Saturday, October 27, 2007


The oats are growing! The chickens found them right after they sprouted, so they had a blast eating them at that stage, which makes them look rather sparse now. Pokey has been jumping into this fenced off area and having a daily feast. Erinn took this great picture from a unique perspective. The oats we planted in the garden about two weeks after we planted these are growing well too. We plan to grow out the broilers in the garden so that they will have greens to eat.

Yesterday we stopped by the meat market in town to get some summer sausage for Kris to take when he goes hunting next weekend. It's cheaper and better tasting than what you can get at the grocery store. Kris asked the owner if he would be interested in buying chickens from us. He said he would LOVE to but of course the government wouldn't let him because they have to be butchered at a USDA approved facility. He said that he would buy all we could produce if it was legal because he gets lots of phone calls from people wanting organic chickens, eggs, etc. He can buy beef from local people because there is a "USDA kill floor" at one of the meat markets in Fredericksburg. He has people take the live animals there and he pays them a processing fee, then sells the meat at his place in Kerrville.

The First Maran Egg!

At "only" 6 months, 2 weeks, and 4 days old the Marans have started laying! Well, one of them has anyway. Hopefully the rest of them will follow suit. The Maran egg is the darkest one in this picture. The white one is store bought (gasp!) and the others are various shades of brown ones from our other hens.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Validation Pic

The parents were all backing up to the door of the ag barn, and unloading wild goats. Dragging them, herding them, whatever it took to get them into the pens. We did not even bother to park near the door because our 3 wethers lead really well.
When it was time to go, I took Mooky's goat (he stayed home with a bad stomach ache), and as Erinn was fixing to get the other two a lady asked if we needed help. "Oh no thanks! Erinn can get those two and I've got this one." The look on her face was quite hilarious. She was expecting the goats to be wild and uncooperative like the rest of the goats in the barn! But, Erinn walked out, holding one collar in each hand with two perfectly behaved goats marching alongside. :o) Out the door, down the hill and to the truck.

Megalopyge opercularis

An asp in it's larval form on our gate post. Wikipedia says: "The 'fur' of the larva contains venomous spines that cause extremely painful reactions in human skin upon contact. The reactions are sometimes localized to the affected area but are often very severe, radiating through the limb and causing numbness, tingling, rashes and blisters, and more systemic symptoms such as chest pain and anaphylaxis."

This critter stung Erinn on her lower arm last night and she was in a lot of pain. If the bendadryl and ibuprofen hadn't helped we were going to go to the ER! Thankfully, they did help and she fell asleep for the night around 9. We also kept ice on it for 3 hours, and a heating pad on low on her shoulder helped relieve the deep pain there. Last night we went looking for what stung her but didn't find it until just before we went to town this morning. I told Kris not to smash it until I got a picture so we could try to identify it later.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Need Links

Alex, what happened to your CrossBows site?
Kiwi, what happened to your crossyr site?

Everyone, send me your links!


This is probably going to be our last year in 4-H due to the NAIS. (How appropriate - the spell checker wanted me to put NAZI in place of NAIS!!!)
But, since the kids already have their goats we are going to go ahead and show one last time.
Today is "Validation Day".
You load up your unsuspecting goats and take them to get their ears pierced. They put a Gillespie County 4-H tag in their ears and get a small hair sample for DNA. This way if there is any dispute among the winners about cheating, you can prove whether or not the winner is showing the same goat that was validated. Not that WE need to worry about that! To WIN you have to build a track, buy or train a dog to "run the goats" and build up their muscles. How's that for "natural"? Our goats get plenty of exercise, but they certainly aren't running laps around the property to build up their muscles...
Mooky spent a lot of money on a show goat before we found out that minor little detail. Erinn didn't spend ANY money on a goat. She wants to show one of the little orphans we got from our neighbor. She says if she is going to come in last place anyway she might as well not waste any money on the goat!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A few days ago, when I let the kids out of the lean-to for the first time, all the goats and even the chickens were really curious about them. Dana ran all the goats off, and when the kids laid down for a nap, she went off to browse. This young rooster was SO intrigued with the kids that he ended up sitting beside them for about 20 minutes. Weirdo.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Pokey meets kids

Here is the shelter we made for the kids to keep them out of the nasty cold wind! They have already figured out that it is warmer to sleep in there. I drop the blanket down over most of the opening at night.
Today I let them out of the lean-to and Pokey came nosing around. One of the kids started following her, and then Dana started following the kid, calling "Come BACK!" and pretty soon all 3 were running!


The chicks are nearly two weeks old now, and growing like crazy! They still have plenty of room in the horse trailer (they aren't as crowded as they look in this picture), but will need to be moved to the barn soon. After a week or so in the barn, we will probably go ahead and put them in the chicken tractors.

Mooky and Diamond in the cold early morning darkness.

The goats were snug and warm in the barn, but Surprise started shivering when I let them out, so I put an old sweatshirt on her. She kept trying to jump out of it. Velvet, River, and Arkansas sniffed her all over trying to see who this Red Stranger was!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Thanks Alex for linking to our blogs on your blog!

And thanks to Teresa for linking to our farm website on your website! I just noticed that a couple days ago. :o)

Now, if I could just get all the links on this page like I want them! Alex told me how, but I haven't had time to mess with it yet.

New chicken pens

A lady in Kerrville gave us these "nursery tables". 10x3 feet, the top is hardware cloth. We could only fit 4 on the trailer. She also gave Erinn this like-new bicycle!

As you can see, we had lots of help in turning these tables into chicken pens.

The sunshine/shade makes the pictures too dark. Sorry!

We are making two pens, each one using 2 tables. We took the legs off one table and attached it to another table, like so.

We've got the roof on the first one. Just need to build a chicken door, and put the chicks in!