Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day Hooplah

In fitting fashion, the mother hen sitting eggs decided to take her newly-hatched brood out for Mother's Day Brunch, and so I came upon her sitting rather awkwardly in the middle of the Lower Lot.  Closer inspection revealed she was sitting so oddly because 8 little chicks were attempting to hide beneath her, and she was trying valiantly to cover them all.

As soon as I got within reach, she flew into action, attacking me and sending the chicks running in all directions.  With each attack she tried to push me back in one direction, and jostle the chicks towards the cover of the wooded part of the lot.  Not that the wooded part is navigable for humans, which is just what she wanted - rather, it is overgrown with brambles (read PRICKERS) and vines, and fallen trees, and all manner of other crap to make it a painful and tedious place to be hunting chicks.

Nothing like this EVER happens when I have free time to spare, and as usual I was trying to get to work, but not before I FINALLY managed to return Mother Hen and all 8 chicks to the comfort of the Hayport.  Let's hope they stay for a while....
                                                               On the Way to Brunch

                                                          Back in the Hayport (for now...)
Drama aside, we have found hen-hatched and hen-raised chicks to be far superior to mail-order.  Not only is there no need for heat lamps, brooders, (not to mention cleaning all that) space in the house/garage/barn, and frequent need to check for blocked vents (chicks, not buildings) but they are healthier and most importantly, stealthier.  Mother Hen teaches them to hide in the bushes during the day (thus avoiding the hawks) and they all follow her to roost each night.

With 4-H behind us, we no longer need "pure-breed" chickens, so mutts do us just fine!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Have I still got it?

This seems so foreign to me....in the time that I have been gone, even social media has evolved, and blogging is somewhat of a relic....but I want it back.  If only as a confirmation that all I dreamed of has not moved beyond my reach....and also as I way to make contact with others and even as a personal check-in for my recovery....

So while I struggle at the controls, bear with me.  I have to re-acquaint myself with everything...including the new computer.  It may be a bumpy ride....but hasn't it always been?
Speaking of bumpy.... trying to get a photo of this little bugger to practice photo importing and posting was bumpy like the Rockies bumpy...I don't remember kittens being this uncooperative, but it's been almost two decades since I've had a kitten  in the house, so perhaps my memory is a little foggy on this point....

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Chicken Anarchy

In 11 years of doing this farming thing (Gawd, has it been THAT long??) we have bought chickens, mail-ordered chickens, traded chickens, incubated chicken eggs, rescued chickens, and even sold a few...but we have never actually hatched our own.  Like from scratch....with a hen doing the actual work, and no human involvement.  Until now....
Into the Void, which is an apt description of a farm gone wild with practically no rules, structure, consistency or order (due to a medical disruption of my Former Life on a large scale when my husband almost died from Lyme, a stroke and other nasty complications) this hen decided to drop a chick.

I can honestly say I have NO idea where she brooded this little thing, but she managed to stay hidden for 21 days (not too hard given my almost constant state of harried frenzy and general lack of attention to detail) AND managed to stay away from predators (more impressive given our proximity to several fox dens and the new hazard of ranging coyotes that have crossed our property more than once this summer...) AND managed to totally ignore all the rules that said something like, "Do NOT make more work for the Lady" "Do NOT add more chores to Her list" "Do NOT grow the farm in any way since it's too much already for Her sanity" and so on, and so on...

And yet.....here he/she is.  A Buff Cochin chicklet.  Sex TBD.  No rules.....No. Rules. It's Chicken Anarchy.

Monday, June 02, 2014

New Staff

Let me introduce the biggest addition to the farm....Zeva.

(The nut featured two posts ago...)



The decision to add another mouth/chore/critter to the farm was pretty easy after seeing that face....but really, it was about ticks.

You see, DH's NDE (Near Death Experience) was triggered by a tick bite in May '13.  Left inadequately treated, it led to a stroke, encephalitis and the NDE....amongst other things).  Anyhoo......

Ticks...eaten by Guinea Hens.  Guinea Hens...eaten by foxes.  Foxes...deterred (if not eaten) by large canine.  Canine...available by barter from a neighbor farmer, and, well, I love to barter. Viola!

She is a Maremma. So far....she hasn't eaten anybody (including chickens!) but we've had no losses to predators...so we're ahead of the game!

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Seems like a good way to start...

Leave it to Susan (who got it from Carolyn) to come up with the perfect way to cover a lot of ground and keep me busy (er) ....and I pretty much do anything she tells me/suggests/wants ..... so, here goes a month of blog postings...


...and in the spirit of the quotation....we'll see what seeds we can plant!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Jumping back in ....

There was no easy way to dive back in the conversation....other than to just do it.  So.....we are back.  Everyone is alive.  Life is not pretty....but, like Zeva.....I'm looking for a playmate (or 2..)







OK, maybe not that desperate....I draw the line at sniffing butts.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Occupational Therapy

This was one of those things I never quite got the gist of....Bill had it every day while he was in rehab, and even some days when he was in the ICU, and it covered everything from brushing teeth to putting wooden pegs in their holes...but here on the farm, we have our own version:

We had a bumper crop of apples this year, so it's apple cider, applesauce, apple jam, apple bread....you get the idea....

Bill is working his fine motor coordination by feeding the apples into the press while I crank.  You can see how much weight he has lost (almost 60 pounds! but here he has gained back about 15) when you compare to his pic several posts ago...

He was happy to be contributing to the flow of things around here, and his cider was part of tonight's dinner, so this is what WE consider occupational therapy....