Saturday, January 17, 2015

Itchy hands....cold noses.

No, I do not have some weird "disease" I think there are many other people out there with these same conditions. "Itchy hands" Today we are supposed to reach near 60 degrees! Can you believe it? Just not so many day's ago.....It was so cold it hurt to breath out there. The goats were shivering, the chickens sitting fluffed up on the roost's, refusing to come down and lay eggs, the geese scolded me every time I went outside, like it was MY fault it was so cold...and the rabbits, , those rabbits....deciding now is the time to use that "saved breeding" so they could have babies. "lets see if this old woman can keep us warm" I am almost certain that is what they were thinking. Waite..."saved breeding"? Yes....I was perplexed as well.....see, one of my Doe's was doing everything possible to get to her man....she chewed through a wall....he chewed from the other side....until they were finally joined in rabbit bliss. Now....I don't even pretend that I can get inside those little rabbit I turned to the internet for advise. It turns out, that rabbits will breed....then 31 to 33 days later, a tiny little miracle. ( or 9 of them ) Then, about 5 weeks later....I noticed she was pulling fur again. What the what?? Of course it was the night we had our COLDEST temps....and I had NO IDEA she would be able to have another litter so soon after having the first...but she had 12 little ones. 12!!! Unfortunately...none of that litter made it. It was just too cold. So now I know...Doe's have "two horns" ( I didn't know they were called that, and I immediately thought "Horns of plenty" ) and although it is not common, a rabbit can be pregnant in both horns, and kindle 5 weeks apart. My mother used to tell me, " you should try to learn something new, every day" Well, if you didn't know that about you do. Your learning for today is done! You can now have the rest of the day...just doing fun stuff. You're welcome. :) OK, I was led a little off topic back to the "itching hands" I am itching to get in the garden. I want to feel the sun on my back...smell the fresh turned soil....I want to taste FRESH vegetables again....I just want to get back to gardening. This warm weather is making it even worse! It is hard to hold back on planting my seeds inside. I need to wait a few more weeks yet. My mouth waters when I think of biting into a sun warmed ripe tomato...the acid biting back at my tongue....juices running down my chin. *sigh* Come on summer! Of course....once those 100 degree temps hit...and we feel like we are melting because it is so hot, some of us will be begging for fall to get here. Humans....seems we are never completely satisfied. So for now, I sit here with a blanket around my shoulders....the wood stove blazing....a hot cup of coffee...and dreaming of summer days...and summer nights.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Now she is messing with us....

Who is messing with us? Why Mother Nature, of course. Remember a week ago, we were in the deep freeze? Single digit temps, negative wind chills....Everything froze solid. The water troughs for the goats.... SOLID ice! So, of course, this means, me carrying bucket after bucket of warm water to each and every one of the critters. *sigh* I think my arms are at least 2 inches longer now. Well, ok, maybe not, but they feel like it. So, just when I get my muscles used to carrying 35 to 40 pounds of water each time....twice a day.....old Mother Nature warm up. Now, I am not complaining about the warm up...other than we will be mid calf high in poop will be nice to see the water troughs start to melt. Our weather person said Saturday will be Sunny and in the low 50's! I dare not get too excited....however I will be busy catching up on a few outside jobs for sure! I plan on working from sun up to sun down....because.....are you ready for this?? Sunday we are possibly getting SNOW! How is this fair!??? It's NOT. But....I am going to relish in the fresh air Saturday and get as much taken care of outside as I can. Fix fencing, get the last of the Christmas decorations tucked away, clean rabbit pens, put new bedding down for the chickens...clean out the hog huts and give them fresh straw...and hopefully get in the woods and drag out some of the smaller stuff for starter. Seems like an awful lot to try to cram into one day...but I think I can....I think I can. Soon it will be time to get those seeds started for the gardens. So once the weather decides to turn on us again, and we are stuck inside because of breath taking cold temps....I will sit down and start planning the garden out and getting my seed trays ready. YAY for seed starting! I do't want to jump the gun and start them too soon...but I sure can't wait until it is time to get them going...that means spring is coming soon!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Oh the weather outside is frightful ...

Yes, winter has come and is beating us like bad children! WOW is it cold!! Our HIGH today is supposed to be 10 degrees. 10!! The winds are really blowing out the "real feel" is negative one! Luckily for the chickens, I can open their doors to the sun...and the winds are not blowing in. Hoping the sun will warm it up a bit in there. I have a thermometer in the coop...and even though it is 10 degrees outside, it is 30 degrees in the coop. Not too bad. Of course the waters stiff froze, but just a thin layer on top. So far, no frostbite on the birds. Whew! As for the goats....well....lets just say, they have brain is the only reason I can come up with as to WHY they will not leave their coats on! Silly goats.Oh, sure, they might not be the prettiest coats....but they are warm...and shouldn't that be all that matters? Not to my girls. They rub the coats off within 20 minutes of me putting them on them. Then , they stand there and shiver. GRrrrr. There HAS to be a way I can keep these coats on them! Im going to work on it....just because...well... I WILL WIN this battle of the goat coat! This morning I hauled several buckets of warm water to all of the critters. Everyone drank with gusto. After I warm up a bit...and get some groceries in ME..... I will go back out.. with more warm water. I really AM looking forward to spring. So as the cold winds blow....I sit here by the fire....looking through seed catalogs...plotting my spring garden. What do I need to start inside...and when? This at least will keep my mind off of the cold...for a little bit. Are you getting this cold snap? Try to stay warm...and don't forget about those critters outside. Take them warm food, or water....This will end...soon....I hope!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Bitterly cold.....angry goats....

So the weather people are saying.... " Stay inside, if you must go outside, make short trips, cover ALL skin." is cold this morning and the temps are falling. It is currently 12 degrees....but the temps will drop as the day goes on...single digits and dangerously cold negative wind chills. So last night I called the 2 Doe goats into the barn for dinner and put their coats on them. They do NOT like the coats...but I don't like seeing them shivering. Oh, I am sure when I get out there this morning I will find the coats on the floor, in a heap. Silly goats! Don't they know....somewhere out there in this frozen world, there are goats wishing they had coats? So, with the weather predictions for today/tonight... I made a decision to keep the critters inside today. Oh, they will NOT be happy with me I am sure. Silly goats just don't understand it is for their own good. The chickens will be kept inside as well...I am going to hang cabbages in the coops for them, to keep them occupied. They love cabbage, and keeps them from getting bored and pecking at each other. My biggest concern will be for the pigs....trying to keep them warm is going to be a bigger job. Every time I put clean straw in their huts, they potty in there...making it all wet again. *sigh* silly pigs! I will stay busy taking warm water to all of the critters today, every few hours. Keeping them hydrated in this weather is really important. So, if you have these cold temps....layer up the clothing....keep the fire blazing....and drink lots of WATER....I plan on sticking inside as much as possible today. Maybe today I will work on getting some of these decorations put away.