Monday, April 4, 2011

Update on the menagerie

Yikes! We have a LOT of critters!

Chickens: The Golden Girls are loving their run. They have been scratching away, eating bugs and dirt and god knows what else. We put a couple hollow cedar logs in there, and they have been happily shredding them. I took a chair out to the coop on Friday and sat in the run, reading a book. I ended up with 3 chickens in my lap. Those most developed, the girls with combs that are pinking up and have all the baby fluff gone from their heads, are the sweetest by far. They're even starting to make chicken noises instead of just chick squeals. :)

The 11 assorted chicks in the brooder in the house are spaztastic. Pretty, and psycho. My little Andalusian is gorgeous. Can't wait to see how she turns out. Couple more weeks and the little psychos can go outside with the buffs, thank goodness.

Geese: The goslings have tripled in size in about a week and a half. They are about a foot tall, and we have to use two hands to pick the footballs goslings up. They are still very sweet, and extremely vocal if they know you are in the room and not paying attention to them. They waaayyy outgrew the little 10" tall rubber trough that served as their first brooder. They are now living in a giant rubber water trough (bigger than a bath tub) in our living room. Yes, we have a huge stock tank in our living room. We built a little platform to raise up their water and food, which has helped keep their water much much cleaner. With the new digs, they've got lots of room to run around like idiots. Happy geese. Having added grit to their food over the last week, we gave them a chunk of sod to play with this weekend. Again, very happy geese. Can't wait until those little buggers are big enough to go outside. We replace their bedding constantly, but they are stinky stinky stinky. I have a water trough in my living room... sigh...

Pigs: We picked up 4 yorkshires on Sunday. Little scaredy cats, raised in a pig barn and not used to people. These guys will eventually be on about 1/4 acre, but we slapped together a makeshift mini pen around their hut with hog panels and zipties (I love zipties). We need the piggies to learn where their hut is, where the food and water is, and all about hotwire and why they should stay away from the fence. In a couple days, we'll open the pen up completely so they can start going to work on the brush and berry roots. Heck, they started rooting up and eating blackberry roots and canes within an hour of being introduced to their pen. Woohoo! They're quickly learning that people bring food, the fence is not to be messed with, and their hut is cozy and dry. Current names (which could change at any time) are Spot, Hairy Harry, Arnold, and Gandor (for he is the largest... Loooong story). Should be fun!

Dogs: Henry had a bad weekend. He hit the pig hotwire with his butt and leapt into the blackberries on Saturday. On Sunday, he rushed the chickens and hit the run hotwire with his nose. Poor kid.

Goats: Yes, Paula, goats. One of LJ's coworkers has 5 goats (and maybe a llama) he wants to give to us. Very large, relatively sweet goats. Apparently they really really like brush. And we have lots of brush... We'll see. I thought we were going to think about it for a while, but you know what? There is a new solar fence charger in our shop. :)

Happy Monday!


Paula said...

You know when I read the begininning of this post I was thinking, man, she really needs some goats, but you beat me to it!

Are they nannies or mixed or what? The llama would be a good one to have because they are actually a guardian livestock (not that they'll match up to a bear or a cougar, but they're good for just about everything else). You guys are really jumping in on the livestock! But that's way cool with me. Can't wait to come out and scratch some dog and hog butt.

Miriam said...

Wowie, you are real farmers! I think you should be really proud of the fact you have a water trough in your living room - I would take it as the sign of a really interesting life, or at least a conversation starter for when you have company... And pigs! And goats! It makes me tired just thinking about it, so I'm very happy to experience it all vicariously through you!

Rae said...

Paula- lol. Dog and hog butt. Heehee. I think the goat mix is two does and 3 wethers. If we don't get the llama (who we would name Llarry), that's alright. LJ went out and bought electric netting fence for them. It will have to do. As far as hog butt is concerned, two of them actually held still for petting while they ate yesterday. :) They'll learn.

Miriam- Glad you're enjoying the thought of having a menagerie without having to maintain one. :). We're working the feeding and cleaning and attention into our routines, and it hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be. Downside is that we tend to think "why not add a couple more?". Gonna hit the saturation point at some time. :) I'll try to get some more pics up soon.

Lana from Farm Life Lessons said...

All of this sounds like such fun. We also have horrible blackberry vines with huge thorns running ALL through our property. We will eventually get goats and hope these will help, but I'd not thought about how pigs will ROOT to really get those boogers up out of the ground. But, I guess they root up everything else as well in the area they are penned. Can you let me know which animals help the most with the blackberry brush control? If you ever write a short entry about it, I'd be GRATEFUL! I am thinking we'll tie up the goats on the land at the spot we're working for the day so they can do their thing within our eyesight.