Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Spring updates!

Does this angle make my nose look big?

Just wants pets. He is so itchy when his hair/wool starts coming out!

Just wants a bit of grain, please!

Phillip is BIG. Probably because he still tries to nurse from his mom!

Oprah and her minions after her hand-shearing job by moi. 

Amelia halfway through her shedding job taken care of my nature.

We have lots going on right now! Our meat birds are a week away from processing, the lambs and pigs are growing quickly, Pippa keeps us constantly on our toes and we have 3 dogs staying with us for the next week (let's not bother tallying that total number...plus one is little Lucy so she doesn't count. And one is elderly. And the other is short.) I'm also helping to get our chickens ready for camp. That's right, we're sending our chickens to summer camp. 

We're going to camp??

Yep, it's true. Our chickens are going to be trained for 2 weeks by trainers coming from as far as Alaska. Chickens are ideal animals to use to really improve your timing and mechanics...dogs are way too easy to be sloppy with since they're so forgiving. Chickens, on the other hand..

Pretty Penny - one of the incubator chicks from January.

Her sister, Goldie. These barnyard mutts turned out so pretty!



If you've been following my journey into crazy chicken lady-ness, you will know that my life's goal has been to breed chickens that will produce olive eggs. Technically if you breed a dark or blue egg laying hen with a rooster that carries genes for the opposite colour, you will get some hens that lay olive eggs. When you take into account that you get 50% hens, it takes them 5+ months to start laying, not every one will lay olive eggs, and then untimely deaths (damn you, mink!) on top of that....well, you can see why I was so excited to find those green beauties in the nest box yesterday. Green eggs and ham, Sam-I-Am!

Um, did you say HAM??

Sorry, piggies. Maybe we'll make goat sausage, instead. PIPPA!!! That's her new sneaky way into the meat birds pasture to check if they left any food behind. The large gap on the right was blocked with a board...which she knocked down, and then climbed the coop roof instead (just to show that she is unstoppable). She took a few bites of plum leaves and then gracefully leapt all 5' down into the field. Sigh.

Maybe she should go live with Loic ;) They were so cute together when Erika, Jess and Loic visited a few weeks ago.

Loic loves all the animals

Jess working on her fear of chickens.

Meat birds looking for grubs. 

These are a french breed called Sasso. Good looking birds, and they have been super active foragers.

Oh we were also busy celebrating my birthday this weekend! We drove across to the coast and did a big loop back. We stopped at some really cute markets and went horseback riding!

These two came with us. So cute together.

Ryan is not pictured because he's been taking 'conserving energy for the big event' to the extreme and lazing around the house. We are going to agility regionals this weekend! Then I come back for a week and then I go galavanting off to LA for a vacation. So much to look forward to!

Silver looking forward, too. 

This is Finn. He/she is about 1/10th of the size of his/her egg-mates. Don't know why, but seems to act just fine. Funny!

One of the egg-mates. These are called Marans - another french breed. 

Abby is my protector. One look from Thomas and she's on it. 

The garden has also been keeping us busy. Up until today it hadn't rained in weeks. Our irrigation system isn't quite up and running so that means lots of hand watering for now.

Tomatoes, beans and some potted squash and cukes.

Apples! We didn't think we'd get any yet this year.

Garlic, kale, onions, broccoli, tomatoes in front.

We got some nice heads of broccoli this year.

Hugels seem to be doing pretty well. 

Some corn seedlings to be transplanted.

 Lots of raspberries:

These blueberries are huge.

The pond bank has magically filled in with grass where we cleared it. It actually looks nice instead of mucky and/or covered in brush!