Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bring on the Kits!

We're finally ready for babies over here.  I tend to procrastinate just a tad, so I waited until tonight to get a nesting box and new cage for the rabbits. Until now, the sisters had been sharing one big cage, and I needed to finally separate them.  The smaller sister picks on the bigger sister, plus the bigger sister is expecting a litter very soon.  I left Big Sister in the big cage (30"x36") and put the smaller sister in the new cage (30"x30").  Once Little Sister gets bred, she'll move out into the big hutch outside and the male will move into the cage she's in now. 
















Big Sister was bred on March 31st, and gestation is about 28-31 days for rabbits, so I figure she's due anytime around Saturday.  I'm excited to see what she has.  This will be my first litter of meat rabbits!

















She's got plenty of room in the cage, and has already been hanging out in the nest box, although that's pretty much so she can eat the hay (I've got a round bale of hay, so I used that instead of straw). 

And Little Sister now has a cage all to herself so she doesn't have to irritate her sister anymore.  Not that little sisters ever truly irritate their big sisters, right Becky?

















Please excuse the fuzzy pic, my batteries were about to die.  And please also excuse my pile of feed sacks. I'm collecting them to put down in the garden aisles this year to help combat the wire grass.

Stay tuned for pictures of baby bunnies...hopefully soon!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Kids' New Home!

Selling animals can sometimes be nerve wracking!  You always want to know that the animals you've cared for are going to a good home.  I sold the goat kids last week, and had no doubts that they were going to a great home!  The lucky brothers went to live in Virginia, with Shannon and Andrew, who are the nicest people!


















Shannon sent me these pictures of the boys after they got settled in at their new place.  Looks like goat heaven!


















They even have obstacles to climb on!






















Yep, it's nice to know your animals are now owned by people who will love them and take care of them!  Thanks Shannon and Andrew!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Seeing Spots


















The baby pigs are doing really well!  They're eating like pigs (that saying is so true) and there are no visible rib bones or spines anymore.  In fact, the little runt drinks better than his bigger brother!


















The pigs stayed in the house for only a night before they just got too stinky to stay any longer.  They're out in the barn with a heat lamp and are having a great time.  They run all around exploring, then crash under the heat lamp until the next feeding time. 


















Here's the little runt above.


















And the bigger of the two likes to try to escape. He's pretty vocal, and he loves getting back rubs and scratches. The runt does not like to be touched on his back.  It's funny how different they are. 

I'm really hoping they grow fast, because I'd like to put them in with the big pig so she has buddies.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate too, because it's gotten cold all of the sudden. You'd think it was spring or something!  ;-)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sailing the High Seas


We bought a boat!  We are surrounded by water here on the Eastern Shore of MD, so we wanted to get a boat so we'd have a fun hobby this summer.  We like fishing, but it's depressing fishing from the shore because we can't seem to get anything good.  Plus, Maryland is famous for our blue crabs, and they're expensive to buy so we'll hopefully be able to catch our own from now on!  
We found this 16' boat and it's perfect for us.  It's big enough for us and the kids to fit comfortably, but still small enough to be affordable (to both purchase and run) and maneuverable.  

David's Dad had a boat when David was younger, but my family didn't have a boat so I'm a little nervous on it.  I need to get my sea legs!  I've only been on boats a handful of times, usually in relatives' boats when we go camping.  It's exciting to have our very own one!

We took it out in the river today for a very short ride, mainly to make sure everything works.  
















What a view!

















This picture cracks me up.  I'm being crazy and David looks so serious.  Really he's just squinting because he didn't have sunglasses. 

I can't wait to take the boat out for an actual fishing trip!  I'm imaging lots of fresh fish and crab this summer, and hopefully a good bit in the freezer too!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The New Boys

 I sold the 2 goat kids last night and the pig is pretty lonely.  I'd been anticipating this, and have been looking for a second pig.  The guy I got my current pig from had a litter born recently (on Easter, April 8th), so I put the word out that I needed another one.  He said he had a little runt who wasn't doing well, and probably wouldn't survive (having to fight against much bigger and stronger siblings for food) so I could have him if I wanted him.   Of course I did!  I love a challenge.  I went over there today and he had 2 piglets in a box for me, since both of them were having a hard time competing with the bigger pigs.  One is truly a runt, and was born teeny. The other just probably didn't get to nurse as much as the others.  So I brought them home. 

















 First thing I did was bathe them.  They were pretty stinky.  The piglet below is the bigger of the two.





















And below is the little runt (in the kitchen sink).
















Then I handed the piglets off to the kids to wrap in towels and hold for a bit. 





































They smell much better after their baths.  Then I tried feeding them with a bottle, but they weren't too interested.  They like drinking from a dish much better. 

















After I while I wanted to go outside and put up my new electronet fence for the sheep, so I went to the closet and got a sheet to make into a sling. 
















I tucked them inside and fastened the loose top with a safety pin.  They were snug as bugs in a rug! 






















I snapped the photo of the sling so you can see how it looks. It just ties in the back and I slung it over my shoulder.  It let me carry them around and still get work done. 

I'll keep you posted on the boys' progress.  I may name them...not sure.  It's not exactly like I can call them all Pig Pig now.  And they're all spotted, so I can't call them by color.  :-)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Seedlings


Every year I try to start some seeds and they never really do that well.  Partly because I don't have a bright space to put them inside the house, and also because I hate all the work of putting them outside during the day and bringing them in at night.  This year we splurged on a greenhouse!  Yeah, well, it was only $20 and is teeny, but it's still technically a greenhouse!  (We got it at Tractor Supply Co, in case you were wondering)























So far I really like it!  For the small amount of seeds I start, I think it will work really well. 

















I got the idea to use toilet paper and paper towel rolls as seed pots from one of my favorite blogs, Squash Blossom Farm.  They seem to be doing the job!   The nice part is when I plant, I can either plant the whole thing, or just tear the cardboard away!

















So far I've planted hollyhocks and 3 kinds of tomatoes.  I need to get started on the other things soon. 

















Every day I cheer on the tomatoes.  Grow, babies, grow!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Car is Possessed

video


I think aliens are trying to send me messages through my car stereo.  I get weird messages like this from time to time.  

Ok, maybe not.  It could be because last year a lady pulled out in front of David, causing him to have to swerve and jump a curb to miss t-boning her truck.  The car was in the shop for a while, and the stereo had to be sent out for repairs, and hasn't been quite right after that. 

Nah, it can't be that. It's definitely aliens.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Three Stooges

Soon it will just be the 1 Stooge, since the 2 goat kids are supposed to be leaving on Wednesday to go to their new home in Virginia. 

















Until then, the three are enjoying their time together.  I let them out just about every day so they can graze, and every day I cut grass clippings to put in their pen.  They all LOVE to graze or get treats of grass. 


















It's hard to believe the kids are 2 months old already!   And harder still to believe how quickly the pig has grown.  Here's a post from when the kids were just 2 days old.

















I'll be getting another young pig soon, hopefully.  After seeing how smart the pig is, and how much she loves the goats, I know I can't expect her to be happy by herself, even within sight of the other animals, and with daily visits from us. 



















And I tell you one thing, this pig is STRONG.  Her center of gravity is so low, that if she wants to get by me, she doesn't have to try very hard.  It's hard to block her with my ankles when she can just put her snout through them and push.  I could make a pig board (a solid board used to move them, which works well since it blocks their vision and gives the impression of a dead end), but I'd rather not have to carry one around. We're still working on manners, and I'd like for her to stay away from the gate when it's feeding time.  That's going to be tricky I think, but I know I better teach her now instead of trying to fight with her when she's 250 lbs.  Plus, add another pig into the mix and it's going to be even more trouble.   She is getting pretty good at sitting for her food though!  I'll have to take a video soon. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Late Easter Post

I'm so late posting this, but wanted to share our Easter egg dying. It's always fun to create different color patterns and experiment with different colors.


















For some reason this year, some of the colors were really vibrant (like the bright blue and green) but the rest were sort of dull.  I'm not sure what that was about, but it was hard to get a bright pink or red unless you left them in a really long time. 

















Here are some of Kylee's eggs below. 
















We waited until just before dark to do the hunt, because I told the kids were were going to do a hunt in the dark.  They kept asking how we were going to do it, but I told them it was a surprise.   It started to sprinkle right when we were ready to do our regular hunt, and I was afraid we were going to get rained out, but luckily the rain held off. 

















It was pretty chilly, so the kids had to wear their heavy coats.  We don't really do the whole dress-up for Easter thing, especially since we did the hunt a few days before Easter (since the kids were at their Mom's house that day).
















After the regular hunt, we had the kids go inside so we could get ready for the in-the-dark hunt.  I saw a really neat idea on Pinterest to put glow sticks in the eggs, and I thought it was be so cool to try it.   It was very cool!

















It took a while to bend the glow bracelets so they'd fit in the eggs, and we had to tape the eggs shut, but they looked so neat!  It was hard to get a picture of just how pretty they were.
















When we put them on the ground, we could see them glowing, and the ones in the branches of bushes looked like they were hovering!

















It was really neat, and the kids had a lot of fun!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Another Year Older/Wiser

I started this post 2 days ago and I'm just finishing it now!  I'm so bad at blogging lately.  I still need to show pics of our Easter egg hunt too.  Geesh!

My birthday was on Saturday, so I wanted to show you part of my day.  I wanted to do something fun and different, so I went to Google (what would we do without Google?) and searched for things to do around Delaware. We don't live in Delaware, but we live pretty darn close to it.  I found Old Dominion Brewery, in Dover, and they offered tours.  It sounded like fun, and it was only $5 per person!

We got there about 15 minutes before the scheduled tour time, and we were given 5 wooden tokens for 5 samples of beer.  We went to their little bar and started drinking!  The samples were sort of small, about a cup each, but they were good.  My favorite was their cherry kind, which I don't see on their website.  There were lots of other people there, so we chatted with them.  We met one couple from Canada that came down for the Delaware Wine and Ale Trail tour!

After sampling 3 different beers, I decided I better quit and gave my 2 remaining tokens to a very appreciative fellow-tour goer.  He was happy to have more beer!  We started on the tour, which was very laid back and fun.


 I got a kick out of the sign above.  Below, you see 3 of the 4 large tanks in the first stop of the tour. I just remember the first one was called the mash mixer, and I can't remember what the other 4 do!  They're really deep though, only about the top third or fourth was sticking above the floor (we were up on the 2nd floor). 

















Then we moved on to the floor where the beer gets moved into the big bulk tanks, and I think this is where it ages or brews. To be honest, it was almost a week ago and I forgot!  The picture below is from the second floor looking down. 























Then we took a picture in front of the tank.  It's a little blurry. Maybe the guy who took it for us was starting to get tipsy!

















Then on to the bottling and boxing area....

















Check out these huge bags (1 ton!) of sugar!  They make soda here too!


















And the massive quantities of different brewing grains...


















They said they have spent brewing grains every day, and that I could just email or call ahead and pick them up! They could be a potential food source for the pig or chickens!  It wouldn't be convenient for every day since we don't go to Dover too often, but next time we go I'm definitely going to ask for some!

That concludes my summary of the tour.  :-)   I just wanted to share a picture of the pashmina my sister got me as a gift.  It's from New York, and she said ALL the locals wear them.  I tend to get stuck in the jeans and t-shirt rut, so it's nice to have something different to accessorize with!  I didn't realize it was "inside out" until after I took the pics. The colors on the right side are so bright and vibrant!























I had a great birthday and didn't want the day to end!  Only 12 more months until my next one.  :-)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spring Grazing


It seems like I was just saying how it felt like the grass was never going to grow, and here I am already rotating the animals around for grazing.  We got a warm spell about two weeks ago, and it really jump started everything!

The girls really love getting out to graze.  I've still go them in their sacrifice area in their pasture, since the grass out there isn't ready to be grazed yet.  Since I've got a small space, that's one thing I can do to ensure they don't eat the grass down to nothing (which is a great way to kill off your pasture).  The girls don't appreciate it, but they don't get to make the rules.  :-)

They mostly respect this 2-strand fence I'm using, but I'm saving up for more electronetting so I can have a better portable fence for them.
















Grazing is very hard work for little lambs!


















 Here's Bean, or as my mom likes to call her, Monkeyface. 


















And here's her sister, Barley (I know they say you're supposed to love your kids equally, but she's my favorite of the two).

















June LOVES to graze, and she probably eats faster than anyone.

















The lambs are pros at grazing now.  They are pretty entertaining. Every night at dusk they get a little wild and run and jump and act like typical crazy little lambs. Watching them is one of my favorite things to do!
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