The Days Are Getting Shorter

I feel like I’m losing hours, falling so far behind, not even remotely ready for winter. Winter is coming.
*sigh*
If only moving to a warmer climate wasn’t so expensive…of course it’s not nearly the $200K that some of Canada’s MP billed the Canadian taxpayers for, for a move from Toronto to Ottawa, that our smarmy PM excused by saying “They only followed the rules set out by the previous gov’t” like somehow ripping off taxpayers is excusable just because he personally didn’t make the rule…what an ass.

Anyways…

Last week, the Peepers went to Freezer Camp.
Yes, there are pictures.
Yes, there will be a blog post.
I’m working on it. lol

The hennys have moved into the insulated coop, that also has supplemental light. I’ve been giving them some fermented grains as well (which they are all over like flies on a manure pile!) so as they adjust to the new house, new light and extra interesting food, eggs have dropped slightly. Down from 16 a day to 12. Still plenty for us, and some for sale.
It’s so nice to have a little $$$ coming in that the Farm is making. Even if it’s just a little bit! 🙂
It’ll grow, as we do.

Only a few more weeks for the piggies too.
They’ve had a major growth spurt…it really seemed like they got huge overnight! Here’s a picture of them, from Monday…

3 (not so) little piggies!

3 (not so) little piggies!

Took the picture with my phone. In fact, it’s the very last picture I’ll ever take with that phone, because a few moments later, I dropped it into the pig yard. Right into a puddle of slop/shit.
Suffice it to say, the phone stinks like you cannot even imagine, and I need a new one. Won’t have that until Friday. I coulda had one sooner, but I was picky about the one I wanted and the store didn’t have it in stock…so they had to order it from another location and I’m stuck with Stinky Pig Phone a little bit longer.

By the end of October, the piggies will be in Freezer Camp. So, I have 3-4 weeks (we’re going to do 1 pig the 3rd weekend of October, and the other 2 the next) to feed them, keep them happy and healthy, and help them grow as big and meaty as they can. 🙂
Which means a 4th and final cut on the garden weeds to feed to piggies, then we’ll cover that with some scrap wood for the winter.
Hopefully, come spring, the wood will have kept the emerging weeds down, so we can till, rake and burn in preparation for planting.
I love that the over grown weeds were basically turned into bacon, but next summer, I want to grow bacon, lettuce and tomatoes. LOL!

The other big thing we have to do before winter sets in is get our hay and straw home. Once that’s on the yard, I can relax. I know it’s there, being held for us, but until it’s here, where it’s easy to feed to the horses, I won’t be ready.
*sigh*
I don’t think I’m ever going to be ready for winter…hay on the yard or not!

Oh My Gosh

Let me tell you about my week, last week!

Since the weather is cooling, the Girls have been getting fuzzy, and I’m constantly adjusting their beet pulp/flax rations. Horses can have delicate digestive systems, so changes have to be made slow and steady…that’s the norm. We all know one or two horses, though, that have iron stomachs and can handle any change, any time.
My Cookie used to be like that.
Not so much anymore. Especially not since she had her colic incident a few months back…be warned, if you go read that, the language is salty. If cursing offends you, well, just trust me when I say Cookie colicking is something to worry about, ‘kay?

Now, I watch her and her tummy as close as I watch Sable.
Sable colics so easily! I am very lucky that, so far (knock on wood, and thanks to all deities I believe in), she hasn’t had an episode I couldn’t handle.

Last week, I noticed Cookie wasn’t quite herself. Not colicking, but she was off. Which sounds silly, but ask any horse owner. We know when our hoofed kids are off, and you watch them, because you never know what could happen.
So, as she layed down in the pasture, I figured it was a good time for a back rub. Well, she sure enjoyed that! After a while (I can’t tell time and rub pony backs at the same time! 😛 ) she decided she’d had enough, got up, walked away and dropped a pile of manure.
I left her alone after that.

Later on though, after she had her beet pulp (which had, for about 2 weeks, included 1 cup of oats. Just plain oats we get from the Farmer down the road from us) she was off again…so I said to Hubby, I was going pull her off the oats (slowly) and increase her flax. Last winter, when I increased her flax, her whole demeanor changed. With age, and the cold, her body clearly needed something more. Spring came, and she stopped finishing her bucket until I reduced the flax. She was telling me that there was too much for what her body needed. Horses are pretty darn amazing creatures, if we just listen to them!

So, I pulled her off the oats, and I saw improvement. But, not 100%. Again, it’s not that she was showing anything more than just being a little off. If I wasn’t here all the time, I probably wouldn’t have noticed anything different. I would have chalked things up to mare-ish mood swings.
Next step was adding probiotics to her diet.
Easiest, and most economical, way to do that is with yogurt. I make a gallon of yogurt a week, give her 1/2 a cup in her beet pulp-because shooting it into her mouth like dewormer was not a good time to be had by either one of us!-and there’s enough for me to enjoy too. 🙂
LOL! Yeah, I started out trying to give it to her like when we deworm them. Hahahaha!! Oh, that was stupid!
1200lbs of cranky assed mare, and then, once I got it in her mouth she changed, and decided that “Hey! That was good! I want more!” and got super pushy trying *get more*.
Into the beet pulp went the next day’s dosage.

Then, just as I was getting that figured out, our Girl Astrid came in for beet pulp with a large amount of burrs in her forelock. Thinking nothing of it while she ate, I worked on getting them out of her hair.
As it turns out, if it’s windy while pulling burrs out, one should always be aware/careful about the job.
Taking a piece of burr to the eye is a painful, unpleasant, nasty bit of business. It will, quite seriously, mess up your day…or, week, in my case.
At first, I thought, since it was dusty too, that a piece of dirt had got me. Nope, as I rubbed to get the dirt out (yes, stupid, stupid, stupid, I know), I realized that was no dirt!

That was Tuesday, and I finally was able to see properly (and without my eye itching) yesterday.
I had to rinse my eye (not fun ever), alternate between ice packs for the swelling and chamomile tea bags to promote healing, and so much Reactine and Excedrin!
It was not fun.
Add to that I felt awfully stupid for having it happen, because people pull burrs from their horses all the time right? No one ever talks about getting the stupid things in their eye…so there, *I’m* talking about it, because damn, it hurts! And, if it hurts a human, imagine what it would feel like to an equine who got a bit in their eye. 😦

Now I’m a week behind in work, and it’s taken this long to update y’all here, plus (and this is the worst of it 😛 ) I spent a whole week without being able to take pictures. Can’t do it, if you can’t see your subject! That’s why this post is so much words…so very many words. Instead of the pictures y’all are used to.
I do have a couple for you though, from pre-burr-to-the-eye times…

This is actually from the first day I noticed she wasn't quite herself...

This is actually from the first day I noticed she wasn’t quite herself…

The next morning, as the sun came up, I saw this…

Awwww!  She's just plain perfect. <3

Awwww!
She’s just plain perfect. ❤

Hopefully, this week I’ll have camera in hand again. In fact, I have to!
Our meat chickens, the Peepers, are going to Freezer Camp this week, and I want to photograph it. Not to be gruesome, but because I have always believed that knowing what goes into you food hitting your plate is important.
There will be a blog post.
I will put pictures under a “Read More” tag…just so the folks with queasy tummies won’t have it all out there in their faces.
I will, however, encourage you to look at the images. Especially if you eat meat.
I can guarantee the Peepers have had a good life. Lots of food, including wandering about for bugs and such, fresh water several times a day, shelter at night but wandering the chicken yard during the day, and tootling their chicken sounds at me every chance they get. Their life has been good, as it should be for every animal that is raised to become food.
I look forward to sharing this with you, our journey from chicks to chickens in the freezer.
🙂
Happy Food Tastes Better.

Cookie Gets a New Crown

Once again, our dear sweet Cookie had to do hard things.
Gotta say…I ❤ Almost FarmGirl for that saying!
Don’t know what I’m talking about? Read this post of hers…

I can do hard things.

It’s become a bit of a mantra around here…especially when working with Cookie. Cookie can do hard things. Really, she can. She just needs to be reminded of it, and supported through it.
My special Girl. ❤

Onward…

Yesterday, I finally decided that our Ms Cookie needed a new crown on her breakaway halter…Her old one was looking decidedly ragged!

Old crown...ahh, the pink fish leather! Looked so dang good on her too!

Old crown…ahh, the pink fish leather! Looked so dang good on her too!

Yes, I kept it. It’s gross and smelly, saturated with her sweat, some blood (from sticking her fat head out the fence and cutting herself…idiot), mud and shit.
But it’s been a part of her for so long now, I can’t get rid of it.
My heart won’t let me.
I know it’s stupid, but whatever. It’s mine.

The process for changing to the new crown is normally easy.
Lead rope, undo one side, buckle the new crown on, go to the other side, do the same and done!
This time, I wanted her to try on a new halter I got from a friend…a very pretty pink camo one. 🙂
But, when I went to pull the breakaway off, she started to panic.
Poor Dork.
So, the camo one went overtop, and I pulled the breakaway out from underneath. That way, she still had the comforting feel of a halter, but I could fix up the breakaway.
And then, pictures! 🙂

"Uh, Mom?? This isn't right. Not my halter, not right."

“Uh, Mom?? This isn’t right. Not my halter, not right.”

It looks so good on her!
But, not being a breakaway, it’s only for working wear, not everyday wear.

"Kid?? Could ya tell Mom this ain't right?? I'm not okay here."

“Kid?? Could ya tell Mom this ain’t right?? I’m not okay here.”

After a few pictures, and I fixed up the breakaway, I got Hubby to hold the lead, gave Kid the camera, and set about to make things right in Cookie’s world.

My sweet mare...breakaway is back on, nose shoved into me for comfort.

My sweet mare…breakaway is back on, her nose shoved into me for comfort.

When she felt like she was okay again, I got Hubby to walk her out to the others and let her go…just so I could take a few more pictures of her.

This next one I love…

"Oh Cookie! You did so great! You're okay...I promise, you can do hard things!" ~Sable "I'm not okay." ~Cookie "You will be. I promise!" ~Sable

“Oh Cookie! You did so great! You’re okay…I promise, you can do hard things!” ~Sable
“I’m not okay.” ~Cookie
“You will be. I promise!” ~Sable

Aside from the fact that she’s The Kid’s Heart Horse, Sable is worth her weight in gold! She’s always right there to comfort Cookie.
Mama makes her do hard things?
Bella is there, offering her support, because *she* knows how easy peasy this stuff is for a horse to do.

Lo and behold, an hour later, look who was grazing happily, and okay with me taking more pictures of her:

Wearing her new crown...

Wearing her new crown…

Look at that.
My darling can do hard things.

Edited to Add:
Please don’t email me or comment lecturing on the dangers of a horse wearing a halter while turned out to pasture.
I know all about it. I’ve seen the pictures, heard the horror stories, and heard it all before.
However…
This horse, while it was more than challenging to get the halter on her in the first place, needs it to stay on.
This isn’t a case of human laziness, where she’s too hard to catch without a halter on.
This *is* a case of a horse who, without her halter, will run the fence line whinnying for hours. Yes, hours.
This is the case of a horse who will stop eating…yep, you read that right…she’s so busy running the fence she won’t eat.
Last time I took the breakaway off, I left her for a week, figuring she’d work it out in her own head and be fine.
Nope.
She visibly lost weight. Visibly.
I figure about 50 lbs, coulda been more, coulda been less…fact remains, it was obvious she had dropped weight and the only change was the halter was off.
So, I put it back on.
She’s been fine since.
So, please don’t lecture me. I know the risks, but, I also know my horse and what she needs.
Thank you.

Astrid

Sable was getting some work done on her feet.
There was bug juice being applied to every horse that wanted it.
Astrid stayed after her bug juice application and napped while Sable had her feet done…

Astrid BugJuiceNever far from her best friend, always happy to be near her people.
Such a sweetheart.

Edited to Add:
Shared with The Cat on My Head for the Sunday Selfies Blog Hop, with our thanks to Astrid there for inviting our Astrid to join in the fun!! 🙂

Right Place at the Right Time

My camera is almost always in hand on the Farm.
If not in hand, close to hand, so that I can capture things that just happen…Spontaneity in photography is a lot of what this blog is about. 😉
Of course, I do miss capturing some things, some times, but still…I catch all the good stuff I can.

Like yesterday…
I went out to take a picture of Anthony Piggie in her blankets:

"What? I like a blanket while I nap in the sunshine..."

“What? I like a blanket while I nap in the sunshine…”

She looks like she needs a good stretch, a scratch and a coffee. LOL!
Kinda how I feel in the mornings…but this was mid-afternoon for her. 😉

To capture that shot, I had to go into the Henny Yard for the right angle. While I was there I checked the waterers and found the hens were needing. I lined them up, turned on the hose, and while I was waiting for things to fill, I did the daily egg hunt. I noticed one henny was still in her nest, but had just stood into the laying stance.
I went for my camera just in time to capture the egg being layed…

Here it comes!

Here it comes!

Egg2

Egg3

And it's out!

And it’s out!

Egg5

And, that’s where eggs come from.
Pretty cool capture, if you ask me. 🙂

Scratching Astrid’s Back

Earlier this week, I was telling y’all about Astrid enjoying back scratches.
Little Red **really** likes having her back scratched.
After she finishes her beet pulp, she’ll sidle up to the fence and wait for me…I climb up, and use both hands to scratch…and then, she tries to groom me. lol
Well, since mutual grooming with horses tends to include teeth, I have to (gently) discourage it. We don’t allow teeth to be used on humans period, and, because mutual grooming is a huge thing for horses, I don’t want to have to discipline her for something that is really important in a horse herd.

Normally, during a scratching, I’ll redirect her to the closest horse…unless it’s Cookie. Cookie rarely grooms anyone and only on her terms. She’s a bit of a crab about it. 😉

The day The Kid was taking pictures, the others weren’t near by, so Astrid substituted the fence…

"Oooh! Good scratch Mom. Keep scratching!!"

“Oooh! Good scratch Mom. Keep scratching!!”

"Yeah, that's the spot....right there!!"

“Yeah, that’s the spot….right there!!”

Of course, chewing a wood fence is not something I want to encourage, so I had to redirect her again…poor noodle!

"Not the fence, Astrid." "But Mooooommmmm!!!"

“Not the fence, Astrid.”
“But Mooooommmmm!!!”

When all the itches were scratched, she wandered away to munch happily…

"Feels so good..."

“Feels so good…”

🙂

Earlier this week, I went out to take some pre-dawn shots of Ruby and Sable lying in the grass. The one of Ruby made the local news/weather forecast as one of the weather pictures of the day. That was pretty darn exciting!

Paints in the morning sunlight.

Paints in the morning sunlight.

Sable enjoys the warmth of the rising sun...

Sable enjoys the warmth of the rising sun…

Still working on my other edits…once those are done, I can get into my shots from this past weekend. Rodeo shots. My one and only rodeo for the year. *sigh* Sometimes being responsible and not running off to photograph all the things just plain sucks. lol