Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Walter

Friday evening I let the sheep and goats into a small paddock in the yard so they could graze, and I heard an animal start screeching. I looked over and saw that June had stepped in a nest of baby bunnies, and there were several babies scrambling to get away from the nest.

I ran and grabbed them all up and put them back in the nest, but noticed two had been injured. One bunny was hurt badly, it's skin was ripped over the ribcage. Another one had torn skin on the side of it's ribcage, but it didn't look as badly injured. I covered the nest with a box, then I grabbed both babies and brought them inside. The worse of the two died pretty shortly after I brought them in. The other one looked like it might have a chance, so I flushed the wound and stitched the wound closed (David helped me hold it down). I also applied a good bit of an antibiotic ointment on the wound.

I knew it was a long shot because baby bunnies are so incredibly fragile, but I wanted to at least try to save it.



I put him in a clothes basket on a heating pad with a towel over him. A few hours later I went to check on him, and he was still alive, so I tried to feed him some goat milk. He wasn't very interested in drinking, but he seemed perky (and jumpy, like baby rabbits are).

He made it all day Saturday, and even showed improvement at drinking. I decided to name him Walter. He was probably around 9 days old by my estimation.



Baby bunnies are so cute. Just look at those little feet!


Unfortunately this morning I went to check on him and he'd died overnight. I knew it would be hard to save him, but I'm glad I tried. Rest in peace, Walter!

And I went back to look at the nest on Saturday, and it was empty. I hope that means momma bunny moved them to a safer place.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Randomness

I have had some random thoughts lately and I just wanted to write them all down. Bear with me.



-It's hot here. Hot and dry. Hot and dry and humid. My hair hates humidity. Also, I drive the vehicle with no A/C, which means unless I want to die of heat stroke I have to have the windows down while driving. This means my hair blows in my face, which I happen to HATE. I have these little fly-away hairs that are too short to go in my ponytail, so they whip around like crazy, getting in my eyes and sticking in my mouth. So I found an elastic headband to help.
It helps keep the hair out of my face, but it doesn't make my hairdo look very pretty. *sigh*
*And please excuse my dirty mirror. It's very old and those spots are permanent. :)

-Sometimes (all the time) I think about all the stuff I want to do, in addition to what I'm already doing. I feel like I should bake all our bread, I feel like I should sew more, be more attentive to the garden, do more projects on the To-Do list, etc. In reality, I keep fairly busy. I just always feel like I need to do more. My mom recently left a very nice comment on my last post saying how much I'm getting accomplished. This kinda made me wake up and realize that I *am* doing a lot. I need to work on taking more time to relax and enjoy myself. Life is no fun when I'm constantly worried about doing more things.
-One thing I definitely need to do is set up my veggie stand this weekend. We're getting more squash and zucchini than we can keep up with, so it's time to sell it!
-I also need to get my egg sign made and put out front so I can sell some of my eggs. My hens are steadily laying.
-Speaking of my hens, I lost a layer yesterday to the heat. Well, I assume it was the heat. She was only a year old and seemed healthy.
-I've been on a roll lately eating right and exercising. It's working...I'm down 7.5 lbs! I'd like to lose about 22.5 more! I'm finding that I'm not nearly as hungry as I used to be, and I don't crave junk like I used to.
-I got some free chain-link fencing yesterday. There was an auto-body shop nearby that had some fencing on a flatbed trailer, so I stopped in to ask what they were going to do with it. The guy said anything under 5' tall was free for the taking. I got a roll of 4' tall and a roll of 3' or 4' tall, I didn't measure but it looked shorter. There's another roll on the trailer that I may go back and get, but it was wedged in between some nasty thorny vines and I didn't feel like fussing with it yesterday. I'm going to use the fence to build my ram and buck pen. I need to get on that.
-I'm going to TSC and Lowe's tonight to get stuff for the animals. I am excited. I love shopping for animal stuff. And the best part is I'm using money I got from selling stuff from the animals, so I'm not really spending any out of our pockets.
-My sister has been visiting her in-laws since Monday. I wish she'd hurry back so I can talk to her. I miss her. We usually email back and forth quite a bit during the day, but now my inbox is sad and lonely.
-Season 2 of True Blood was finally released from Netflix this week. So far I've seen the first 4 episodes. I love that show, but the books (by Charlaine Harris) are even better. I wish we had HBO so I didn't have to wait for the DVDs, but it's much cheaper this way. Her 10th Sookie book is out. I'm going to go check with my library to see if they have it. I'd love to relax in the A/C this weekend and read!
-That's all I can think of at the moment. Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Barnyard Update

It's time for an animal update!

The turkeys are doing really well, even though they don't like the heat. The love being in the tractor and seem to be foraging really well.


Here's a hen with her saddle on. I need to make a few more.



And here's Darla's lamb. She's now 5 days old and filling out nicely!


She likes to explore.


And she's adorable, as most lambs are.


She's even cute when she's scratching her back!


Darla is still a really great mom.



Did I tell you I lost my female guinea? She was sitting on a nest of eggs and something got her. Luckily for me, I stole 2 of her eggs and put them in the incubator about a week before she died. Both eggs hatched and I have them in a brooder with the little chicks now! The male guinea has been feeling a little lonely, so he's been hanging around the turkey tractor with the juvenile guineas I got from the auction. I decided to let those 2 young guineas out so they could be a happy guinea family.


It didn't quite work out though. The young guineas were scared and really wanted back in the tractor. The big guinea got bored and wandered away. After about an hour, I lifted the tractor up so they could scoot back inside. I guess I'll have to try again later!


The broilers are now almost 5 weeks old and growing like, well, broilers! They're outside now and doing fairly well. I tell ya, a few of them are real porkers!


Here are the chicks from my last hatch! I was hoping to sell them, but I never got any response from my craigslist ad. I'll just keep them for a while and try selling them when they're almost laying. You can see the 2 baby guineas down there...they're gray and in the center of the picture.


I'll do an updated carden post soon, but I wanted to show you this picture of the zucchini and squash I got. This is 2 harvests worth. I skipped a day picking, and you can see how they got overgrown. I'll have to be more diligent!


Saturday, June 19, 2010

The New Baby!

I went out to feed today around 4:45 and saw that Darla had some discharge an a "bubble" of amniotic fluid. Woo hoo!! That meant lambing time!

I brought the lawn chair out in the pasture and sat for a while and chatted on the phone with my mom while I waited. After a while, I went inside to start dinner.



I came back out about an hour later and saw that she had two hooves starting to peek out. I called David and the kids to come out to watch.


David passed the time by feeding the goats. Boy did they love him!


Poor Darla started contracting and was really uncomfortable. Soon the lamb's nose appeared.


After about an hour of pushing with not much progress, I decided to go help out a little. All it took was a little pulling on my part and out slipped a lamb! I made sure the lamb's nose was clear, and then pulled the lamb up in front of Darla and let her do the rest.


She jumped right in and starting cleaning the lamb and talking to her (yes, a ewe lamb!).


It was really sweet.




I love this picture. Shortly after this picture, I went and got Darla up. A few minutes later the lamb stood up. I helped her find the teat and made sure she nursed. Then I dipped her navel in iodine to help it dry and kill any nasty germs.


I'm a little disappointed Darla had a single, but I'm just glad she lambed at all this year! The lamb has got the ears of a Border Leicester (her sire's breed). She looks to be a real cutie, and she's tall! I'll be sure to take more pictures tomorrow when she's dried off.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Little Pocket Change

David and I went to the transfer station a few months ago to drop off some trash, and I noticed something up near the building where the people work. The man and woman who work there are really funny and David usually jokes around with them. I saw this wooden house-type thing and mentioned to David I'd like to have it. He asked the lady if she was going to keep it, and she said she was going to use it for her cats, but we were welcome to take it!

We took it home, and I knew immediately what it would be great for. Nesting boxes!

I don't have a "before" picture, but it was just the blue structure with none of the stuff inside. I used scrap materials to build a shelf, then dividers on the top and bottom shelf. Then I built perches and put a lip on each shelf.


Then I painted it.






I only spent $9 making it, and that was for the spray paint! There are a few scratches and chips, but it's really solid and sturdy. I wanted to sell it so I could use the money for my animals (feed, supplies, etc), so I decided to list it on Craigslist. I thought of first asking $50, then I decided $60, and then I posted the ad and thought, "What the heck?!" and listed it for $75! I thought that would give me a little wiggle room in case someone tried to talk me down. Plus, I'd been looking at them online and they're pretty pricey!

Someone called a few hours after I listed the ad and came to buy it that afternoon. He didn't even try to negotiate the price!

I think I'll make a few more nesting boxes to sell, but I'll go with a simpler design like this one. We have a good bit of scrap lumber, so it would be cheap to get started.

I'm trying to figure out what to spend my money on. I've been saving up money from egg, milk (for craft use of course ;-), and soon-to-be veggies sales. I need to get some more feeders and waterers for the poultry, I could use an egg scale and egg basket, I could use materials to build a new ram/buck pen, I want to get some soap and cheese making supplies, and I'm dying to get a Kitchenaid Stand mixer (in Ice, thankyouverymuch)!

*sigh* So many wants, so little money.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

One More Week...

It seems like forever ago that I took Darla to the neighbor's house to visit with the ram. She is due to lamb next week, sometime around the 22nd. I'm impatiently waiting. Poor Darla, she's pretty uncomfortable since she's so big and it's been hot.



Check out her fuzzy belly. I had to shear her by hand (with hand shears) because I accidently broke my comb for the electric shears. And check out what's going on in the background! The darn ram lamb is STILL trying to nurse. Purl lets him. It's a good thing she doesn't have an udder. She's pretty much dry now, but I guess he still tries.


Poor Darla, you used to be so nice and trim. Now, well, let's just say, you're not so trim anymore!

I hope this week goes by quickly!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Garden Tour

I've been meaning to do a garden video and show y'all what's going on in my garden. I apologize for the weeds, they've been getting ignored lately. Also, sorry for any jerky camera work! It was really sunny out and I couldn't see the screen to actually see what I was filming. And, if you notice I stopped the first video rather suddenly. My neighbor was walking over and I didn't want him to think I was some lunatic talking to my vegetables!! :-)

video



video

And check out my tomato stakes! My coworker/friend's husband made them. He's a carpenter and used some leftover wood to make them, so they didn't cost anything to make. I'm trading them a few dozen eggs for a few dozen really nice, sturdy stakes! I love bartering!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

New Chicks and New Bunny Pics

The eggs in the incubator are starting to hatch! So far it's going MUCH better than the last time (knock on wood). The fan I installed really helps keep the temperatures steady!

So far there are about 6-8 chicks hatched and more on the way!


See the chick's beak in the egg?






This poor chick is resting. It's hard work hatching!



I can't wait see how many are there when I get home!
And the latest pics of the baby bunnies.... This is probably the last time I'll show you, since we scared the 2 babies (I wonder what happened to the others?).
Just after I snapped this pic they darted out of the nest!


Devin grabbed one and I grabbed the other. His had 2 ticks in one ear so we pulled those off.


Then we quickly put them back in the nest, covered them up, and I held my hand over them so they'd calm down and not dart out again. As soon as they calmed down I lifted my hand and we walked away.
I cannot believe how fast they've grown!!! What are they, about 2 weeks old?!!





Sunday, June 6, 2010

Grazing Gobblers

The turkeys have really been loving being out in the tractor. Today I had to move them to a new spot in the yard, so I asked David to record it.

video

They get so excited with new grass!

Harvesting Garlic

I planted garlic in October and patiently waited...and waited. Finally the tops started dying so it was time to harvest!

I dug the row up and was a little disappointed with the results. The heads are much smaller than I was hoping they'd be, but at least I got something.


This was the largest head. The rest of them were around the size of a golf ball. They're still edible though!


Next year I'll try again. I'll probably amend the soil a bit as well.

Oh yeah, and the garlic I planted game from the grocery store. Maybe this fall I'll buy some nice garlic instead of getting what was available at Foodlion. :-)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I need help.

Here is our house.



I love it, but it needs some pizazz. I want to make shutters, but I'm so indecisive when it comes to making decisions I thought I'd get your help in picking a color. I'd like to make cottage style shutters like these. Or at least something similar to that. I'd also like to paint the doors (front door and side door) some color in the red family.

So which of these colors (if any) do you like? Which do you hate? If you hate all of them, do you have any other suggestions for what might look nice?





I just grabbed these quickly at Lowe's the other day. I can certainly pick other ones if none of these look right!

In case you can't tell by the pics, the house is cream colored, not white. It's not exactly yellow, but *almost* a yellowish tinted cream. Clear as mud, right?

Stylish Hens

Some of my hens have been worn out by my roosters. I recently sold six extra roosters, so there were WAY too many around here. My poor hens' backs are proof of that. When the roosters mate with the hens, their feet and nails tend to pull out feathers. A couple of my poor hens' backs are now totally bald.

I recently saw something online called a hen saddle, and it's a protective cover for your hens so their feathers can grow back in and so the roosters can't damage their backs. I decided to make some, since we're on a tight budget and, well, because I can!

First I made a pattern. I went off the one I saw online for the basic shape (I changed it a tad) but I didn't have measurements so I used one of my hens to measure it.


I found a cute fat quarter my mom and sister gave me, and I had some left over baby flannel from a gift I made. I figured the flannel would be nice and soft against the hen's back. I decided to use a middle layer of flannel as well to give the saddle some thickness and to give the hen more protection.


I sewed the right sides of the top and bottom layer together, and put this middle layer on top. I sewed all around but left a gap so I could flip it right-side out. I also pinned the elastic in between the layers. That was probably the trickiest part.


Here's the finished top.


And here's the finished bottom! This will be the side against the hen.

I tried it on her this morning and it seems to fit pretty well. I might make the back a tad longer next time so it comes farther down to her tail. I also might tighten the elastic just a tad because it seemed slightly loose around her wings.


Sorry for the blurry pictures. It was early!


It doesn't seem to bother her! She turned around to look at it a few times, but went right to eating.


And most importantly it didn't hinder her ability to go through the little doorway into the sheep pasture.


I'll need to make a few more of these and tweak the pattern so they fit just right. Won't it be cute to have all these fashionable hens running around?!
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