Friday, September 27, 2019

Moving Day For The Chickens

I have been keeping the baby chicks in wire cages in the barn during the day and putting them in the tack room at night for safety. They have outgrown the cages and today they got to move up to a bigger pen. I set up an old ex-pen near the barn and moved the brown egg layers in it. The were so happy! Running and flapping their wings made for quite the comedy show!
The bantams are still small and would squeeze out so they were separated into a couple of wire cages. They are just plain cute! Looks like a silkie and a black frizzle for sure. I need to find my catalog to see what else we have.
But only for the days can they stay out. At night they must go back in smaller cages so nothing has them for supper.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Adding To The Pantry

I have a serious addiction. If I go a week without canning something, I feel almost depressed! ;-) Yesterday I canned some more beef stew from some some grass fed beef I found marked way down at the store. It was a deal too good to pass up. Today I canned the rest rest plain in small jars to add to vegetable soup when we want to make it a bit more hardy. I was also running low on hot dog chili so I tossed 4 jars of that in the canner along with the beef.
I feel much better now!

Monday, September 23, 2019

It Ain't Fall Y'all

The calendar says it's the first day of Autumn. The weather says otherwise. Our average temperature should be 78*. We broke a record of 94 today. It looks like our area is on target to break the record of the most 90* days over the course of the summer set back in the 50's. The long range forecast is still showing no rain in sight for the next 10 days. Not one drop has fallen the month of September here on the homestead. Hubby and I cannot ever remember a summer so hot and dry!

If I sound a little whiny it's probably because I am. I need some cooler temperatures and a crisp Fall morning to add some pep to my step! I know this too shall pass. I'm waiting.

I found this picture of our driveway from a couple of years ago. A normal Fall.....Sigh.
I'll have to be content staring at it until Fall truly arrives.
Oh and a picture of a happy calf enjoying breakfast this morning, that always makes my day better ;-)

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Still Watering and Planting

Still no rain here on the homestead. The fields are dried to a crisp. Trees are dying. We are feeding copious amounts of hay. It has definitely been decided that all the pastures will be planted in fall forage for the animals. Most likely winter rye and clover.
Today we planted 3 more flats of greens, mostly collards. And moved the hoses every hour or so.

The plants that went in the ground a few weeks ago are settling in nicely.
 Our biggest battle now is pests eating the leaves. I will have to spray something soon or there will be no plants! And of course where there is water there are weeds. A small price to pay if we can get a fall garden going.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Milk and Cheese

After dumping milk for the last couple of weeks because of the meds she was given after delivery, we are finally able to start keeping Vinca's milk. We are calf sharing for now so I lock him up at night and milk her in the mornings. I get the front 2 quarters and he gets the back! I was really hoping for a bit more but I will be happy with 1 1/2 gallons for now.
Our one Nubian that I still milk in the afternoons is still giving 1/2 gallon a day which is plenty for cheese making. Today I finished draining the Chevre and have some Feta aging in the fridge. Some fresh for snacking on and a couple of bags tucked in the freezer for winter enjoyment. Next week after the Feta has finished aging I plan to marinate it in olive oil and herbs. Yum.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Cow Crisis

Yesterday Vinca looked like this.
I had to leave early this morning to run some errands. I got a call from my daughter-in-law saying she and granddaughter were admiring a beautiful new calf. I couldn't wait to get home and see what we had. When I did get there around 10:30 I knew we had a problem. Vinca did not want to get up and looked like a skeleton. I immediately went in and tried to get her up. I finally coerced her to move a bit and drink a little water. Then I called the vet. He arrived about an hour later. We managed to get her back up and tied off to a tree. He ran a tube to her stomach with a funnel on the end and with the help of sis we literally dumped 20-30 gallons of water in her. Once we got her somewhat hydrated he finished checking her out. He was very concerned her stomach was trying to turn and if that happened it would be emergency surgery or we would loose her. He gave her some a couple of shots and wanted to get her in the barn just in case of surgery and also wanted to see if she would eat. By this time Mom had arrived and volunteered to go pick up some alfalfa hay and feed. Another friend happened to stop by and with her help, my daughter-in-law and myself we got her herded to the barn. Vinca drank some more water and munched on some hay. Later she ate some feed. I was still worried sick by she was at least headed in the right direction and not looking any worse. I checked her every 30 minutes or so until late night.
We think she had a really hard delivery as the calf, a bull, was huge. It was a really hot day and the water tubs were on the other side of the pasture and she just didn't bother to go get a drink.
Sending out many thanks to all that helped and made sure she was ok. Sometimes it takes a village!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Fall Planting

With no end in sight of this heat wave we decided to go ahead and get the fall plants in the ground. Our biggest fear is that it's just going to turn off cold and the plants won't have time to get established. After running to Lowe's and getting a soaker hose I swung by Sis's greenhouse and picked up several flats of plants. The collards aren't quite ready so today I planted cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi along with beet and kale seeds. The soil is like powder. We haven't has rain in weeks. Looks like dragging hoses will be added to the daily chores for a while!