A snapshot of days gone by… wintery scene with Herefords in our field.
(No idea whose hand that is either!)
Marilyn: Question: how is your new granddaughter? and the bigger siblings doing?
Reagan seems to be doing fine. I’ve actually not seen her much, she’s had lots of visitors, so I’ll bug her more when things are quiet again. Big Brother is in love, Big Sister is not overly impressed at this point. Eh, that’ll change day by day, especially when she starts crawling, I’m sure!!!!
Russell: How did the forage wheat turn out as hay and do you plan to plant it again in 2018?
Yes, I imagine they will, though I haven’t overheard any plans. This, I believe, was our second time with it, and I know they were pretty happy with it.
Pam: I was wondering if there will be any more puppies / litter on the ranch? Have you given up on breeding ?
Oh, I think you timed that question just right before all the Lucas/Eden/AI posts! I had not given up on breeding, it’s just the two times I tried to breed Dally, she didn’t take, then I had to wait two years for Eden to grow up, and then she didn’t take last spring, so… we did the whole AI thing… twice! It’s just been killing me, all my neighbors have had pups… some multiple litters… and me, the “breeder” with the kennel name and everything, couldn’t get a litter to save my life!!!! Here’s hoping Rimrock English Shepherds has a litter in February!!!
Kris: My question – did the Good Doctor take a look at what Lucas was producing? Numbers and motility?
Oh, yes. The Good Doctor took the slide back to his office, then yelled at me to come look. He walked away and I looked in the microscope. “That doesn’t look good,” I raised my voice so he could hear me in the next room. Back came the yell, “Focus! Focus!” “Oh. Oh. Hey, that’s GOOD!!!” 😉 He said he was very impressed with the numbers and liveliness!
Mary: Any chance you can collect and freeze some semen too?
We are checking into it… but they have to get a kit of some kind???? I don’t know, the new young vet is looking into it for me. If we could, that’d be AMAZING. What do you know about it? We have tanks full of bull semen, Lucas could just have room for a few straws easily enough!
Joanne: A question: if a winter storm is coming your way, what do you do to prepare for it. Both for your family, home and your animals.
This is a great question, Joanne… and it made me think. The honest answer to your question is that we prepare all year long. We’ve grown all that hay so the cows can make it through the winter on good feed. We don’t sell our feed, we use it or stockpile it or even buy some just to make sure that we will have surplus in case of bad weather. I have a basement full of food and toilet paper and a full wood box for my wood stove. I have medicine and tanks of gasoline and probably more stuff than would really be necessary, barring the zombie apocalypse. I see those people on tv clearing off store shelves if a storm is heading their way… and I think, REALLY? You should have that stuff ALREADY ON YOUR SHELF AT HOME, PEOPLE!!!!! Three days of food is all a supermarket holds in most areas, if people had a big emergency. Barring fresh milk (that I hope I could get from some of my neighbors), I’m set. We’re prepared. We might eat a lot of beef and beans, but, hey, that’s ok! If the cows are going to be calving soon, we might bring them into a closer field to keep an eye on them easier… but other than that, I couldn’t think of anything that just isn’t standard practice here. We are here to protect ourselves and those animals. We are ready.
Ellen: What do you feed your adult dogs? Has that changed over the years–for instance, have you started relying more (or less) on commercial feeds over time? Do you feed supplements like glucosamine or vitamin C or fish oil?
I feed Loyall brand dog food, mixing the flavors up a bit for variety and weather/work conditions. It’s not the most expensive, nor the cheapest. I will, on occasion, buy some Taste of the Wild brand, because my dogs really like it, but the price is pretty high. I just mix it in with their normal fare… kinda like gravy with mashed potatoes! Special treat! If I buy treats with glucosamine or chondroitin, guaranteed Lucas will like the first one, then refuse the rest of the bag. He’s a poop about it. I gave him Platinum Performance Plus powder, but he got to where he’d eat around it. He’s been off of it for a while, and I’m giving him some now. He’s currently eating it. Of course, I feed table scraps. I would feed a raw diet, but Lucas can’t handle the gristle and tendons since his pelvis is so narrow. It just clogs him up. Eden can eat ANYTHING. and does. old. gross. dried up bones. disgusting things. yup. that’s her. I’d get her a deer license and fill her a freezer, if she had a say in anything.
Peg: Plymouth Rock?
Yes, I have Barred Rocks, brown Leghorns, and New Hampshire Reds. It is a Barred Plymouth Rock that is setting this time. I won’t get Leghorns again, even though they’re good layers. They freak out every day when I walk in the coop. They’re horribly flighty birds!
Marilyn: I see the Christmas Cactus plant looking healthy, but no blossoms yet?
It should be renamed Halloween Cactus. Silly thing.
Thanks for the questions, folks! I hope I answered them all!
I’d say my record stinks.
Back a few months ago… this happened.
Eleven chicks! It was totally a surprise as the hen did not set on them in the coop, but in some undisclosed location.
Well, across the summer, eleven fell to six. Ah, the great life (and death) of free-range chickens that live with dogs, cats, eagles, hawks, raccoons, foxes, weasels, coyotes…
Six hens. I could live with six new hens to my flock.
Except some of them continued to grow certain parts of their anatomy. Combs grew taller, tails began to plume. What did you think I was talking about?????
Yeah. I ended up with five – FIVE – roosters and ONE little hen to add to my flock.
You know what that means.
Done not nearly as efficiently as my Mam-ma would have done. (I once saw my grandmother wring the necks of some older hens my mother-in-law gave me to stew. She did it in no time, never once getting her white polyester pants dirty! I was impressed!) Yes. This pic is BEFORE I cleaned them up…
And two young roosters made a great pot of chicken and dumplings.
The neat thing… another hen has gone broody as of last week… Hopefully, my record won’t stink with this clutch!
Every little bit, I’m trying to squeeze in some crafting.
‘Tis the season, dontchya know?
I’m on a mercury glass kick right now… Those old, mottled, silvered/mirrored glass objects… not the real stuff, I probably couldn’t afford those. Just a remake.
I took some old vases and bottles…
I spritzed the inside with vinegar and water mix, sprayed in the paint, let it dry, gave it a couple of coats ending with a dab of gold spray paint and a layer of black paint… and they turned out like this.
Then I started looking around for other things to do. This old-style picture frame caught my eye… and I turned it into a vintage mirror that looks like it came from my grandmother’s house.