Sunday, March 31, 2013
Well, this year is on a full tilt run! It is already Easter. Where has the last few month's gone!?? Before we know it we will all be complaining about the heat...and humidity...bugs in the gardens...I can't wait! :) Kidding season is over for us....of course, with only 2 does...it doesn't take long. Suzie, our Alpine has 3 kids...Simon,Sierra,Sophie. Abby has one kid...Amos. I really thought she was carrying a litter in there, she was HUGH! Here she is just moments before kidding.... I sat in the barn with her for several hours..hubby was so sweet, he brought me a thermos of coffee..but stayed in the house keeping the wood stove going..He knew once I came in I would need that warmth. These old bones get cold fast! Finally...labor progressed. Welcome to the farm..Amos. She had ONE....just ONE!!!! That HUGENESS only carried ONE!? Happy Birthday to Amos. So kidding is over...on to hatching. The turkeys are starting to lay....won't be long now we will have little pults running amuck! For now I am gathering the eggs....to encourage them to keep on laying! Time to get those seeds in the dirt and get the garden ready...if the rain will stop....I need to get a fence around the Spring garden to keep the chickens out. Yes, we have 2 garden areas. The spring garden will hold the early planting. Beets...Brussels sprouts...onions...and leafy greens. Today is Easter morning...our son and his wife and kiddo's will be here in a few hours. I just LOVE having the grand babies over. Easter baskets are filled, eggs are colored, the Ham from our spring butcher is resting and ready to go in the oven. I have half of the desserts made, I will get the rest going after chores this morning...fruit tray, veggie tray...and plenty food to eat! We ARE BLESSED!!! I hope everyone has a wonderfully BLESSED Easter....
Friday, March 15, 2013
Have you ever had one of "those days" when nothing goes as planned....but turns out better? Yeah, me either...until today. A few days ago I tweaked my knee. Not sure what happened...I was kneeling down in the barn to sit with the baby goats...and as I bent my knee...something ripped in my knee cap. It was really sore for a few days, so I had no plans to work too hard today...as I said...plans. I went out to do the morning feedings...and noticed Abby was a little "moist" in her back end, and swollen. Since her due date is Sunday, it is time to get her in the kidding stall. This meant moving Suzie and her family out. So....I put the sheep in the pasture, closed the barn door...and let Suzie, Simon,Sierra and Sophie out into the sheep's side of the barn, while I cleaned the kidding stall. Moved out all the old bedding, laid in new straw, then grabbed Abby and moved her into the new stall. Now, lets get Suzie and her kids out to the other stall, with the small yard. And, I do mean small. The whole yard is about 6 x 10. Just big enough for everyone to learn about the outside world, and not get separated from momma, and get scared. Well, Suzie was all for going in there...the kids...well...they were too busy pip poppin around...even tho momma was over there calling for them, they were more interested in climbing the new found "mountain" of bedding. I grabbed Simon, carried him over to Suzie...came back, grabbed Sierra...as I put her in the pen, Simon runs out...so, we are going to play this game hu!?? LOL FINALLY I get them all in the new pen...with a yard...dang, a yard with cattle panels for fencing...that the kids can pop right through. *sigh* So I head out and grab some smaller fencing, and set it around the bottom of the panels and get it attached. This will keep them in and safe. Got it all attached...then turned my attention to the old bedding that now needs to be moved out of the barn. Grabbed my trusty pitch fork..and set to work. Now the barn is cleaned, and I stand there marveling at the good job I had done, when out of the corner of my eye, I see one of the sheep standing ON the pile of bedding, next to the fence...looking over the top of the fence. *sigh* this isn't going to work. I have to get that moved.I have a large pile of bedding from the barn, I want to throw into the hog pen, to help cover up some of the mud at least. This way when I put the 2 girls out there, they don't go straight into MUD! I still have to finish working in the hog pen...before I can get the 2 new pigs out there. The last pig destroyed the fence line and made craters in the pasture. So, before I can throw this bedding in there, I had to work on the fence...and fill in the holes. So I set to work. It had to be done....today! I filled in the craters....and started moving the old bedding to the pen. After 3 wagon loads...I was done...I also moved the shelter...and I can tell you, that was NO EASY feat! The shelter is 4 x 4...wooden crate..that was stuck in the clay mud, creating a suction every time I tried to move it. What a job...but it is moved. I was able to get about half of the pen finished. Tomorrow I will finish moving the old bedding into the pen, and I need to put a new roof on the shelter....recheck the fence line...and hope to have the girls out in their pen by Sunday. Yep, I need them out of my garage. Keeping the smell down in there is a LOT of work..and I am over it! LOL Put them pigs to pasture, where they belong! My brother called today, he wanted to come out for the weekend with his daughter. ( she is 4 and Oh Sooooo cute!) So, I wrapped up working outside...ran into town for more groceries. Fried chicken for supper....one of my niece's favorite meals. Now I sit here by the fire...hubby is in bed...brother is passed out in the chair...niece is passed out on the sofa with Caesar next to her. All is well here at Heavens Door Acres....for now. LOL
Saturday, March 9, 2013
Yes, spring like temperatures. In the UPPER 50's today. I couldn't be happier! Just in time too...as we have spring babies showing up here on the farm. So...we have 2 Alpine goat doe's we bred for March babies. Suzie...who is a great kidder...never needs a hand..very attentive momma, and Abby...who will be a first time kidder here on our farm, but is 6 yrs old...and I was told she always has a hard time kidding. Abby is much wider than Suzie....but she is a bit larger on the bone structure. Suzie had been acting a little off the last few days...not really chowing down on her grains, mostly just nibbling through the day. I was afraid she was coming down sick...so yesterday I headed out in the morning to worm her just in case the pregnancy was causing issues. With the off and on warm weather, I truely expect worm issues this year. When I went to the bar, I was greeted by Suzie with soft little Baah's...and these cuties!! TRIPLETS!!!! Go Suzie!! She must have had them early...like in the wee hours. By the time I got out there, they were already dry and pip poppin around. From left to right...a boy and 2 girls. Sooo cute!! Suzie is such a good momma. But now I turn my thoughts to Abby. Abby is a LOT bigger than Suzie was. I had NO IDEA Suzie was carrying 3. She usually has 2 for us. THIS was a pleasant surprise. After I cleaned up her area....you know...the "left overs" YUK!! I moved Suzie and her family into a larger stall. Suzie still wasn't too interested in her grains...but I can understand after giving birth and...well....cleaning up...I wouldn't have an appetite either. I will keep a close eye on her tho...This worries me a bit. So....now we must watch Abby. She is due on Tuesday...at least I am thinking that is her date. Suzie went 4 days early...so either I am off a bit..or she was just "sick" of being pregnant! :) Our "little pup" is growing with leaps and bounds.....oh, the leaps and bounds this puppy can do! I am still not sure what possessed me to get a puppy! We were "comfortable" with our little quiet, peaceful home of geriatrics. Our other 3 dogs are between 10 and 11 years old....the Macaw is 10 yrs old... The inside/outside cat is 13 yrs old....hubby and I are...well...settled. LOL And, insert one over active, bouncy flouncy pup! CHAOS most days....but I love this "little" guy to the ends of the earth! Won't be long now....he will have to learn, he is NOT a lap dog! So, with the weather turning warmer.....I am getting the itch to get my seeds started...tomato's and peppers will be first to get started. Hoping to get them started today, if I can peel myself away from the barn long enough to do it. I hope everyone is having nice weather as well...we sure need it...get outside...enjoy the sunshine if you have it...that's where I will be ALL day today.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
OK, so a few weeks ago....groundhog day....they little furry critter said....spring is on the way. Oh, why do we as humans...with all of today's technology...depend on a furry little creature to tell us the weather? OF COURSE spring is coming....happens every year...about the same time. But we as humans think this little furry...(trying to be nice here) stewable creature...will give us insight to how far off spring is. OK, so...this year...the infamous groundhog said...spring is just around the corner. Yesterday...we got this... PERSONALLY I think that furry little guy is snuggled in his hole....laughing at us. "THAT will teach them to pull me out of my sleep!! Our local weather man said in about 4 or 5 days....we will be back up in the UPPER 50's! This MUST be winter's "last hurrah" Ohhh, I hope so! I don't know about you folks...but I am ready to get my hands in the rich warm soil....watching the chickens scratching around in the dirt...chasing grass hoppers....and swatting flies. Ohhh, the flies....maybe winter isn't too bad after all. I DETEST flies! Did you know, every time a fly lands it throws up?? This "vomit" helps to digest whatever it landed on so the fly can then suck up its dinner. GROSS!!! OK....so now to some sad news.... 5 years ago, we took in this little brown Lamb. She is a Shetland ewe. She had been attacked by goats, and they broke her jaw. It never healed quite right...so keeping her fed was a challenge. She didn't have the ability to chew like "normal" sheep. (side to side motion) April became my favorite quite fast. She had the best personality...always wanting head scratches...friendly with every visitor...and her muffled little baaah..because she couldn't open her mouth wide enough to make the usual sounds. Well, our sweet little April finally lost her battle with life. She was 5 years old. RIP little April. This picture was captured by our oldest Son, David...who we lost a few years ago in a tragic drowning accident. I think he captured her personality the best! She was goofy...sweet..and a little bossy at times. I will miss seeing her in the pasture...running up to meet me at the gate, looking in my pockets for treats..and hearing her muffled Baaah. Our little "bacon seeds" are doing quite well. Friendly little piggies...and HUNGRY! SWeeeeeeeeeeeeet! LOVE hungry little pigs. With our goats coming due to kidding...we will have plenty extra milk to help fatten up these little porkers...until we can get them on pasture. ( come on spring )
Sunday, March 3, 2013
OK, so yesterday was a long busy day. I got up fully expecting to see Suzie with kids in the barn. Nope. That was OK, as I had planned to move her to a bigger stall before kidding. So, after my morning coffee...I headed to the barn. One of the bigger stalls I had used for storage...I needed to get that cleaned out. Ohhhh boy. Took me almost an hour to move everything out of there...and get it cleaned up and ready for my little Suzie. After all...she needs a better place for kidding, and "she is due" So I was flying through there....Pitching, stacking, cussing, tripping over the many barn cats who think they need to help...(or just be nosy) After I had her moved....fresh bedding...clean water....her feed bucket...fresh hay....in she goes...and she abruptly turned heels on me and tried to get out. Oooohhhh, no you DONT! I wrestle her back in...and close the door. I sat with her for a while...brushing her...talking to her, convincing her it is a "better stall for her and the kids" Umm, yeah, she doesn't agree. She wants to be back in her tiny little 6x8 stall. NOT going to happen. This stall is 8x10 and away from any drafts. So, I finish up in the barn, and head to town. I am meeting a guy to get our bacon seeds for this year. 2 little blue butt gilts. They turned out to be a bit younger than I expected...so they have to be in the garage brooder for a few weeks. Safe from the cats...and a lot warmer than the barn. I get to the feed store...pick up more straw, some feed...got my little girls..and head home. Stopped at the barn to drop the feed and some straw...then to the house to get the "pig brooder" set up. We have been using it for firewood all winter..since we had no babies in there. This meant I had to clean it out before putting these 2 cuties in there. So....after 2o minutes or so...moving wood...cleaning....adding straw..I get the girls in there....only to realize they can get over the side! DANG! So, off to the coop I go....I have several of those little fence play yards stacked back there...I use them for chicks in the summer. I grab several pieces...a hand full of nails, and back to the house. Finally I get the pig brooder all set up. The girls are settled in. I am excited having our little bacon bits this early. Since the 2 Alpines are due to kid soon...within a week of each other...we will soon be over loaded with milk. PERFECT for 2 little piggies! :) So....everyone settled in...I directed my attention on this house..oh boy. Seems no matter how hard I try, I can't keep up with the housework! And Summer isn't even here!! Of course, several trips to the barn, checking on Suzie...come on momma....lets see those babies! Nope, nuttin. So, As I was warming back up this morning after a quick early morning trip to the barn...I started thinking...150 days..Hmmmm. I grabbed my calendar... ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?? Here I thought Suzie was due on the second....Oh boy, I need to learn to count! March second was only 140 days!! So, She is not DUE until the 12th! All this worrying....fretting...rushing around...and I still have 9 days. *sigh* And...Abby is NOW due on St. Patric's day. At least by then the weather MIGHT warm up a bit. Now I can relax for a few more days....