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Archive for the ‘farm critters’ Category

Here’s a glimpse of what we’ve been up to lately around the farm:

Moo's colorful shed out

My brother's visit- he drove 3000 miles to cut up some trees for us.

More of my brother's handy work. It's so much easier to see off the deck without that silly, overgrown arborvitae in the way! As you can see, it was also in an obnoxious place at the bottom of the stairs.

Peeps! Some for eating, some for laying.

More peeps! These are Black Jersey Giants. They remind me of pandas when they're little with their coloring, but will turn all black as grown ups. They are slower to mature and will be HUGE chickens, weighing on average as much as a small turkey. These are to be layers for now.

Birthday present for Bad Pants. ūüôā

Some of BP's handy work (and a Roxanne) to protect new grill from a certain nutty Aussie (coughCOPPERcough). The gate matches the decorative fanning on the deck. The carabiner clip is to keep Rox and Bear from opening the gate. It's located safely away from anywhere Bear could get his jaw stuck on it.

Hay net frustration and suspicion. Mwhahahahahaha! It took them a good 30 minutes to get over it the first time, 15 the second, and were old pros the third time.

In fact, Sugar had to show the other horses how it was done. Here, she pauses from eating to pose for her photo op.

Rox has a new playmate!

Her very own, wiggly, mini-me! That's right! We adopted a new pup from a kill shelter on Saturday. Lyra (puppy) is a Mastiff/Lab x pup, 4 mo old, very shy and under-socialized, with feet larger than Roxanne's, but very quickly coming out of her shell. She's not up for holding still for photo ops now that she realizes we won't eat her.

Beyond this, we’ve just been working on getting stuff done around here. ¬†You know, mowing our 2 acre lawn with a push mower because the riding mower that came with the house is really, actually broken. ¬†Rolling hay rounds, fixing things, etc.

That’s all that’s new here. ¬†How about with you? ¬†What’ve you been up to?

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Well, mine was…

 

 

 

 

Mine was just ducky!  Thanks for asking!

 

*Note: They are all named “Delicious”, so don’t get too attached. ¬†Noisy and messy little buggers will be going to freezer camp in a few months after they help keep the garden slug-free.

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All ponies boarded out here in Georgia are home! ¬†This occurred on Saturday, when Casey and Molly arrived from Molly’s previous owner’s place. ¬†The moment Casey stepped off the trailer and I took his lead, the last bit of stress and anxiety in my body left. ¬†My life is complete with him home, where I can see him every time I look out the window and can touch him often.

With the arrival of the ponies, my point about the builder’s paddock being too small for 4 horses really came home. ¬†Bad Pants and I spent several hours on Sunday and Monday expanding it, so now they have the better part of 2 acres to move about on. ¬†I am happier and they are happier.

Now that there is more space, the horses seem to be working out the last of their herd dynamic issues and have joined up into a lovely little band.  Peace reigns within the herd.  No drama.  Just happy, munching horses!

I’ve found decent hay for a reasonable price really close to us. ¬†In addition, we met a local farmer who will disc the cleared area for us when we’re ready, and who can give us basic advise while we learn about farming in a climate still fairly new to us.

I’ve stacked a lot of hay in the cottage and started some general cleaning of it. ¬†In the next few weeks I’ll get a sheet of plywood so Bad Pants can re-side the open side where the cottage caught on fire. ¬†While we have plans to move the cottage later, I might as well make it function for my needs now, right? ¬†Right! ¬†That starts with bird proofing it asap.

Next up, we will begin to prepare for the arrival of a flock of chicks at the end of the month!  The peeps will live in the garage where I can monitor them closely for the first few weFeeks.  No pets, pests, or critters will be able to harm them there.  And, I should be able to hear any distress peeps that come out of them in the middle of the night as the master is right above.

February will see me starting cool crop seeds indoors and really prepping the garden.  If it stays mild as it has been, I will likely take the chance to start the garden earlier than our zone would suggest, but will have row covers on hand if necessary.

Later in the spring we will be adding guineas, turkeys and goats to our farm. ¬†I want guineas because they’re great at eating ticks and garden bugs while leaving the produce alone. ¬†And, well, turkeys are just awesome in general. ¬†I’m hoping we’ll be adding at least two dwarf goats (breed undetermined at this time) to our farm with hopes of producing some of our own dairy later on. ¬†I’ll have to see what comes available when we’re closer to ready.

That’s about it for now. ¬†What are your plans for the coming spring?

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Brrr!

The temps here have taken a nosedive over the weekend.  We went from highs of 63 degrees on Saturday to 34 on Sunday, 27 yesterday and 33 today.

I decided to blanket the horses. ¬†Sorry natural horse people, my ponies just aren’t happy with that sudden decrease in temps. ¬†Casey was acting out and as¬†fidgety¬†as I’ve ever seen him. ¬†Once I got his blanket on, he settled right down and was back to his calmer self. ¬†“Better already”, he said. ¬† Unfortunately, his blanket, which is brand new and purchased off the interwebs, is a wee bit small. ¬†Both Case and Molly wear the same size. ¬†Only, apparently, in this brand, Casey needs a warmblood sized blanket as his belly is hanging out a bit. ¬†Molly’s is a perfect fit though!

I’ll be unblanketing them in the morning, when the sun is shining and putting the blankets back on tomorrow evening before dark. ¬†I don’t care what the LL says. ¬†My ponies, while hairy, definitely appreciated the blanketing. ¬†It’s certainly NOT going to make them sick, as he told me when I put a sheet on Molly to keep her clean for pictures. ¬†Yeah, I’m sure you know what I think of that. ¬†After all, this isn’t my first rodeo.

It looks like the weather will warm up again by Saturday to quit blanketing at night. ¬†I can’t wait! ¬†Because this cold weather and water hauling stuff is getting old and it’s only been a few days.

So, any blanket recommendations?

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Unfortunately, just as we pulled in to get the chickens, my Landlord called and said under no circumstances could we have chickens.  Then went on to say something about flies and blame my horses for them.

Um, I’m sorry! ¬†I keep my horses on Simplifly and if you walk down into the pasture, there isn’t a fly problem. ¬†But, up by the house, where the sun beats and is warm, are HOUSEflies. ¬†Now, if his secretary is too dumb to CLOSE the door to the office and has a fly problem because she LEAVES DOORS OPEN, then that is YOUR problem, not my fault or my horses. ¬†Moreover, you jackwagon, chickens EAT flies and would help control other pests since YOU are not, as YOU are supposed to, per our lease agreement.

When Bad Pants made it clear that if we were a problem, we’d be happy to move. ¬†And that as we are paying for things like STALLS that we aren’t getting, when our lease is up we’d be moving. ¬†In other words, we gave notice 6 months early. ¬†Boy oh boy did the LL backpedal then! ¬†But, the damage was done. ¬†I’d drove 2 hours away to get chickens he didn’t have a problem with 2 weeks ago. ¬†I’d drove 2 hours to get exactly the right chickens, the right breed mix, the right age. ¬†And I drove away without them. ¬†I don’t believe they’re still available. ¬†I’ve already suffered humiliation at his hands in front of the seller. ¬†(I wouldn’t sell to myself in that case! ¬†It’s not responsible). ¬†And, who’s to say he won’t change his mind again?

Chickens are perfectly legal inside city limits per both city and county ordinances.  Our 5 hens were well under the city ordinance limit and we do not have nor plan to get a rooster.  So, this is all just him.

Mind you, chickens were okay’d with him before we signed a lease. ¬†So were goats, horses, dogs, cats and a garden. ¬†But in his tirade at Bad Pants initially, two horses seemed too much for him, never mind that he had 3 here when he lived on the property. ¬†TWO horses, which is what stated in the ad for this place. ¬†Room for TWO horses. ¬†Oh, and he nixed goats within the first two weeks we were here, regardless of whether or not horses were here or not.

Needless to say, our minds are made up and we will be moving as soon as the lease is up.  He is so lucky he talks to BP and not me.

I’m off to start the house-hunting process. ¬†Because, I’m just sure we won’t be getting the stalls or he’ll complain some more. ¬†I guess he’d rather this place be empty for MONTHS as it was before we moved here. ¬†Perhaps he really doesn’t want my money?

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Double w00t!

So, it must be time for me to have chickens after all! ¬†In addition to the three hens we’re picking up tomorrow, we will be adding a couple 4 month old polish pullets to the mix too!

Polish are even harder to come by here in the South than they are in Oregon. ¬†I’m super excited about this turn of events! ¬†Yay!

Muppet chickens tomorrow!

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w00t!

I have a busy weekend planned already. ¬†We’re going to be meeting some new family members of the feathered kind! ¬†That’s right! ¬†We’re getting hens!

So, we’ll be picking them up on Friday and building a coop in between, or shortly after getting them home on Friday. ¬†I’m so excited! ¬†These 3 ladies will be a very welcome addition to our little place and add in some much needed comic relief! ¬†For the time being, we plan on putting the coop out in the pasture with the horses. ¬†Next year, these ladies will help keep the fly and ant population in check.

Soon, soon we will have farm fresh eggs again!

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Lots of little things have been happening around here. ¬†Not really enough worth a post all on their own. ¬†So, I’ll catch y’all up to speed…

Luna found a home. ¬†Luna found a wonderful home that leaves me a wee bit jealous. ¬†She’s moved to 20 acres east of Portland, where her human grandparents live on one end and her human parents and human siblings live on the other. ¬†They have¬†Doberman¬†experience, which was very, very important to me. ¬†Lunny’s new human Grandma does flyball and agility with her Aussies. ¬†(See why I love her? ¬†Aussies, flyball and agility!) ¬†Lunny’s new 8 yr old human sister wants to do agility and flyball with Lunny and Granny. ¬†Luna has what it takes to do both. ¬†She’s athletic and graceful and loves to run and jump obstacles. ¬†It was my hope to do agility with Lunny. ¬†But now, she will absolutely get to! ¬†More, my good friend, Veterinarian C. who lives up by Seattle competes actively in both sports and travels for tournaments down here often. ¬†So, she will undoubtedly run into Lunny and I’ll get mini updates from time to time. ¬†So, I should be able to keep tabs on her a bit and know she’s doing ok.

Luna left Saturday. ¬†I still tear up when I think about her being gone. ¬†It’s much, much quieter here in the house. ¬†And emptier too. ¬†We miss her, but we’re adjusting. ¬†I just remind myself that she has the PERFECT home. ¬†They fell in love with her within the first hour they met her. ¬†And her puppy naughtiness doesn’t phase them. ¬†Not even the part where she eats dead things and hunts. ¬†So, it’s good. ¬†Really, it’s good. ¬†And it’s for Luna to have the BEST life possible.

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Three of the goaties and the peeps have found new homes.  Maddie is supposed to be leaving us this week by Saturday, possibly sooner as her owner wants to go to the beach for the weekend.

Foster kitty, Anna, has had a few inquiries but no one has actually come out to see her. ¬†I suspect she’ll be moving with us to Georgia. ¬†I’ve brought her upstairs since the other cats barely go downstairs in order to have everyone start adjusting to her. ¬†So far, no battles and Anna clearly wants to socialize with the other cats.

Unfortunately, Anna still looks like a walking zombie cat. ¬†It’s going to take more time and more groceries and less hiding on her part in order for her to get up to a normal weight. ¬†Time and groceries are on our side.

Apparently, Anna has adjusted to the dogs as I found her sleeping on the sofa in the family room with the dogs running around.

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Dexter will not be moving to Georgia. ¬†He’s quit progressing forward in the last two months. ¬†Dex does not care for Freya, believes the rooster crowing is a threat that the roo is going to come in and eat him, thinks horses are dog-eating monsters and is overall still uncomfortable. ¬†Sadly, he will be going back to the rescue as we are afraid the stress of the move will be too much for him. ¬†And, Dex was doing better with the head of the rescue, Melanie, because she also has his outgoing brother whom Dex is clearly dependent on for socializing. ¬†We are broken hearted.

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I keep doing something to my knee. ¬†Something keeps catching under the knee cap when I go up or down stairs and will take a couple days to right itself again, then happen again within a couple days to a couple weeks. ¬†Beings as we have a million stairs in this house, I’m finding this rather¬†inconvenient¬†and am getting around by keeping that leg as straight as possible going up and down the stairs. ¬†This has been going on since February and has brought my c25k training to a halt as of recent.

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Got a bunch of outrageously expensive moving quotes. ¬†Still bad even if we pack our own boxes. ¬†So, I think we’ll be packing and driving our stuff cross-country ourselves. ¬†Unfortunately, the packing process has to wait as we still have to get a quote from the preferred movers for Bad Pants’ company before they’ll give us a stipend. ¬†Tis the suck there. ¬†I feel the clock ticking and am helpless to get the ball really rolling.

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Well, that’s it for now! ¬† ¬†How are things with you?

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Well, it’s official. ¬†We’re being transferred to Atlanta this summer, probably around the beginning of June. ¬†This move is bringing us a lot of joys and lots of heartbreak. ¬†While BP’s company is paying to move us, we are having to say goodbye to the farm and farm life. ¬†I’ve made a list of the good and the bad here.

The Good

-Cost of living is less

-Houses are more affordable (Portland did not suffer the housing market crash, so that’s in our favor it Atlanta)

-BP will be getting a promotion and a raise

-BP will be starting up his own office in Atlanta

-It’s good for his career

-They’re moving us

-They’re moving Casey, the dogs and the cats

The Bad

-We’re not taking Luna with, but we already knew we needed to rehome her because of Freya’s issues

-Can’t take the goats with- too costly and too hard on pregnant does

-Can’t take the chickens or the peeps (which are pullets now, they’re growing up!)

-Trying to move far away without being there is hard.  Trying to find an appropriate boarding facility is harder.

-Dude will start a new school, again.  With his issues, this may be a problem.  It will be difficult to find the right placement for him.

Well, the positives outweigh the negatives, at least from a practical, logical standpoint. ¬†It doesn’t negate the heartache of giving up beloved pets or changing our lifestyle.

Maddie will be returning to her owner shortly. ¬†She’s not the horse for us anyways and we’re ok with that. ¬†Plus, her owner misses her horribly.

That’s it for now! ¬†Gotta go figure out how to move my dogs to Atlanta in the middle of summer weather. ¬†Any suggestions?

PS Luna and the goats are already advertised as available. ¬†I’ve got people coming out to see goats this weekend so saying goodbye is coming sooner rather than later. ¬†It’s important to me to get my does settled before they kid as to lessen their stress.

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Moon died this afternoon.  Our little goatie put up the good fight even with everything stacked against her.  I was talking with our good blog friend, AK this afternoon and two hours later, Moon had crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  I tell myself that we gave her a good life.  I remind myself that she got to enjoy her last couple hours here, that grazing was just the right thing for a little goatie.  The damage ravaged upon her little body from her wound and from the White Muscle Disease she came to us with was just too great and in the end, won out.  I was holding her as she crossed, so she was not alone and knew she was loved.

My little Moonling, how I will miss you!

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