Tuesday, April 24, 2012

One of God's Amazing Creatures

The Marine and I think God put these little creatures on earth just for our amusement.

Last week I bought this humming bird feeder with a suction cup and hung it on the Marine's bedroom window.  We now get to see non stop action all day long.  We have feeders in other places but this one let's us get up close and personal.

The glare of the glass inside kept me from getting good pictures so I went out on the porch and sat about 2 feet away and snapped these shots.  The only problem is as soon as they heard the camera click they were already backing away from the feeder to make a run for it!

 Our hummingbirds fight fierce battles as we watch.  Whenever two or more are present they chatter like little monkeys.  I never did get a shot with more than one in the picture.  I'll have to try again tomorrow when I take a break from remodeling the guest bath.  Oh my Lord I did a knock down wall texture for the first time.  Thank God that stuff just wipes up with a wet cloth.  I got it everywhere!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Last of the Spring kids...maybe

Our doe Lacie gave birth to two fine looking bucklings yesterday morning.  The second one was born breech but I didn't have to help.  He had very weak hind legs all day yesterday.  I thought I would have to end of splinting them but he is running and playing today like there was never anything wrong.

 Isn't he a handsome boy?  He has a rusty orange and black striped tail.  I named him "Tigger"

Kim from Country Life....this picture is for you!  A week ago both of these boys could fit in the nursery container and couldn't be seen. 

They were totally ignoring their Mama calling for them.
 I think the does are taking turns babysitting.  This is the second time I have found a doe in the corner with 7 of the older babies while the other Mama's are browsing.  Do you suppose they have a schedule worked out?

We moved the other two does who didn't get pregnant this time around.  They are in the pen with our Nubian buck.  Should they breed anytime soon we will have some late summer kids.  I just won't know the exact date.

As soon as Lacie has spent a few days alone with her kids I will move them out to the open pens.  I am going to take the other kids away from the Mama's in the next few days so I can start milking.  I'm already a week behind on those plans.

Welcome New Followers and Thank You!

I know by the follower count that I have a few new readers.  Unfortunately due to bloggers changes I cannot name you or link you yet.  Everything but the number has disappeared from my dashboard and blog.  As soon as I know who you are I will give you a proper welcome.  

I do thank all of my followers for hitting that follow link.  Leave me a comment ...I love them... most of the time the comments are better than my posts!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Off Grid Chicken Brooder

Ernest has a very good solution.  Go read about it here at the Bunker Index.  I tried to leave a comment on his blog but after three tries of the word verification, I gave up.  

I hate that word verification and did not even know I had it on my blog for so long.  I'm sorry to all of you who left comments that had to use it. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spring Chicks part 3

When the first chicks start fluttering out of the kiddie wading pool we keep them in after they hatch, it is time to move them into the small enclosed pen I have under the shed.

I sill leave the heat lamp on them at night until they get all of their feathers on their body.  The little furry heads are the last to get feathers.

 The chicks are now 3 weeks old.  Since it is warm outside and only dipping into the high 50's and lower 60's at night, I am moving them into the chicken tractor.  They have been doing fine without a heat lamp for several days. They are really funny looking at this age.  They look like miniature chickens with a biddies head.

 It's a good thing I went down early to start moving them.  This little guy had somehow gotten his beak caught in the wire.  He must have been there for a while as his feet had turned almost black from no circulation.  Papa Bear cut him loose and the other chicks started picking on him because of the small bit of blood on his beak.  I moved him into a cage of his own for a couple of days.  He has now joined the others and has had no problems.

 Here they are in the chicken tractor I built.  It has wheels on one end.  It is easily lifted a couple of inches and pulled to a new location every few days.  I stapled feed bags to the top to keep them shaded from the sun and dry should it rain.  The chicks loved being in the grass and went to work looking for bugs as they scratched.

 I ran a few pieces of rebar through the chicken tractor for the chicks to perch on if they want.  A couple of them fluttered up on the pieces immediately.  

I will probably end up building another tractor as I am almost sure this one will be too small to hold all the chicks as they grow.  All of these are destined for the freezer in a month or so, depending on how fast they grow.  I am thinking of mixing half of their crumbles ration with 1/2 game feed to push their growth.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Spring Garden

 After getting the new kids into a stall, drying and admiring them for a bit it was time to work in the garden.  I got almost all of the tomatoes staked and tied.  I'm growing Amish paste, Heinz and Homestead.

 During the winter I buy a small cluster of tomatoes that are on the vine from Sam's Club called Campari.  They are the only store bought tomato that taste like a tomato.  This year I saved and planted seed and those plants are outgrowing the others two to one.  I don't know if they are a hybrid or not but hopefully I'll get one plant like the original to save those seed.  The tomatoes are growing in clusters just like the ones I buy.  We'll see! 
 The chickens did a real good job scratching and cleaning the garden area.  Since they are fenced in an area beside the garden do you think it is driving them crazy seeing all the green stuff coming out of the ground?  When this season is over I will move them to clean it out again and plant some winter greens where they are now.

The corn is up about 3 or 4 inches.  I'm trying a white sweet corn this year as I still have a lot of the yellow corn in jars and freezer from last season.  Rather than wrestling with the big tiller I just ran my little Mantis to weed between the rows today.  It was very nice with a cool breeze blowing so I did not mind the extra time it took.

This is a row of Sweet Potatoes.  I've never grown them before as they are usually very cheap in the fall but due to the cost of fuel and fertilizer I expect them to be a lot more expensive this year.  They keep in storage for many months and they are not bad canned for casseroles and pies.

The green beans are up and looking very nice.  I love green beans and hope to can many jars of them.  Last year I planted them twice as the rabbits got in our old fence and ate them upI hope we have the fence rabbit proofed now or I am going to sit in the garden with my shotgun like Elmer Fudd and get me a wascally wabbit.  I'm either having green beans or rabbit stew...one or the other.

 I'm growing a few dill plants this year.  It got really hard to find dill seed during canning season last year so I am attempting to grow my own.

I've also got squash, cantaloupe, watermelon and pumpkin growing. 

I also planted a few eggplant for fresh eating.  I still have a good many packages  still in the freezer from last year.  Oh...and I have a row of okra. Still have some of that in the freezer too.

I did not plant any field peas or lima's  as we still have a lot of those canned so my garden is not as big as it was last year but I still expect to can and freeze lots of good food.

I just love spring!

Early Morning Surprise

Got up this morning, took care of the Marine, grabbed a cup of coffee and headed to the garden to stake the tomatoes.  I glanced out into the does pen and saw our doe Tassie with 2 new kids.  

I didn't put her into a stall last night as I thought we had another two days to go.  She must have just had the little tan one as except for her head she was still covered in the birth gunk and dirt.  Both of them were shivering as it was in the low 50's this morning.

I got a couple of the towels,  grabbed them up and headed for a stall.  Mama followed behind to make sure I was not "kid" napping them!

This pretty girl is gray, brown and white.  

 Her cute little sister is tan and white.

 Mama and babies getting a well deserved rest after having giving birth and being born in the dirt!

This is our young doe Lacie.  We never did see her breed with our buck but she is starting to make her udder so I guess she did!....Just don't know her due date.   She is half Nubian and they don't mature as fast as some other breeds.  I would have waited another few months on her breeding but we didn't  know she was in heat or we would have moved her away from the buck.  Things happen.  She is OK weight wise to give birth.  She's about 90 pounds.  I just would have liked to see her bigger.

I still don't think Jersey is pregnant as she has not made her udder and she should have given birth first unless she is like Lacie and may have gotten in on the last breeding when we ran the Nubian buck in with the girls.  Jersey's daughter Prissy is over 2 years old.  We've had her bred twice and no pregnancy either times.  Jersey rejected Prissy at birth.  I've read that the doe can tell that something may be wrong with a kid when they reject them.  Makes me wonder if she knew Prissy may be sterile?

Yesterday we moved all the Does and kids in a pen together so they could begin to get acquainted.  The black and white girl is only one day old.  The two reddish colored boys are 5 days old.  See what a big girl she is?... I should have gotten the scale out to weigh her.  She's the biggest baby who has ever been born to our does!

The other two are displaying their rock climbing skills on the broken concrete. We keep broken concrete near where they feed to help keep their hooves worn. Saves on having to trim the hooves often.  If there is an easy way....I'm gonna find it!

I'll take some pictures of the two new babies without towels when I go back outside.  I also want to take pictures of the vegetable garden.  It is so pretty.  I also have to get the area for the beehives ready.  Won't be long until the bees are shipped.  I've got to remember to warn our post office!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Not Funny Friday

Today at Walmart, I pumped $70.68 into my truck all the while staring at a bright yellow sign adhered to the pump.  Your EBT cards welcome.  I guess I am behind.  I know they started accepting them at fast food restaurants and I thought that was totally stupid but now at the gas pump? 

Tuesday the Marine had a doctors appointment and we had to fill his van which has a very large tank.  $90.16 for that one.  We spent over $160.00 for gas this week and someone is getting their gas free from the government which comes from you and me.  How much out of control can this government get?  And what is even more crazier is that at least 2 convenience stores I have stopped at had help wanted signs.  OK...it may not be the job you want but it is a job until things get better.   I am not downing people who truly need the help but I know of at least 2 people who would rather suck off the government teat than go to work.  People like this purely disgust me.

 When I got home I looked up info about the EBT card and in some areas they can even be used at ATM machines to get cash.  There is nothing right about any of this.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Just Kidding

This really big girl was born just before noon today.  Her Mama is real short.  She will probably be taller than her in 3 months!

 This is the second time Brownie Girl has given birth.  She only had one last time so this time as big as she was I thought for sure she'd have twins but it was just one.


 The Marine named her Bambi.

Brownie Girl's sister is due in two days.  Jersey's udder never did bag up so I guess her breeding didn't take unless she was bred when the later girls were.    It will be just watch and see with her.

These two boys are doing great.  They are 5 days old today.  They didn't even mind my dirty feet and clothes.  One has a sprinkle of white specks across his nose so I have been calling him Freckles.  

The Marine hasn't told me what to name this one so he is still nameless. 

Papa Bear got this picture on the way out of the kidding yard so it wasn't close enough to really see the other two.  The Marine has named the little girl Rose.  The other little boy is nameless too!  We've got to get to work on names for the boys!

Welcome Country Tea

Thank you for hitting that follow button!  Come and visit often.  I try to reply to all comments.  Sometimes I'm late but I eventually get there!

Country Tea is the author of the blog Country Tea and Bullets.  Click on over there and tell her Mamma Bear sent you!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I got an Aquabug!

I have always wanted an automatic pool cleaner but they were way too pricey.  Most are around $500.00 or so dollars and I could not see spending that much money on something I could take the time to do myself...that is until I was browsing around eBay last week and found Hayward now makes a much cheaper model.  I bought the Aquabug for $85.99  I tried it with my old vacuum hose and it was not long enough for the bug to work properly so I did end up spending another $40.00  on a new hose.  Our old one needed replacing anyway as it had a couple of small pinholes in it. 

The Aquabug goes around in circles and back and forth until it cleans the entire pool.  

Our pool is a 16 x 32 and it has been about 2 1/2 hours since I hooked it up and the pool is almost entirely clean.  I still have to brush off the steps and a little algae off the wall so the bug can get that up as well.

 I am so going to enjoy this summer not having to hand vacuum every few days.  Now if I could just teach it to make a nice cold drink!

Welcome MaddMedic

Thank you for hitting the follow button on my blog.  I love my readers and especially enjoy any comments you may leave.  I will always try to return the favor!

Search This Blog