Thursday, May 25, 2017

Surprise Calf

We had a surprise calf several weeks ago. It was just out there in the field one day. 

Number 6 cow is Rosie. And this is her first calf for us.

This brings our "herd" count up to 29.

And our other calves aren't so small anymore.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

More Eggs

A few days after I found that stash, I found more eggs hidden under some branches of a tree. Same size and shape eggs. Same hen.

It's like an Easter egg hunt. Except not as fun.

I had an idea that I would swap out the real eggs with a couple of wooden eggs. Then if she laid more eggs I would at least know where to look. The last photo is the wooden eggs.

But no luck. She hasn't gone back to that same spot. So I'm back to hunting for them in the woods if I ever see her outside the fencing.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Bad Connection

We had a bad connection with the electric fencing recently. It took us a couple of days to work out it wasn't working properly and then a few more days to isolate the problem and get it fixed.

The first hint we had was finding one of the goats snarled up in the fencing. If the fence had been hot, the poor goat would have been crying and wailing. After I got her untangled and the fencing back and the goats all back inside the fencing, I thought I'd solved the problem. But I turned around and there they were again - outside the fencing.

The goats and dogs took advantage of the situation and did as they pleased for several days. The goats found a nice patch of green grass and the dogs wandered up to the house. Thankfully the cows were in an area that wasn't affected.

The problem ended up being a bad "energizer" (for lack of a better word) that reduces and pulses the current to make it safe.

We are planning to arrange better and more permanent fencing for the goats at some point. It's just time and money. Time and money.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Egg Stash

I was letting out the chickens one morning awhile back. And feeding them. It was also raining that day.

The first thing I saw was a single egg sitting in the middle of one of the runs. The hens don't usually lay eggs out in the open. I somehow missed it the day before. I had probably locked up the chickens after dark and didn't think to look down the run.

Later I decided to walk around to see how much grass was in the run and if I needed to move the fencing. You may remember that I try to move the fencing after it rains.

Then I saw it. A pile of eggs! Just sitting there in the tall grass. Just a few feet from where I walk all the time. Waiting to be found. Thirteen eggs! All exactly the same size and shape and color. All from the same hen.

I'm wondering how she got out at least 13 days without me noticing she was outside the fence. And I'm amazed that nothing had disturbed them in that period of time.

Then I turned around and happened to notice something under the coop. More eggs! How do I not notice them? What is going on?

One reason is that most of the eggs are brown and there were lots of dead leaves on the ground that look the same color. But still.

Then I remembered it had been a full moon the night before. I'm convinced it's the moon.

I had to put these eggs in the fridge (remind yourself here why I don't usually refrigerate the eggs) because they had been washed by the rain, and I also wasn't sure how old they all were. We kept these eggs for our own use and ended up eating them all because they were all fine.

(The eggs in the last photo show the stash on the left and the others I found under the coop and in the run on the right. Notice how identical the ones on the left are.)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Our Friend

Everyone should be blessed with at least one good friend. We've been blessed with an abundance of loving family and many faithful friends. We had several offers of help from them before, during and after my surgery.

Once my surgery had been scheduled, it only took about a day before our friend the Factor was on the road, making his way to Texas to help us. He's visited and stayed with us the most since we moved here and knows our property well. Remind yourself here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and probably a few more I've missed.

His job was to stay here at the house and look after all the animals while we were at the hospital. He set his own personal goal to make sure none of the animals went missing or died.

He also asked for my "to-do" list in case there was something on it he could do on the more quiet days. He mowed the lawns front and back. He fixed the small door pull and the big door of my chicken coop. He set out traps and caught several rounds of mice. This was all in addition to feeding the goats and dogs twice a day, opening/locking up and feeding the chickens, collecting the eggs, and looking after our dog and his dog. I'm sure there were lots of other things he did that we weren't aware of because we weren't here.

He was happy to report that when we returned there were still 58 animals alive and well. In fact there was one extra because a calf was born.

We are thankful to his family for lending him to us for THREE weeks!