I got daring and put 2 of the tomato seedlings in the ground yesterday. Then last night, I heard the overnight lows are going down to 31 at night. At least it’s only 2 of them. One of them was pretty withered this morning, while the other looked just fine. Go figure.
I put the sheep, goats, Cholula and the calf out in the pasture next to the house. It didn’t take but a couple of days for them to eat it right on down to nubs. I was shocked. This morning I let the sheep and goats back out into the large sheep pasture behind the corrals and Cletus went with them to keep watch. Today I will bring EmmaLou in and put the other cows in the milk pasture where there is more for them to eat. That’s where she will spend most of the summer after she freshens again, since the leppie calves that come in will get the sheep pasture. There should be plenty enough for all the small stock there. I will soon be playing musical pastures.
My old Paint horse may be coming home. I had placed him with a young girl before we came here, because we were very uncertain of our future and I was too attached to him to sell him. Now they are moving to Alaska and he’s coming back. My son wants him, but isn’t sure this is a good time, what with the girls being so little, so I have to find a way to get him HERE. I’m gonna need hay to change him over as he has never, ever been on pasture. I raised this feller and stood him as a stallion for a couple of years. I used to ride him at liberty with no bridle or saddle. Later I used him as one of my therapy horses for the Equine Assisted Therapy program I ran for handicapped kids and adults. I would really like to keep him up close to the house, as I could ride more often then, until I get strong enough to go out and follow cows with everyone else again. I miss that. Here’s hoping I can get him back soon. Summer would be a very good time.
Delivery on my meatie chickens was delayed because of hatching and delivery problems so I am expecting them next week. I would really like to build a brooder to go out in the shed, but I am worried I will need the shed for the goats to kid in. I’m not sure when they are due, because Peebody had such a difficult time getting them bred, I gave up keeping dates.
Chickens in the house isn’t a real terrible thing if it's just a couple, but when you have 30, and they are meaties, which are pretty much just eating, pooping machines, its very unpleasant. Add to that the weird ‘chicken dust’ that they generate and its a living nightmare.
I think this year, we will see if we can find 2 of the big metal boxes out in the bone yard and put them in the milk room. Those are 4x4x2 so they should be adequate for 30 birds until they can go outside to forage a bit. I am going to try fermenting the feed as well, as there is a poster on a couple of the web forums that has had marvelous success with it and her chickens look really healthy, not typical of this breed which often die suddenly and rarely live past their butcher weight which is usually reached at about 8 weeks, due to their rapid growth.
Meantime, back at the ranch, my little Buff hen had all the feathers pulled off of her back by the evil roosters. They haven’t grown back and she was getting a bad sunburn, so I had to buy her this little vest.
It doesn’t seem to bother her at all, but it scared the bejeebers out of Mr T when he saw her waddling up with her camo vest on. I believe he thought she was about to ‘take him out’.
Cletus has been so attached to the lambs that Bruno has taken chicken duty. I suppose he will raise the 30 meaties that are coming.
Yesterday a black kitty wandered into the big corral. Rosemary was out there and wanted a closer look. She took a gander then got her ‘crew’ and together they chased the poor little thing all over the corral. If that wasn’t humiliating enough, the cat went into the next corral and got the same disrespectful treatment from the chickens.
Since my spring wheat never really came up in the chicken corral, I expect them to go through the gate into the big corral where there is more grass to forage in. I put an empty feed trough on its side for them to hide in, in the case of a hawk attack, if Bruno should be off somewhere else. Stinky and Rosemary thought it would be a great place to play hide and seek.
It’s Stinky’s turn to count...
And Rosemary’s turn to hide.
Then it was Stinky's turn to hide...
He's really not very good at this game, but it keeps them off the streets.
Cider wanted me to throw his ball for him. I tossed it in the chicken corral, fully expecting them to scatter as he blasted through the middle of their flock...instead they chased him.
As neurotic as my animals are, it would not have surprised me if they had taken it from him and brought it back to me.