This past week has been craptastic….

I’m not even sure that is a word, but it works.  Last Saturday we had the huge wind storm that blew the chicken tractor away and it is pieces.  Luckily the bantams were in the steel barrel that didn’t blow away.  A piece of the barn roof flew away as well.  Limbs down and a real mess.  But we survived and made due.

Sunday we had most of the quail hatch done and the chicks started.

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Then came Monday.  Lots and lots of preparing for the incoming snow.  Which decided it wanted to be ice.  Yay.  We got through it.  Tuesday all the animals were good.  The ice did a number on the predator netting, but I was able to get it back up.  ice 005ice 016

Wednesday was uneventful.  Wednesday night was busy.  Ruined church meal, wet and cold chick that I had to shove in my shirt and sit in front a heater with, and it was 10 degrees out.  All the animals had extra hay and all the tarps were in place.  Everyone survived the night, even the little chickie.  chicks 004

Thursday was another predicted cold night.  Low of 1 degree.  And it was.  But that wasn’t the bad thing.  All day Thursday the neighbor’s dogs was terrorizing the birds.  I kept running them off.  But right after work Super Mutt was going nuts and I looked out to see the door to the turkey tractor crushed in.  I knew what that meant.  attack 002

I ran out and found the large dog spitting feathers out of her mouth.  Then I saw the layer run gate pushed down and the little dog on the turkey.  Before I could get down the hill they had both run off.  In the middle of the run was the turkey.  All his long feathers gone and a great deal of his down gone.  I cried.  I screamed.  I was furious.  I picked him up and took him in the barn and began searching all the coops to make sure everyone else was fine.  There were feathers everywhere.

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Everyone else was fine.  Terrified, but alive.  Then I ran to the neighbors and let the neighbors mother have an earful.  I was done.  I called the animal control but they were already closed.  I moved the turkey to the bathroom and put a heater on him.  He didn’t look good at all.

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It was going to be so cold that I had to bring the barn kitties in, but now they  had to go to the bedroom.  They were in heaven.  Miss Kitty was thrilled.  So much to explore and the window fascinated her.  I think she would make a decent inside kitty.  She was enjoying the snuggles in the bed.  Snuffles loved the chair.  Super Mutt is not happy it smells like cat now.

Yes that is a giant pile of laundry.  It never really ends.

Yes that is a giant pile of laundry. It never really ends.

I called animal control this morning.  And they will send someone out.  We will see.  I called the landlord to let them know what happen and that I did call animal control.  That told me that they had another talk with him and that he may just have to pay a fine to get the message across.  He did finally come to the house.  He said he didn’t see any feathers.  As I looked down the hill I pointed out the breeze picking them up.  He said he would find me a replacement tom and if not he would pay for me to get another.  I told him his dogs will keep coming back to my property because they have a taste for chasing and eating my birds.  He didn’t have much to say.  Still doesn’t understand what the problem.  Maybe a fine will help he get the picture.  Next weekend I will start the fence.  Thanks to my mom for sending me some money and hopefully some church men for their muscles.  I also have one very strong son.

It has been rough, but I have survived.  The fence will solve all kinds of issues and I know Super Mutt will be excited to get to run, sniff, mark and bark at everything.  There will be buck in the future and more turkey.  Spring is around the corner.  Spring will bring it’s own fun times, but it will be warmer and lots of baby creatures to love on.  I’m done being frozen and things dying.  I’m ready for new life and happy times.  Spring if you are listening…..”HURRY UP AND GET HERE ALREADY!!!!’  Stay warm everyone.  Maybe next time I will have sunshine and rainbow stories.  Happy Friday.

 

Well he’s almost home.

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You ask and you shall receive.  I put out a call for a tom since one of our girls is starting to lay.  I found one.  He was a great price and a beautiful young man.  About the same age as my girls.  So perfect.  And the people a got him from were very nice.  Once the turkey start laying fertile eggs we are going to work out an egg swap.  Woo hoo.

When I got him home I put him in one of the tractors and got in with him to see how he behaved.  This boy could of cared less about me.  He set into pecking the ground for the bits of grain from previous tenants.  Miss Kitty had to come investigate.  She was a little a put off by him, but decided she didn’t really want to mess with him.turkey 004

I went out this morning to feed the animals and heard him calling.  I realized how much I missed the sounds turkey make.  So going to get some more for here.  I love them.  Made the rounds and came to him last.  He was really excited to see me.  I held the scoop up and that boy jumped.  He knows his grain.  Turns out he was more excited about the scratch than the feed.  I’m calling him Casanova.  I think it’s fitting.  I think he will live up to the name.

When I got back to the house The Max was in a little bit of a huff.  Apparently Crooked Chicken Little was feeling well enough to explore and decided the edge of the tub would do…..while The Max was in the shower.  He was freaked.  And the bird also seemed a little too curious when the Max had to pee.  He may be scarred for life.  Needless to say I moved the bird to the old quail cage.  She doing fine and I think she is healing quicker than I expected.  The kids are relieved no more farm animals in the house.  Just wait till I get buckling.  <insert evil laugh>  Have a great day everyone.

A case of the wry neck.

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Last week sometime I noticed this girl acting funny.  Like, “I’m sick and could die on you.”  She was sitting with her feathers all tufted and just not acting right.  I treated her and prayed for the best.  I remember Sunday when I was feeding the birds, how much better she looked.  She was sleek and walking around.  So I thought all was good.  Well, no it was not.  I forgot that when you treat birds it wipes their minerals and vitamins out.  I usually give them a vitamin/mineral boost, but I forgot to do this.

Sadly she developed wry neck.  It is treatable, with a lot of work.  I’m up for the challenge.  She is currently in my bath tub.  The kids were none too thrilled with this.  There’s a towel in there and if she poops we just spray it down.  What’s the big deal.  Kids.  I’ve given her the first round of vitamin E and given her yogurt oatmeal mush.  I’ve also been giving her droppers of water.  I really hope I’ve caught this soon enough.  I really don’t want to lose another hen.

It’s never a dull moment here.  Tonight I go to get a Tom for our love bug Bourbon Reds.  Katie found our first egg.  We need a tom to make those turn into baby turkeys.  I’m very excited about incubating turkey eggs.  How fun.  Happy Tuesday everyone.

are a good thing.

 

So all day I kept telling myself I was going to put down the bantam coop floor and put up walls.  But then came the rain.  I told myself it would stop in time to get it done.  It didn’t.  I did manage to clean the rabbit cages and cuddle a couple of bunnies.  They are getting so big.  chicks 001 chicks 002

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yesterday I did pick up two quail chicks.  We had a heat issue with the cabinet incubator.  We thought we lost all the hatch, but oddly these two made it.  Fighters.  I said that I would keep these as breeders, but looks like the A&M has feet issues.  We will see.  I forget how tiny they are. chicks 003

The chicks are coming along nicely as well.  Unfortunately I can’t tell which are which, so Katie and Megan will have to wait till their big feathers to come in to take them home.  There are four different types and only one I can tell which they are.  I bet you can’t guess which one that is. chicks 004

I’m going to start to purge a few birds.  Mostly roos.  I have my favorites and have my fingers crossed to get more like them.  This girl is my favorite.  She better lay some green eggs.  She is also a sweet heart. chicks 011

Anyway, that’s what I did on this rainy day.  I did manage to get the house work done and dinner is done.  Oh what to do with all this spare time.  Happy Monday.

And straight line.  Those are a must.

Yesterday, The Max and I drove to Anderson to get started on the barn addition.  We have baby goats coming the first of April.  I find it fitting, due to it being April fools day and we will be running around like fools with our heads cut off. Besides all that, I CAN’T WAIT.  I mean baby goats.  Soft, sweet, demon eyed, baby goats.  Anyway, back to the barn raising.

Katie and I realized we had a serious time line and a serious budget issue.  Putting up a barn ain’t cheap.  So we got clever and planned as well as we could.  We have an actual calender with the schedule of all things to come.  Most of the work is centered around paydays, funny how that worked out.  My last trip up I bought this round of work materials.  So it was all there ready to go.  Yay.  No trips to the store to waste time.

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We had seven holes to dig.  And this is why The Max came.  I bribed him with food.  Lots of food.  He really needs to stop growing.  The Max and Andy did most of the digging.  Katie and I gave a good effort, but really the guys did the digging.  But the girls did set the post in the ground and that’s some serious work.  Leveling and being straight and all.  Hard stuff.  Katie said we don’t eat till the poles are in the ground.  Meanie.  Ok, maybe it was more like, “We can eat when the poles are in the ground.”  We sent Andy for food and began sinking poles.  He got back while we were on the last one.  Bless him.

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We finished and went in for food.  We had to bring River with us due to her being in heat and Rory was wanting some lovin.  Not having any of that.  The kids were more than pleased to have the giant polar bear pup in the house.  After I sat down and ate I realized how tired and worn out I was.  Being sick for two days and then doing this was hard.

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We went back out to the barn and did some clean up and lots of measuring.  We did A LOT of measuring.  At this point Andy left to run some errands.  But we still had the The Max.  This is where he got his new name of The OX.  He was picking up 2x4s and toting them to where we were going to be assembly the walls.  He would pick them up and go in circles trying to pick up another one.  It reminded me of something out of the Three Stouges.  This is when Katie pointed out he had the grace of an OX.  This is also when I realized how close he was to my jeep.  We redirected him just a touch.  Gotta cut the kid a break, he’s only 13.

This is some of the cuteness we dealt with all day.  Hard to get anything done with this going on.

This is some of the cuteness we dealt with all day. Hard to get anything done with this going on.

Katie and I began measuring, cutting and assembly of the walls.  Looked good.  We decided to put in each section as we finished to make sure it all fit correctly.  First piece went in perfectly.  We might have done a happy dance at this point.  We assembled the second section and IT FIT too.  This is where we both stood looking at the perfection.  We were amazed.  Third piece.  WOW.  It fit too.  Now we are down right cocky.  We assembled the fourth and final section of the main wall. We put it in place and DAMN.  It fit, but the pole sunk in the ground is off by two inches and our barn was doing the wave.

barn 018In walks Andy.  He points out it’s not straight.  Yup.  Then we start slinging ideas how to how to get it straight.  We take down the two sections and remove the pole.  As luck would have it, this pole did not set.  At this point I check the others and they are good.  I think this is one we kinda over looked, which may explain it’s not being in the right spot.  Andy digs the new hole in the correct place and low and behold we have a straight wall.

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I can not tell you how happy I was when that wall was straight.  Katie was thrilled and pleased that we didn’t just say we would make it work.  It’s all good.  I said I wasn’t leaving until that wall got up.  And it was up.  Katie said she would work on the other walls, but if she doesn’t it’s ok.  We have time.  I’m very pleased what the four of us got done.  I had a proud momma day.  The Max was a huge help and Andy is now in my book of favorite people.  It’s not a big book.

 

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So things went well with only the one major hiccup.  The roof is going to be the hard part, but Andy and I think we have a plan.  Katie is hopeful.  The Max is just, “Tell me where move things.”  He’s here for the food and work some muscles.  Love him.  All the animals were pleased with the attention.  So I mark this up as a good day, a very good day.

The Max I drove home.  He was worn out, but very excited about the day.  We sung to any song that played on the radio.  Chicago came on and the boy belted it out.  Another proud moment.  He even declares, “I LOVE Chicago.”  I had a great day with Max.   The evening had a sour moment for him, but by bed time he was better.  I gave him a hug and told him how proud I was of him and how much I loved him.  He gave me the biggest hug and didn’t let go.  He never does that.  In all his life he’s never done that.  I let him hug me as long as he wanted and enjoyed it.  My heart was full at that moment.  Sometime I need to tell you all the story about him and why today and that hug was so important.  But for now I’m going to make him breakfast and there was promise of a door for him.  Yes another story.  I hope you all have a wonderful and full of blessings Sunday.

Caitlin says this is good.

Caitlin says this is good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yay.

So fluffy.

So fluffy.

I’ve been sick all day and have done NOTHING.   I did manage to get to the barn and check on bunnies.  And they are adorable.  The Girl was glad to help out in the holding of the bunnies.  The have the biggest ears.  So cute.  Enjoy their adorableness.

So snugly.

So snugly.

I really do hate mess.

The are standing.  Yay.

The are standing. Yay.

As you can see, once again I ran out of day light.  Just showing what got done between Monday and Tuesday.  The hutches are upright.  Thanks to my gigantor son, The Max. It’s good to have well fed boys when there are heavy things to lift.  We did bend one of the legs in the process, so added another before pounding them into the ground.  I did also manage to get things cleaned up around this area.  This will all be enclosed once I’m done and my little bantams will be so happy.

Not much building got done due to the actual farm work.  Between cleaning coops and filling water buckets I just got a little else done.  I’m hoping Thursday to get walls up.  The frame is going to be made out of pallets.  I have to buy a few things, but it shouldn’t cost too much.  I do plan to paint it, so there is some cost there.

So that’s where I am on that.  I’m trying to reserve some energy for this weekend.  Lots of hard work there. Yay.

Hutches for the rabbits.

Behold their beauty.

Behold their beauty.

As some of you know I had a surprise rabbit birth and lost them all.  It was a sad, sad situation.  My second rabbit was ready and her babies came.  She lost two out of seven.  That is an expected loss for her first litter.  But I had to watch the second one go through the loss and couldn’t do much for her.  Her clock didn’t sink up.  I didn’t realize it was time either.  So I did a lot of self doubting and blaming and kicking myself.

But things always seem to have a way of working themselves out.  I recently joined a rabbit group on facebook.  Friday morning a post was made about two 8 foot hutches for sale.  The price was unbelievable.  I contacted the lady and they were all mine.  MINE!!  Now to get them from Anderson to Greer.  It’s about an hour.

I totally need a truck.  Like a big one.  Most everyone I know with a truck has a small one.  Except for Pop.  He came through for me, like he always does.  Bonus for him was to get my fridge out of his garage.  The plan is to take it to Katie and use for when we make cheeses.  Oh the cheeses.  When I got to his house Saturday morning the fridge was out and waiting to be put in the truck.  I mentioned that it will be a nice empty space for him.  He informed me it was already filled.  Oh coarse it was.

Poor Pop got me, The Girl and The Max.  Thank goodness he has an extended cab.  Unfortunately The Max was shoved in the back.  He is not a tiny fellows, by any means.  He got a little grumpy about 10 minutes to Katie’s house.  When we got there the kids flew out.

Saturday was Caitlin’s birthday party.  So Katie and Andy were busy getting things ready.  Thank goodness the fridge has wheels and I have a very large, strong son.  I also brought Caitlin’s birthday present.  The past few weeks I’ve been sending quail eggs to her and she had said she wish she had her own quail and that way she would always have eggs.  After getting permission from mom I brought her a cage, feeder, waterer and three quail.  She was very pleased.  I told mom if she doesn’t care for them that they make a great meal.  Caitlin gave me the eyes on that.

Next stop was to get the hutches.  Yay.  I pull up to the ladies house and have instant farm envy.  This place was perfect.  I mean perfect and beautiful.  The lady and her husband were so sweet.  They showed us around.  The kids were excited about the baby goats and the very friendly cats.  And her rabbits were beautiful.  The Girl now wants a rabbit all her own.  Yeah, I’ve already made arrangements for a bunny that she can call her own.  I’m a softy.

When it was time to get the hutches in the truck the husband pulls around with a tractor toting them.  I must have one.  Oh the things I could tote around.  We got them strapped in and were on our way.  This time I sat in the back, so my gigantor son didn’t break a knee.

We got home and unloaded them and my help dispersed.  Leaving me to plan out where everything was going to go.  Sadly I had no legs for the hutches and no screws.  Sunday I got all I needed, but lost day light to upright the hutches.

But yesterday after school The Max helped me.  He was a little concerned about my legs, but they were still holding this morning.  So I think they will work.  Today I plan on working on the new bantam coop.  The plan is to have the new rabbit hutch enclosed in the bantam run.  Kind of a double security.  Just in case a door gets left open.

I’m really excited about all the changes and new additions.  The kids tease me about my hodge podge farm, but I can see the future and how nice it will look in the end.  The end….haha….there will never be an end.  Now to get busy and get things done.  I’ll make up dates on all the changes here at The Hollow and the barn up grade at Half Moon Homestead.  Going to a busy couple of months.  Happy Tuesday.

 

I have some hard choices to make and I really don’t like it.

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I’ve said it before this live is hard.  Almost a month ago I breed the two girls.  But only one showed any signs of being pregnant.  So I put a box in for her and put hay in everyone’s cage, even the boys.  Yesterday was a busy day and nothing went as planned.  Much like any other day.  Lots work work, then getting the Girl to the doctor where we waited an hour just to get seen, then groceries, getting to church on time and getting home late from church.  There was little time for the animals yesterday.  I had done a lot of work the days before, but yesterday was feed and water only kind of day.

So last night as I’m checking food and water I see that the one girl had very little hay.  I was going to put some in, but one of the kids needed something and I left.  Everything that happen this morning is really my own fault and I’m kicking myself and mad at myself for what I found this morning in the barn.

First of all I was running behind even getting out there.  The Max wanted food, The Girl wanted food, the fur babies wanted food,  I had a huge headache, still do.  I get to the barn and hear the sweet chirping’s of the fluffies.  They were all accounted for and healthy happy babies.  I come around the big brooder and see something on the floor by the rabbit cage.  I realized it was a baby.  OH CRAP.  Then I look in and the floor of the cage is covered in babies and she showed no signs of caring for them.  One or two had been chewed on.  I am now in tears.  WHY didn’t I just put hay in?  WHY din’t she make a nest?  WHAT the hell am I doing?  These are the kind of mistakes that break my heart, make me question everything I’m doing.  Some would say, “What’s the big deal?  Your going to eat them anyway.”  Yes, that’s the plan, but I’m doing this so I limit the amount of suffering they do before they become my food.  But here all I saw was suffering, suffering that I was a part of.

I had to pick up the babies and bury them.  I’m sorry for making them suffer, I’m sorry that their mother did not take to being a mom, but now comes the difficult decision about what to do with her.  Everything I’m ever read or heard that once they eat their babies, they will do it again.  This was not in the plan, this was what I pushed from my thoughts of raising rabbits.  This I do not want to do.  But I will and it will break me, but this is the live I chose, this is how it really is.

I’m on a couple of facebook groups about raising life stock and see many people who raise for food, but want to pay someone to do the killing and processing.  I couldn’t wrap my mind around it.  I mean Katie doesn’t do the killing, but she knew she had someone who would do it and she is fine with the processing.  But now looking at my rabbit and knowing her fate I’m struggling and understand a little bit.  I know I will do it, because it is mine to do.  I won’t like it.  I have to remember this is what I chose and I have to stand by my decisions.  Good or bad.

Tomorrow will be better and I will learn from this.  I truly love animals weather their for food or my friend.  This afternoon I will be doing dome hard thinking about what I want to do and where to go from here.  Homesteading isn’t always rainbows and sunshine.  Sometimes and many times it’s death and slip in shit kind of live, but I love it and will keep doing it.  So here’s to a better tomorrow.

Or my wallet.

This morning was a busy morning.  I had to go to the dump, feed and seed, bank and grocery store.  But some teenager left the jeep empty and I had to change plans.  I’m not a fan of change.  At all.

Two days in a row I have gone to the jeep to take the kids to school and the little yellow light was on.  I only put in $10 yesterday, because that’s about all the driving I do.  To school and home, occasional trip to the feed and seed which is 3 miles from the house.

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I remember the good ole days of getting in the car and there being gas in it.  Now that boy and his driving adventures are leaving me crazy.  But really how can you be mad at that face.  Due the stop for gas, because the gas station is not in the path of ALL the places I needed to go I had to skip the feed and seed (oh the horror) and I went to WalMart Market (say it isn’t so).  WM Market is right next to the bank and it would allow me the time I needed to get home in time.  All I needed was milk and cereal.  The cereal was good price, but the milk….OH DEAR LORD.  I could have gotten Happy Cow for that price.  Never again.  Time is not worth bad over priced milk.

And I didn’t get to the feed and seed.  But that’s ok, the Eldest will be filling up the gas tank drive me over there like I’m Ms. Daisy.  Sounds fair to me.  I have coffee now, so all will be forgiven…..maybe?