Thursday, December 14, 2017

Graveling

I have a little "road" from the big hilly pasture that goes right up into the barn. A few years ago when I bought this place, it was mostly gravel, but now it is almost all dirt and thus it erodes and slides down the hill, along with myself when it's muddy. Wheee! So on days I have to dress up and leave the house, it is a conundrum - get dressed in good clothes immediately after waking/showering? Which is my habit, but risks a plop in the mud on my backside. Or, get dressed once in the am with farm work clothes, then feed the critters, then get dressed AGAIN in my good clothes. Hmmm....

Or, the boyfriend offers his wallet, trailer, shovel and himself as a grunt to help turn the road back into gravel! What a sweetie!




The pasture road is VERY steep in the middle section. We couldn't even get the trailer up it without bottoming out and the truck spinning tires in the mud. So, we decided to just DO the steep section where I have the most chance of slipping when it's muddy.




shoveling gravel is HARD work!


Above is the view from the top after we did about half.



View from the bottom. Well, from the middle actually. It covers enough that walking down it is much faster now and MUCH less precarious! Yay! We will probably do the next section soon. Or not LOL


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Fantastic Five early days until present. Sort of ;)





So now that we have new babies, I had to come up with a name for the first round of babies this year - from the feed store, all Ameraucanas - to differentiate them. These were born the first day of March, 2017, roughly. They were a week old already when I brought them home, but other than being confused about why she had babies so quickly, the broody hen sitting on the nest gladly took over the job of raising them for me. Yay, except that now these 5 babies (er, almost adults now) are terrified of me and if I approach then, they run, screaming hysterically.




This is a problem at night because with the exception of Cheeks, they refuse to roost ON the roost with the other hens (who were born first week of April, 2016, and don't like these newbies and let them know they are lowest of the low in the flock hierarchy) so they roost IN the nesting boxes that hardly anybody uses for actually laying eggs in. So when I'm poking around in the nesting boxes and under them, where most of the eggs are laid, they are flapping and crying and generally freaking out. Silly nitwits.






But, annoying as all of that is, they are wonderfully unique in feather colors and patterns. Which of course I don't have many pictures of yet, oops. Before they were moved to the big coop with the rest of the flock, they spent a few weeks without mamma hen, cuddling together on the hayloft stair at night. Pretty cute.


Top left to right:  Cheeks (Cheeks II, to be exact) and Alexa
Bottom left to right:  Sunrise, Cheese (facing the opposite direction of all the rest. So typically Cheese), and Bandit

Now that they are semi-integrated into the flock, they do all still hang out together almost exclusively during the day, doing their own thing in their own group. Teenage clique!

(repeat photo from last post)


Cheese is named for how much her face resembled Cheese from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends when she was younger ;) Love that crazy show! Will add more pix of the other babies soon.



MORE babies! Homemade babies!

One hen decided she wanted to raise some chicks, so she hid in a nest way up high in the hayloft so I wouldn't find her.




She collected 9 eggs and shortly after I found the nest, hatched 7 babies! These will be a mix of buff Cochin and Austrolorp (unless other hens were also laying in this nest, but I kind of doubt it).





I am wondering if this is the same hen who raised the Ameraucana babies for me (see below photo for the prettiest one, Cheese!)or if it is a different hen.



All the Austrolorps look alike to me! I need to paint designs on them or something....

Here is a great photo of Goldie, the (currently) only rooster. Although with 7 home-hatched babies now here, we may have more roosters soon....


Also, a great photo of Nibbles, who is now an only dog. Sadie developed renal disease and we had to put her down eventually.



Thanks for sharing your life with us, Sadie girl! Hope you have LOTS of chickens to obsess over wherever you are now :)



Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Berry bushes

After last summer's heat wave + drought, I was worried my new berry bushes didn't get enough manual watering. But last week I found new growth on the blueberry bush and yesterday, a little tendril peeking out from the old canes on one of the raspberrys! Yay!

Friday, March 10, 2017

baby pix

It's odd how they all look so different but are all supposed to be Ameracaunas. I hope they all still look different when they grow up! Then they can have real names instead of Bandit I and Bandit II  :)
One (or some?) keep finding new ways to get out of the barn, then crying piteously to get back with sisters and mama. I hope the rest of the flock doesn't hurt them if they keep getting out to explore!






The yellow baby I have named Alexa, so far the others are Bandit and Smudger (I and II).

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Fostering

I had a broody hen for over a week, she was very devoted to the idea. So I bought 5 Ameracauna chicks (colored eggs in fall! yippee!) from the feed store and slipped a couple under her wings each night. She adopted them without a murmur and seems quite proud of herself ROFL! They are so adorable, even more so when I don't have to stress out about if they are warm enough or is that heat lamp gonna fall....


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Wet

A drizzly, joyous day last week! We have been having drought for months...so finally, this rain is a serious blessing, especially for the wildfires raging out of control in the region. Also, most of Gatlinburg burnt to the ground (except for the main street, which is ironic because that was the ugliest part). A sad night for thousands.

People may have been happy about the rain, but the donkeys weren't:



They do have a barn to go in, and in fact today (more rain) I fed them the ration balancer left over from Angel's stint with her poor baby before she died and then I tossed a bale of hay down into the stall where they can freely come and go. They munched for a while and enjoyed dry hay, as opposed to the now wet round hay bale in the field. I guess I need to build something to keep the round bales out of the elements in the future. Right now they are just covered with a tarp, to the left on this picture: 


So glad to see everything drinking up the water. I hope we don't lose the berry bushes, strawberry plants, garlic, rubarb, and any trees....I'm pretty sure the Jerusalem Artichokes didn't make it, but I'm leaving the tubers (whatever might be left) in the ground, hoping they will grow next year. Same with the berry bushes. You never know!