Friday, March 28, 2014

Another Week

It's sad. I realize that all my posts lately have been pretty much strictly chickens!!  I guess that's all my life is right now, or all worth photographing at least!

I did clean up some of my garden this week. There's a tree at the north end of my garden which I decided i'm going to plant a bunch of flowers all around it. Like a wildflower patch! And just hope they grow. But i'm feeling doubtful considering it was waist high of weeds last summer...
I started throwing out cow patties out of my garden. Most people Want manure, but I don't! I believe that the manure in my garden last year was too strong, causing death to beans, carrots, onions, peas, etc. I'm secretly hoping that my garden didn't do well last year because it hadn't been touched in Years. Let's hope.
I take my dog for walks everyday and one day this week there was a cow and her calf right where we wanted to go. I know better to let a cow-eager dog get near a cow+it's calf! This particular cow was Pet. You can Pet her. But not when there's a dog involved. We just took a walk a different way.
This is Pet.

Love getting photos of this little munchkin! 

I think they're remembering the head scratches I gave them when they were brand new.

Soak in the sunshine

Myrtle doesn't like pictures. I'm also terrified she's going to fly into my face!

I convinced Jed to make a temporary roost for the chicks. They like it! Each day it seems like more pile on. It's a tad too big for their claws but considering how fast they grow they'll be fine!
And then there's one that sleeps in the feeder.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Beautiful Baskets

I think my favourite thing about USA, aside from Jed of course, would be Bountiful Baskets!
Every other Monday I go online and order my basket. For $15 I get the conventional basket. 6 fruits, 6 veggies for $15. You never know what you'll get. And by 6 fruits/veggies, that doesn't mean one apple, orange, banana, kiwi, strawberry and mango. You get a bunch of bananas, a handful of apples etc etc.
There are extras you can get. Bread, 'bulk' fruit, oils, granola, tortillas etc.

This past week I got the conventional basket which had:
-2 bunches of lettuce
-1 bunch celery
-1 pack mushrooms
-4 bok choy bunches(?!)
-5lb bag potatoes
-2 red peppers

-1 pineapple
-a bunch of apples
-a bunch of pears
-6 tomatoes
-1lb strawberries
I got all that for $15!!  I then ordered some strawberries as extra, so got 8lbs for $22, a tropical pack (mango, vanilla beans, mint, dragon fruit, pineapple, dessert wraps, granola), and 5 loaves of sour dough bread!
All that deliciousness came to $73.  Quite impressed. Not only is it super cheap, you never know what you're getting so it's a great way to try out new veggies. For example, we've gotten fennel, which is gross. Tastes like black licorice, and we've got 2 bunches of mustard greens. Umm they taste like a hot mustard. One bunch was too much! So that part of it kind of is unfortunate, but for $15, I don't feel bad if I throw something out. Or now, give it to my chickens!

All the goodness!

Good thing they're pretty since they sure don't taste like much!

Sunday morning feast
I love the day after bountiful breakfasts! 

Bountiful Baskets is by far the best deal for produce. Anywhere! I absolutely love it.  We've talked about moving to Canada off and on and I keep saying "Canada doesn't have beautiful baskets!"
Someone in Canada should most definitely start up a bountiful baskets co-op.!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Feathered Friday

I decided to do a 'chicken' post weekly. Mainly because they are what I spend a fair amount of time with, and plus it's like the only thing I really take pictures of ha!
I can tell that they're definitely developing a personality. (Do chickens have personalities? Like they hardly even have a brain...)
There is one who is often up on the edge of a box, or the edge of the board dividing the coop in half.
There is another one who is often flying around scaring the others, and he/she is also one that pecks and annoys the other!
The silkie, (Mr Kerfuffles!) used to be Super timid...wouldn't get in the middle of the chicks. Now he/she is not afraid. Last night we watched it try and shove the other chicks off the roost! He/she is also the smallest chick so it's quite funny to see!

What I've learned thusly:
-chickens scratch their head/neck/back like a dog does. With their foot!
-they also stretch. Stretch out their wings and their legs as far as they can reach
-they stink
-they peck at poop
-their wing span is quite big already
-some sleep past out with their head on the ground. Some tuck their heads in. They turn their heads pretty much all the way around and rest their heads on their wings. Some sleep on their sides!
-they're super super dusty
Injured one.

The other night we noticed that 3 of the same breeds (Ameracaunas) all had a wound of some sort right down the middle of their back. There are feathers coming in there so it may have been something from that. We put the 3 in a box, in the coop. Chickens will peck at a wound/cut on another chicken to the point of cannibalism! The next night one escaped back into the coop so I let the others out, but then saw one pecking at it. So I put it back in the box and it escaped. Twice! Enough of that.
They seem to be healing up well. Even if it's just dust covering it up!

New area, new sand=happy chicks! Bath time!

eating cucumbers...just not the skin!

Mohawk! And 'bathing' 

Loving strawberry tops!

Twinning Amercaunas. These type lay the blue/green eggs!

Silver Laced Wyandotte
A Golden Laced Wyandotte+Silkie

Monday, March 17, 2014

This Week

This week was nearly the same as last week. And the week before. Our life is pretty minimally boring.
However, when you are on a ranch, you Never ever know what's going to come up or happen!
On Saturday there was another bum. A poor calf who's momma didn't care about it. We've paired them two up a few times now and as soon as they're out of the pen, the mom loses track of her calf and she starves! Cole found the calf on Saturday and it couldn't even stand up. He took the calf to it's mom, and the calf turned and followed Cole! That's a sure sign that it doesn't want it's mother anymore! We gave it a bottle, and she chugged it down and lounged in the shop. Later she got some electralights (sp?) and some mineral oil because she was super weak and constipated. It fixed the constipation. (In the shop.) but didn't give her much strength. There was a cow who lost her calf earlier so we tried to pair it up...the cow wanted a calf so bad, but the calf was too weak to do anything. She died on Sunday. So sad!

Peppers, basil, carrot and more peppers

I wanted to make tarts but the store had no tart shells nor did Walmart. So I decided to make them myself. Absolute fail! 
I've been taking my dog out to this shelter belt and pulling weeds! I discovered I enjoy pulling weeds. (Mom, this is a joke actually, a joke just for you) It's quite rewarding. Me and the dog just go up there and spend an hour or so in the shelter belt. I pull weeds and she plays with her toy, and I play fetch with her. At the same time. She just loves her life up in the shelter belt!  Now that it's been super nice out, I've been spending a lot more time outside. Why waste a beautiful day inside?!

Dan the dog doesn't know what to think of any calf lurking around in the shop. The calf had walked towards him and he went and bit it on the nose (he's supposed to do that, but not when he's been told And knows to "be nice to the baby"). I punished him and made him stay. I was spying at him out the chicken coop hole in the door! (last pic)

I "spent" time with my chicks. (Not really, but fed them some grass and such.) Those stinkers are growing SO fast! They go crazy over grass clumps I pull for them. I cannot wait until the coop is fully done and they are outside. They are really stinkin things up!
This is Fred

Teeny little Kerfuffles
A mean little one!
A few have discovered this!
That far one has feathered feet and a mohawk!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Feathered Friday

My chicks are growing soooo fast! It's hard to believe they're only 3 weeks old.  Judging by the amount of dust in the coop, you'd think they were 10 years old not 3 weeks old! Note to anyone considering getting chickens: you do not want their brooder in the house! I left a knife in the coop overnight and by the next day it had a layer of dust on it already. They create an incredible amount of dust. I cannot wait until they can be a) taking over the coop b) OUTSIDE! C) giving me eggs!

This one cracks me up!  
Curious fella
Top hatter

They can finish this clump of grass in like an hour or so!

 chick with fuzzy feet

Feathered feet
Tiny little Silkie (Mr. Kerfuffles)
Fred. Possibly Fredina. Or just a unisex Fred.

I had all the pictures side by side, all nice and organized. When I went to view the post, they were all over the place. If anyone knows how to manage photos on blogger, please let me know. It drives me crazy.

Monday, March 10, 2014


Yesterday when we got back from meeting, Bob had informed us that there were 2 bum calves! I was excited. I shouldn't have been, but whatever. One calf was a twin and it's mom had nothing to do with it. Bob found the calf still wet and not even licked or touched at all. The other calf, her mom has been sick for quite a while. They had to pull the calf and now nurse them both back to normal. The calf isn't doing too good yet and i'm not sure how the mom is doing. They're both extremely weak.  He thinks that the mom has hardware's (pieces of metal stuck inside her stomach). We gave her some meds and some mineral oil yesterday, but I haven't heard how she is doing yet.
As for her calf, she is good sized, but little to no energy. She hasn't even stood up yet, and can't suck from a bottle really. We've tube fed her twice, and hope she perks up a little. Chances are she wasn't getting any food for the last while.
Now that other bum calf who is nice and healthy, will be getting a real cow mom. And not me. Bittersweet.  A cow calved last night and when we checked her, the calf was dead. Not sure what happened but we will skin the calf, tie it to the bum calf, so the mom accepts it. We had named the bum calves Peg and Meg. Meg, the healthy bum was already following you around..quite the little trouble maker too! I secretly hope she stays as a pet though.

 Attempting to master the art of bottle feeding a frsi

PS: this is my FAVOURITE shirt ever. It's a flannel shirt, but a pull over your head type, WITH pockets! And it was a $2 thrift store find. Win win win. Oh. That's my shirt i'm talking about. Jed's flannel shirt is one he found at a garage sale when he was like 14. It's a work shirt, thankfully, so I don't see much of it. Phew! 
                                                   Jed showing me how it's done
Working on some furniture making!

Sick little Peg
Meg was smelling her ancestors on the bbq
Meg and I bonding.
Interesting tidbit: Bob cuts hay along the highway near where we live. Once the hay has been baled, and now rolled out, there's Tons of garbage which he picks up so the cows don't eat. However, tires have fine little wires in them which get in the hay, and then a cow can eat it. What you casually throw out the window of your car, ends up in a cow's hay, or worse, their stomach! I'm blown away at how much litter we find out in the pastures, solely from the hay that has been picked up from the side of the highway.  Don't litter!

Week on a Ranch

This week spring really came. Nearly all the snow is melted, and I've even spotted some green weeds! Everything is muddy muddy muddy and wet. It's 'supposed' to rain/snow tonight so I can hardly wait to see how mucky it gets. Not. I'm beyond ready for spring and summer. Here, it'll be cold and snowy for a week and then warm for 3 weeks, and then cold again and then warm. So instead of having ONE spring, you get like 3 springs. UGH.
Curious calves
I was walking the other day and slipped on ice which was under a puddle and fell straight to my butt/back. It didn't hurt. However, I came inside to change and realized I stunk EXACTLY like a cow pie. When you live on a ranch, pretty much anywhere you fall, especially in the spring, you are guaranteed to be falling into a puddle of manure/pee and even afterbirths all mixed together. It was gross.

Brought one of the stinkers inside..for like 1 minute

Saturday morning breakfasts are my favourite

Bottle feeding a bum calf! It's mom had twins and she only accepted one. However, a cow lost her calf last night so we'll be grafting this one!

Showing me how it's done-notice Dan the dog?

Ready for sumer!