Sunday, May 30, 2010


Yesterday, May 29th, was my anniversary. As if it wasn't bad enough to realize my age in February, I now am "looking at" how long I've been married. Where has the time gone? How did I manage to become 60 and married for 39 years? It's definitely something I've been pondering over!

That being, I'm still "on the go" even though I have slowed down since my farming accident in 1993. I'll definitely continue to homestead and enjoy my critters. A number isn't going to stop me from that.

What I have pondered and realize is that homesteading has it's seasons and the busy times and "down times". It has good years and bad and all the other years that don't qualify as one of those 2. Life is pretty much like that too!

Interestingly, we can take a moment to reflect but the homestead keeps on it's course! While I reflect, the weeds are invading my garden plots, the raspberry plants are continuing to decline inspite of my watering and trying to encourage them to thrive. The rhubarb and tomatoes are doing great but I have more to plant! My peonies are blossoming. The critters need tending.

Back to business! I have chicks to move to the brooder, the final count to be taken, and the brooder to be disinfected to set more eggs!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

PSA for the Cell Phone "Do Not Call List"

Received via email:

REMEMBER: Cell Phone Numbers Go Public this month.

REMINDER..... all cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sales calls.....


To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone:
It is the National DO NOT CALL list It will only take a minute of your time.. It blocks your number for five (5) years. You must call from the cell phone number you want to have blocked. You cannot call from a different phone number.It takes about 20 seconds.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Martha Stewart Can't Milk Goats!

Good grief! For Martha's farm and her supposed expert status she wants us to THINK she has, she's NOT! And this isn't the first time I've seen this on her show.

I hope you'll get the humor of this and not take it that I'm being mean as that's not my intent. HUMOR is!

She had "Farmer John" bring his goats (3 of them) to the show to give the viewers a chance to see goats being milked. MS hasn't a clue! First they (the show) put together some wooden stands for the goats to be on and then a wooden square for them to stick their heads through to be milked. The feed tubs had their individual names on them. Cute touch, but it wasn't a head gate to hold the goat, just a square they could put their head through if they chose to check out the goodies. Good milkers they are they did put their heads through and eat some.

Then someone handed MS a wipe. If you know what you're doing, you're going to use it to clean the teats and udder off. Not MS, she wiped her hands and the goat's face and tossed it aside.

At this point I was wishing hubby would have moved faster to see this but he missed it - to bad too! I was really getting a kick out of this and wondering how many of the audience and viewers were.

I was wanting to see if someone else was getting it as I was! Anyway, then they hand MS and Farmer John fancy big GLASS measuring cups. The goats were looking at them all strangely. At this point it was VERY apparent none of these folks milked by hand. No, everyone doesn't have to but IF you want to go on tv and show how to milk a goat it would be nice if you either bring your equipment or be able to milk.

So the supposed milking begins. MS hasn't a clue how to milk even though she had just put on that it was easy and she knew what she was doing. (I guess maybe we all need to start wiping the goats' faces off folks!) MS also is of the belief a goat has 2 udders as she kept saying udders and other udder. Reality is a goat has 1 udder and 2 teats. She couldn't get but a drip or 2 out so they old her to pull down. So then she'd grab a teat and pull on it. That poor doe was a good sport and deserved an award. She looked at MS like "Hey lady...." but she stood there like a trooper! I was impressed with the does!

Eventually, MS had a dribble in her measuring cup and Farmer John was declared to have half a cup. Yes, only half a cup, not half a gallon, etc!

Is it just me or do other goat and cow folk feel the same? IF a tv show is going to show us a segment then they should be able to do what they are intending to show us. Yes, maybe I got too much enjoyment out of their fiasco, and shouldn't hold them to higher standards, but they are paying their "experts" to come on and show us enough of how to do something to get us to spend our money, etc.

FWIW, Farmer John was on a time before and they did a segment on making goat milk soap. They did an excellent job on that segment. That's another reason I expected more from this as his farm has a reputation of being experienced and knowledgeable.

If we want a lesson to take away from something such as this, it may well be that those who profess to be experts or should be, may well NOT be. We need to pay attention to the details and it's ok to "question" things we see and hear even from experts. No one is right all the time.

Sure wish I could be right more often though.... some lessons are hard to learn as we can be pretty critical of ourselves at times.

Poultry Update

Wow, it's time for the next hatch! I'm really excited about this. I put some of the "woven", nonslip cupboard material down to help the chicks strengthen their legs better and to keep the incubator a little cleaner. My first thought when I had heard of doing this is it is much more comfy for the new hatchlings than the wire mesh. Being woven it allows air flow. It can easily be disinfected for reuse. I'm also going to put some down in the brooder this time for a few days to help the chicks strengthen their legs and see if I have less leg issues.

In the incubator are some Jersey Giant eggs (larger brown), Americauna x Favorelle (green eggs), "Orpicauna" x Favorelle (drab green eggs) and Favorelle eggs (small pinkish). There might be a couple of Cochin eggs and there is one Americauna Cross x Cochin (blue egg). I didn't write it down but the eggs are marked so I'll know that way and the cochins will have feathery legs/feet like the Favorelles but should be marked differently.

The Hovabator that was given to me has Americauna x Favorelle (green eggs), "Orpicauna" x Favorelle (drab green eggs), Americauna Cross x Cochin (blue eggs), Cochins (brown eggs), Orpington x Cochin (brown eggs), Favorelle (smaller pinkish eggs). I was also handed 3 Guinea keet eggs Sunday and added them. They take 28 days instead of 21 for hatching. I'm looking forward to seeing the % of hatch I get from this incubator on fresh eggs that weren't shipped. I hope it's much better than I've been getting.

This am the incubators were too hot when I got up and checked them. They were 103 and 104 in parts and I'm now hoping that I don't have cooked embryos! The heat wave hit us and has affected both incubators - NOT good.

I do need to take a quick pic of the incubator on lockdown. I find it helps me to know which chicks hatched from which eggs when I wasn't looking!

Later this week I'm making a trip (couple hours) to pick up some Royal Palm turkey poults. I've got 6 coming and I so hope that they can all survive. As I posted before, I didn't have luck with turkeys in the past but have a different game plan for this attempt. Keep your fingers crossed for me please!!!

The silver-laced Cochin trio are doing great. I'm trying to decide on their new digs.

I want to open the partition in the horse trailer and give the "youngsters" from the 1st hatch (along with the 2 light Brahmas I got a couple weeks ago) and these from the 2nd hatch more room to hopefully avoid the 2nd hatch being picked on by the 1st hatch youngsters. I'll put food and water on both ends too so they have multiple areas to get to feed and water. The horse trailer is working well. The only time any sun hits it is early morning. The rest of the day it's shaded by a tree next to it and several fruit trees behind it. It's a stock trailer so has the 2 open slats at the top allowing heat to escape easily.

There are some CUTE youngsters in there. I suspect the gold and blue chick (from the Buff Orpington hen x Cochin roo) is a pullet which I greatly appreciate. She's a cute and very friendly chicker. There's a blue Cochin which I think MIGHT be a roo. It's also quite laid back, friendly and cute. He's going to be a great replacement for Blue Man who was taken out by a predator over the winter. There is 1 that I think is an Australorp pullet too (if I'm lucky). The 4 Brahmas are doing great. One I think is a roo due to the chest puffing up and challenging another younster who is a cross from an Americauna hen and Blue Man. It's a darker blue with some rust. If a pullet it will stay in the laying flock and if not it will be in the meat pen.

That's it for the poultry news. I'll do a goat one as soon as I can. I want to get some more pics to do it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

This That and the Other Things

It's hard to report on something as important as Pickle Week when you read about it and then follow a link and see a different date! So off I go on a google search thinking this will be quick and easy. Yah, right! Now I have 3, yes 3 different weeks for Pickle Week. AND, they are all LONG "weeks"! In fact, they are 10 days, not a week. With the variety of pickles available, not to mention the relishes, etc, a LONG week is fine with me. They have ample material for their celebration and who wouldn't love to attend a "birthday party" for a pickle? There HAS to be a lot of fun involved and something for everyone. Just imagine the vendors with pickle trinkets such as key chain fobs, pens and pencils, tee shirts, caps, etc. I would like to attend a pickle party and see what all they can come up with! I would think in spite of some seriousness behind it, that most everyone would have to have a good sense of humor and it would end up being a fun event to leave one a trip home with a smile and enjoyable type of tiredness.

Now I just have to figure out if it's May 21st - 31st, May 15th - 24th or May 18th - 28th! And if it's National Pickle Week or International Pickle Week! How confusing is that? I have to wonder if one of those is 2010 and the others previous years that still happen to rate high but alas, I didn't see anything to encourage that line of thought!

Maybe it won't matter after all being it's going to interfere with the homestead as my goats need milked so getting to the party won't be a logistic I can manage. I bet it would have been fun to go! I love pickles and especially dill pickles! Do you have a fav pickle?

Being I couldn't leave well enough alone, did you know there are some who suffer from Tristadekaphobia? Did you even know there is a legit disorder for fear of pickles?

Now that's I've wasted and enjoyed an hour or so of pickle research, I really need to get a move on!

May 26th is National Blueberry Cheesecake Day and National Cherry Dessert Day

May 27th is National Grape Popsicle Day

Traveling on.....

May 28th is Hug Your Cat day!

Hubby has a new kitten who I hadn't announced yet. She came to live with us Sunday and came from a goat dairy. I've got to get a few pictures!
Here's a holiday I can celebrate at home.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Incoming and Outgoing

Macey and Cinnamon decided to kid last night. Nipper must have been a busy boy but a happy one breeding 2 of the big girls! He does have a big ego and just KNOWS he's "de man" about the barn! (Photo 1 all 3)

Welcome to Cinnamon and Nipper's darling, light as a feather, black doeling! She has frosted ears, muzzle and tail. And is she ever tiny and a light weight! CUTE CUTE CUTE!!!! (Photo 2 - Cinnamon's doeling)
Welcome to the farm to Macey's and Nipper's twin bucklings! They were quite a surprise. I had expected Macey to kid sooner and knew she'd most likely have twins, but I didn't expect the colors and such tiny little guys! Macey is a black headed Boer doe and Nipper is a black ND. They made a chamoise boy with a pretty white star on his forehead and his ears are very frosted. He's really cute! They also made a caped Boer pattern that is a gray head instead of red with a white body. Then they put spots on his head. He has a black spot for each horn spot and around his eyes are brown and black spots with a few other randomly placed spots! I do have to wonder about these spots! Nipper does have his moon spot on the back of a hind leg so it's entirely possible these are moonspots that will lighten when he sheds out. Moon spots are often black or dark brown at birth and lighten later. Paint spots never change colors. (Photo 3 and 4 - Macey's twin bucklings)

Anyway, what a surprise! It makes me wonder what Mo'Nique and Nipper are going to have as Mo is a triplet with Macey (and a 3rd doe). Mo is is a black paint Boer. Then there will be the "loudly" patterned/colored ND does who are bred to him....

The outgoing news is that Mylo and Otis are leaving for their new home tomorrow. We're meeting their new family part way across the state on our way to Spirit's former home. I'm looking forward to meeting Diane who will have the boys. I'm sure they are going to an awesome new home. They will get to be goatie ambassadors as Diane is a teacher and they get to go to school! REAL people kid school. Being kids I'm sure they'll fit in and give the other kids some farm education. I just hope my kids don't teach those kids bad habits like jumping on the furniture and all as it's a big game here! They will also have an adopted lamb brother and I hope they treat him well.

I did my first solitary disbudding on these boys and I so hope I did a good job. It was as stressful and upsetting to me as it was them. I had a very hard time burning those little tiny horns and ended up having to touch up a bit today. I could see where I had gotten low enough on one bud on one boy but not on the other 3 of them (2 per kid is right) so redid a bit to make sure there was burning to the lower inside part. I wonder how many of these I'll need to do by myself before I can improve my method and not shake so badly for knowing it hurts them? If nothing else, they should love their new home a whole lot more now after this!
Their 2 gallons of milk is bottled and ready to go with them. That way they'll have an easier transition as their feed can be changed over gradually so there won't be tummy upsets from a change of feed. They should adjust well and easily.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Do I need An Umbrella?

This was kinda fun and definitely neat! It was FAST too!
Yes, it's been raining here and started during the night. So when I typed in my zip code it has a huge YES! I also had the perfect graphic for a change! Sometimes it's hard to find just the right pic or graphic. You can snag him if you want!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Addicted to Gardening

You Know You're Addicted to Gardening When....

* Your neighbors recognize you in your pajamas, rubber clogs and a cup of coffee.
* You grab other people's banana peels, coffee grinds, apple cores, etc. for your compost pile.
* You have to wash your hair to get your fingernails clean.
* All your neighbors come and ask you questions.
* You know the temperature of your compost every day.
* You buy a bigger truck so that you can haul more mulch.
* You enjoy crushing Japanese beetles because you like the sound that it makes (ok.. not me).
* Your boss makes "taking care of the office plants" an official part of your job description.
* Your non-gardening spouse becomes conversant in botanical names.
* You find yourself feeling leaves, flowers and trunks of trees wherever you go, even at funerals.
* You dumpster-dive for discarded bulbs after commercial landscapers remove them to plant annuals.
* You plan vacation trips around the locations of botanical gardens, arboreta, historic gardens, etc.
* You sneak home a 7 foot Japanese Maple and wonder if your spouse will notice.
* When considering your budget, plants are more important than groceries.
* You always carry a shovel, bottled water and a plastic bag in your trunk as emergency tools.
* You appreciate your Master Gardener badge more than your jewelry.
* You talk "dirt" at baseball practice.
* You spend more time chopping your kitchen greens for the compost pile than for cooking (ok, not me either).
* You like the smell of horse manure better than Estee Lauder.
* You rejoice in rain…even after 10 straight days of it.
* You have pride in how bad your hands look.(I will never be a palmolive commercial.)
* You have a decorative compost container on your kitchen counter.
* You can give away plants easily, but compost is another thing.
* Soil test results actually mean something.
* You understand what IPM means and are happy about it.
* You'd rather go to a nursery to shop than a clothes store.
* You know that Sevin is not a number.
* You take every single person who enters your house on a "garden tour".
* You look at your child's sandbox and see a raised bed.
* You ask for tools for Christmas, Mother/Father's day, your Birthday and any other occasion you can think of.
* You can't bear to thin seedlings and throw them away.
* You scold total strangers who don't take care of their potted plants.
* You know how many bags of fertilizer/potting soil,/mulch your car will hold.
* You drive around the neighborhood hoping to score extra bags of leaves for your compost pile.
* Your preferred reading matter is seed catalogs.

And last but not least, you know that the four seasons are:
* Planning the Garden
* Preparing the Garden
* Gardening~and~Preparing
* Planning for the next Garden

Egg Cubes

Yes, you read that right! I discovered this on a poultry list this morning!

A gal wrote in asking if there was really a chicken that lays a cube-shaped egg or was her friend pulling her leg.

Apparantly there is a cube-shaped egg! It's from the "rare plasticus gadgetis breed chicken"! Reportedly they don't eat much, are very quite and only cost about $3 each!

You can see the pic of a square egg here:


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Goat Milking Success

Yahhh! I FINALLY got Raquel milked with only a few tiny dribbles of milk left on the stand, no hobbled leg(s), no getting down on her knees and a very reduced amount of foot action! Foot action was also limited to one foot at a time AND I actually got to milk both teats at the same time for a short time. That seemed to be too much for her and my goal was to not make anything worse so we kept our progress continuing! She had also got her head into the gate MUCH faster than usual and got on the stand faster too! She kept busy eating instead of trying to think of which maneuver would get me to quit. I think she also has it figured out that if she's going to kick the coffee container out of my hand that she'd be wet with milk and would get a foot or both feet hobbled. I'm also not having to leave her on the stand after milking as long! (I'm still giving her a good dozen treats each milking but... it it works it's worth it and she loves treats!)

We are getting there! She's going to be a super milker as she's milking a good quantity, big udder that milks out nice and fast. Her teats are a lovely size and shape with great orifices so she's going to be fast and easy to milk.

SUCCESS is being achieved! We are almost "there" to milking with the stainless bucket and 2 handed! GO Raquel!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Egg Info

* Pasturing poultry produces the tastiest, most nutritious eggs.

* Eggs from pastured hens contain up to 20 times more healthy omega-3 fatty acids compared to factory hens.

* Pastured eggs also have 10 percent less fat, 40 percent more vitamin A, and 34 percent less cholesterol than "factory farm" produced eggs.

* Pastured hens' diets are naturally complemented with bugs, earthworms, and other such critters that give their eggs a huge nutritious oomph.

* Pastured hens are usually much healthier and happier than hens with limited or restricted space such as commercially caged hens.

Do you prefer farm raised or pasture produced eggs vs commercially raised eggs from the stores?

Do you have or buy farm raised or pasture produced eggs instead of commercially raised?

Did you realize that "free ranged" technically can refer to commercially raised?

I didn't! I thought it meant they were "farm raised"! Evidentally a lot of us didn't realize that as it's a topic that is being discussed on a lot of poultry groups!

Eggs and Terminology

You wouldn't think there could be so much into terminology for eggs, would you!?!

According to the USDA, "free range eggs" simply means the hens that lay them "have been allowed access to the outside". These days, that means they can simply have access to a small doorway of their coop! It doesn't say if they can GO outside of their coop or house, it just means they basically have some access to some fresh air!

Now another term has come forth labeling some eggs as pastured eggs! Pastured hens truly have access to pasture and get to roam around outdoors and can scratch in the grass and earth. They can eat bugs and seeds and such as a chicken would do naturally, if allowed.

My hens, unfortunately, are penned but outdoors. I would prefer to allow them free access to the yard and around the barn and all, but I have have neighbors who would call animal control and make a big issue. I USE to give these folks a couple dozen of fresh eggs per week just to be neighborly. Then some months later, I found out they weren't eating them! They were throwing them in the garbage because the yolks were too orange and they didn't like the color. They were "suppose" to be yellow like the store bought eggs from the caged commercial farms! That was a lot of waste as I could have been selling those eggs instead of just being "neighborly"!

Now my chickens are penned. They get to bathe in the dirt, dig and scratch, catch bugs, etc. I pick and dig them grass and weeds daily. I include the root balls with all the rich dirt and usually a worm or so and they love it! I try to give them enough that I'll see some dried and laying in the pen the next day. They also get lots of table scraps which they LOVE!

I even pick and snip fine grasses for the chicks in the brooder once they are a couple weeks old. They have chick grit so they can utilize it. I'm surprised how much even little chicks will eat!

Technically, my hens are "free ranged" even though that isn't my perception of free ranged. They aren't pastured as they are confined. So I refer to my eggs as farm fresh. That seems to be a clear term that the average person would realize they are from farm chickens and they are fresh.

My hens are very happy and healthy. My eggs are lovely and delicious with those rich orange yolks, strong shells, and the white and yolk "stand tall" when broken into a dish or pan. They are definitely different than the commercial eggs that plop down in a dish or pan and have a sickly yellow appearance.

I LOVE my farm fresh eggs and happy hens!

Turkey Roost News

I made a decision that I've pondered on for over a year and more-so this last few months. Do I or don't I want to try raising some turkeys again?

I had some poults years ago and didn't have the best of luck. The poor things were not bright at all. Their picnic was missing more than 1 sandwich! In fact, they needed to be hand guided to the "picnic basket" for every meal! Thriving didn't seem to be part of their genetic being! If it rained I had to go out in the rain to move them into shelter as they'd just sit down and look up then be soaked and cold! When those who managed to be saved (survived with intense care) were finally getting to a size that they seemed to be going to make it, a weasel managed to kill them off! Fortunately a cat caught the weasel and brought him to the back step for us to see. We didn't realize it was a weasel killing them.

I've learned a lot about turkeys since and I think I'd like to give them another try. I also want to get them while I have chicks who can "lead them to water"! I will raise them with the chicks so they have survival guides! I also was a bit concerned over them escaping to run wild with the wild turkeys. I'm prepared to keep them penned when they get a bit larger. I'd like to start with a trio for keeping and then either sell or butcher the extra Toms. (I've had store boughten turkey and wild turkey and I don't ever recall having a home raised turkey! I'm looking forward to it and if it's as much better as home raised chicken is I know I'm going to be hooked on that too!)

Like other livestock, if something doesn't work out for us, we can sell them, trade them, etc. It's not a life-time commitment like a dog (pet) is. We also don't know if we'd like to raise something unless we research and then try it if we think we really would!

I was down to a couple preferred breeds. Unfortunately, my decision was based a lot on looks which isn't always the best way to acquire animals. However, I hear that my preferences are good natured and in demand. I really like the Royal Palms and the Red Bourbons. The Palms are white with some black trim and the Bourbons red with some cream/white trim.

(Tom on the left is a Royal Palm. I'm not sure what the Tom on the right would be colorwise. Is it color or is it breed? The species would be turkey!)

(Red Bourbon Toms with a hen in the pic below. )

(Photos: I don't know where these came from other than I received them via email. I would love to give photo credits so if they are yours, please let me know. I'll also remove them if they are yours and you're prefer that. If you raise them to sell eggs, poults or the birds, I'd be glad to post your info for you!)
That said, it's time! I saw a post from a gal I've done business with and know will do right for me as a customer as she has in the past. She advertised she has Royal Palm poults to sell!

I'm IN!! I'm hoping to be able to get 6 Royal Palm poults from her! If it all goes successfully, I'd like a pair or trio of Bourbons next. If they do work out, maybe I can find someone who would like to trade! That's usually a win-win for me!
I'm also hoping I have much better luck this time! I'll be managing them in a completely different manner than I did in the past. Last time I did what the hatchery said was the right way for back then. Now I'll work at this with what is definitely a better way and makes much more sense!
Wish me luck!

Dilemma from the Hen House

Do I or Don't I? That's the question of the moment!

The topic pertains to the new incubator I was GIVEN! It's a used, still air Hova Bator 1602. I'm still "tickled" over my luck to acquire this last Friday!
I so want to impulsively fill it with eggs of course! So I'm trying to use a little self control. I've cleaned and disinfected it. It's been running for a couple days and doing GREAT!

I've been advised to get a new switch and wafer being it's obvious to me that it's not new. The previous owner says she used it 1 time. I do believe her and greatly appreciate her generosity. I do suspect it may have been used when she got it and I didn't ask. It didn't matter to me. I need to order the parts as the advice of getting new ones is good!

I have sold 3 of my hens and I'm seriously hoping that I'll have some of their offspring hatch. They will leave tomorrow and I'll be left with 2 colored egg layers. One is a lightly feather footed Americana so I suspect her to be part Cochin. She lays a BEAUTIFUL blue egg. The 3 hens leaving lay green eggs. I still have and am keeping the pretty buff "Orpicauna" hen who lays a drab green egg. I would like to hatch out some of the green eggs from the 3 hens leaving so that has my seriously considering filling the incubator tomorrow after they leave and I have collected the last eggs from them.
I also got an egg from the new silver laced Cochin trio! I can't wait to hatch some of their eggs too!
My black Cochin hen has gone broody (finally) and is setting on some Cochin eggs and possibly a couple from the Orpington hen. There also might be a blue egg or 2 but I've not seen what she has so far and the day I found she truly is broody I gave her the 4 brown eggs I had just picked up from another nest. I was afraid she might of only had an egg or 2.

All that being, I would like to replace the wafer and switch, but I want to hatch the eggs from the hens that I sold too. I have some other eggs I've also collected since Friday. The best eggs for hatching are under 10 days of age and preferably 7 or less days from what I'm told.

So, I'm pondering do I or don't I fill this incubator and go for it? I'm sure leaning that way.....It would also be nice to know how it does compared to the cheap Little Giant incubator I have!
The incubators and brooder are in the house, and hubby and I are both enjoying them. The chicks who graduated from the brooder are out in the front of the horse trailer and doing GREAT! I don't want any house chickens so I must be sane, right? NO offense to anyone who does have chickens as house pets at all. Yes, I'd bring a sick on in and cage it to treat it if needed, but not to roam with the cats and dogs!

I think the REAL answer to this dilemma is, YES, I'm hooked on hatching eggs! I'm hooked on chicks.

I guess there's worse addictions one could have!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cherry Facts

There are many fruits and veggies in season now. Cherries are one of my favorite!

This is a computer wall paper. You may click on it for the large copy to save if you like! I got it in a wallpaper graphics group that was for sharing wallpapers.
I ran across these facts about them I thought you might enjoy reading!
* There are 2 main kinds of cherries, sour and sweet.
* It takes 250 cherries to make a cherry pie.
* If you refrigerate your cherries immediately after purchase, they can be kept fresh in the refrigerator for several days.
* Cherries offer many many health benefits that help combat pain and soreness.
* Cherries have one of the highest levels of disease-fighting antioxidants compared to other fruits.
* Cherries are a rich source of melatonin, a powerful antioxidant known for regulating the body's natural sleep cycle and helping to promote restful sleep.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Update or Catch Up

Update or Catch Up? I would guess this is both! So much has been going on that I'm "whipped"!

I'm now milking 5 does by hand. Due to Danika and Raquel being first fresheners, it's taking a LOT of time. And I DO mean a LOT! I want these does to be the kind one can just tie and milk, no drama, no hassle, etc. How I handle them now is setting them up for their milking behavior for a long time. Both will be sold and hopefully their new owners will continue the "program" and not untrain them! Danika is catching on to this FAST and is such a sweetie! Raquel is a theatrical drama queen and a rodeo bronc! I am LAVISH with the treats, rubbings, and giving them the time needed. I've gone from 45 minutes in the evening to 2 1/2 - 3 hours! That's time feeding goats and chickens for the evening, collecting any more eggs, bottle feeding 4 kids, and milking. (Summer only takes a second to give her a sour cream container of food morning and evening as she has pasture but expects to get fed with the goats! Silly horse but she's a dear.)

Raquel is improving every milking but oh so slowly! She's getting right on the stand and her head locked into the head gate (which she ripped off the stand and clunked me in the back of the head with). She's standing there to get started eating and then I pet and praise her, give her a treat, and then sit and pet her an talk with her a minute. When she ripped the head gate off, she fell off the stand and bruised her udder. Now she's milking bloody milk on that side of her udder. She has a NICE BIG udder and wonderful teats and orifices. She's now being MUCH better and not bucking with milking the not-sore-side (left) of her udder but she's "going rodeo" with the bruised side. She's VERY easy to milk if she'd just stand still. It has to be milked out so she doesn't get scar tissue and mastitis. Anyway, after she's milked (hobbled too) I am leaving her to stand on the milk stand and to chill out. I then milk her momma right next to her just tied and standing on the ground so she is watching a good milker stand right. It also gives her herd security that she's not alone. She can also see her pen mates on her other side as it's a half wall and wire for the top half. What a challenge this has been! But progress is being made and that's my clue that things are going in the right direction!

Now I have to put a price on them and I'm not sure what to put! I need to decide an individual price for each but also a "2 for" price. They are twins and very bonded. They'd be much happier to go together to a new home. I'm also considering offer a free stud service for them if the new owners will supply the feed for them while here for breeding. I'm seeing some prices locally but they seem to be one extreme or the other. I also have a lot invested in these 3 yearling does ($ and time). I needed to see what their dams were producing though so needed to grow out a few of their offspring to see what I need to most work on in breeding improvements. We can't really improve upon them a lot if we don't know what they produce so we know what genes need to come in to cross on them! I now have a very good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of both senior does. Kids are always adorable and cute but one can't know their true mettle if one doesn't raise them up to freshening and milk them a while!

I was suppose to be going to pick up an incubator tonight and haven't heard back from the gal. I sure hope she's not changed her mind or something as I really am hoping to get it. I hope tomorrow will work for her.

I have some running around to do tomorrow to get prescriptions and such which means a trip to the "big city" and 40 miles. Then Saturday I have a "date" to pick up a new rooster and need to be back to watch the Preakness! I'm worn out but have to get things done. We had a funeral for the dearest aunt one could hope to have this week so the emotional loss adds to one's running out of steam.

I did get some garden seeding done in the last week also. I have plenty more to do but it's a start. I got my grapevine clippings and have them in water rooting. I'm ready to get them planted too if I can get enough time. I've finally decided on the place which was quite a decision being I sometimes like to leave a couple goats loose and don't want them to "find" the grape vines!

And I need to get some mowing done - BADLY! Even that has an order to make things easier! For one I need to put Summer (horse) in the dog yard for a couple hours as there is some luscious grass there she's wanting. Then I need to take a shovel out and stab a few burdock plants and then I can mow it. Life on a homestead is often like a puzzle. The border needs done first so one can start putting the pieces where they go methodically!

Yesterday (12th) was Miss Molly Ta Mollie's 10th birthday! Molly is my black tri female Corgi. I LOVE this little dog! She's feeling her age unfortunately and having some age issues. I had a litter of pups from her several years ago and then found she has some genetics starting to show up that I won't breed so we've not had any more little Molly's. Bummer but the only ethical thing for me to do.

It seems my work is never done! So much work - so little time!

Friday, May 7, 2010

A New Hatch

I've new clutch of eggs went in the electric hen (incubator) this morning! The hatch date is the 28th, with lockdown the 26th. I sure hope it goes much better this time as I had a hard time with the loss of the pipped chicks who didn't make it on the last hatch.
I have eggs from my Favorelles, a few from the Orpicauna (Orpington x Americauna cross) who lays the darker drab green egg and a pretty blue egg from my Americuana who has feathers on her legs and shouldn't. I also have 20 eggs from a friend's Jersey Giants. Hopefully we'll have better results. I'm going back to turning the eggs by hand like I did the first hatch as I used a "prop" for the turning last time that was like an electric turner. There are also less eggs this time than last so maybe that will make a difference.
I am at the point that I'm hooked on hatching! I am also at the point that I definitely want to upgrade to a better incubator. Shipping of eggs is too expensive for an incubator that won't give a better success rate.

I'm also at the point I'd love to have a hen go broody! She might have better luck than I do!
Please cross your fingers with me and send good vibes for those chicks-to-be! Grow chickies, grow!

Awesome Resource - Poultry

There was a discussion on curled toes in chicks and the causes on a yahoo poultry group. One of the members posted this link regarding the riboflavin/Vit B2 deficiency issue and I thought you might like to put the link in your favorite files! The side bar has some WONDERFUL pages of poultry care and issues that you'll find easy to read and very helpful!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I Confess!

I am a kidnapper! And I've done it again!

I have kidnapped a buckling from his momma and grandma! Momma isn't sure about all this as it's her first kidding.

Danika has surprised me and had her buckling before her twin,Raquel and before Cinnamon and Macey.

I expected Cinnamon and Macey to kid first and then Raquel based on their udder development, lax ligaments, etc. I KNOW that udder development is an individual thing! I know some can do all the pre kidding things that we watch for in a short amount of time and others spread it out slowly. So that being maybe I shouldn't be surprised, but I am! While milking tonight I watched Cinnamon with her bristled hair along her spine being BOSSY! Cinnamon is never bossy - she's a push over! Cinnamon is very alert tonight also, hollowed out flanks, more udder development, etc. So I'll be checking her during the night. It's another cold night tonight. (I'll have to make a quick check of the chickies in the trailer too!) I've been eyeing Raquel quite a bit too. Also Macey who has the largest udder of the FF's and has taken to laying down to eat her grain and just laying a lot! Macey is very wide and I expecft twins from her.

OH MY! PLEASE don't let the next 3 kid tonight! Geez, that wouldn't be fair and I'd get NO sleep! I have a guy coming to do some work at 10 am!

Cinnamon and Raquel will have to beware of the kidnapper that I've become!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bad Hatch

How majorly disappointing. I had the incubator going and the temp was doing great, humidity was doing great, I was remembering to turn the eggs 3 times a day and many times 4. I have no idea why I've had such a bad hatch. BUMMER!

I know the eggs that were shipped from FL took a horrible ride here and the box was really banged up with all 4 corner-edges and 8 corners looking like it was bounced on all and had a dent along one side of the box. Football game while it was taking 5 full days to get here?? Scrambled eggs? Most like damaged air cells. I got 1 chick from the 2 dozen eggs. :( I don't even want to know the % of hatch.

The other 2 dozen eggs came from much closer but were still shipped. I have 2 chicks from them. NONE of the banty eggs hatched which was definitely a disappointment. I had a lot of hopes for the cochins to hatch as the gal has laced cochins. This was really a bummer as there were 3 eggs pipped yesterday that stopped progressing. I hoped that helping them would be beneficial and carefully opened the air cell end to give them a boost but I think they may be dead. I'm not seeing any movement. They are 3 brown eggs so were hopefully cochins. DISAPPOINTMENT!

I had a few eggs of my own I stuck in and 4 hatched. This group did the best of all. Two look to be Black Cochins. I am pretty sure that 2 of them will be Cochin x Orpington as they are yellow chicks with a touch of black on the tips of the wings and only a feather or 2 on the legs. These 2 pipped and weren't making progress so I did open the top of the shell so they could exit easier. They still had a hard time and took so darned long the membrane was drying to them. They did pull through but they are pathethic looking at the moment. Their fluff is still mostly glued to their body except what they've been able to loosen and fluff on their fronts. Their wings are able to move and stretch and have a bit less "glue down". I don't know what to do to help them with the rest. I'd love to "bathe" them but I'm afraid being newborn chicks they would shock and die. So I'll play it by ear and see what I can do to help them out some over the next few days. I'm hoping that as they are moving (and they are active) around and start to fill out some that it will break the gunk loose and it will fall off. They seem content and the brooder is WARM it was 117 under the heat lamp so I had to move it slightly. Chicks should have 100 at the start. The little yellow chicks won't be cold while we decide how to fluff their fluff!

So, it's been disappointing! I won't give up though. I have 7 adorable chicks and I THINK 4 are Cochins so that is GOOD.

I have an online horse friend who offered me some of her Jersey Giant eggs for the cost of shipping and they should be here tomorrow. I have 2 dozen of my eggs saved from the last few days.

I'm mainly going to TRY to hatch my Favorelle eggs. The eggs I've saved are from the pen with the Favorelles. There is also a Favorelle x ? hen and the Orpington x Americauna hen who lays the DRAB green eggs that are so pretty. I want to expand the number of the Favorelles I have as I don't know how old these hens and roo are. I'd like to see what the "Orpicauna" hen produces and egg color the pullets will eventually lay mostly for the fun of it.

I'm hoping a couple of the hens will go broody soon and I'll be sure to give them the eggs I most want hatched (Favorelles and Cochins) with hopes they can do better than the electric hen is doing!

IMHO, hatching shipped eggs has to be a learned skill and a lot of luck in the ride the eggs take getting here! I'm trying my darnedest and think I need a whole lot of good luck!

I'm thinking I'd love to have a better quality incubator. I hear this one isn't that great and I've decided I'm definitely "addicted" to hatching! I'll be watching for a good used Genesis 1588 with fan and turner.

He Broke My Heart

I trusted him.

I scheduled my life around him.

Where I went, what I wore, how I thought.

He lied to me. Over and over again.

And I believed him.I was such a fool.

He made such big promises.

He said the sun, the moon, the stars would be ours.

That our path would be sunny.

I'll never believe another weatherman.

(Author unknown but it happened to me too!)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

It's Happening!

These little peepers don't seem to be in much of a hurry to come meet me! This one little chick has popped the top off it's egg and there are 4 that are pipped and were pipped prior to this peep! Evidentally the old tag game chant of "come out come out wherever you are" isn't the magic chant as it's not moving them along at all! So....
you all need to help call these little peepers out of their shells for me! I'm getting impatient! Only 2 of the pipped eggs are the shippers and the hatchling and 2 you see pipped in the pic are from my eggs. Of these, the hatchling is from a brown egg. In that pen is the Cochin roo and his 4 Cochin hens along with a Buff Orpington hen that lay brown eggs. I THINK this chick is from the darker brown egg so the Orpington hen's crossed with the black Cochin roo. It will be interesting to see if it's the same as the blue-buff chick from the last hatch. The other 2 pipped eggs from my chickers are from the Orpington x Americauna hen who lays a drab green egg. She's with the Favorelle hens and roo so these 2 pipped would be Favorelle x Orpicauna!
Stayed tuned to this blog for further news!