Saturday, January 10, 2009

Our First Snow Warning!!

So, the weatherman said a winter snow warning 'till 1:00 pm on Sunday for Northeast Ohio. When I left school on Friday I did those important stops: food stop; feedstore for grain, Petsmart for dogs & cats ($81 for them!!!!), and since I was ticked off I spent that much I went over to B & BW (again) and picked up antibacterial hand soap (on sale $3 each and they had black vanilla raspberry:); got Pearberry gel & lotion $3 each, lip balm $1 & refill for wall plug-ins $5 (black vanilla raspberry of course). I only spent $21....good job!! Please note it is very important that if one is going to be snowed in, the house should smell very good:)
Weatherman said 9-12 inches of snow for my area and this was my driveway at 9:00 am today. Sometimes I call it the "abominable driveway" makes or breaks what a real snow warning is. Its about a 725 ft. straight out. If I can get down and back its a mild snow warning. If its not looking good, its a bad snow warning. Today its looking bad but I am pretty sure I will be good to get out. If I get stuck I promise to post me should have seen me last year when I beached the mini-van....always good to have a FWB who has a big Ram truck!!

Now Dixie says its bad snow when its deeper than her legs and since her Corgis legs are really short it doesn't take much:) She loves the snow regardless!

A view from the big barn...........

a view of my favorite swing............

and of course this makes for snowy sheep!! This is Ira Allan enjoying the snow warning at breakfast this morning!! Since he has the thickest fleece of all my sheep, I am sure he doesn't feel a thing. Well, I'll keep you post on our first big snow but now I need to make some serious chocolate chip cookies!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tomato, Potato....Oh My!!!!!

I have a couple of important garden goals this year. My top 2 are tomatoes & potatoes!! This year my tomatoes sucked, the year before my tomatoes sucked. I am sick of growing sucky tomatoes. If I do not grow yummy tomatoes this coming year I am going to have a temper will not be pretty. I really like tomatoes.

I just ordered this book to help prepare myself for this heirloom tomato growing endeavor. I also have ordered a few catalogs to thumb through to get more ideas/suggestions. The goal is to make my first pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce......nothing spicy though, I am not into spicy stuff; well actually my stomach is not into real spicy stuff.
Goal number 2 is to grow lots of potatoes!! I really love potatoes....not really concerned about the starch, carbs or whatever!! This year I planted Kennebec and Yukon Gold. I had a very small yield but it was a good one and enough to make me want to plant more this year. Any good suggestions on successful potato growing? I did find a catalog or 2 that should arrive in a week or so. I am also looking into ways to winterize all the potatoes that I will "hopefully" have.

I have more gardening ideas, concerns.........I have a few months to think/post them.
On a positive note I have found a reputable person to butcher and clean turkeys and broilers if I decide to raise them. Okay, I am being honest that I can not do that cleaning stuff; call me a wimp but it ain't happen' at Harvest Thyme. I am 99.5% a go on the turkeys and in the 70% range on the broilers. Now about that miniature jersey cow that I really want................

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Questions about Animal Feed?

Presently, I am feeding 3 horses, 26 sheep, 12 goats, 28 chickens, 13 cats, 3 dogs, & me.My food bill is on the LARGER side with me getting the least amount. Now work with me on this.

My chickens are being fed Purina Layena Pellets @ $12. 40ish a bag
What are you feeding? Is this comparable to what I am feeding?
When I first got the girls I was feeding them the Miniature Platform food but when it got up to $17.99 a bag I decided that it was getting expensive so I am now feeding a Purina feed, 12% sweet at $10 a bag.
Now my big dilemma is with feeding the sheep and goats as I run them both together and one knows you can not feed sheep straight goat feed unless you want to kill them. So everyone has been getting sheep feed. At the feed store where I purchase most of my feed, a 50# bag of sheep feed is $12.99. I go through about 3-4 bags a week.
A problem arose when I move my POA in with the 2 rams (which is working out fine). I knew I could not keep the rams from eating the horse grain and vice verse so I thought about an All-Stock feed. A 50# bag of All-Stock is $8.25.....much cheaper than the sheep feed.
The All-Stock is a 12% sweet though the protein is only 12% verse 15.50% on the sheep. Calicum & fat is lower on the All-Stock but not by a lot. Johnny (POA) and the 2 rams are fine with it.
BIG QUESTION: Is it good enough to feed all the sheep & goats? Its like $4.oo cheaper a bag which will save me a lot in the long run.
I bought a bag of corn to mix in with the All-Stock which I have been feeding everyone for the past week and they are all eating it very well.
So, in your opinion, would this be fine to feed everyone?
Could/should I add oats to it?
Should I continue to add the corn or not?
I can get corn @ $5.00 for 50# down at an Amish feed store.
I know oats are more expensive but is it more nutritious?
I can also get an #80 bag of horse feed at the Amish feeds store for $14.99 and there are a lot of oats in that (this would obviously just be for the mini's)
I am curious and looking for some insight on what everyone feeds there animals. Hay is running $5.00 a bale right now plus grain costs......gets expensive. I have heard some people just feeding corn to sheep???? I know that with "brand names" you are paying for the label though I have been fine with the chicken feed and the dogs get ProPlan lamb & rice formula. I will not discuss the cats because I swear they cost me the most (okay they do get Indoor dry formula & Nutro's senior formula dry plus the cans. I worked to long at a vet. hospital to see neutered male cats with UTI's due to cheap dry food).
So, if you have time to comment, I would love and appreciate your "feedback" on what everyone feeds out to their sheep, goats, and horses. Perhaps I missing something or can do better. I wonder if they would eat Kraft Mac n' Cheese?