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Frik attacked

Posted by Angie on May 5, 2014 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Things have been going pretty well around here at the farm. We've been extremely busy with the Lucky 7 (our 7 new ducklings) and the Sweet 16 (our 16 new chickies) and our new gardens (and fighting the bugs and weeds).


It's just been "business as usual" --until this morning. Either Daisy or Duke (most probably Daisy) attacked Frik. It might quite possibly a life or death situation. I will not post a picture of Frik because it is quite disturbing.


I hate to admit this, but I am crying as I am writing. I love that damn duck. A lot more than I ever thought.


If you can remember awhile back, we originally started with Frik and Frak (see March 27, 2013 post). Frak met his untimely death by unsuccessfully "fronting" a bobcat and losing his head--literally (see September 24, 2013 post). I'll be the first to admit that I was a little bit upset over losing Frak (not really). However, when we replaced him with Fran, life around Ginger Goat Farm was quite a bit more peaceful (and Frik was MUCH happier).


I am not quite sure exactly what all happened this morning; all I know is that Daisy chased Frik over to me while I was still cleaning and feeding the new babies (chickies and duckies). Honestly, I wasn't prepared to take proper care of him when he lept into my arms. His neck was completely raw and I noticed a few puncture marks in his neck. I was in complete shock. so, I screamed at the dogs to go back in the house and I put Frik back down by the pond. I feel responsible for most (or all) of it because Billy and I used to entertain ourselves by watching Duke and Daisy chase Frik and Fran in the pond--except we didn't want them to hurt them!!!!


Now, several hours later, I still don't know what to do. I called several vets (oh, yes I did) and they would be happy for me to bring him in for a battery of tests, antibiotics, etc., etc., but my head keeps reminding my heart that FRIK IS A DUCK. I do not want to become that crazy duck lady that spends hundreds of dollars (plus I can't even catch him now to put him in my car) ON A DUCK! And, I have 7 little baby duckies that will be full grown in 6 weeks (Pekin ducks are full grown in 7 weeks. It's crazy how fast they grow). Regardless, I still love Frik (Billy is so mad at me for naming all of these animals).


So, I have been digging around the Internet trying to find out what I should do. Let me tell you, there are some crazy duck ladies (and gentlemen) out there. Some sites recommend leaving injured ducks alone and some are just completely over the top (just Google "duck attacked" or "duck injury" but be forewarned, some of the posted pictures are pretty graphic).


Twice today, I have gone over to Frik to try to get a closer look and to, hopefully, give him some basic first aid, but he is still pretty shell-shocked (understandably). So, please keep Frik in your thoughts for a speedy, ful recovery. I will keep you posted on what happens to him.


Oh, BTW, I am not mad at the dogs. I understand that dogs will be dogs, but they will not be going outside unsupervised anymore until we can figure out how the dogs and ducks can live in harmony.

You lookin' at me?

Posted by Angie on April 21, 2014 at 5:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Yeah....I'm looking at you!



What are you going to do about it? Me and my homeys will KILL you with our cuteness.

Introducing the Sweet 16

Posted by Angie on April 21, 2014 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (0)

We have just added a few new residents to Ginger Goat Farm. Introducing the "Sweet 16":

Sixteen Buff Orpingtons (rather than the 10 Rhode Island Red [RIR] girls we currently have).


There is absolutely nothing wrong with my RIR girls, but it is time for some new little babies around here and the feed store only had Buff Orpingtons (and after some quick research on Wikipedia and My Pet Chicken, the Buffs seem fine to me; in fact, they'll probably look exactly like my other girls when they grow up). This go around, we are going with a "straight run" (i.e. "unsexed...might have half boys/girls, all boys, all girls, who knows?). I am not a big rooster fan, but...supposedly...Buff roosters are pretty mellow (We will see....).


Stay tuned...we will be getting 6 baby ducks this Wednesday!!!!!!!!

Destroying things

Posted by Angie on April 12, 2014 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (0)

A change of events has been going on around the farm....Frik has been/is being a real SOB to Fran (I discussed it a bit in the March 19, 2014 post), but he is getting worse! Check out Fran's neck:

Awful, isn't? Her neck is raw and looks incredibly painful. Poor Fran (I am a huge Fran fan now).


I haven't reported on Daisy and Duke for awhile. They're fine. Actually, they're more than fine. The two of them strut around Ginger Goat Farm like they run/own the place (all 60+ pounds of Duke and 50+ pounds of Daisy). It's quite cute. The unfortunate thing about the Dynamic Duo is they LOVE LOVE LOVE to put anything/everything in their mouths and drag it anywhere and anywhere. We find tree branches under the couch, rocks in the pool, and chewed palms leaves still hanging off the tree. If they can wrap their mouths around it, it will be chewed, moved, and left.


However, I can't complain too much, they haven't done much of the "classic" puppy chewing behavior such as chewing up a favorite, most expensive pair of shoes (or even worse, just chewing up ONE shoe) or gnawing on the side of a chair leg or chomping through an entire couch (but I do have to admit, my throw pillows on the couch bit the dust months ago). But I'll tell you, those Indestructibles dog toys are total BS. Check out what the Dynamic Duo do to "Indestructibles" in 30 minutes:

That ball under Daisy's (on the right) foot was orange (it's now clear)...the cover is behind and under her back paws. And the ball Duke (on the left) is playing with, half is by his back leg and we have no idea where the other half went (maybe he ate it). THIS PICTURE WAS TAKEN 30 MINUTES AFTER THEY GOT THEIR TOYS. THIRTY MINUTES!!!


Indestructible???


Yeah, whatever.

Baby ducks.....Nope

Posted by Angie on March 31, 2014 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Sad news to report from Ginger Goat Farm....Fran abandoned her clutch after nearly 3 weeks in. Even odder, NONE of the eggs were fertilized????


Stay tuned...

Puppy-Duck Throwdown

Posted by Angie on March 19, 2014 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Here's a quick preview of what we do to entertain ourselves around here:


PUPPY DUCK THROWDOWN


(This was filmed about a week and a half ago....Fran is no longer hanging around the pond...she's dutifully sitting on her clutch for the past eight days!!!!! Keep your fingers and toes crossed she can make it for the long haul.)


Daisy is the one "herding" the ducks...Duke--as usual--would rather sit back and watch.

One week down, three to go (hopefully)

Posted by Angie on March 19, 2014 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

One week ago--today--Fran started sitting, consistently, on her clutch (see last post). So, if she can hang in there for 3 more weeks (it takes 28 days for duck eggs to hatch), we will have a flock (or a brace, badelynge, or a bunch) of ducklings. It is SO exciting, but I have to share with you that Fran looks pretty worse for wear right now. She looks exhausted--and hot. We don't bother her too much, but when we do go back there and check on her, we can't help but feel for her.


Let me tell you, from what I've seen, being a female Pekin duck doesn't look like it's all that fun...from their mating patterns (looks kind of rape-y to me...and Frik is a pretty gentle dude) to the bald spot on her head and those big eggs she lays everyday...hell just might be coming back to this earth as a female Pekin duck. For reals.


So, we'll keep you posted on Fran's progress!


Also, I harvested my first "advanced" crop, cauliflower. Check it out:

Pretty, huh? I am pretty excited (the chickens absolutely loved the leaves). I've done pretty well with my tomatoes and lettuce; however, not so good with my potatoes, peppers, and onions. I am still waiting on my eggplant and brussel sprouts. In the next few weeks, I am looking to start growing my "tropical" fruits and vegetables (bananas, papaya, guava, etc.). Still have no idea what I am doing in the gardening department, but I am hoping as time goes on, more will live than I kill.

Baby ducks.....Maybe???

Posted by Angie on March 6, 2014 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)

It's been a bit busy around Ginger Goat Farm for the past few weeks...with the addition of the Goat Cart (or GG; see February 19th post) we have had the opportunity to do some exploring that we really never had the opportunity to do before. We have discovered that the State land behind us is absolutely breathtaking. We have a whole new perspective--seeing it from a vehicle rather than slogging along in rubber boots and being pelted in the face by tree branches. All and all, GG has been a great purchase, for fun as well as for utility (taking the garbage cans [a quarter of a mile] to the road for pickup, getting mail, picking up yard debris, running over fire ant hills [hee hee]).


In other news, we might--MIGHT--be hatching baby ducklings sometime in the near future (well, WE won't, Fran might [see Sept. 24th post]). Supposedly, Pekin ducks are not very broody (i.e. don't sit and incubate their eggs), but Fran has been sitting on her clutch, off and on every morning, for the past couple of months:

At one point a couple of weeks ago, she had 18 eggs in her nest, but after about 3 days, she had given up. However, about a week ago, she started back up again. We had read that the first few clutches might not work for a young female duck. So, we have been keeping an eye her nest and whenever she pushes any eggs out, we get rid of them (right now, she has about 7-9 eggs in there).


Frik doesn't make it all that easy for her to stay put, either. Every morning when we let them out, she remains on her nest and Frik waddles out as fast as he can. Frik is almost taunting her--sort of like back when we were kids. It's almost like he is shouting, "Na na na. I'm going to play outside and you have to stay inside. Na na na." Then, to make it even worse, after about an hour outside, he gets even worse, he starts splashing around in the pond and runs back and forth in front of the duck pen. I swear, I almost hear him yelling, "Wahooo. Wheeeeeeee.....". He can be quite a stinker.


Also, because he doesn't have Fran around most of the morning (for their dirty dancing on the pond, wink, wink), he starts harassing the Chicken Posse (if you remember from an earlier post, the hens put the ducks in the "friend zone" a long time ago). Typically, the hens just squat and take his harassment, but this last time when we let the girls free-range around the yard, they fought back. Hard. Seriously, it was like watching a bunch of little old ladies swatting their handbags at some little punk at the mall. It was great. I am totally Team Chicken Posse when there is a throwdown among the chickens and the duck(s), even though Frik is outnumbered 10:1. I'd take a picture, but I am too busy laughing.


Frik is still a sweetheart, but he is like a walking hormone around the hens. Typical boy....

What in the world is GG?

Posted by Angie on February 19, 2014 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (1)

A few days ago, Billy was trolling around on Craigslist (if you haven't trolled on Craigslist, give it a try...you can find anything and everything on Craigslist) and found this:

"What exactly is that thing?" you are probably wondering right now...

  1. Is it a golf cart?
  2. A four-wheeler?
  3. An ATV?
  4. ...and you are also probably thinking, "Is that thing painted camo?"


Well, to answer these (and probably many other) questions...

  1. Yes,
  2. Yes,
  3. Sorta yes, and
  4. Yes.


It is a golf cart with huge ATV tires that we can go 4-wheeling with on the state lands behind us. We can also tool around in it to move and carry "stuff" around the homestead. And to make it even more complete (and totally redneck-y) it is painted--all over--including the tire wells, in camo. Yes, that's right, camouflage--with little G's stamped ALL over it (we can only assume that the G's are for the Georgia Bulldogs [or is it dawgs?]); however, we choose to have the G's stand for Ginger Goat. That is our story and we are sticking to it.


So, GG (that's what we call him. The tractor--Big Blue--is BB [see November 29, 2012 post or go to the Photos Section]) is totally decked out with:

  • CB Radio (because who needs a cellphone when you have a CB, right? [breaker, breaker, good buddy])
  • CD player (can you tell this is an older model of a golf cart/ATV/4-wheeler?)
  • interior lights
  • headlights
  • FOUR cup holders (for your current and future drinks)
  • a water tight battery system (yeah, that's right, we can plug this puppy in every night; it needs NO gas.)
  • top speed of 30 MPH (for an hour and a half...we tested it)
  • and a latchable windshield (for those chilly [50 degrees] February Florida evenings)


Yeah, it's fun...and totally utilitarian :).

Just another rainy day

Posted by Angie on January 30, 2014 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (0)

The winter weather has been a little crazy around here lately--hot and sunny one day, cold and drizzly the next. It seems like there is no rhyme or reason to it; I just have to roll with it day by day. The recent wacky changes in the weather sure affect my life a lot more now than when I lived in the city (or 'burbs). Before, a cooler, rainy day would just piss me off because the traffic to and from work (or the store or wherever I was going) was a lot slower (and the the drivers were a lot dumber). Icky weather was more of an inconvenience rather than a potential game changer on my plans for the day. 


Take today for example--the forecast for today was *supposed* to be sunny, dry, and in the low 70s--a perfect day to weed the yard, fertilize the trees, and work in the garden. When I woke up this morning, it was raining (I am pretty sure it rained all night) and it hasn't stopped all morning, all afternoon--and the way it is looking now--it will be raining into the evening. I am not complaining--we need the rain--it's just I won't be doing what I had planned today (and probably not for a few days, it's pretty mushy out there).


I am learning that homesteading (or farming or country-life or whatever you want to call it) requires persistance, patience, and flexibility--like most things in life. It's natural. And, if you really think about it, city-life is a bit unnatural with its bright lights all night and food available at all times (that is shipped in, many times, from the other side of the world, typically eaten while sitting on a couch in front of a TV [and/or a computer]). City-life affords you the ability to not really have to worry about flexibility and persistance (to a certain extent); however, I will say your patience is tried a lot more than country-life.


It seems to me when I lived in the city-life "mode," I really wasn't living my life in the "present." I was talking or texting people anytime, anywhere, for any reason--while driving, eating, talking--whenever, wherever. Maybe it was just more of a mindset. I don't think it's natural to be so connected to everything and everyone all of the time. I know, some people will, and do, disagree with me--and that's okay. I am not saying I'm right and you're wrong, but there is some "naturalness" and peacefulness to not be concerned with what everyone else is doing (or thinking) and them not knowing what I am doing every second of the day. Because, let's be honest, the day-to-day tasks of homesteading is NOT glamorous or all that exciting. But, really, when you think about it, is anyone's life really all that glamorous and exciting (however, it probably is a bit more sanitary than mine [cleaning up after animals and digging in the dirt all day])?


There is something oddly beautiful about working really hard, getting really dirty and just living--just being--in that moment. And, at the end of the day of hard work, to just look up into the sky and admire the sunset or the cloud formations or even the stars.


In theory, it seems like it would be so easy to do just that...but it is something I am struggling to learn to do. Even now, a year later, I am still unlearning the "noise" from city-life (and the "noise" from inside my head)

Ginger Goat Farm Guidelines

Posted by Angie on January 23, 2014 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Well, it's wintertime here at Ginger Goat Farm--which means (to us)--we have had 50 degree weather for THREE DAYS IN A ROW. I know, I know, most people think I am insane when I bitch and moan about 50 degree weather (especially when it has been in the single digits up North where I am from), but I have lived in Florida for 15 years (which I think makes me a native Floridian at this point) and my blood is thin.


Many times I ask myself how did I survive in Ohio in the winter? Ohio has some crazy weather going on. 

Now, don't get me wrong, I love Ohio. I love everything about it...in the SUMMER! Seriously, there were days that I woke up with the heat on, turned the A/C on at noon, the heat back on at 3, and then the A/C back on at 7 pm, anytime of the year. Ohio is a place where you can get away with wearing a turtleneck under a sweatshirt (typically an OSU Buckeyes one), short shorts, and Ugg boots because the weather changes that much and that quickly. I have taken a 3 hour road trip in Ohio and fluctuated fiddling back and forth with the heat and the A/C, pending on what direction the sun was coming in the car; didn't matter if it was summer or winter.


Anyway, we have had a few days of *relatively* cooler weather (and I should enjoy it because come August, I will be really be missing these temperatures) and I have done a bit of reflecting on crafting some guidelines for Ginger Goat Farm. You know, something for when the "cityfolk" come on out and visit. Some of these guidelines include:

 

  1. Wear closed-toe shoes. (It's a farm. We have animals. They poop. Also, it's Florida. We have bugs. Big ones that bite hard.)
  2. If you wear your shoes in any of the animal pens, don't wear them in my house. (I think that one is pretty self-explanatory.)
  3. If you eat meat, you eat animals. (Don't look at us like we are cruel people because, eventually, these animals will be slaughtered [humanely]. Where do you think that Big Mac came from? Or chicken wings? At least our animals live a full life that is free of stress and enjoy being outside in the sun.)
  4. Don't lecture me about being organic. (I do the best I can to do anything and everything to use natural and pesticide-free products, but if I have a fire ant hill encroaching on "my" (or my animals') space, I will do *whatever* it takes to eliminate those little SOBs.)
  5. Yes, our water tastes a little "funny." (Our water comes from a well on our property. It has not been treated with the chemicals you are probably used to tasting.)
  6. Only #1, #2, and toilet paper gets flushed down the toilet. (We are on our own septic. Not to be too graphic, but other things (i.e. feminine hygenic products) are a big no no as, eventually, all of it will need to be pumped out [ewwwwww].)

I'm still working on some more, but I think it's a fairly good start. 

 

Update on Princess Gimpy

Posted by Angie on January 13, 2014 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

UPDATE (from "Ginger Goat Spa, for hens" January 2, 2014 post):

 

Princess Gimpy is barely gimping. We can barely distinguish her from the rest of the girls. She's hopping on the roost bar every night and laying her eggs in the nest box (because, for the past 4 days, we have been getting 10 eggs).

 

It appears my "spa day" was effective (so, maybe I'm not THAT crazy).

Baking...the new frontier

Posted by Angie on January 8, 2014 at 9:30 PM Comments comments (0)

In our quest to becoming true homesteaders, I am cooking most of our meals (and more and more of our food is coming from our ever growing garden). I am also baking bread. I had NO idea how easy and how few ingredients are in bread: flour, yeast, salt, and water. That's it. Amazing. Here is my third loaf (I added some sesame seeds [YUM]):

I am still pretty nervous about the idea of me cooking/baking. I am using simple recipes with ingredients we have around here (eggs [lots of eggs], onions, tomatoes, avocados, etc. [and soon, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, garlic, bananas, etc.]). I just hope that my cooking skills improve because right now, they're pretty rudimentary. Billy keeps reminding me that soon, I have to come to terms that we will also be eating chickens, pigs, ducks, fish, and deer from around here. Right now, I am still buying our meat from the grocery (and when the time comes, I might become a vegetarian [again]. I just don't know right now...after rehabbing Princess Gimpy last week [see January 2, 2014 post], it very well could happen).


It is gratifying to have the ability to not only grow, but to prepare your food. I'll admit, I never really have been a "foodie." I mean, I like food and I LOVE to eat good food, but to me--the majority of the time--I ate to not be hungry anymore. Seriously, I ate to get it over with. Countless times I was so famished I ate tortilla chips right out of the bag (or cereal right out of the box) because I was too starving (or maybe too lazy?) to wait the 3 minutes it takes for the microwave to heat up a Lean Cuisine frozen meal. Yeah, that's right, I was/am THAT bad. If my choice was between flavor of the food or the effort it takes to prepare, I'd pick the latter. Sad, huh?


Oh well, back to the bread. I did A LOT of Googling on the Internet to find the easiest, cheapest, and fastest way to make bread...and I found it, RIGHT HERE (You're welcome). Check it out. No kneading. No nothing. Plus, the author wrote the directions in a very engaging and witty style (with pictures, too).


It's really good bread. We love it (next time I am going to try whole wheat flour with a little bit of rosemary).

Bittersweet Day

Posted by Angie on January 2, 2014 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (4)

It is a beautiful day out here at Ginger Goat Farm...a sunny day with white, puffy, cottonball clouds high in the sky and a gentle breeze. It's in the low 80's so, it has been a perfect day to "deep clean" the duck pen (as much as you can deep clean the duck pen) and to take care of some other odds and ends around the farm.

 

 

Anyway, while I was out pulling some weeds in the garden I realized that Sheila, one year ago today, died. Sheila was our dog that moved with us out here. She was almost 15 years old and she only lived at Ginger Goat Farm for 7 weeks. I am still pretty emotional about it and that's all I want to write about her and what happened on this day last year.

We have Daisy and Duke and I love them (as they are both napping at my feet while I type), but they're not Sheila and I have to move on (as any dog lover knows and understands).

Ginger Goat Spa (for hens)

Posted by Angie on January 2, 2014 at 3:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Happy New Year!

 

I am thrilled to write that I have a garden started...finally. As I have expressed before, gardening has been *challenging* out here (see April 10, 2013 post). Well, with the weather finally cooling off around here, I have a bonafide garden. Hooray!

 

As of right now, I have (successfully) started:

  • Lettuce
  • Green peppers
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussel sprouts (don't care, yummy)
  • Green snap peas
  • Tomatoes
  • Green onions
  • Some herbs (rosemary, mint, and lavender so far...)
  • And, oddly enough, potatoes (from some sprouts on an old potato I had lying around)

 

And I have killed, thus far:

  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes (some made it, some didn't)

 

Just give me time, I am sure other plants will meet their demise. I am really digging (no pun intended) gardening--IN THE WINTER--out here. When summer rolls around again, maybe I will be better equipped to give it another go (or not).

 

Also, I have story I want to share.

 

Well, I *think* I do. It's sort of embarrassing...

 

Oh, what the hell, I'll share it with you.

 

A couple of days ago, I noticed one of our chickens started limping around the yard. Nothing too terrible--she was still scratching around for bugs and grass along with the other girls, but she was noticeably hobbling behind. After a couple of days, her gimp appeared to be worse. So, like any other (clueless) concerned homesteader, I Googled "limping chicken" to figure out what was wrong with her. I also learned a few other things:

  1. I'm not AS crazy as some other people raising chickens.
  2. An egg stuck up a hen's butt can cause limping (and I needed to stick my finger up there to find out [ummmm....NO]).
  3. Bumblefoot sounds really painful (she doesn't have that).

 

So, using deductive reasoning after my thorough research on this topic (and really wanting to avoid sticking my finger up her butt), I came to the conclusion that she bruised her leg jumping up and down the roosting bar (or tripped over something in the yard). So, to help her ailing leg, I gave our limping hen--now named Princess Gimpy, (not to be confused with Pinky Tuscadero [see August 17, 2013 post] or The Wanderer [see October 15, 2013 post])--a "spa day" (Oh, yes I did.). I am so "chicken whipped" that I actually drew that damn bird a warm bath, massaged her leg, wrapped her in a warm towel and held her on my lap for an hour (while we watched TV). After all of that, I hand fed her some crushed up corn chips with half a baby aspirin crushed in them. Oh yes...I did ALL of that. Here she is relaxing after her "treatment":

 

I have her isolated inside the coup for the next few days so she can rest that leg. Poor Princess Gimpy! 

Happy Holidays!

Posted by Angie on December 26, 2013 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (0)

A very warm, relaxing, and safe Holiday Season:

From The Wanderer (and us) to you!


(Keeping this hat on her head long enough to take a picture was NOT easy!)

Wow...it's been awhile since I last posted...

Posted by Angie on December 19, 2013 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (0)

October 30? Sheesh, time flies. It's been a blur these past weeks (err...months). Seriously. Nothing really earth shattering has been going on, just enough that everytime I get ready to sit down and post (and/or feel inspired by something that happened around here), something else diverts my attention (who knows?...it might be an unexpected, later-in-life onslought of ADHD). Whatever, I apologize for not sharing some of our stories lately. I WON'T let it happen again.

 

Well, about a month ago we celebrated our one year anniversary here at Ginger Goat Farm, and like every other event that occurs in life, the anticipation of the date was more exciting than the actual day. I don't mean to sound all  "Negative Nancy," but I think you know what I mean. For example, think about your graduation day (from high school, college, 8th grade, whatever...). Remember how much you couldn't wait for that day to come? And then, when it did happen...after it all happened...you were sort of like, "Meh!"

 

Our one year anniversary for Ginger Goat Farm was a day like any other day out here...taking care of the animals and trying to (still) get a handle on everything. Daisy and Duke (the Dynamic Duo) are HUGE. Duke is over 60 lbs. (62ish) and Daisy is over 50 lbs. (54ish). I just snapped a pic of them earlier today:

Daisy (or Crazy) is in the foreground giving you her sexiest pose with her come-hither eyes and Duke (or Stinky, see the last post) is in the background with his size 15 ears (on a size 8 body), probably farting up a storm (that dog has a natural born "gift"). They're good dogs (hard to believe in a month in a half they will a be YEAR OLD!). They no longer sleep in crates. They sleep on the floor, next to our bed every night (and Duke "dutifully" licks my face every morning at 6AM to let me know it's time to wake up).

 

The chicken posse are happy girls. Just about everyday we get 10 eggs--which is pretty good considering we are heading into winter (shorter days usually mean less egg production). They still squat and want to be picked up whenever we go near them.

 

Frik and Fran are fat and sassy. Fran has laid an egg pretty much everyday for the past month (unfertilized, which is weird because we see them "gettin' it on" just about every morning on the pond, see last post). Duck eggs sorta taste like chicken eggs, but not really. Last week, I made a pumpkin pie with some (epic fail). Every once in awhile, I fry/scramble some ducks eggs--we can barely tell the difference (they're more "yolky"). We heard that we could sell those suckers for a BUCK a piece, that might be our new business... Duck eggs are huge:

 

FYI: The chicken egg (the brown one) is an extra-extra large egg (we can barely fit it in a standard egg carton). Yeah--that's how big a duck egg is (and the yolk is more orange than yellow).

 

Well, I have to go clean a duck house (because, unfortunately, they just don't clean themselves). Next post, I'll share with you some of our adventures in cooking (because if we are going to grab a hold of this whole homesteading thing, we [well, really mostly me, Billy is a really good cook] have to start cooking and eating the stuff around here).

 

CORRECTION: DUKE IS 59 LBS. AND DAISY IS 51 LBS.

A Delicate Situation

Posted by Angie on October 30, 2013 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)

I haven't posted anything for awhile; it's not because nothing has been going on--quite the contrary--we have been super busy pulling it together around the homestead. Among some of the things we have done include (finally) containing the chickens in a *luxurious* run of their own (i.e. we can now start a garden without them scratching/digging the hell out of it), hooking up the water solar panels, installing a PV system (it's not quite done yet, but we are on our way!), and just all around cleaning up around here. 


All of the animals are doing well. We think that Frik and Fran might have "gotten it on" (finally! [see September 24th post]). A few mornings ago, I was out doing my morning chores and--I am pretty sure--I saw Frik ON Fran in the pond. Which is excellent news on so many levels because:

  1.  Maybe he will stop raping my hens (or whatever he is trying to do...they don't like it, and neither does Fran).
  2. Fran will stop (or at least curtail) her incessant quacking.
  3. They will now hang out on the pond (their "love shack") and quit hanging around the front porch, pecking on the front door and shitting everywhere.
  4. We might have baby ducklings soon (and NOTHING is cuter than baby ducklings).

The hens are doing great. Still squatting whenever we come near them (see August 29th post) and laying 9/10 eggs everyday. We are eating A LOT of eggs and egg-type foods around here (I am actually cooking EDIBLE foods!). In fact, here's a picture of a spinach quiche I made awhile back: 


It was actually quite delicious...and it wasn't a fluke! I made it twice and both times it was good. I am quite proud of myself because I am not that great of a cook. Honestly, I am quite terrible at it (there are lots of reasons why; they just culminate all together and create this hailstorm [me] in the kitchen.


Anyway, I'll quit beating around the bush. I have to admit we have one *small* problem around here. It's a delicate situation.


It's Duke.


He smells.


REALLY bad (I wish I could hyperlink a "scratch-n-sniff" to this post to give you an idea of how bad it is). I can't even begin to describe the odor he emits (maybe rotten eggs, mixed with mildew, mixed with dirty hippie hair...and a dash of dead fish. It's dreadful).


We have no idea what to do. Now that the weather has (finally) started to cool off around here, we have transitioned most of our work to outside chores (as you read at the beginning of this post), which means we let Daisy and Duke run around and be puppies. It's awesome. They run, play, swim in the pond, roll around in the wetlands. It's so cute and we love to watch them. However, after just a day (maybe just even an hour of it), Duke is RANK beyond explanation. Daisy isn't, but Duke...a totally different story.

If you remember, quite a while back, Billy took "charge" of Daisy (well, as best as you can "take charge" of Crazy Daisy) and I took Duke (see May 28th post). And I'll be honest with you, I totally thought I got the better end of the deal...as Daisy is absoutely nuts. I do love him (and Daisy) with all of my heart, but it is extremely difficult to snuggle with your puppy when he smells like:
  1. rotten eggs
  2. mildew
  3. dirty hippie hair
  4. dead fish
All rolled into one.


I've tried everything...baths everyday (I know that isn't good for him), Fabreeze (I know that isn't good for him, either), dryer sheets...anything and everything. He still stinks, but look at him:


(Duke is on the left, Daisy is on the right [he is now around 58 lbs., she's around 50]).


I mean, c'mon, look at those puppy faces. It melts your heart, but unfortunately Duke also melts your nose (and sometimes almost makes your eyes water). I am hoping that he is like most teenage boys I know...they stink (usually like Doritos, dirty feet/shoes, Old Spice, and mold)...and they grow out of it (usually after they graduate from college). Are teenage puppies the same? He is almost 10 months old. Wouldn't that make him kind of a "tweener*?


He should grow out of it, right? I hope so because these nightly baths are killing me (and he isn't all that fond of them, either).

The 3-3-4 Corollary

Posted by Angie on October 15, 2013 at 3:20 PM Comments comments (0)

You know, I learn something new (or disprove something I thought I knew) everyday out here on the homestead. Yesterday afternoon  turned into one of those days that I disproved something that I thought I already knew. Did you know that chickens (or really A chicken) will wander off from the flock? And when I say wander, I don't mean a few hundred feet, I mean like a mile away.

 

Yesterday started out like any other day...Billy was out-and-about taking care of some business and I was at home, working on the computer, interspersed with some tasks that needed to be done outside...

 

Before I go any further with my story, I have to admit a little crazy habit I always do around here. I am not sure if it is OCD or anything, but it is something I find myself doing EVERY time I go outside...I count chickens. And when I say I count chickens, I don't go around and count them like you normally would, you know "1-2-3...to 10". Oh no, I go "1-2-3", "1-2-3", "1-2-3-4". What the heck is that about? Seriously, is that weird or what?

Every flipping time I go outside, I count them.

 

"1-2-3", "1-2-3", "1-2-3-4".

 

"1-2-3", "1-2-3", "1-2-3-4".

 

I just can't help myself. I just do it.  

 

Anyway, yesterday afternoon I was transitioning from "inside" work to "outside" work, saw the chickens, and started my freaky little "1-2-3", "1-2-3", "1-2-3-4" craziness; however THIS time it wasn't "1-2-3", "1-2-3", "1-2-3-4", it was "1-2-3", "1-2-3", "1-2-3".

 

You recognize the difference here, don't you? It was 1-2-3", "1-2-3", "1-2-3...and NO 4...no matter how many times I counted them there was NO 4 on my last count. I started to freak out a little bit. Where's the fourth chicken around here (I know it's really the 10th chicken, but I was working on my count)? Where could she be? After our duck drama a few weeks ago (see September 24th post) and with all of the eagles, hawks, and owls we have hanging around here (see March 5th post), I started to wonder if something swooped down and grabbed one of our girls for a late afternoon snack. It made me sad. It didn't matter how many times I did my crazy count, I couldn't make a "4" happen.

 

Then, that's when it started to get really crazy. I started going around the homestead calling for the chicken...you know calling out, "C'mon sweetie", "Here chickie, chickie" in a high-pitched voice for like an hour (OMG, I am turning into one of those crazy chicken ladies!).

 

Nothing.

 

I started to make peace with the fact that she probably was in the belly of one of those bald eagles we saw perched up on a cypress tree last weekend. I was very sad. So, in my melancholy state, I started to walk towards the mailbox to retrieve our mail (our mailbox is a quarter-of-a-mile from our house; it's a bit of a hike) and passed one of my neighbors (all of our neighbors are totally cool) who has a couple of chickens (roosters) himself. So I casually asked him how his roosters were doing and if for any reason he had happened to see any of our girls....and you know what? He did. About an hour or so earlier.

 

Can you believe that happy crap? One of our girls (now named "The Wanderer"...or "Ho-bag" [she was hanging around his roosters]) scrambled--alone--all the way to our neighbor's house (about a quarter-of-a-mile down the dirt road), hung out with his roosters, and then wandered off again. He hadn't seen her for awhile, but he told me that he would give me a call if he did.

 

About an hour later, he called me back and told me he saw "Ho-bag" scratching around for bugs behind his horse barn. I was so excited. I ran over to his house, gave him a great big hug, and started calling for her (of course she didn't pay any attention to me). So, I dodged huge piles of horse poo to get over to her. Of course as soon as she saw me she squatted for me to pick her up and I carried little "Ho-bag" home.

 

Happy ending to a crazy little chicken story. Even crazier...we got 11 eggs today!

More (Mis)Adventures of the Dynamic Duo

Posted by Angie on October 7, 2013 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (1)

Yesterday, while running errands, Daisy and Duke (aka the Dynamic Duo) were at it again:

Nice, huh? Not. (Daisy is on the left, Duke is on the right)

 

If you remember a couple of months ago (see July 19th post), D & D played their little "let's destroy something while they're gone" game before. Ultimately, we will never know which one of these little "angels" are fully responsible as the instigator of these "little" games, but we DO know that this cushion WAS in (Crazy) Daisy's crate and that SHE is the one who needs "doggie downers" because of her "nerve" problem. I'm not kidding.

 

A few of weeks ago, Billy was traveling a lot for work and Daisy was--to put it gently--an absolute hot mess. She had nightly (really runny) diarrhea and behaved like she just didn't feel good. She moped around the house, stared out the window, and slept a lot (but sometimes, she would just run around and around in circles for no apparent reason. It was really weird.). 

 

After about 3 very early mornings of cleaning up watery (and very stinky) steaks of puppy poo all over the living room, I decided I needed to take her to the vet, stat. So, I took her (and Duke) to the vet, extremely worried that something was wrong with her. After a battery of (expensive) tests, we found NOTHING wrong with her; she just missed Billy. Can you believe that happy crap? I spent $140 to find out that one of our puppies is co-dependent on Billy (and I am convinced she is also bipolar [Click HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE]).

 

So, I guess we can't call her Crazy Daisy anymore because she REALLY is crazy. I have the paperwork (and medications) to prove it.


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