Thursday, November 29, 2012

Turkey for dinner

Here is our bronze breasted turkey hen waiting to be processed. She had 1 bad leg and that was removed by our Amish processors. She is now in a brine soon to be put in our freezer for dinner.

Here are four overzealous roosters from this years summer crop. I had nine roosters born this year and had to cull these four. I still want to cull a few more but these will fill our freezer for now. We lucked out buying two used poultry cages from a local flea market. We have used them quite a bit and are handy to have. Needing to transport poultry around town, cages are a must on the farm. 

Under Pressure

My husband testing our our new blood pressure machine.

We decided to find a machine that records both our numbers for blood pressure. Mine was high before 
my surgery and I wanted to get a handle on it to avoid taking meds. So we bought one for the house. You can see our cat, Coco, aka Ump, watching Alan. She is wearing a sock over her recovering neck wound.

Nap Time

Pepper and Daisy holding down the sofa.

Still have not moved all day.

Me taking a surgery recovery nap along with Daisy. It is so nice to take a nap and feel refreshed after.
I hated naps all my life. But post surgery has finally given me a good reason to nap. And my cats are 
very agreeable to that.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Bean and Saddle

Oh, the agony of saddle shopping. We have had a synthetic saddle, roping saddle, cutting saddle and English saddles. I am so glad we have tried out so many saddles. As new horse owners it is an important lesson. The roping saddle was great for ponying baby horses and cattle work. But to ride young horses you need a lighter saddle that fits the horse. A friend lent us two older trail saddles to try out. After some restoration my husband was ready to try one out. The saddle fit tiny horse and tall husband like a glove.
The only shortfall was the large girth. We needed a smaller one for our Bean, but were still ok to ride. My husband was able to ride very well on the trail.

The trail saddle has a smaller horn and large forks to hold you in. The broken in saddle was easier on the rider and the young horse. Softer leather, wider stirrups, slimmer seat all helped the rider feel more connected with the horse. Buying used or borrowing a used saddle to find one the fits is worth it. Rather than spending big bucks on a new saddle that needs to be broken in. For trail riding used or borrowed is the way to go for training young horses.

Maple Mail

Here is Alan riding our filly, Maple home. She was a bit upset over the smell of dead deer around. Plus the scent of predators had her on edge.

Here she is after biting our mailbox. She is afraid of them and attacks them just in case they might get her.
Returning home calmly after setting the mailbox straight.

Friday Trail Ride

 My husband got to ride our young gelding, Bean, home on Friday. Our trainer and his wife rode to our farm from their place. Alan rode Bean for the first time. Bean will be my horse as he is very short. But he is still a bit behind developmentally and will need a tune up again in March. After I heal from my surgery I can ride Bean for short rides. Bean is only 2 years old and still has some growing to do. It is too hard for young horses bodies to be ridden too soon for too long. This time next year Bean should be bigger and stronger as a 3.5 year old.

Alan and Bean on the left, Osa and Shorty the dogs, Dicky and Malinda on the right

Shorty in the lead down our driveway.

Dicky ties up Moose, a green 7 year old horse, to our tree after he broke his lead rope. Moose ran free for a bit to go and visit my mares. Moose is a 16+ hand Fox Trotter gelding in training.

Alan helps get the lead rope off the tree.

After a coffee and soup break our trail rider friends head back home before dark.

Heading home following the sun.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Feline Friday

Daisy and I enjoying a cold Friday around the house.

Back to napping around the house. Daisy sleeping off the night adventures in the woods and me recovering from surgery.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Turkey Times

Here are my two tom's letting me know they are hungry. Every time I talk they gobble without hesitation.

My bourbon tom putting the moves on the bronze hen. There's about 50 lbs of turkey meat dancing around here.

Close up of the bourbon tom. Note the turkey ear hairs.

My Narraganset tom giving me the eye.

This years maybe turkey for Thanksgiving. She is too big to fit in the coop door now.

Hard working tom dancing and gobbling all day long.

Cross Gobbling, so cool!

Same Day Different Cat

Here is Coco, a.k.a. Ump, wearing her old Adidas sock bandage and Daisy, outside waiting to come inside. Coco was bitten in the neck by our other barn cat, Poppy. The wound was slow to heal and required a 24/7 bandage and pad to protect the wound. When we left for my surgery, the wound still needed treatments, so we boarded her at the vet. She came home looking better then she reopened the wound. Out came another old sock, new bandage made and Coco is ready to heal again. Life is never boring on the farm.

My Hysterectomy

Last week I had a hysterectomy. It all started 10 years ago when I could not get pregnant. I was tested, husband was tested, I had fibroids, but was told over and over again, "that should have no effect on getting pregnant". Move ahead 11 years, no kids, several OBGYN and fertility idiots and I was having heavy bleeding. I told my husband and he told me to see my doctor, the results, my organs were all in the wrong place, my bladder dropped and I have a several very large fibroids.
I got scoped and was told I have to have a hysterectomy. My uterus was fibroid filled and I had a big one, called Hedgehog, causing major problems.
My insurance allowed me to find a hospital in network, I picked a very new and highly trained Woman's Hospital of Baton Rouge in the use of Laproscopic surgery using the Da Vinci robot. It means less cutting, easier and quicker recovery.
I was major scared but my husband stuck with me for this major surgery. It should have taken the surgeons 4 hours to cut out my uterus and hedghogs/fibroids, it took half that time. The team was able to push the fibroid though vaginally after the uterus was removed. No cuts, small holes from the scopes and I gave birth to a calcified hedghog. I got to keep my ovaries as party favors. I was up and walking after a few hours and went home after a day. I have pains from gas and organs moving around, but I can get things done. I nap a lot as I have low energy for now. I am restricted to 10 pounds lifting weight, so I just kick the cats around when I need them to move. My husband does the farm chores and I just watch the animals push him around. Especially the poultry, they have seen "The Birds", and they have ideas.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fall Colors

Enjoying the colors around the farm on the trees and on the ground. The trees are so rich in colors this fall. I guess the drought helped bring this out in the foliage. The trees are ready for winter.

Zilla in Fall

Close up of my young 6 month old German Shepherd. She is just back from the vet for a spaying.

Zilla poses and waits for me by the round bales. She wonders why I keep stopping and making her sit each time. She looks full grown here but she is only 78 lbs. She will grow to about 200 lbs, that is a big shepherd. Her parents where both huge. She is already bigger than my older shepherd. She might need a saddle and be ridden soon.

Baby Ducks in the Fall

My 2 month olds and my 3 month old ducklings in one big flock. These are Cayuga Swedish mixed ducklings. I incubated one group and mama duck hatched the others. She abandoned the ducklings' so I raised them. Now they are all independent and going to the big pond. A few will be going to a new home this week. 

My veterinarian wanted to raise some ducks for his pond. So I am giving him 4-5 from this flock.
This year I stopped incubating eggs by August. It is just too hard for me to raise baby poultry in the winter. So much easier when the weather is warmer. Some of my hens do go broody in the winter, and I have to watch them on hatching days. I isolate the mama's and babies in a separate coop when this happens. That way mama can do her job and keep her weight in the winter.