Saturday, January 21, 2012

EE momma

Don't piss off a momma defending her chicks!

Little brown is growing up!
Except, wait! Those aren't her chicks!! She didn't hatch them (EE#1 did that) she didn't raise them (EE#2) did that, she's not even remotely related to any of them!

And yet, EE#3 apparently wants to be a momma hen so badly, she took in the little chickies.

She scared the crap out of me when I went looking for a missing chick and couldn't find him, only to see her sitting funny & realize there was a little bum under her wings.

I'm absolutely astounded by the mothering instincts of these easter eggers. They're simply amazing.

(I mentioned both EE#1 & #3 were sitting on eggs last week, I collected the eggs and am trying to break them of their broodiness, the eggs were abandoned several times, and froze it's just too cold in the coop for chicks right now)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Water, Water, Everywhere

And all of it frozen solid!

After spending $40 each on heated water buckets I wasn't overly pleased at the goats pulling the cords out of the wall so their buckets would freeze anyway!! (Plus major fire hazard). Luckily I bagged myself an electrician, all fixed.

Surv always runs over to
be the first to have a nice long
clean drink
The only problem with the cord running under the board is when the goats poo in their water, as they do every freaking day!! I have to pour their bucket into another bucket to take it outside, but it's a minor inconvenience for having running water for them.

The chicken water was less simple. The waterer itself cost us about $70, funny thing is we can also buy a heated base for it for another... $70. The layer birds do not make enough money for us right now for those kinds of investments.

(In fact I have about 8 full cartons of eggs in my fridge right now I can't sell because our front steps are not evenly spaced/way to slippery; so unless I want to go stand out beside the road & flag cars down, I've got to wait until spring/new steps.)

So using the extra small water bucket we purchased, I rigged this up.

Okay, it looks ridiculous, but works quite well. I had to raise the bucket up so the cord would reach, then create a ramp so the chicks could get to the water, then there are bricks IN the bucket. Hopefully if a chick does fall in, they can get back out. They'll probably freeze to death from being soaked, but at least they won't drown. (Let's just hope they don't fall in!!)

Speaking of things that are fixed, weeks of nagging finally paid off and the back doors of the "goat section* " are finally extended to fill in the area they were heightened.

*I've given up and we're no longer calling it the horse section since the horses are never in it & the goats always are.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

FAIL KSCC: Doggy Bed

Thomas laying on the underside
The dogs love this mat, and we love having a spot for them to lay down in the living room. However, it's super slippery on the bottom and I thought I'd use some drawer cloth to keep it in place...

Well it was a good idea.
It really only works if you step right on one of the non-slip clothes.

Maybe for next time I'll try adding some bigger squares of cloth. One of them is only about 44c at Loblaws where I got it. But I think I'm just doomed to go skittering across my living-room on this mat forever.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Caught 'Yah!

Muhahahahaha MUHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Love this picture of billy, I took
it during the snow storm last week.
If you don't see it, look at his horns!

The goats have been contained! We finally found that last of their little holes, and after a week of being stuck in the paddock unable to cause trouble I can official say they are fenced-in!
Poor things, trapped in the paddock
with all their food, water & shelter
Except that the back fence still need to be replaced this summer and they'll be able to squeeze back out under the fence as soon as the ground thaws... but let's not tell them that until they figure it out.

As soon as that back fence is replaced & we get a donkey, I can start letting the goats out at night! Even now I can finally leave and go to the feed store and not worry about them. It's not that they ever went anywhere once they escaped (actually they'd just wander over and eat my garden or lawn), but you never know.

Oh also the ducks have decided
they live in the barn now
I don't know why the ducks decided to move out to the barn, may have something to do with an over-eager rooster not respecting species boundaries; but they've come in to live with the goats & the pigs and that's just fine with me.

The cows broke into this part of the barn the other day, and Gertie stepped directly on top of Louie. Despite his flapping and attempted squawking she didn't take notice and proceeded to put a great deal of weight directly on top of him before slowly coming to the realisation that (1) the crazy lady was yelling at her (2) there was something under her foot.
They're not talking to me.

Louie is none the worse for wear, although I think next time he'll get out of the cow's way a little faster. Muscovy really are indestructible! (I've heard lots of stories of them being run over by cars and just keep on truckin'...)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Green Porno

Green Porno shows on the Sun Dance Channel, and I always look forward to the free preview month, just for this little treat. I love it! Makes you giggle, makes you think.

NSFW or children. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Business Cards

So I had designed some very simple, but nice enough looking cards on the computer using LibraOffice. Then ran out and bought some card stock from walmart, not expensive either. So we were going to be able to produce our own business cards for a few cents plus my labour. Then I learned something about my laser printer... this model has a problem, you can't print on card stock, the ink rubs off. Which is especially bad with business cards, since they go in your pocket or wallets, outs were blank in a few weeks.

So some friends suggested we try Vista Print, and I'm so glad we did! I'd rather have gone with a local print shop, but the prices were not reasonable for our tiny business; and the big box store prices were just insane. I mostly like vista print because I was able to upload our logo with no problem.

We got 250 business cards, glossy, colour, with a map on the back for under $40 including shipping. I've got about half a dozen that aren't any good out of the bunch (wrong shade/off-cut) but for the price I'm not complaining. These cards look more professional then the ones I made, and I feel like a real business handing them out to people.

Vista Print also does tons of amazing stamps, stickers, shirts, really inexpensively (The car decals were really tempting!). It was pretty difficult just to order the business cards and not get anything else, but I wanted to see how it looked in print first.

We're going to look into having some cloth grocery bags made to go with our beef quarters, but I haven't been able to find a company that can do them at a reasonable price. Maybe I'll just buy an ink-jet and go with iron ons, we'll see (and suggestions more then welcome!!).

Blog Notes

Finally got around to labeling my posts. I know, 'bout time! I have over 300 posts to go through so it's going to take awhile before they all get done. You'll notice them at the bottom of every post from now on, and when you click on one you'll be able to see all my posts with lots of photos in them, or all the ones about the goats, or whatever you're interested in.

Also, as we've officially "launched" the business on Jan 1st, I'm starting a new section of posts (like KSCC, or Cook) on our business. I'll talk about our marketing strategies, most about the finances around raising chickens and such, and what sort of software I'm using, that kinda fun geeky stuff I love. Starting today with a post on our new business cards.

On that note I'd like to offer this 
quote from The Omnivores Dilemma 
"There's money to be made in food, 
unless you're trying to grow it"

I'd also like to welcome any comments or questions about anything we're doing on the farm. Most of the time I am flying by the seat of my pants, but it sure is a lot of fun!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Snow Storm

Finally, Finally!! We got some snow. About 10" of it in 24 hours in fact!

Actually we had a terrible ice rain storm first for about 12 hours which coated everything in ice, and then a HUGE snow storm.

There are ponies out in that field, somewhere...

Farm sure is beautiful in the fresh snow!

Can we come in the house? PLLLEASE?

Poor Surv it was almost up to his tiny belly!

High bush cranberry

Thomas was having fun!

Piggies are big enough now (especially with the snow)
to come out of their pen & out into the barn.
They've been burrowing everywhere looking for food,
having a grand 'ol time!