Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Good and the Bad

Good: Nathan got more tilapia last week! I don't have any photos of Fred's place this year since it looks exactly the same as it did last year...minus the goats on the truck. They were apparently taking a walk through the neighbourhood while we were there.

Good: Erika and her newly adopted chihuahua Taz came for a visit! 

Did you know Chihuahuas smile? 
(I wasn't poking him, I swear. I was scratching under his collar).

Good: Abby really liked that fact that Taz was newly-neutered and still smelled like testosterone.

Bad: Taz is about 6" tall (if that) and Abby's flirting attempts came across more as squashing attempts.

Good: Magpie has 4 adorable chicks and is sitting on the last 3 eggs. These are called Easter-Egger chicks since they have Saul the Ameraucana dad (we think - although the one big guy may be Zebra Head's) and will lay various shades of blue-green-white eggs. 

A sampling of our current egg colour and size varieties - pretty!:

Two of the chicks look like this:

Magpie is being such a good mum and telling her chicks when to go eat and drink while still sitting on the remaining eggs.

Good: We got our next batch of broiler chicks! They are an Asian breed that will be a bit slower growing but will also (hopefully) have less of the problems that go along with the fast growing broilers (back/leg problems). They are also apparently better at foraging.

Bad: They are super skittish right now and can squeeze through the brooder chicken wire!

Good: They turn into gorgeous looking birds.

Bad: I will, inevitably, want to keep 1 or 2 as layers. They are grey and orange and really very pretty!

Good: When we got home with the chicks, Oprah was in labour! 
(warning - slightly graphic images)

A hoof!

A hoof with a nose on top:

Doesn't that image above make you want to get your hands right in there and help?


Yup...the lamb was stuck with it's head out with one leg forward and one bent right back (both legs should be forward). I scrubbed up and reached in and...OW! Those are some hand crushing muscles. After a few minutes of assisting I helped pull out a giant ewe lamb. She is the same size as Amelia's 3 week old lambs!

Bad: Only one lamb...

but Good: We get to keep her! She isn't inbred and she is a girl so she'll join our little flock.

Also Good: Oprah is being a great mom so far. Sorry Oprah - we shouldn't have doubted you. 

Goats. Good and Bad! Naughty, naughty goats.

Now for the worst of the Bad...we got an email yesterday morning from our landlord giving us official notice that he will be moving in to this house with his family next spring. That gives us a year to move out. Time to buy our own farm? 

Sunday, April 20, 2014


I have no photos of new lambs...because Oprah still hasn't had any! Amelia and her lambs keeping trying to get in with Thomas. I had to get him into a makeshift pen to go get them out. He is very gentle with the lambs but we still don't want them all in there together. 

Magpie beat Oprah to motherhood; she started sitting on her nest of 7 eggs the weekend when I was away, when I was sure I would miss all the lambs being born. This morning, Magpie's first egg hatched a tiny adorable black with yellow head-stripe Zebra Head Junior. I will try to get some photos later.

We boiled down all of our sap and got...2 of these bottles worth! It is delicious, though, even though it was a lot of effort. So far we've had yams with maple syrup sauce. Yummy.

My family visited for a lovely Easter weekend and...I don't have photos of that. Sorry Lisa! My sister pointed out that I have no photos of her on the blog. Oops! I'm always so busy showing them everything new that I forget to take photos. 

Speaking of showing them something new, it was when we saw little 1.5 week old ram mounting his little ewe sister that we realized we had neglected to think about castrating him. Rams can apparently mate by 4 months, and since we don't want to have to separate him from his mum and sister by then, we castrated him last night. Poor little guy...Nathan made me operate the elastrator. Little ram was walking a bit funny afterwards but he seems fine today. I wish we had done it a little bit earlier (maybe less painful then) but I think he'll be ok.

Unimpressed goat.

Unimpressed Abby and oblivious Ryan.

One day not too far away Zoey will outgrow Abby!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sunshine Lambs

We have to separate Amelia and the lambs from Oprah and the goats. We expected the goats to maybe try and jump around too much with the lambs, but we weren't expecting Oprah to try and head butt them! It's making us slightly nervous that she is going to be a bad mom when she finally pops her lambs out...and she is *huge*. I can't believe she hasn't had them yet.

Amelia can't go more than a few steps without it being twin nursing time.

She lets us go up and hold them but she is super protective of them around the dogs - she rammed Ryan today when he was walking by and not even paying attention to them!

I swear I am not getting attached. Plus, the fact that their daddy is their grandpa means their fate is sealed. Sigh.

We got boxes and boxes of bread and dairy products and vegetables from a little farm down the road that has a grocery store source for expired food but not enough livestock to feed it all to. The pigs especially love the yoghurt...there is a reason that pigs are known for being messy!

We let Zoey in to play with the pigs and she came out covered in pig slobber and yoghurt. Luckily I had a 4 yr old visiting to help me give her a bath. It involved a lot of puppy screaming and cheese whiz.

 Zoey's big ears fell over! I hope they go back up after she's done teething (puppy ears can do strange things while puppies are teething).

We are going to have to put plastic down on the orchard. I'm disappointed that we couldn't try lasagna gardening - when I checked under the areas where we did put cardboard, the soil looked really nice. It was full of worms and didn't have grass growing back. Everywhere else, though, grass is making its way up through the layer of compost so we had to get our landlord to till it again (the parts that we hadn't planted yet) and we will find some plastic to block the weeds. At this point I just want our plants to do well! The broccoli and cabbage seedlings aren't looking great out that the sun has made more of an appearance our fingers are crossed that they'll perk up.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What the heck?

"How DARE you tell us we can't sleep in the barn??"

There is a good reason why naughty Maggie and May have been kicked out of the barn....LOOK!:

Amelia had twins on Monday! One boy and one girl. Nathan watched the entire birth (I rushed home from work and missed it by 10 minutes) and apparently it went really smoothly for Amelia. 

The little girl is smaller and more delicate than the boy - he is the one with more black on him.

I already saw them hopping straight up in the air last night. They are so so so cute!

Tiny hoof:

Tiny altogether:

Less than an hour old here:

The little girl:

The little boy:

I probably should have split this into two many photos!

Saul leading one of his ladies around.

He has become quite the looker:

Broiler chicks getting huge:

Sheba is also huge. She is one of the original heritage birds that was intended for meat, but at the time we had so few laying hens that we kept her for eggs. She is a fatty...

Can you spot the puppy?

What about now?

Zoey is 15 weeks old now and she's getting faster and faster. She is also becoming a good little farm dog. She pretty much ignores the chickens and mostly just wants to eat their food and poop. Yum.

Closely supervised goat sniffing. I don't trust May not to head butt the puppy!

Totally unrelated shot of the delicious oysters that Nathan made after our landlord gave them to us. Ham, onions, hot sauce and lemon good.


I wonder if she'll go broody again this spring or summer. As much as I loved SoZH, it will be better to have SoS (Sons of Saul) running around. SoZH was just way too big. Saul is a normal sized rooster. I'm also wondering whether Saul x 'regular' hens offspring will lay blue-ish eggs? Saul is an Ameraucana, but I'm not sure how those genetics work when combined with non Ameraucanas. If blue egg genes are recessive then I guess we wouldn't see them in any off Saul's offspring, except for Saul x Gus (Gus is the Ameraucana hen). We might find out when Magpie's eggs hatch - she is on day 12ish of brooding 4 of her eggs, 2 'regular' eggs and 1 blue egg.

Happy happy farm dog:

Slightly less happy farm dog with his ear being eaten by the puppy devil:

Abby and Zoey play all the time now.

Zoey looking almost grown up.

Another happy farm dog.