Friday, February 25, 2011
Luna is a fox trotter and a lope or gallop is not very nice on a gaited horse. They are better in their gaited fast trot. But in training you keep the legs going if the horse will not give to the request. And Luna being lazy has to gallop a lot when she begins to be willful. She is getting better and more responsive now.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Now that we are down to two roosters our game cock is a busy guy. He has to keep a sharp eye out at dusk for the owl and fox. Both have been spotted by the guineas and chased away. We also have wild turkey and deer foraging nearby. All are warned about by the rooster and the hens run to him for safety. Today is raining so all are "cooped up" until it stops for the day.
We lost a chick to drowning in a deep water dish. Chicks can't swim and they drown fast. We learned to only have shallow pans for all the chickens to drink from. This leaves us with two whitey wackers who are doing very well. Every day is a new lesson in life out here on the farm.
This past 14th our group threw a thank you dinner for our Mill Restoration donors. Our antique grain mill has been worked on for years to keep it intact and restored for future generations. Our town had blue grass music, homemade desserts and food all donated at our community center to say thank you to our benefactors. A great time was had by all who attended.
Here is my 7 year old Fox Trotter on her 5th day of training. She is gaited and smooth but has some issues that need work. Luna got tired of trotting and threw a fit. My trainer worked on her and galloped her, but Luna was willful. So my trainer dismounted and tied Luna on her left rein to let her fight herself. After an hour Luna learned and was soft in the mouth. The next day Luna was great and only needed a 30 minute ride. Luna has stopped running me over when I lead her in her halter. It is not fun getting run over by a horse. These are the thing I am learning how to do with a horse that was trained poorly. She is in good training hands now.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Our 3 chicks are growing fast and leaving mama hen often. They are now a week and a half old. We call them the whitey wackers since they climb all over Whitey, our white hen. They peck on her when they are cold or hungry. I had no idea chicks were so demanding to their moms. I am glad she only has 3 to watch.They climb on her when they are cold. They run right into the flock for bread without any fear. A hens work is never done until all her chicks go to sleep in the coop.
We got a call on Sunday from a friend wanting to do a trade. He wanted our 2 roosters in exchange for a huge aloe vera plant. We had 4 roosters and our flock was stressed out. So I caught 2 of our young roosters, boxed them and delivered them to our friend. The plant was too big to haul home in the winter since we don't have a greenhouse. We will pick it up in the summer. Our flock is a lot calmer and quieter without all the fighting roosters do.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I took photos of my breeding rooster and our first broody hen. He fathered these chicks and we hope to get another like him. He is fighting cock/Americana mix and the hen is an old English game hen. Both are alert to the flock and very protective birds to have on the farm.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
A friend of ours called me Saturday morning to ask if we wanted to chop firewood. We can always use more firewood. So we loaded up our chainsaw, gas and gloves and headed to her house. Her son and brother were there to take us out into their woods to cut up some dry down trees. They also had a tractor with a splitter on it to split the wood up. We got a whole truck bed loaded and delivered to our house. Now our wood holder is full! We are all set if we have another cold snap.We had a lot of fun and learned a lot more about chainsaws. It is always best to have others with you in case of an accident.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Our white hen brought out her two chicks to parade around the pasture. So I went into the coop and found another chick laid out on the floor, but it was alive. So I brought it inside by the fire and gave it water, it perked up 2 hours later chirping and hungry. We fed it chick protein and some walnut bread and it was full of energy. We decided to return it to the hen. She accepted it and it is under her wing. The sad news is that my husband located 3 other dead chicks by the evening. We missed these in our 1st chick hunt. They got behind the nest box and froze in the cold. Frustrating that we did not see them in time. We learned to push the nest box against the coop wall. The cold is the enemy of baby chicks this time of the year. At least we have 3 live chicks to watch grow in our coop. Looking forward to more chicks this spring and summer.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Today, my white game hen surprised me with a golden chick. It was running around in the chicken coop then dove under mama. I think she has more under her, I have just left her alone. She has been brooding for 3 weeks. I can hardly wait to see all her chicks. It is so nice have a broody hen do all the work nature intended. Having home brooded 2 batches of chicks ourselves, it is messy smelly work for inside the house. I am much happier to leave it to the hens outside. This batch is also from our best rooster. This will be his first flock as a father. Going to be a busy spring.
Monday, February 7, 2011
I read a lot of blogs that are horse rescue blogs. I read them to educate myself about what not to do with horses as well as happy horse news. Being a new horse owner of 2 auction mares and their babies, I need all the help I can get. I am amazed how well horses can come back from the brink of death with good food, vet care and loving attention. If you want to read about good rescues that are making the most out of donations and animal care; check out these links:
This past week we called out vet out to check why our gray mare was lame, she got thrush at the trainers barn. The barn is always wet in the stalls from poor drainage. He showed us what thrush looks like (is black) and smells like dirty socks. So we are putting a green liquid called Kopertox on her frogs for the next 3 weeks. Everyday she gets her hooves picked clean and this green staining liquid on her frogs. She never had thrush at home. Anyway the treatment is working and she is running all over the dry lot with the weanlings.
Our vet also checked over our weanling colt, Mr. Bean. He was looking pot bellied. Turns out a lot of weanlings go through this "ugly" stage and his body was in great shape. However, he only had one testicle drop and is Cryptorchidisc . This means he will need surgery at the vet office to be gelded instead of being gelded at home. We are waiting to see if it drops on its own by the end of February. It is never dull out here in the Ozarks.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
A lady in my town called me and asked if I wanted fabric since I am a quilter. Her mother was a quilter and she had a lot of her fabric to give away. And it was a lot of fabric. She also gave me a tour of her mothers and grandmothers quilts. So much handwork went into the pink gingham quilt. The red, white and blue quilt could have been a modern quilt, but it was made in the 40's. It is always a pleasure seeing other crafter's work. It was a real treat to see these quilts and hear the stories behind them.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Today we thought we were ready for the ice storm. All the animals were fed, hayed and watered, but we forgot about us. What if the power goes out? And it did. This meant no water pump in the house, no running water nor toilets. This meant me going out to our pond to get 5 gallon buckets of water so we could flush. I did not realize the ground around the pond was not frozen and I sunk deep into the shore getting stuck. I pulled my foot out of my boot and fell into the pond. I got out, pulled my boot out and headed home to change. I came back and finished filling 10 buckets of pond water while getting sleeted on with cracking icy trees around me. I sledded all the buckets to our porch to be informed the power was back on. I brought in half the buckets inside just in case we lost power again. The rest froze and had to be dumped.
I learned we need to have the generator ready, water filled buckets ahead of time and fill the tubs the night before. And have more seasoned firewood than you need plus more. Burning green wood is not easy. My husband plans to get a transfer switch put in so we can use our generator if the power goes out next time. But at least our animals were warm and happy this time. Lessons learned in the Ozarks.