Hello Fall!

It’s been a spell since I’ve had a chance to update you all.  I got rid of my two male ducks who were very aggressive towards the females.  They were both stressed out and one had even been hurt when the two males ganged up on her, pulled her top hair out (she is crested) and temporarily hurt her eye.  Luckily she recovered.  Once I got rid of them, the females have done well.  I’m now getting eggs from one of them and even made pasta noodles to put up for winter with them.

We pick up the two female donkeys on Saturday.  I’ve been anxious to get them.  Now that it’s so close I am very excited and ready to bring them home.  Then the miniature petting zoo will be complete.  For now. Ha!

The colors haven’t changed too much here yet but the smell of fall is in the air and so is the moisture.  I don’t mind the rain though.  Our spring planted orchard loves these long drinks of water before the ground goes dormant for the winter.

Our big projects are pretty much done outside and neither of us are complaining about that.  It’s been a crazy busy summer but looking around there’s a lot to show for it.  Next year we’ll undoubtedly have projects.  Hopefully not to the extent of this year.

More to come and be seen when Ella and Emma find their way home to us!

Ella and Emma 8-6-17

Labor Day Weekend

I know that Labor Day is celebrated because it honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws and well-being of our great country.  On our property, Labor Day weekend was a weekend of labor as well, but on things we wanted to accomplish, not the looming projects we’ve had since we moved in nine months ago.

I got all the carrots pulled, peeled, sliced, blanched and packaged for winter.  It feels good seeing all the vegetables in the freezer now.  The grocery store had a sale on blueberries so I bought a bunch to get them into the freezer too.  I have green tomatoes and I am going to try my hand at making and canning some green tomato salsa.  We’ll see how that goes!  Now I need to find someone who has apple trees so I can put those up for winter later in the fall. Getting apples done up for the winter is my favorite of all the canning and freezing I do.

Now that the west pasture is completely enclosed, the horses can graze on that side and give the east side a break.  This will be especially important when our mini donkeys come home next month! I got all three horses over there.  Jaxx, the foal, is still getting used to his halter and was for some reason resistant to having it put on him yesterday.  Once we finally got that taken care of, it was working with him to lead.  It took a bit but he’s starting to understand.  He doesn’t like me dictating which direction he goes.  But by the time they were ready to go back to the barn yesterday afternoon, and I had them all on leads taking them back over, Jaxx pretty much followed behind me in between Legacy and America.  I haven’t been able to spend as much time as I would like with him, so this weekend was wonderful for it.

Horses at fenceI looked out the front porch checking on them at one point and saw them right at the fence line near the porch.  My heart melted at the site, feeling like a little girl with her first pony.  Life is pretty good around our place.

Winding Down

house with welcome signIt’s so nice to come home and take a walk around the place and admire what we’ve accomplished in a short time.  I love where we live and I couldn’t be happier being there.

Fewer projects these days than what we’ve had going since we moved in last December…thankfully.  As we come down off the heat of the summer, and July and August being my least favorite months because of it, we have been finishing up fencing on the pastures.  Now the horses and even the dogs can run on the west side of the pasture.  The horses were having a great time running around.  There is more space on the west side than the east side pasture they’ve had before.  More grazing options, which is important.

The garden has run its course.  Zucchini was a huge bumper crop as it typically is.  Zucchini fries have become one of my favorite things to make fresh out of the garden too.  Very addicting!  This weekend we’ll dig up the carrots and I’ll get those done up for the winter, adding cut carrots to the freezer for cooking.  I’ll also keep some fresh ones around and cut up so the little dogs can snack on those.  They love them!

So much of what I do with the animals has been a learning experience.  No matter how much you try and prepare or how much you think you already know, something comes up you don’t know about.  For example, bumblefoot.  Never heard of it…until it happened to me.  Thanks to Facebook and one of its Ag groups I’m with, I was able to ask the question.  Apparently if the chicken gets something stuck in their foot or get cut, or their foot has trauma somehow, it swells up kind of like a blister look.  It can become or is a staph infection.  So I hit the store buying antibiotic ointment and spray, gloves, bandages, etc.  The chickens don’t like bandages so that didn’t work and was off right away.  I’m not one to do surgery on a chicken but I’ll certainly take care of them.  I was able to pull the scab off on the bottom, get everything squeezed out and applied antibiotic ointment.  I do it every night.  It’s working well and so far the response has been favorable.  I tell you what though, even though I wear gloves during the process, I sanitize my hands, then wash and scrub them good, and make sure I haven’t touched anything or anyone until I do.  I have a nice little set up now in the barn.  I had pea gravel and sand to their run to keep the mud down.  It was the little pea gravel that had worked in to a few of the chickens’ feet.  So more sand went down and the gravel was pushed along the sides of the run.  That seems to have solved that.  I felt bad for a few days.  Now I’m just trying to get them all back.  All part of the learning curve I suppose.

bumblefoot pic

With September here now, we turn our thoughts to getting all the logs we have cut up.  We have a wood shed that had wood to last through the winter last year.  We’ve got it all built up again but cutting, splitting, and stacking is still needed.  Because we tend to like things organized, we’ll clean it all out first then proceed to get it all organized in areas for kindling, small wood chunks, and larger wood chunks.  It won’t be long and we’ll be feeling cooler temperatures with snow behind it at some point.  We’ll be ready!