Archive | December, 2011

Crowing in the New Year

31 Dec

You might recall that I got a batch of new chicks in the beginning of August.  Well, the girls are getting big.

They are very beautiful, and I’m quite happy with them.

It’s just that, well I never knew hens could crow.

Pretty amazing, huh?

This white chochin is one of the few of the chicks that I named.  I named her Dora because she was quite an explorer.

Look at that comb and those wattles.  I think Dora is going to be one of those crowing hens too.

Actually, I saw something today that makes me 100% certain Dora is going to start crowing, but this is a family blog, so I didn’t photograph it.  Here is one of the non-crowing white cochins.

See.  Here are my two beautiful crowing hens!

By the way, I do really know they are roosters.  I’m just living in  denial, and this brings me to the end of my tail.

Except for the Happy New Year’s wishes!

MJ

Linking to SOOC Sunday

Linking to The Homestead Barn Hop

Scarlet’s Family

30 Dec

Scarlet had triplets this year on May 31.  If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that it was a rough summer for her and her kids.  Due to fence issues, the goats were confined to the small pasture and it was getting overgrazed before I could finally let them into the larger pasture.

Scarlet, Casey and Cookie

Scarlet picked up parasites and our horrible heat was very hard on her.  As a result her kids were not doing well.  After a long hard summer of trying to keep them alive, Oreo passed, but Casey and Cookie are doing much better.  It does my heart good to see that they are gaining weight and energy.

Casey

Of course, banding Casey has slowed down his growth just a bit.  Right now he smells dead, but he’s gaining again.  He still doesn’t look good.  Give him a bit more time.

Casey

Cookie is looking really good now.  She’s still on the short side, but I think that’s just her natural size.

Cookie

These two are certainly scrappy little kids.  They even brave the wrath of the llama to eat hay.

They seem to think he’s a lot less likely to try to kill them than some of the other big goats.  Their mom isn’t always nice about letting them eat with her either (although she is doing better).

Djali is pretty tolerant to start with, but after while, he just can’t handle sharing anymore.  You can tell by the look on the llama’s face~Casey got a big llama chomp on the shoulder.

It really must not hurt because it certainly doesn’t keep him from coming right back to eat some more.

This is where I really stink as a farmer.   After this really hard summer and two years in a row of having triplets, Scarlet is not getting bred this year.  She’ll get to stay on the farm, but if she injures kids this spring, she’ll have to go.  She seriously injured both of her grandkids this summer, permanently injuring one.  I’m hoping she’ll be better without kids of her own.  But what am I going to do with those two little stinkers?  After working so hard to keep them alive, I have a hard time selling them when I know it will be for slaughter.

Dang cute sweet stinkin’ kids!  I still have Jelly, too, and she’s on my list of kids to sell.

Jelly

Of course, I still have Vinnie who was on the sell list and she raised her own baby this year and she’ll be celebrating her second birthday in March.  I guess only time will tell what I end up doing with these three.

Linking to Farm Photo Friday.

Linking to Camera Critters.

Unusually Warm Weather

29 Dec

This fall our weather has been very warm.  The grass is still a bit green, and it’s usually completely brown and dormant by now.  The weather has also had an effect upon the animals.  Stella seems to be very lazy.  She sleeps all day and just manages a leisurely stretch before deciding to go back to her napping.

Stella

The warm weather has had the opposite effect on the goats.  They have been very bouncy and playful.  Blaze challenges her twin, Bonnie, to “Queen of the Picnic Table.”

Blaze Blackboer

Cinnamon and Victoria play.

Cinnamon Blackboer and Victoria Blackboer

Even the big girls, Maggie and Vinnie, are getting in on the fun.

Maggie Osboer and Vinnie Osboer

Me, well I’m grateful to have decent working weather while I’m on winter break.  I decided it was the perfect time to get rid of corn cobs and the brush from our storm in July.  I dropped the box over the fence and climbed over myself.  Boeris and Osmo thought the box of corncobs was a treat for them.

Osmo and Boeris Van de Yell

Granted, this was supposed to be my Yule fire, but I was still working at that time and cleaning and cooking for my family’s gathering on Christmas Eve.  At least, I’m getting it taken care of now.  I gathered some dried grass and it was easy to light.  It didn’t take long before there was an impressive fire.

There is something truly awe inspiring about fire~the way it consumes everything in its path.  It seems lifelike with its dancing flames, and it creates an incredible amount of energy.

I continued gathering fallen limbs from the pen where I had the fire, and it was burning most of the morning.  Eventually, I quit hauling branches and let it burn down.  I could have continued hauling more wood to the fire, but I have enough respect for it’s dangerous nature that I decided to stop for the day.

The south winds were beginning to pick up and bring us even more warm weather.  Even though Fireman Boeris was keeping careful watch, I figured it was best to wait for another calm day to burn again.

By the afternoon, we had nothing but a pile of ashes.  There was only once tense moment when Osmo decided the ash would be a nice warm place to lay.  I’m not sure if it was me yelling that he was going to catch his fur on fire or actually getting warm that made him move.  I did check, and he hadn’t even singed a hair.  Goofy goat.

Hopefully, I’ll continue to get a lot of work done while the nice weather lasts.  I have to say though, I’m ready for it to turn cold.  It concerns me that our trees are used to a long winter’s nap and might be fooled into coming out of their dormancy.  It’s also hard on the animals when we have such chaotic swings in our weather.  They do much better with consistent temperatures.

Linking to Friday’s Fences.

Linking to Farmgirl Friday.