Monday, April 29, 2013

Country Chic Wedding - Sonia and Stacy

A farm boy met a country girl, and they fell in love. 
He left a message for her in her boots.
Her daddy's first look after she got ready

And he surprised her with a horse-drawn carriage for their get-away. 

So We Got a Trail Cam...

And what do we do with it? Well, first we placed it down on the corner of the property looking towards a well used trail. Plenty of coyote pictures, a shot of a bob cat, and somehow a bumble bee tripped the camera too.
And then we decided to stick it on a tree overlooking one of the chicken tractors on the front lawn. Why? Because something tampered with the tarp on the first night we had the birds out there. So we set up the trail cam and waited to see if we would catch the perpetrator in the act.

The next morning, we pulled out the memory card to see what we caught.


At least, not of the predatory kind. We got pictures of one of the hens that keeps getting out of her yard. She was probably hoping to get some of the meat birds' feed.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Is It Tasty?

We've been trying to figure out how to get all the goats all of their herbal dewormer in a sane, easy way. The bag has been sitting on the counter for goodness knows how long now - starting at us. Taunting us. Telling us we don't know what the heck we're doing. After much self-pep-talk and mulling over, Mom and I finally dug in and gave it a try. We did the math for how much all of the critters on the farm needed (that included the dog, cats, llama, chickens, and goats). We did the medicine balls accordingly. The ooey-gooey, brownie like things sat on the counter as we contemplated out next move and tried to convince the first cat that it was just molasses (She didn't buy it, by the way... she much preferred the meat that we were cooking up for lunch). The dewormer bars weren't even on the counter for more than 5 minutes, and Jake and Jess had both come through and thought about eating the 'treats.' At least we were able to stop them in time. Eli on the other hand... well... He came running through after the initial, "You don't want to eat that." So he missed the entire bit. He had a 'brownie' in his mouth in a flash, and he spat it out even faster. "What is that?! That's disgusting!" It's for the goats, kiddo. "Are they okay for humans?" Yeah... It's just an herbal mixture you'd get if you had worms, and you didn't swallow anything. So you're all good.

To prevent any further human consumption or mishaps, we headed out with our plate of goat tasties to see if we could tempt the goats with them as easily as we did Eli.

They didn't dig 'em. At all. Just a couple sniffs, and they were on the other side of the barn. Except for Morgan, who will eat just about anything. She downed her dose and made a move for seconds. We still had a plate full of noms... The turkeys weren't so easily convinced. The cats wouldn't have anything to do with it. The only animals that ate (and enjoyed) their treats were the chickens (after we mixed in some oats and seeds), the llama, Morgan (but you knew that already), and the dog. Yeah. The dog. She loved dewormer snacks.

We still needed to get the goats their doses. So we headed in to try a different mixture. They like nut butter and apples. Maybe they won't notice if we add in some extra ingredients... They were on to us before we even walked in the barn. And snubbed it from the far corner.

Did we learn anything from this? Ehh... I think Eli did. ;)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Chore Time

Chores have been taking a lot longer lately. I wonder why...
Actually, I don't.

Dreamer is due to kid next week. Poor girl looks like she's going to pop.

I think I need to start a blog of just pictures of this cat.

Cornish Roasters: Almost Week #6

Hard to think that in... Oh my... Have we really reached the half-way marker 'til butcher day? They're looking tastier by the day. I think it's the insane amount of food that they chow down.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Farm Girl Fashion

 Or 'lack there-of' is more of what I should say. Just humor me for a moment - think of all the things that are fashionable or in style. Could you walk out to the barn in those cute heels without making a llama look at you funny? Could you climb the barn ladder in that adorable dress? Are you able to easily move around and get work done in skinny jeans? Are the chickens chasing you around trying to peck at those manicured nails? (PS - red is their favorite color)
Photos courtesy of Christi

Needless to say, I think you're right to assume that 99% of my wardrobe is purely practical.

- Thrift store denim. Even if those $60 jeans fit perfectly and look simply amazing, I can't justify spending more than $10 since I'm just going to have them completely worn out and stained in a week... I just filled a bin with jeans that I've destroyed. I'll have to come up with different uses for all that denim.

- A lot of old t-shirts. And new t-shirts. But those become 'old' very quickly. Have you noticed how flimsy t-shirts have become lately? They're already thread bare before they even hit the store shelves!

- Every farm girl needs a canvas coat. I've killed countless other coats and sweatshirts, but my old faithful Carhartt has yet to give up on me.

- Boots. Not the fashion boots either. I kinda need my footwear to have tread so I don't slip in the mud and muck. ;) I've got leather boots, muck boots, rubber boots, slip-on wanna-be-boots...

- Everything in the closet is fair game for working outside. You never know when something might happen, and you won't have time to change out of your 'nice' clothes. ;) Heck, I've been out there checking on meat chickens in the field in my pj's. I've been picking out dry grass particles ever since.

- I just got my annual pair of flip flops. My impractical chore shoes that I treat like they're indestructible  Can't wait for the warmer weather! Once the sandals decide to go belly up, summer is done. If they don't last that long, I blame the manufacturer for making them cheaply and buy another pair from the clearance rack.

What about the last 1% of my closet? Well, after that shpill, rant, whatever you want to call it, I have something to add:

I. Love. Dresses.

I even have shoes to go with those dresses that make getting from the house to the car  a tripping hazard waiting to happen. I will pull the 'I can't check on the critters right now because I don't want to get my clothes dirty' card.

So, yes, even if most of my clothes make me look like a tomboy, there is still a girly-girl in me that loves feeling pretty and feminine. Maybe it's because the rest of the week I look like I live in a barn. And that's not very far from the truth. ;)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Spring Fever

Lots of flower starts!
 Something inside of me rebels whenever it gets cold and wet again after we've had a few days of warm weather. But everyone else in the country is able to get their gardens in! Meanwhile we're still swimming in the swamps. But there is a way to get start curing the gardening bug while it's raining cats and dogs out there - you cheat. You whip out the heating pads and a 'greenhouse light' to get things started in the house.

My sister has also been anxious to get things in the ground also. But she's not that into veggie gardens; green food is something to be avoided, given to the livestock, or snuck onto someone else's plate. She grows flowers. And she's way ahead in the game than I am. Her flowers have already sprouted, and there isn't a veggie start to be seen anywhere.

 But that's about to change. Dad got the bug when going through seed catalogs from local sources and ordered tons of seeds. I'm not exaggerating here. I guess we're going to be serious about our veggie garden this year.  

Well, the seeds came in the mail; now we're just waiting for a good day to get the ground prep done. And we're also needing to get some fencing in since the chickens would have a field day otherwise. I'm sure there's something else that I'm missing on the to-do list that takes priority. 

Soon. Very soon. We'll get those seeds in the ground. Then we hope that there will be veggie sprouts. And a certain someone will 'forget' to water them. ;)

1 Week Old

I can't believe that that they're a week old already!

Just a few things from the past week:
- Baby goats are time-suckers. Barn chores are suddenly taking much more time than before. ;)
- Two is a perfect number. Any more and there could be problems with kidding.
- I'm tempted to name the buckling 'Fearless' and the little girl 'Trouble.'
- Thing 1 and Thing 2 have no perception of danger. Their mom on the other hand...
- The little girl has almost the exact same markings as her older sister. Their personalities are just about the same too - they both think that they're princesses.
- The little boy is kind of an awkward dork... His acrobatics aren't exactly graceful yet either. ;)
- All the other goats are still wondering what's going on on the other side of the wall.
- The llama has decided that he is the guardian of the newest additions to the goat herd. Or he can't quite figure out what they are. He keeps sticking his head through the stall window to keep an eye on them. He'll stand there just watching them. It's rather sweet.

Now we're waiting for Dreamer to kid in two weeks!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Baby Day!

We've been anxiously waiting all week for Mazy to have her baby/babies. For the last two weeks we've been able to feel some knobby legs kicking around in there. We've been feeling her tail ligaments to keep tabs on how close she might be to kidding. A the while she's bagging up more and more every day. Last night, the poor girl's udder looked like it was going to pop, and her ligaments were the loosest they had been. Just in case, we put Mazy in the cleaned out kidding stall with some heat lamps. Just in case. Right before bed, Mom and I headed out to the barn to check on mama goat - no new developments. At 6:30 this morning, Mom checked on the goat again, and still nothing. Although her ligaments were pretty gosh darn loose. We knew she'd kid today.

Fast forward only an hour. We get a call from the post office saying they had a cheeping box with our name on it. The baby turkeys are here! We've also been waiting for them all week. Mom started pulling herself together to go pick up all the tiny dinners. 

Jess had already headed out to the barn to do her chores when she hears this 'BAA!!!' Ohmyword. Baby goats! It's twins - a boy and girl. Jess comes in and tells Jake the latest and greatest in news from the barn (since he was the only one in the kitchen at that time). Jake runs up to tell Mom then runs out to the barn (with just a t-shirt and shorts on, might I add). There were two shivering little ones in the corner opposite the heat lamps. We just missed the birth (whine whine

Once we got the twins warmed up a bit, we realized that we still had to do chicken chores, meat chicken chores, goat chores, milking, and fetch the baby turkeys. Oh yeah... At least we already had a brooder tank set up for the turkeys. ;) I think our barn has reached maximum capacity now.

Well, I'll stop babbling and let you see all the new little ones! :D  
Turkey dinner. In six months.

Mamma goat. With a cutie bug in the background.

Thing 1 and Thing 2. That's little mister on the left and little miss on the right. We're thinking that we like the names 'Benedict' and 'Beatrice' from Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. We'd call them 'Ben' and 'Bea' for short. :)

Our next doe is due in about 2 weeks! :D I don't know how we'll be able to contain all the cute that's going to be running around. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Bucket Hoarder

Picture stolen from here
Something about being on a farm...
You tend to collect stuff.
A lot of stuff.
Out buildings to store implements.
Scrap wood.
A shed to keep the scrap wood dry.
Mismatched dirty socks.
Duct tape.
Saw blades.
Broken things.
Sputtering things that won't start.
Fencing supplies. Or at least enough supplies for part of the job.
Old cats.

Yes, dear reader, buckets.

There are a thousand and one uses for buckets!
You can haul feed, carry water, collect water from a down spout, drill a hole at the bottom to water baby trees, tote all the supplies for a project to the site, put extra milk in to clabber for a chicken treat, trap a mean rooster when you are otherwise defenseless, loading up with garden bounty, soaking bare root trees until you can get them in the ground, empty out an aquarium, contain the snake when cleaning the tank, soaking grains, sitting on it, contain paint, collect rocks and treasures, use as a hat, catching a drip, berry picking, 'bucket listing,' keep compost contained until you get it to the pile, etc, etc, etc. I'm sure I'll forever be adding to this list.

But you can't do all these jobs with one bucket. Eww. That would be rather unsanitary. So you amass enough to equip an army. It doesn't usually all happen at once - slowly, slowly, you gather some for this job, when they're on sale, or just cause you feel like you don't have enough. But then your neighbor brings down a pickup truck load (not exaggerating here). He bought them to water his baby Christmas trees, but purchased too many. So he gave the left overs to us. He said something about us being able to use them. ;) We can haz buckets now. If you ever have a job that needs a bucket, I think we've got that department covered.