Monday, June 27, 2011

His first crow, and it was pathetic

Yes, gimpy roo finally crowed. Long since over his limp, he's still a little slow. Yesterday, he finally crowed, and it was one of the most pathetic things I'd ever heard. But, at least he tried!

This morning, as I was feeding the geese and filling waters before work, I heard gimpy-roo practicing in the coop. All the ladies were out in the yard, enjoying the morning scratch, and gimpy was in the coop all by himself, singing his heart out. It was pretty bad, sort of like a rooster being throttled while trying to imitate a cat in heat. I laughed until I cried. After a few minutes of early morning serenade, our bossiest buff lady was fed up with gimpy's antics. She turned to face the coop and cackled at him loudly a couple times. When that didn't stop him, she left the yard at a run, and scrambled up the ramp and into the coop, cackling at the top of her voice. Next, I heard a crash and a couple outraged squawks, and miss bossy calmly hopped out of the coop and returned to her breakfast. A couple moments later, gimpy followed. Apparently, she'd informed him that enough was enough, and breakfast was on the ground. Poor gimpy...

Farm updates... Probably not going to be posting much over the next two weeks, as Mom is coming to visit, and we have a LOT to do before she gets here. So, quick updates, and I'll hopefully be able to squeeze a couple posts in later to explain more.

Birds- I finally made a new door to the coop and a new ramp, and hope to get a window installed next weekend.

We lost a turkey poult last week. Whatever killed it didn't eat it. The bite on its neck looked like it was from rodent incisors. My best guess is that a squirrel or something was raiding the food and lashed out at the poult when it investigated the trespasser. It was one of our two bronzes. :(

Goats- the goats stripped their pen in two weeks. We're hoping to get them moved to a new impenetrably thick brush zone this week. Nuts! Lyle will likely be rehomed, as he keeps jumping into the pig pen to steal food, and is pretty mean to the other goats (especially poor Snowy). We don't want to have to build a fortress every time we move the fencing, so Lyle needs to go.

Pigs- they still think they're goats. They've started pushing down saplings so they can strip the leaves off. I swear they learned it from the goats. Good pigs.

That's about it for the moment. Hope everyone has a fabulous week!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Rainy weekend, critter updates, babydoll sheep

What a crummy weekend, weather-wise! We made the most of it, but what I would give for some flippin sunshine!

Saturday morning we went shopping. Work clothes, critter food, and other supplies. We even managed a quick stop at the gun shop where I drooled over various shotguns and a s&w 642 airweight. Drooooool... I did my best to not actually drool ON them, but it was a close thing. :)

We got a shelter up for the goats, and they're actually using it. (just a tarp suspended between trees with straw underneath, but it works for summer).

The pigs think that they are goats. We've been chopping down branches and saplings for the goats, and we threw one in the pig pen just for the heck of it. Holy cow. The pigs went nuts. Spinning, squealing, headbutting, piggle antics. They stripped the branch of leaves, and enjoyed every last moment of it. I even saw Spot gingerly pulling leaves off of a blackberry vine and eating them. WTH? Yeah, they eat new shoots and root up the root balls, but tree and blackberry leaves? I could swear the pigs learned this behavior from the goats, with whom they share a fence. Especially since they just started this within a week of getting their new neighbors. Weird...

The turkeys are finally outside, since it is supposed to get pretty warm this week, and they would have overheated in the shop. We clipped their wings, and put them out in their new pen yesterday before going to a Father's Day BBQ. When we got home after dark, we checked on them and found that they had eaten quite a bit from their new feeder (a PVC feeder like we made for the chickens), and they had drank quite a bit of water from their nipple waterer. Score! We did have to go out and move the sleepy little birds under their shelter, but they seem to be doing just fine otherwise. Sure are funny birds, and they have so many different calls. It is fun getting them to talk back to you. :)

For Father's Day, we went to LJ's step-sister's place for a BBQ. We had a great time, good food, and lots of play time with their three dogs. And then we got to go see their 3 babydoll sheep... OhmygodIwantalittlebrownewokbabydollsheep! Her little black sheep, sun faded to orangy brown was the cutest thing I've ever seen. I, no joke, had a 5 minute giggle fit over his little chunky monkey ewok-like face. If only we had pasture, I would get a whole mess of them. Holy cow, they were CUTE!

Anyhoo, LJ is on a short time schedule change, and we'll probably be too busy for me to get on much over the next few days. I'll try to get some more pics up soon (turkeys maybe?) but no promises. Hope everyone has a great week!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Our new goats, the blackberry destroyers!

Alrighty.  We finally have goats to help us tame our blackberry and scotchbroom infested property.  Holy cow, they really mow them down! Background story on the goats... One of LJ's friends had a friend that lost their farm.  LJ's friend took in their goats, 2 does and 3 wethers.  He didn't really need goats, and intended to rehome them when he found a suitable place.  We bought a big property with lots of good goat candy (blackberry bushes) and LJ wanted goats.  Thus, we now have 5 goats.

Here are the new mowers.  They came with names, not all of which we kept.  Doesn't really matter, as they don't know their names anyway.  I'd appreciate any help in identifying the breeds...

This is Snowy.  I think she's 5 yrs old.  Boer cross?

This is Macey.  She's 4, and one of the triplets.

This is Cletus (LJ picked the name, saying he looks like a Cletus with his wonky horn). He is the second of the triplets.

Last of the triplets is this guy.  LJ wants to name him Bubba, but I don't agree.  For now, he's nameless.

Finally, this is Pinto, aka "Old Man", aka "Lyle".  I think Lyle will be the one that sticks.  As long as he's over his urge to escape, he'll get to stay. As far as breed id, Toggenburg?

They're sure having fun in their new pen.  Lots of blackberries, scotch broom, and low hanging tree branches. :)   I'll try to get more pics up as soon as we get some sun.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Icky chickies and the chicken tractor

Goat pics soon, I promise.  The escaping goat did not attempt escape yesterday, so maybe he can stay.

The icky chickies are finally out in their chicken tractor, dubbed the "chicken conestoga" by LJ.  It's still a little cool at night, so we've got a heat lamp in there for the evenings.  The feeder is set up so we can raise it in order to restrict their food a bit.  Otherwise they'd lie around the feeder, eating day and night.  Piggies!

We're pretty happy with how it came out, and it wasn't too expensive to build. At least the chicks seem happy!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Goats, icky chickies, quick update

Goats were delivered yesterday. 5 of them. Not sure what the breeds are, but they were free, and they have already done some serious damage to the blackberries and thistles. Woohoo! 2 does, 3 wethers. Only one wether is polled, and he may need to be rehomed somewhere else this week (today or tomorrow, preferably), as he is the size of a small pony and can clear a nearly 5' fence. The others are fine. The big boy is the only problem goat. I don't want him to teach the others to escape. He jumps the fence, even though he gets the bejeezus shocked out of him. All the others respect the fence. LJ wants to give him a couple days, but I need that goat to go away. Especially with lots of baby fruit trees, blueberries, and my garden at risk. Stressing me out. I really don't like problem animals...

Icky chickies are out in the chicken conestoga. They seem to be enjoying the forage and freedom. Now that they have room to run, they are having baby chicken battles. Pretty entertaining. At least they are getting some exercise. :)

I'll try to get pics up this week. Happy Monday!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Blossoms, fruit, and shoots

All the plants are really enjoying the warmer weather we've had over the last week.  Here's a bit of what we've got growing.  Happy Friday, all!

Strawberries are starting to color up.

Little apples are forming on the old apple tree and both of the columnars.

Some of the beans are up...

And some are still trying.

Some baby peppers are forming.

My thornless blackberry is starting to bloom.  This was a gift from a dear friend who passed away a little more than a year ago.  I also have one started directly from his own thornless, and a couple grandbabies of that baby.  I remember my friend fondly every time I see these.

Blueberries are still blooming.

Chives are tasty AND pretty!

Currants are doing well in their new home.

Hops are growing rapidly.

This lavender was here when we moved in, and has come back from the dead with a little bit of care.

LJ's potatoes are peeking above the soil.

And we may get a few raspberries this year.  Woohoo!

We're going to finish up the icky chicky's chicken tractor this weekend, and I'll try to post pics next week.  Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Henry Pup's 4th birthday

Happy birthday to Henry Bob, aka Hank, aka Fatso, aka Pooter Pup, aka $&!?head (LJ's fav), aka Cuddle Pup, etc etc. This dog has lots of names. Hard to believe he's FOUR! Goodness, time flies. Seems like yesterday when we brought him home, small enough to fit in my coat. His nickname was "veal" for the first few weeks, as I carried him everywhere. :)

So little the day we brought him home!

Our silly pup is quite the cuddlebug and goofball.

And has such a lovely smile!

We're so lucky to have him!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sneaky goose...

Yes, there's a goose on my butt. Yes, she's trying to get in my pocket. This sneak thief stole a zip tie out of my pocket one day, and proceeded to run around the yard in triumph, flapping her wings and squealing. Now, she knows what pockets are. Not long after this photo was taken, she had nearly her entire head in my pocket. Nothing to find, though. I'm hip to her game. Sneaky sneaky goose...

Friday, June 3, 2011

Garden, berries, and sunshine

We got so much done last weekend, I wish I had another long weekend. Especially this one, as I woke to a pale blue sky stretching from horizon to horizon.  Beautiful.

Garden- Tomatoes, basil, and cukes are in the ground, finally. I have more basil to plant, but it's nice to have so much out of the way. LJ also got some corn planted, and it may just have a chance. I can't remember the name of the variety, but it has a lower germination temp than most, and a much shorter length of time til harvest. Maybe this weekend we'll be able to get the peppers in the ground, with expected high temps tomorrow to give them a little boost. I'm also planning on getting my beans planted, at least this first round. They've been sprouting between damp paper towels in the cupboard for about a week, and are ready for some soil before their roots start latching onto the paper.

Onion sets are well on their way!

Berries- Awhile back, I wrote about a vendor of mine that had been pushed out of his job by a company he'd worked at for over 20 years. Well, he got snatched up by a competitor, and is now my vendor again! On Monday, LJ and I went over to his house, invited to help thin out his raspberry and strawberry patches. Woohoo! We came home with around 10 raspberries, and many more strawberries. He and his wife have been doing a lot of landscaping lately, and he also sent me home with a handful of big black plastic nursery pots. Score! Now I can repot the itty bitty baby apple trees I bought at the garden fair in May. We planted the raspberries in the rain when we got home. They were droopy for a couple days, but soon perked up. For the strawberries, we needed to pull a stump that was on top of a little rise in the driveway. LJ dug most of the dirt out from around the stump, and yanked it out with the tractor. After smoothing out the top, we planted the 4 currants (2 black, 1 red, 1 white) and a ton of strawberries around them. It was really the only area we had to put the strawberries, as the only other place is around the house, which is a serious slug zone. I hope they do alright. If not, I suppose we'll try again somewhere else.

Not pretty, but at least they're in the ground.

The meat chicks are growing rapidly, and they really do creep me out a bit. Unfortunately, I don't have any pics yet. The turkeys are doing well, but are nuts, and cleaning out their brooder is always a challenge. They are very good at escaping, and can fly a bit already. The Royal Palm is especially tricksy. Hope to get pics up of them soon.

Piggles and bits... The pigs are getting huge. We got a weigh tape to try and estimate their weights. If we did it correctly, they're about 140 lbs. Nuts! They sure are fun to have around the farm. Very photogenic, too!

Rest of the weekend... We split and stacked around 1/3 cord of alder. A buddy of mine at work snagged me some really nice pallets, so we were able to get the wood stacked off the ground. Now, I just need to pull out all the wood that's seasoned for this winter, level the ground on the other side of the shed, and restack it all. Ugh. Very good exercise, at least. And, we'll have nice dry wood this winter. Excellent.

And that's about all for now. Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Grumpy bird back outside

Working the front desk for a bit so the receptionist can run some employees to the airport, so, a quick update. Grumpy bird is back outside. After several days in the house, loud and stinky, his limp is much better. Not gone, but definitely better. He was very angry about being kept inside, and squawked at me every time I walked by the tub. So, he's back out with the ladies. He's eating and drinking, and even foraging a bit, though I often see him just lying down in the shade. We'll see how he does.

Got lots done this last weekend. Hoping to get a post and some pics up tomorrow with updates on the garden, fruit, icky chickies (the meat chicks are so strange), etc. Almost Friday! Woohoo!