowly on the mend. Very very slowly. I'm still sneezing up a storm, and she is horribly congested. Running the humidifier at night seems to help greatly. 

The husband has also been battling Lyme's disease. After several months of not feeling up to snuff, and just generally being miserable he finally went to the doctors. Several tests, consults and such later it was determined he had a combination concussion and early stages of Lyme's going on. A couple weeks of taking it easy and some heavy antibiotics and he is creeping back to being his usual self.



Other issues around here, some varmint has been killing a bird or so a night for weeks. We finally figured out one of our culprits is a vicious barn cat, grabbing birds and yanking them through the wire. So we have been rebuilding the coop space trying to eliminate all points of possible entry. We thought we had the issue resolved, as we went over a week without losing any of our girls or boys, only to find a buff Cochin had been killed 2 nights ago. Now more alterations will have to be made, so as to try and keep any more birds from going in the wrong direction.

The boys are also putting together 3 new chicken coops. What with the purchase of 80 some new birds, and wanting some nice breeding stock, more coop space is a definite necessity. Within a week or 2 we should have three very nice 10-12 x 20 or so coops built and ready for stock. 

Monday, February 02, 2015

And in life


There is death. The brother of the husband's favorite uncle passed away yesterday. I didn't know him well, the brother that is, but the husband's uncle is a lovely man, and I greatly love him, I feel horrible for the family.

Here on the farm we had our own tragedy of a poultry sort. Elderly Lady Pea passed away in her sleep. She was a delightful old bird, but Mr died a few winters ago, and she was very much getting up there in birdie years. Still, while with livestock one expects to lose some every now and then, whether to illness or age, it is an unpleasant reality. Jade took her far up on the hill away from the barns, the ground is frozen solid so there was no way to bury her. 

Our reality of life the last few weeks has been altered also. Jade's grandfather, whom is a delightful man, underwent routine knee replacement surgery. He ended up in the ICU in an induced coma after suffering several heart attacks. A stressful week later he had open heart surgery. He is now slowly mending but is still in ICU. On the bright side they are slowly bringing him back to reality and we pray he will make a full recovery. 


In other news we are looking into incubators. I believe we will sometime this week, if the knee deep and rising snow fall ever abates, clean and rebed the turkey tractor and until we can build the new coop move the blue rooster and all the blue hens, my black mottled and the single white girl into it, build them a nice little nesting box for now, and start getting some eggs for it. I've learned not to get my hopes up with livestock, don't count your chickens before their hatched sort of thing, but I can't help but get excited for the springs babies!