Daily Farm Post: December 2008 Archives

ya know, the funniest thing happened last week. I ran into a friend of John’s, Mike, and his wife, Gloria. Gloria is a lovely woman, and we get along well. She is, however, rather high maintenance, and is really a city woman. She was laughing about how she could never live on a farm like I do, and that the next think you know, I’ll be sewing my own clothes. And this was a mildly derisive, teasing thought of hers (ya know, like a hillbilly or something).

I looked at her, beautiful, fashion plate, lovely Gloria, and told her, “I asked for a sewing machine for Christmas”.

She nearly died!

Friday Farm Report

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Obviously, I'm not doing so well at this daily farm report idea, but I'm trying!

Today - cold and bitter outside.  Only collected 7 eggs, all the hens seem a bit grumpy,  I should have made them some hot oatmeal!

Horses needed a couple of round bales in the horse pasture, so I finally figured out how to jump start the tractor (diesel does not care for cold!) and I moved the bales into the pasture.

Only lost one horse this time.

Daisy decided to run out the gate as I drove in and seeing as I was alone, there was not a lot I could do about it.  She had a happy gallop up and down the road, then she realized all the other horses were munching down on a new bale, so she joined the herd.

Willy, my sweet old horse, was tired of hanging around with the group, so I let him out to wander around.  Last time I checked, he was happy in the hay field to the west of the house.  We probably could have gotten another cutting from that field, the hay is pretty high.  By tomorrow afternoon, he will be ready to hang with the herd again.

Satchmo is back out with the flock.  He was really tired of being in the garage, even with Darling in there with him.  So I'll keep a eye on him and make sure he is safe each evening.  I don't think he is going to mess around with Buffy for awhile!

I bought a Ball water bath canning set.  Now, I am searching the web seaching for a recipe worthy of this beautiful fruit I got from the FFA!  

I think maybe applesauce or apple butter - not sure what to do with the pears.

I've also been thinking about where I should be putting stuff - like my kiln and wheel.  Originally, I thought that the barn would be good.  Only the barn is not heated, and putting in a space heater will be really expensive.  So, I have the garage, which is heated, or the part of the basement not being used by John's collection.

I'm leaning toward the garage - no stairs and closer to water and the bathroom!!

Right now, I'm cooking a chicken casserole with rotel tomatoes and tortillas and mushrooms and cheese. 

Need to go check on that now, really!!

My favorite little rooster, Satchmo, had a close call today yesterday.  Seemed he was stealiing some of Buffy's food.  That is a vey bad thing. Buffy roughed him up a bit and left him in the snow in the pasture.  I walked out to the pasture to feed Buffy, and I saw a black feathered chicken in the snow.

Damn.  I was afraid it was a dead chicken.

There was some movement of black feathers in the snow.  Buffy bounded over to bark at the bird.  I screamed at Buffy.  Buffy does not listen much.  It's her job - she decides what is dangerous to the goats.  Unfortunately, she is also a puppy, so she does not quite get the idea that chickens are her friends, even if they snitch some of her puppy chow.  She doesn't try to kill them, but until she is more mature, I'm a bit concerned, and I'm trying to keep all the chickens well away from the goat area.  Only the damn chickens love the goats.  Oh well. 

Back to my long-delayed story - I realized that the black feathers in the snow were Satchmo. 

I managed to get to him before Buffy decided to play fetch with him again, and poor Satchmo was soaking wet, cold and shivering.

I rushed (well, as fast as an overweight, 55 year old with arthritis in her knees can rush- LOL) him into the house. Yelled at poor John, who had just arrived home, to get some towels, and I filled the kitchen sink with very warm (but not hot!) water and plunked Satchmo into it.

I was able to wash off his feathers - a little blood from blood feathers that had been plucked from his head by rude big roosters, and a lot of mud and ice. Poor little guy was shivering. I wrapped him up in towels and held him close until he started to be a bit more responsive.

John set up one of those radiant space heaters in the garage, and we put Satchmo in a cage with lots of food and water. He ate a lot, then went to sleep.

So, today, I hope to build a larger cage for him - hopefully about 4x4x4 and I'll put hardware wire and chicken wire around it all, hopefully wheels on the bottom, and some nice roosts for him. He ended up living in the garage last winter, because all the other roosters picked on him, but this time, he is NOT getting the run of the garage - what a mess to clean up!

I think I'll put Darling, my little Seabright hen, in with him so he can have company.

I'll get pictures later.

Keep warm every one!

Since the temp dropped from 56 degrees to 18 degrees on Sunday, it has continued to drop.  It's about 5 degrees and snowing this morning.

I have been fixing the chickens special hot breakfasts using oatmeal and whatever veggies are getting old each morning.  They love it.  I have been hauling water out to the two chicken dwellings of Argghhh! a few times a day, as I'm a little paranoid of those water heaters.

The goats and Buffy have a water bucket that is heated - but there is no element actually sitting in the water, so I feel much better about that.

The horses, well, I need to go out to the pond, or perhaps John can go out there and break the ice.  John likes to shoot holes in the ice, but I usually take a shovel or an axe and hit the ice until I can break it.  

Actually, I need to get Major and his brother, Andrew out here to do that ice breaking, seeing as I'm letting them keep 7 horses here for free.  Hmmm.  I am way too easy on those two!  OMG, they owe me a lot of work in exchange for free pasture!

When it is this cold, eggs will freeze if there is no hen sitting on them, so I have been checking every couple of hours for eggs. 

John and I have also decided that I need to build a large cage for Satchmo and the chick of his choice .  he is being hen pecked by the big chickens and roosters, and he looks awful - they are pulling out his blood feathers on his head, so I guess he will live in the garage this winter again - only this time, he WILL NOT GET THE RUN OF THE GARAGE!  What a mess to keep clean!  So, today, I'll start building and hopefully have something for him by the end of the day.  I'm thinking that I'll put my tiny little Seabright, Darling, in with him, as well as Puffball - Puffball is recovering from being nipped by Buffy.  I can't blame Buffy, Puffball was stealing her dogfood!

Damn, chickens will eat ANYTHING!!!!

I know, this is an old story, but a friend sent it to me this morning, and I just want to share it. 

Baby's Hug
We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, 'Hi.' He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.

We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled.. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists. 'Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster,' the man said to Erik.

My husband and I exchanged looks,
'What do we do?'

Erik continued to laugh and answer, 'Hi.'

Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, 'Do ya patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek- a-boo.'

Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk.

My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.

We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. 'Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,' I prayed. As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby's 'pick-me-up' position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man.

Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man's ragged shoulder. The man's eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby's bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time.

I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, 'You take care of this baby.'

Somehow I managed, 'I will,' from a throat that contained a stone.

He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, 'God bless you, ma'am, you've given me my Christmas gift.'

I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, 'My God, my God, forgive me.'

I had just witnessed Christ's love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not. I felt it was God asking, 'Are you willing to share your son for a moment?' when He shared His for all eternity. How did God feel when he put his baby in our arms 2000 years ago.

The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, 'To enter the Kingdom of God , we must become as little children.'

If this has blessed you, please bless others by sending it on. Sometimes, it takes a child to remind us of what is really important. We must always remember who we are, where we came from and, most importantly, how we feel about others. The clothes on your back or the car that you drive or the house that you live in does not define you at all; it is how you treat your fellow man that identifies who you are.

This one is a keeper.

'It is better to be liked for the true you, than to be loved for who people think you are......'

Wedensday Farm Report

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Buffy has a been a pain today.  There is one little bantam hen, Puffball, who steals Buffy’s food.  Buffy is rather tired of this, and is chasing Puffball everywhere she can.  I am so afraid she will end up accidentally killing a chicken or guinea.  She seems to think she can play with them like she does Gunner, Kiki or DC, or humongous barn cat!

Well - today, chickens - 15 eggs.  Guineas - 1 egg.  Ducks - 0.

Unfortunately, I collected the eggs without a basket to put them in, and I ended up dropping two.  Not the chickens’ fault!!

I went to Tractor Supply and bough one of these; for the goats and Buffy.

I should have checked Amazon first - they are cheaper there!!

Late Tuesday Farm Report

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Yesterday was kinda busy.  Chickens produced 14 eggs.  All other animals are alive and well.

My good friend Robin took me out to lunch at The Ten Penny in Leavenworth yesterday.  I had their fried oysters.  Gosh, darn, I love, love fried oysters!!!!

They we went over to the old Castle, which still has many, many items remaining in it.  I mean many!  Robin helped me to get through one work bench full of tools and stuff.  We separated the good stuff from the bad, and brought a fair amount back to the current Castle Argghhh!  

I also brought over at least 30 plastic model kits still in their boxes.  John needs to decide if he wants to keep all of them, or perhaps we can thin the ranks of the model kits ( I once counted nearly 300 different kits that John has not had time to build.)

I have been reading about other breeders of Angora Goats - and with the price of feed so high these days, many of them are decreasing their herds and not breeding this season.  Most of those folks do not have their own hay fields, like we do, so we are very lucky.  We don't have anywhere near the costs that other breeders have.  Well, I'm not sure we are a breeder yet!  I only have one doe that is likely breed. 

The plus side for me, though, is perhaps there will be less mohair on the market a year from now, and it will be more valuable.  Also, I plan on increasing our heard.  We have a lot of room here, and can easily handle 20 goats in the current pasture alone.  If I can earn some money, I'll put it into fencing and then I'll turn one of the old outbuildings into another goat barn and pasture, and I'll separate the bucks from the does.  

I am still looking for someone who spins who could test out some of the fleece from my angora goats.  Also, I'd like to find a dollmaker who would like to try out some of the mohair locks.  Please leave a comment if interested.

Monday Farm Report

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V ery cold today.  I think we made it up to 31 degrees.  Right now, it is 22 degrees farenheit.  Cold.  

Today, I collected 14 chicken eggs and one guinea egg.  I wonder if the cold is lowering their desire to lay eggs?  Our weather is so crazy!  Tomorrow, it is supposed to be in the fifties. And then snow on Wedensday.

I bartered 6 dozen eggs for 50 pounds of double grain for the goats.  I tried some pelleted feed for them, and they really don't like it.  Not only that, but the chickens don't even want to eat it!  That's seriously bad, because chickens will eat just about anything!!

Had my pottery class this evening.  I glazed several pots and underglazed some and trimmed some.  I have to get some help getting my kiln from the old house to the new so I can start working on pottery outside of class!

I am tired.  It's time to get ready for bed.  I'll be up by 4:30 or 5 am.  Better try to get some beauty sleep, before it is too late!!

Help Beth feed all those chickens via PayPal!

I Took The Handmade Pledge! BuyHandmade.org

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Daily Farm Post category from December 2008.

Daily Farm Post: November 2008 is the previous archive.

Daily Farm Post: January 2009 is the next archive.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Daily Farm Post category from December 2008.

Daily Farm Post: November 2008 is the previous archive.

Daily Farm Post: January 2009 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.