Monday, November 29, 2010

Honey the House Chicken

Honey the House Chicken has been acting crazy the past few days. The cabbage I hung yesterday was torn to shreds this morning, as was much of the newspaper lining the kennel. Honey would take turns either flapping her wings or tearing up MORE paper - constantly stomping around loudly with her limp, like some kind of wacky horror movie sound track. The constant noise would be occasionally broken up by a spasm of cackling that would drive the dogs from the room or under the table.

Turns out Honey was trying to build a nest and she produced her first egg, oops.

I got some spare hay that the sheep refused to eat and packed it into a box top to make a nest like container for her to lay in. She is quieter now, but she still likes to decorate the nest with more newspaper.

The shipping box in the hay is a gift from Cat. I will unveil the surprise tomorrow!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Water Trolley

Now that I have to replace frozen water buckets twice a day I needed to find a way to lug them through the snow. A snow sled works perfectly! I now have a "bobsled run" between the sheep, goats, and chickens.

Once the water is delivered the sled can be used for sledding with goats. Here is Gidget having fun with my daughter!

Honey the house chicken is now walking around and causing trouble. Whenever I open the kennel she tries to escape, and she actually has a few times. Water - spilled. Food - spilled. I tied up a hunk of cabbage from the top of the kennel to keep her occupied, I think she is getting bored. It won't be long till I take off her cast and then she will be off to the garage to begin the transition back to the coop.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Wish I had some Global Warming

Yesterday evening the temperature dropped to 2 degrees with a high of 9 degrees on Thanksgiving Day. Today the low was 5 degrees with a high of 19 degrees. The windchill was a brisk -15 degrees!

We have had 4 storms this November here in NE Minnesota that have dropped 4 inches of snow or more. For goodness sakes it isn't even December yet. I was worried about the animals making it through the Winter this year but this is ridiculous.

With this in mind I give you the following video, enjoy.

Sorry about Florida and Big Oaks Farm Mary but there will be plenty of room for you up here!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have so much to be thankful for; loving family, full tummy, goats full of mischief, growing sheep, egg laying chickens, snuggling cats, boisterous dogs, warm fire, wonderful country, and a happy life.

It was 2 degrees last night and I am inside by the fire warm with my family, hope you are having as good a Thanksgiving as I am!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Second Eggs, Gladly

Hurray, the chickens rewarded me with one egg this morning and a second egg this afternoon! I am fairly sure that one of they layers is Lucy, my lone Rhode Island Red. The eggs are a little small but from what I have read that is to be expected.

The eggs didn't last long, my daughter wanted to be the first one to try them so she had fried eggs for dinner (with yogurt and mandarin oranges of course). She said they tasted great, better than those old store eggs - we'll see.

The rest of us had homemade chicken pot pie. I made it as a special request for the Commander, he says he loves it.

One note on Honey, the house chicken. To stop her from getting lonely I turn the TV to the Malt Shop Oldies channel to give her something to listen to, I think she likes it - the Commander does.

Monday, November 22, 2010

First Eggs, Sadly

Today while I was out feeding the chickens I made a bitter-sweet discovery in the coop, four eggs. These were the first eggs that our chickens have produced, but sadly, one was crushed, two were cracked, and the last one was frozen.

Neither myself nor the Commander have been checking the egg boxes for eggs, so I'm not exactly sure when the laying began. With winter here in full force I didn't think they would begin laying until next spring.

Once I discovered the eggs I went and got fresh straw for the egg boxes and plan to check on them twice daily from now on. The next egg will be a Kodak moment, I'm sorry the first four were wasted.

The house chicken, Honey, is continuing to mend. Just yesterday the Commander commented; "Wouldn't it be funny if the house chicken laid the first egg." Too late!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Before the Snow

Before the snow arrived we took the last of the leaves and placed them as bedding for the rams in their shelter. I hope it provides them with a little insulation.

To try and slow down the water freezing process I took an old tire and stiffed it with leaves. It works OK, but the bucket still ices over.

Frozen water buckets are the biggest problem we have right now and I have no answers. Ideas??? (no electricity)

The house chicken is now putting light pressure on her leg. I have decided to change her dressing every other day. Her favorite thing is to look at herself in the mirror! Oh, she has a name now, the Commander caught me calling her "Honey". She better live!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Barn is Fine

The goats don't go outside much now that there is snow on the ground. I really like how shaggy their fur has gotten, isn't Becca Boo cute?

When I opened the door the other day the goats took off like they were on a mission.

It was strange because they ignored the snow even though at times it was up to their bellies. I was curious as to what they were up to, and it soon became obvious.

They wanted into the garage! They could have wanted the grain that was stored in there but I think they wanted in the garage because they think it may be warmer. "I'm not letting you in, the barn is fine!"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

About Last Night

Last night Sara woke me up at 1230 and wanted to go outside, she always wants to go outside when there is snow. The problem was that no matter what I did she would not come back in! I tried calling her and bribing her with a dog bone but she would not leave the yard. I finally had to get dressed and go out in the 20 degree weather and drag her in. I was not happy with her, and I couldn't figure out why she was acting so strange.

This morning I went outside to take the kids to school and discovered that the 2 rams were out of their enclosure and loose in the yard. Apparently the Commander didn't secure the latch to their area after feeding them last night and they escaped.

Seems that Sara tried to tell me last night but I didn't understand her.

Thankfully the boys didn't wander into the road or off into the woods, they hung around trying to figure out how to get in with the girls.

I needed to get them back into their pen, but how? I used the "magic" green grain bucket of course.

Just add a handful of grain to the bucket and then shake it, the noise is guaranteed to get goats, sheep, chickens, and even guinea's to follow like you were the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

The boys followed the bucket back to their pen and were safely put away. The Commander is going to get a lesson in "closing the gate" later.

Sara has been giving me the "I tried to tell you" look all day.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What Did I Say?

"Mocha May, leave that chicken alone she has a broken leg."

Never in a million years would I ever have imagined that I would utter those words. When the Commander heard me say that he just laughed!

The chicken is doing better and is hopping around in the kennel, I have hopes that she will pull through.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Snow Dog

"Did someone say Let's go outside?" Sara LOVES the snow!

Sara loves to catch snowballs. (Faith wanted to see posts of a snowball fight!)

She is so acrobatic, and when the snow gets deeper she will burrow down into it and tunnel like a mole.

Gidget has had enough of the snow and wants to go back inside, NOW!

Sara on the other hand refuses to come in, and lays down in hopes I won't get the Commander to carry her in. "It's the most wonderful time of the year...."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Good Morning Winter

We awoke this morning to a Winter Wonder Land!

The Guineas spent the night outside the coop and I was worried about how they survived the snow so I was relieved to see the first one peeking out at me.

A flock of Guineas on top of the Coop. I put some scratch out for them under the coop, I hope they find it.

Sara LOVES the snow, we can't keep her inside. She blends right in with the Birch trees.

The sheep are not at all excited to see the snow.

The snow was so heavy that we had to walk the fence lines to make sure no damage had been done.

Several of my Birch trees couldn't handle the weight.

There are a lot of broken branches that will need to be cleaned up.

It sure is beautiful outside, so long as I don't have to drive.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Silent Night

Winter storm watch tonight, 5-9" of snow expected.

The snow was so heavy that the netting over the chicken coop tore away, so with complete freedom available the guineas chose to sleep outside for the night.

The snow is wet and heavy and is sticking to everything, it is so beautiful outside.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Injured Chicken!

When I got home today we found one of my beautiful chickens was laying injured amongst the leaves in the goat pen. She was limping on her good leg and then burrowing into the leaves. It was nice to see that one of her sisters refused to leave her side.

We brought her inside and examined her, it looked like she had a puncture wound and a possible broken leg. I put some neo-sporin on the open wound and gave her some chicken electrolytes with a bit of aspirin mixed in.

I didn't have any tongue depressors to use as a splint so I substituted some card stock as a replacement.

The card stock was covered with some vet wrap to hold it in place.

The chicken has been moved inside to Sara's kennel to see how she does. I read that injured chickens are attacked by their coop mates, I'm not sure if that is true but I don't want to take any chances.

I'm not sure if a chicken can survive a broken/injured leg, but I hope so.

Sara wants her kennel back and Patch, Mocha, and Chai Chai are very interested in our visitor, but they had better get used to it as the kennel may have to house kids and/or lambs this Spring.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Smiled all the way Home

I picked up Addison and Becca Boo after the breeder called and told me to expect "kids" around April Fools day. They were a bit stinky after having spent a week with a handsome buck, but I was so happy to have them home.

Addison checked out the barn to make sure nothing had changed, now that the Queen is home things have to be just so.

Becca Boo seemed very happy to be home but she was so dirty. I had to take a few baby wipes to clean up her white fur.

Chip was so excited that he started to make his strange noises and clicking sounds to get the girls attention. Everyone had to reestablish the "pecking" order so Chip immediately challenged Addison and Becca for dominance. Addison ended up as Queen again, once that was established the others calmed down.

I saw blood on Becca's head and was worried until I realized it had come from Chips scurs. If I hadn't read about Reggie's scurs over at Critter Farm I would have been mortified. I cleaned the blood of Becca's head and put some blood stop and neosporin on Chip and everyone is one big happy family again, until April 1st!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

When Worlds Collide

Chip and Gidget were so lonely while Addison and Becka Boo were gone that I decided to take them with me at night when I fed the rest of the animals. They seemed to take this as an invitation to sample everyone's food. Here Gidget and Chip belly up with the ewes.

Kia isn't sure what to make of her dinner guests.

The fence doesn't stop them from helping themselves to the rams food. I am obviously more wary of the rams that the goats are.

Even the chickens weren't immune. They have one poor pine tree in their coop area and the goats decided it was too tasty to pass up. I'm not sure the goats were as much help as I thought they would be.