Archive for the ‘Farm Animals’ Category

New Buck Isaiah

Our friend Suzy gifted us with a beautiful buck named Isaiah. He’s a big boy but yet he’s registered as a 1st generation mini. Crazy huh?! His height was at the maximum height for breed standard. He is 88% Alpine and 12% Nigerian. Beautiful boy!

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Sleepy Kitty

I thought you might enjoy a few photos I took this morning of a sleepy kitten in the flowerbed.

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Older Ducklings Update

Crest has three of her original ducklings. Not quite babies anymore anyday the three will start trying to quack. For now its still peep peep. I thought I’d share some photos of them hunting grasshoppers today with you.

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What’s Crackin’. I’m Hatchin’!!!

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Look there’s a crested one!

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I can’t tell how many yet. I’m thinking seven.

UPDATE!

I went out and put all the babies in a bucket. It seemed there were so many I was never going to stop counting. There were twelve!
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These two had the biggest crests we have ever had on ducklings. That one in the front almost looks like it has a mohawk! I can’t remember how many were crested or not.

Mama Duck was unhappy, to say the least, and was running around puffed up screaming her head off. My daughter and I cornered her and reunited her with her babies in the big kennel in the backyard. They will stay there for about a week until they get a little stronger so they can run through the tall grass after their mom. Otherwise its a terminal game of marco polo in the grass.
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I saw Jasper the naughty cat peering through the fence at the ducklings. I warned him stay away. He is an excellent hunter but needs to leave mama’s birds alone!

Photos Around the Farm 6/17/13

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Bluebonnet scratching at an itch she couldn’t reach. Yes I helped!

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My beautiful dependable Bluebonnet

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Merriwether long and lean

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Fauna’s girls. We still haven’t settled on a name. Oh and Nigel our future dinner in the background.

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My southern engineered way to make due with the standing water when it rains. A boardwalk.

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Blue our rather shaggy looking donkey. She is scared of brushes. Sigh.

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We covered one of the chicken pens with a big tarp.

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Fauna and Merriwether getting in the way of us working on the board walk. Kisses and snuggles break!

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My Fauna. Love this beauty!!!

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A mille fleur went broody and hatched a chick. But it has a mole on it’s head. Weird!

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We have been grilling a lot since the high heat sat in. Here is my first ever smoked turkey! No it wasn’t one of my girls. Was one from the store.

Chicken Pen Finished!!!

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Here’s the boys. I mean young men, sorry. With their beautiful chicken pen! The birds have now been in their new containment/occupational unit Lol for over a day now. The first day they stayed close together moving as a group because they were used to over crowded conditions. By that evening they were exercising their wings. I need to get a top on before they learn to fly. Lol.

Things we still need to do are finishing painting the untreated wood. Build a chicken house. Add some type of shade. Get bigger waterers. And figure out nesting boxes. After that I need to repair other chicken pen. Also and a top and more shade.

New Chicken Pen

If you’re a long time reader you might remember I did a trade with a friend who lived in the city but wanted to raise chickens. She bought me some chicks when she bought hers. She provides feed. Her boys came a built a pen. It’s almost done now. Just gotta finish stretching the top row of wire and then build a house.

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Rouen Ducks ARE Broody

I never could find a clear answer online so I just assumed they weren’t a broody breed. I mean they are technically a meat bird. Well I started missing duck eggs. And for a bit we were missing Crest the most dominant Rouen hen. Then we saw her one day and were relieved she wasn’t missing afterall.
So yesterday while the guys were working on the new chicken pen I went to search through the weeds for the missing eggs. Where had they started laying? I looked everywhere but then I looked in an unused hutch in the garden area and surprise there was Crest sitting on a best of eggs and wow was she seriously brooding!

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I got bit but I stole two eggs from her and went to the house to candle them. I figure she has about two weeks left. I had my daughter return the eggs to the mama. And warned the boys to leave her alone. I might just build a temporary pen in front of the hutch to keep them safe once they hatch from other cats and hawks.

Minnie Mouse the Great Hunter

This spring Minnie Mouse has been having kills everyday. Most times she shows me them. Yesterday a snake. Day before a sparrow. I told her I wasn’t impressed with that one at all. Today a fat field rat.

She has food available to her at all times on the porch but why eat cereal when you could eat steak. Man, I love this cat. She protects us well! I was worried she’d stop hunting after we had her fixed. Nope. She seems happier. Not as wild but still hunts daily.

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Making Goat Milk Soap

Here is an easy recipe I love.

3 pints ice cold milk (slushy)
1 12 ounce can Red Devil Lye
5 1/2lbs of Lard
2 oz glycerin
2 Tbsp borax
1/3 cup honey
Oatmeal and essential oils if you like

1. Out milk in a stainless not aluminum pot
2. Very slowly pour lye in.
3. Stir constantly
4. Add honey
5. Let cool to 85 degrees
6. Warm lard to 90 degrees
7. Pour in lard into lye/milk mixture
8. Stir constantly with a spoon
9. Add borax & glycerin
10. Keep stirring till thick like pudding. It could take quite a while. I now use a stick blender with a metal shaft to save my arm from falling off.
11. Now add essential oils or ground oatmeal if you like.
12. Pour into molds.
13. Cover molds with a rag
14. Next day cut soap with a thin wire. Guitar strings work best.
15. Stack soap so air can flow around the soap. Cover with light rag. I use a pillowcase to keep the dust off. Let cure six weeks.

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Make sure you use 100% Lye.

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This is what 5 1/2 pounds of lard in a pot looks like. Just in case you are wondering. Lol

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This is the milk lye mixture. It turns yellowish tan to caramel color as it reacts to the sugars in the milk. The colder the milk the lighter the color.

Here is the peppermint soap in it’s lined box mold. I got fancy and sprinkled peppermint tea leaves on top. Kinda looks like banana pudding with pepper.
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Here is a batch of the lavender I did. I tried coloring with paprika. Didn’t add much color to it. I sprinkled oatmeal on top.
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And here they are the next day when I cut them to cure.

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See the peppermint is no longer yellow.