Thursday, January 31, 2013

Loving Horses Always

Here is my good friend and the orphan filly she raised when I couldn't.

You can see she loves her horses.

Happy team.

Here is a black mare that was in poor shape from over breeding. 
My friend saved her and got her away from stallions and got her weight back on again. 

Pinkey the blind mare still goes for trail rides and only trust her rider.

Unhappy Cat

I was visiting a friend's house this weekend. While we talked her cat started to howl and scratch its face. The cat had been treated for ear mites and now had some rash causing the cat to scratch its face and bleed. So I offered to make a collar for her cat to ease its pain. Using cardboard, foil tape and some gold lacing I made up a working collar. She was able to eat, sleep and use the littler box without any problems and was finally healing up.

There was a lot of cat drama for a few hours but by the next day she was adapted to her collar and was healing up.
UPDATE: She had a yeast infection causing her face itchiness. She did get the collar off after 3 days, but she had healed by then after seeing the vet.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Winter Hunk

Here is my husband outside in the freezing sleet herding my turkey hen back into the poultry yard. Maple, Bean and Luna look on as he closed the gates and leads the turkey back into the warm coop. He did this so I could stay inside the house all warm with the woodstove going.
Zilla leads him home.

Boys Club

 My neighbor's Boer goats are giving birth in the cold winter time. 
They are happy in their heated barn and dry straw beds. So far there has been three boys and one girl.
Nice little boy with a star.

Twin boys born this week.

Eating their straw bedding.

January Cull

The brown turkey I raised and my six extra roosters were culled this week. I now have six chickens and a 15 pound turkey in my freezer.

This heritage turkey was much slower to grow and almost half the weight of the commercial hen I culled in December. However, he was a hen killer and had to go. At least they all had a great life on my farm.

Here are the bad boys from summer hatch.
All were culled for being mean to me or my hens. One was culled for being too old and useless to his hens. And one was just plain mean to everything on the farm. Now I have 4 good healthy roosters and 1 old one that hid during the cull. All the remaining roosters are kind hard working boys of the yard.
I have to say that my turkeys noticed one of their kind was missing. The turkey hen tried to run away and join some wild turkeys. And the remaining Grey Jake was depressed all day and quit gobbling. Next time I will cull buddies at the same time. It will be less stressful for the survivors. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Fridge Bread

I am trying to get confident making my own bread. So I chose an easy recipe called refrigerator bread. You mix it all and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Let it rise no kneading and it is ready to go. It is great for a busy person or forgetful one. I forgot I had these rising near the woodstove, again. But the recipe is forgiving.

ready for the oven.

nice looking loaf

This one is great for me. I seem to have problems with expired yeast and baking powder. Since we live far away from everything, these things expire quickly without my noticing. I am learning how to check for viable yeast. Now I just need a good rye recipe. Two loaves last us a while and we have enough to share with friends. Our poultry gets to eat the failures.

The Flock

You bring some bread out to our pond and call the ducks. 
Some guineas show up and some ducks and a rooster, timidly they approach.
Then the flock grows, more ducks quacking and a few gobbling turkey some pushy hens.

You check for more bread as the hungry flock grows even larger. 
The turkey put on a little dance for you and the bread, watching your hands. 
You are out of bread and they know it. You are surrounded.

Perhaps you should have brought out another loaf to the pond. Not a crumb
can be found after the feasting has stopped. You back away slowly, hoping 
they don't follow you back into the house. 
But they are watching you, they know where you live. They will be back.

Orchid up my Winter

Last weekend we saw these phalaenopsis orchids for sale at our local grocery store. They were so stunning we got three to try to grow. My husband has some experience with these from his Mom's house. She grew them all around her house. She had so many different kinds. She knew each and every one and the story about them. Unfortunately, Alzheimer's has taken her knowledge and skills away. 
I never have plants in the house since we have cats. 
They eat everything but have left these orchids alone, for now.

So I am going to try and give it a go and see if I can get them to survive in our house.

This one is my favorite.

If we get our greenhouse set up I can put them in there during the warmer months.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Our Chicken Farm

Alan, my husband, found these brackets at an antique store nearby. These are not antique but are made out of iron and look neat. He had an idea where to put them, on our mailbox.

My husband installing our chicken brackets.

Matched pair of roosters.

Close up of the iron rooster.

Here is a quick shot of my tiny Bantam rooster, Little King. He is the size of a softball 
and runs around all over the farm. Hard to get a good photo of him. He is the product of a Bantam hen and the Effie line of roosters we raise. Effie is the name of my friend who gave me my first rooster.

Here is King's grandfather Effie Senior our first rooster from two summers ago. He lost a battle with a visiting white rooster last year. But his genes carry to his son, Effie Junior and now to Little King. We raise kind roosters with beautiful plumage and farm smarts. We only keep the ones who are nice to the hens and us. Our farm is a happy farm.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Stones in Life

Last Sunday we went to the local nursing home to visit our former neighbors who are in their late eighty's.  I knew upon entering his room the husband was not going to be living much longer. He was aware but not eating nor drinking. He was having breathing difficulties, but not on any machines, thankfully. I can't stand to see any living thing suffer much less a friend. The husband was choosing to stop eating on his own. His wife at his side kissed him and talked to him. We sat around his hospital bed and visited. We talked about travels we have had, farm adventures and current events. I was tearing up and needing  lots of tissues; but still participating in the visit. I realized this would be our last visit. After a few hours we said our goodbyes and the husband did respond and waved. He knew we had been there. However, the next day he was taken to the ER then he died on his own the following day. 
Life has given me some stones in this new year. I could build a wall around me with these stones. But, instead, I move the stones into a pile on the side of the road. So I don't stumble upon them again. I know they are there and I remember each one. But I clear the road ahead of me. I keep it clear for others I come upon and meet in this life. I am looking forward to to where this road takes me, stones and all.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Still Gobblin'

Our grey turkey looking for food

The cold weather has calmed down the randy jakes and all they care about is food.

Smokin' Beef

Here are photos of our Texas style cooking now in the Ozarks. 
We love smoked meats and here is how we do it.
Here is a brisket we wanted to cook in the smoker. All seasoned up and ready to smoke.

After a long time the finished product. Notice the pan is black and stayed that way.

The smoking beast uses wood charcoal and pecan shell and water with spices in the belly.

Right out of the heat and ready to eat.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Keeping Warm

Inside our chicken coop the big girls keep warm and lay eggs.

My tiny bantam hens were given to us by a friend not wanting poultry around her goat barn any longer. Yes, chickens are messy creatures and nobody wants to be pooped on while working inside a barn. We don't have a barn, just a coop so no problems there in our poop shack.These two girls are so cute. They wait to be hand fed before the rest of the flock. They are also great aunties for broody hens needing a break. These girls are the size of a softball. I understand why people like bantam chickens. I do not know how old they are, but they are still laying tiny eggs for us.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hen Crushing

Our two gobblers have been killing our older chicken hens by mounting them to death. A 30+ pound turkey will crush an eight pound hen. I have lost two hens and have a rooster with a broken leg. You can see the turkey is on top of my hen as she tries to drink. It is time to cull at least one of the two jakes. Since turkey eat a ton in winter it is not useful to keep them around. We do not plan to breed them. The nice thing is that these giants provide enough food for an army. And my chickens can be safe in the yard again, until a fox comes by.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Cedar Me Timbers

Here is the last of our harvested cedar turned into furniture. We had the last of the wood turned into an end of the bed linen chest. It is very deep with a heavy closing lid on springs. The chest is made to have weight on top. We were able to put in all our summer and winter bedding supplies inside the chest. We freed up half a closet's worth of space. The chest was made by a local Amish family near us. I am over the moon happy with the beauty of the wood made functional for our bedroom. My husband and I love the smell of the cedar in our linens.

Open and safe for fingers.

Simple design showing off the natural cedar.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

January Kids

My neighbor's Boer doe finally gave birth to a set of twins. A girl and a boy were born and look so different from their parents.

Mama goat and kids resting in the stalls. All warm and happy.

I am looking forward to seeing them run around outside with the herd.

Warm Chickens

We had a warm up out here in the Ozarks. All the snow melted and then the fog rolled in all day.
My chickens had a full day of running around the farm eating bugs.
Effie Junior is the dominant rooster of the hen house.

My Halloween colored hen that lays blue eggs.

My Americana/Game rooster struts around all day long looking for a hen to call his own.

The white rooster who I thought was a hen avoided the winter culling. It will end up in the 
spring culling as he is a big one with too much attitude for my farm.