Friday, October 31, 2008

Chickens in the garden!

Chicken fertilizer is great, and chickens eat bugs, but I can see why you don't want them in your garden until you're done with it for the season - they just burrow down and make themselves at home!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Scoops the Wandering Llama

Patrone arrived home from the 'gelding party' today, a little sore but otherwise fine. I think he was happy to come home. But the other llamas were so excited to see him, I put him in the orchard and gave him some hay so he wouldn't have to fight for it. But Scoops, his buddy, wasn't happy with that, so he jumped out of the corral and into the backyard. I had to go to work so I left him there. When I came home from work he wasn't there anymore, he had continued hopping fences and ended up in the neighbor's pasture!

So I dragged out the evening hay and some grain, and tried to lure him back, but he just kept running up and down the fenceline. Finally I took the scoop of grain and a halter (behind my back) and climbed over the fence to go get him. Took two tries, but he wasn't too eager to stay free. So I haltered him and walked him back home.

He was a fence jumper at Martha's and that got him locked in a barn stall all last winter. If he decides fences can't hold him here either he'll have to go back to her barn for his own safety. I wouldn't want him to get lost or hit by a car.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Patrone's surprise

Patrone has been a bit uppity lately. What he doesn't know is that Saturday he's going to a little party - a Gelding Party! We have four animals in the 4H club who need to be gelded - two alpacas, and two llamas, and Patrone is one of them. So Saturday they are all going to Martha's farm and the vet will come do them all at once! Sorry buddy - snip snip!

Grazing the backyard AND Is that a He or a She?

The critters have all been stuck in the corral since I took them off the pasture last week so it can recover over the winter. So I thought they'd be happy today when I put them in the backyard to graze. I figured it was tall enough it could use to be eaten down a bit, and there's nothing back there I care about them damaging.

Of course, they still complain as soon as they see me - Baaaaaaaa!

Here's Mom and her not-so-little lambs. Marian is in the middle, Indy is on the right.

Here's Big Bird, he's starting to get a tail. Unfortunately he's starting to get those nasty spikes on the back of his legs too!

Just for comparison, here are two of my three buff orpington girls. Two of them look like the one in the top picture, but the third one is in the bottom picture. A lot more red on the face, and starting to get a tail. I think I might have an extra rooster!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mighty and Barclay

Monday, October 13, 2008

Morning on the farm

Fall has set in and it's a bit colder now, the grass is pretty sparse out in the field, and every morning I have a list of chores to tackle before breakfast. Let out the chickens (if I remembered to close the coop door the night before), and count to make sure no one is missing - lets see, there's Big Bird, Penny, the three Buff Girls, Blackie, Big Red (in the nest box this morning), and Little Red - all accounted for. The sheep and llamas need their hay, but I have to get it into the corral without any over-excited sheep, goats, or llamas pushing their way into the yard. Chase Scoops out of the orchard where he's filling up on windfall apples (the big pest pushed over the fence to get to them). Play with Barclay so he will rest and quit destroying things around the house for a bit. Look for chicken eggs (it's like an easter egg hunt, I never know where they will lay them next). Then I can come inside and get to work!

Oh, and while chasing Scoops out of the orchard I noticed an apple tree I had not really looked at before, and it had some nice big apples on it, so I tried one - Fuji! Yum! I hope next year I can take better care of the orchard and really get some nice production out of it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The beggin' crew

When I get out the hay this is what's waiting for me at the fenceline. Notice how Patrone is leaning on the fence - like he thinks there won't be enough for everybody!

Folks often ask 'do they spit'. Well, yes, but you can usually avoid it if you know what to look for. Here's what to look for. See how Scoops has his head tilted up, and his ears flat back. Someone's about to get spit on!

Nothing but happy tails around the hay feeder!

Houdini take a bit of his lunch to-go :-)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Barclay and the 'flirt pole'

I built a 'flirt pole' for Barclay. This is a dog toy that is similar to a 'cat fishing pole', where you have a dangly toy on a stick and the cat goes nuts for it. Well, same thing, but dog sized! I took a stick, drilled a hole in the end and put an old rope through it, knotted one end and tied a toy to the other. Because the rope goes through the stick I can pull it back and make the rope longer or shorter depending on what game we're playing with it.

The flirt gives us some extra training opportunities, like learning 'drop', 'sit' and to 'wait' until released to play!

Then I swing the toy around, drag it on the ground, flip it in the air, and he goes nuts chasing it!

And since he loves to tug the stick gives me a little extra leverage :-)

Nothing sweeter than chewing on your catch! Barclay had no interest in this toy until I tied it to a rope!

This is a great way to run off all that puppy energy, doesn't take long to wear him out.

Afterwards there's nothing like a dip in the pool - or the sheep trough, whatever you have handy!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Mighty watching over the field

Mighty has found a new hangout, on top of the shelter where she can watch over the field for critters to go catch.

Alki and Barclay

I just love the look on Barclay's face - he's such a clown!

RIP Chester

Chester took a turn for the worse this morning and we had to rush him to the vet. We knew it was time, but the vet wanted to try to give him some painkillers and see how he was tomorrow. We both felt strongly that enough was enough. The poor guy had artheritis, heart and lung problems, a dead leg, and couldn't control his potty anymore. We had worked hard to keep him comfortable, but he was just miserable. We were waiting for the sign that it was time, and when he collapsed this morning we knew that was it. I couldn't see bringing him home and putting him through anymore.