Averted disasters of the minor sort

DSC03108There was a shipping problem with my order of plugs from the Jollies. Just because last year I’d had them delivered to where I was in exile, they shipped them there again. The poor dears spent four days in unheated warehouses before finally being delivered to me today. There was only a bit of damage, in the melampodium, of course. Give that a chance to fail, and it will. Too bad I love them so much.

DSC03102I’ve got a lot of work to do down in the basement to get up and running for the boxes. I haven’t even moved the window boxes inside yet, and it is so cold and windy this week, and they are covered in snow, that it’s not going to be a fun job. I really want to figure out some sort of pulley system to move them from the upper balcony to two floors down in the basement. My knees are not going to enjoy either the trips up or down, when they are ready to go out in May.

DSC03067I’ve been working with the puppy, as we have a lot to learn. I’ve got him sitting and laying down pretty consistently, and walking on a leash has at least turned into a fun game of tug-of-war rather than torture and clash of wills and crying. We’ve been each taking him for a short walk down the 800 foot driveway each day, and sometimes he’ll get in an extra. He also goes out with us to feed the sheep and check on the chickens, and is fearless. He’s getting good at being around the chickens, but is having to hold himself in check, because he’d really, really like to chase them. He eats the chicken crap and sheep shit instead, ugh. We are working on “drop it!” He also loves, loves, loves to dig. I think I’m going to have to get him to dig in with the pigs and not in my garden. So far, it’s only in the snow, but I can tell it is far too much fun for my garden to be safe.

I want to note that Minx is not interested in grain, for the past two days, for the first time in her entire life. She is usually the biggest pig about grain, and has been ignoring it, opting to get time alone at the feeders instead. Frank says we’ve gotten a different brand these last two times, without asking for the switch, so that could be the reason. I want to note it, though, in case it is a sign of something wrong. Everyone else doesn’t seem to mind them.

DSC02970Kaytla (one of my leadersheep ewes) was quite funny on Friday, the day of the blizzard. The chickens had all gotten into their pens, and there was much checking out of these new critters, by both the chickens and the sheep. She must have decided they were now part of her flock, and a big storm was coming. She wouldn’t let them out of the shelter in the sheep pen, nevermind that their coop is just on the other side of a cattle panel. I had to distract her with grain, while the rooster hurried all the hens into the coop.

DSC03047The first eggs that we’ve eaten are just really, really yummy. I know farm-fresh eggs are tastier, but wow, what a difference. We’d been spending the extra money for the cage-free, pastured, happy critter eggs, and still these are better. The yolks are almost orange, and huge. Since I like the yolks best of all anyway, I’m really enjoying them.

Oh, yeah. The only pen that the chickens can’t go into is the one with Baabs in it. She chases the chickens non-stop, and we can’t quite be sure why. It could be because she is finally not low-ewe on the totem pole, but Buster doesn’t seem to care about that, in his pen. I wonder how long it will take for her to get used to them.

1 thought on “Averted disasters of the minor sort”

  1. Lisa-
    just wanted to pass along a few tips about the chickens…don’t fret too over much about their laying until you’ve had them a bit longer and can really track their laying cycle. They will slow down in reaction to stress (new home and new barnyard mates can do that). Also, as you pointed out, the lack of water may cut into things. Watch for eating of the eggs by the chickens – if low on water or bored, they may eat their own eggs, and it’s a hard habit to break once they get started. (And they eat shell and all, so you have to catch them in the act to know what’s up) Plus, if they have free range access to the barn, some eggs may be in crevices – check low corners, or up high. I’ve got one that insists on laying in the coop corner among the shavings, and one that flies on top of the hay bales and can lay one in like ten seconds flat – I swear.

    But I’m with you – NOTHING beats fresh, home-grown eggs. Wait till the Spring when they can graze!


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