Saturday, March 7, 2009

Saturday on the Farm

Today was the first official thunderstorm in 2009. Lots of thunder and lightening at about 6:00 was the perfect morning to lay a little while longer in bed on a Saturday morning.
But with all farms and country life comes the morning chores and gosh knows if your not out there by a certain time, the animals will let you know.

The babies wanted to know what we were going to do this morning...this is there new favorite way too play.......jumping across my legs. Its so nice to not to have to rush in the morning and just hang out with them.

Little bit of a water issue in the chicken coop......guess if your a chicken, you were knee deep in water after the storms. I had to create a little drain out of the coop.

And back to the barn and the kids gone wild!! Running in circles, up and over my legs they went!

I found a guy who was selling timothy hay for $3.25 a bale yesterday so I went over there this morning to get a few bales to see if everyone would like it. I am paying $5 a bale for the stuff I am currently getting. It is not the greenest but they ate it right up and of course as long as Moo, the hay cat, likes it, I am good to go.

While I was out this morning, I ran into town and stopped at Walmart. I have been good as I have only been there once since Christmas. I spent $70 but remember this was only my second time there since Christmas. I found some really nice fabric on sale. The green homespun fabric was on clearance for $2.22 a yard so I got 8 yards to make new curtain swags for the living room windows. Then the cute chicken fabric (biggify the pic to get a better look please) was on clearance for $1.00 a yard and the country print next to it was also $1.00 a yard. I thought they would make cute aprons. (hint hint Mom:) Notice how excited ReRun is about my basket of fabrics!!

All in all it was a busy yet relaxing day on a very warm March day as temps hit 68 degrees!!! The dogs stayed out with me as a did bits and pieces of clean-up in the yard, though I did find Dixie taking an afternoon nap!!!!

Even the babies found time to take an afternoon nap.......oh, how quickly they grow on you!
Chicken update: Thank you for all of you who stopped by to offer rooster advice. I have never seen any predators around the yard, though there was a red fox seen a few times last year. The coop is well enclosed so I just keep thinking it was one of the rooster (and the big white one does have feathers on his feet). I wonder if I could put them in the big barn with everyone? Though I do like the 4-H idea also, I could put their pic up at the vet. on the sale board. Such a dilemma.
Better go change those clocks or tomorrow I will be off an hour!!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Chicken Dilemma

My little farm in the country is a constant learning experience:
some are joyous and fill my heart with warmth, some frustrate me to many different levels, some make me cry and break my heart, some just annoy me, some make me swear really bad, and then some just make me say, "What the heck?"
Today was a combination of the following:
frustration because I am new to raising chickens and don't know everything about them; it was definitely a "What the heck?"; then came the small group of random swear words; and a little saddness because I lost something.

Everything was totally fine this morning when I left for school; however when I came home one of the chickens was dead inside the chicken coop. She was laying face down right by the opening to go outside. None of the chickens are sick so that was ruled out right away. And after looking around I noticed that the one really large rooster had blood on his head. The neck on the chicken that was dead was broke once I examined her.

These are the two roosters. The one right in front is a silver-laced Wyandott and I am not sure what the one in the back is (he was the "free chick when I ordered them last year) but he is the one with the blood on his head.

He is a HUGE rooster and has been getting aggressive with the girls, particularly mounting them and grabbing them by the neck. I am thinking he broke her that possible??
He was really going after the girls this afternoon I noticed, the silver-laced rooster is much more mild, though he is not free of guilt in doing the same thing.
My Questions on the Dilemma:
So then is this what often happens in the spring when the weather starts to break, meaning the rooster get aggressive with the girls?
I obviously do not want to stress the girls out so I am thinking of putting him out or even both of the roosters out of the coop.
Does anyone have any insight on letting roosters just run the yard? Would they be okay? Would they be destructive to my plants?
I do not think my cats would bother them because the roosters are so large yet I don't want the roosters harshing the cats either.
I also do not want to attract any "outside visitors" by letting them roam the yard.
Or should I just trash these ideas and just have them "taken care of"?
There is no love loss between me and the roosters but I do really like the girls so I want what is best for them.
There was a meeting of the minds with the baby LaManchas in the barn tonight to possibly come up with an answer but they were really more interested in climbing on my legs and jumping off.
But thats okay because those are the experiences on the farm that I love:)
If you have time and are reading, I would appreciate any insight you have!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

ME Thought for the Day

Anything is possible.........

when we believe in the power of our dreams.

This poster hangs in my classroom right on the front chalkboard. It is just one of those things that puts a smile on my face. This is the month to dream, to make all those plans for the upcoming months of spring & summer because afterall................

Anything is possible when you believe in yourself!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Its Gonna be a Long March

March was 12 degrees this morning.......windchill put temps at -8.
The weatherman said this morning that March of last year was the snowiest March on record.
Seriously, where do these guys get their college degrees?
It was really cold doing morning chores, perhaps it feels more cold because I am just sick and tired of it. I am tired of dressing like an Umpa Lumpa (though I still love those pink coveralls).
My cats are driving me nuts, they all need to get outside as pissy cat wars have been sparking on a daily basis, and they are seriously thinking I have to share every human meal with them.
With my "SPRING" sign in hand I went searching as no meteorologist is going to snow on my they have goats ready to kid in the next week or so?? Have they ever sat in a barn under a 250 watt heat lamb at a week old while the wind is blowing and snow flurries are flying?
And there in my front flower bed I found hope........

Not a 250 watt heat bulb but a real flower bulb, probably freezing its a#* off but its just as determined as I am that spring is coming.

And then there is Ira, one of the black Cotswold wethers. Even if you enlarge the pic, you cannot find his eyes in there. His wool is soooo thick. What a goof......I am thinking he is not feeling the windchill like I am. Boy, the shearer is going to have fun with him and his brother Ethan.
Okay, enough said tonight. March is like the longest month of school.......its a good month to get sick..........last check I had 168.5 days in which I can get "sick"..........cough, cough, sneeze, sneeze.