It’s been a chilly week!
But things here on the Farm are still chugging along.
The chickens are starting to lay with a little more consistency.
We’ve waited a long time to get these eggie chicks to the point of lay. Soon enough, I should have some eggs that I can sell again.
That will be nice!
I’ve had a few green shelled eggs from the easter egger hens, but not many. I have 4 hens that should be giving me colours (maybe 5, I’m not 100% sure) but I’ve had 3 green eggs…and the easter eggers are older than the brown egg layers, who are getting a little more regular…
One morning last week though, it was really cold and I figured I best check the auto waterer to make sure the Merry Mares water hadn’t frozen over on them…imagine my surprise when Daphne dives under a board in the long grass…I’m thinking “oh shit, she found a skunk!!” but with no immediate stink blast, I figured that couldn’t have been it.
Turns out she chased one of my little black hens off a nest of eggs…
Stinker had been out all night, instead of coming back to the coop, and was just plain lucky *something* didn’t find her in the night and make a meal of her!
But, she had 16 eggs under her, 10 of which were green.
Not knowing how long they were there, I took them away and float tested them. They seemed like they might be alright, but I still wasn’t sure. So, I cracked them all open.
Turns out, they were fine, though only a handful were fertilized.
Even if the all had been, it’s not a great time of year for chicks anyways…but I now know which hen could be broody in the spring. She, and a few other hens, will get separated off with the one rooster we keep to lay and set eggs in the spring for flock regeneration. Honestly, I’d love to get away from buying hatchery birds for eggs, if I can. And if I can get hens to do the hatching work that’s even better. I have no real interest in using an incubator.
I scrambled the 16 eggs and gave them to the chickens as a treat…their excitement at that made the sting of losing 16 eggs a little less painful.
And then, there was Daphne and her stick…
Pulling the stick out of the hobo barrel fire pile…
She was rather proud of herself for getting it…
My dog is weird.
She could smell her favorite gingerbread cookies before they even hit the oven. 😉
I don’t know what it was about that particular recipe, but that horse would call for them as soon as she smelled me baking them. And, if I happened to go out to the pasture with a few warm-from-the-oven ones for her, she’d love me for days and days afterwards.
Cookie’s Gingerbread Cookies
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon 😘
1/4 tsp ground cloves ~ I used fresh ground nutmeg instead, because I have it on hand for egg nog.
6 tbsps unsalted butter
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses
2 tsps vanilla
- preheat oven to 375 degrees
- prepare baking sheets by lining with parchment paper
- whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt ginger, cinnamon, and cloves (nutmeg)
- in large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar and egg on medium speed until well blended
- add molasses and vanilla and mix until well blended
- gradually stir in dry ingredients until blended and smooth
- wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in fridge for 15 minutes
Now, from here you can leave the dough in the fridge for up to a week and bake as needed.
When it comes to baking, you can roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface and cut into shapes, or you can do what I do…
- Roll a tbsp or so of dough into a ball.
- roll ball of dough in white sugar to coat
- place on parchment lined cookie sheet
- smoosh a wee bit flat
- bake at 375 for 7-10 minutes
Simple, easy peasy gingerbread cookies that made my darling Paint lose her mind. 😉
I mentioned how I was working with The Cookie and a blanket.
Old Lady (who’s not that old) has been feeling the weather more lately, and sometimes she could benefit from a little extra…just like our Sable.
Unlike our Sable, she has no concept of this “blanket for warmth” thing.
She was certain that thing was going to smother her to complete Death.
Yeah, she can be a little dramatic. 😉
First time out was a complete manure show…
She wouldn’t let me anywhere near her with the blanket.
There was prancing, dancing, some pulling back on the lead rope, a fair bit of panicked rolling eyes.
You woulda thought that blanket was a frickin’ cougar trying to land upon her back…and this was just the intro to it, where all I wanted her to do was sniff the silly thing.
Ah, but time and patience goes a long way with my dear sweet damaged horse. ❤
4th time out, The Kid is holding the lead rope and we made it this far before her brain shut off…
Next time, I’ll work on fully spreading it out on her, and then we’ll discuss doing it up.
Yeah, yeah, I know.
For some folks, this a “one and done” kinda lesson.
With the other 3, I agree.
This one? We go at her speed. We may not get there as fast as I might like, but we always get there, and the foundation is solid.
That, to me, is more important.
Remember the mohawk?
Here’s a pictorial of how that came about, and why I simply maintain it now:
There are dandelions in the pasture…she has no qualms about sticking her big fat head out the fence to eat the ones on the other side…maybe they’re yellower? 😉
It’s not like she’s stuck her head out and balanced on the edge of a precipice…its flat land for miles around…what’s the big deal, right?
Oh, but now Mama’s yelling…it’s the old standby-and she’s disappointed if I don’t yell at her…
That’s my special Girl.
Have I mentioned that Cookie thinks I’m trying to poison her every time I offer her a banana?
Yeah, she’s 100% convinced that bananas=death.
Right up there with anything that has cinnamon in it, or bread.
Banana bread is the trifecta of Death to this poor horse.
Being the mean and horrible Horse Mama that I am, found a recipe for banana oatmeal cookies…and I had to make them for her to try.
I mean, **every** horse loves oats, right?!?
So, I figured it would make for a fun photo shoot, offering her these cookies, and see what she thought of them.
She lipped it up then spit it out right away.
He went to offer to the others, so The Kid offered her a piece of one…they were kinda big, and they were hard for the Girls to eat without breaking them up.
Look at the eye I’m getting!
She smelled the banana right away but considering trying it because of the oats.
As it turns out, oats cannot overcome the poisonous qualities of bananas.
At least, not for The Cookie.
Hey, how was your week?
Ours was…ah, it was a week.
Last Friday, Ms Cookie went off her feed.
Oh, she was still eating hay and drinking just fine, but she refused her beet pulp. That is so out of character for her.
There was no cinnamon, no bananas, no bread (these are all things she’s convinced will poison her) in her bucket. Just her normal soaked beet pulp and ground flax. Same thing she’s been eating for the past 2 1/2 years. Same thing she comes galloping in for…
Friday though, she refused it.
I wasn’t overly worried, because I had put a slice of banana in earlier in the week, and didn’t scrub her bucket afterwards…have I mentioned she likes her bucket spotless? Yeah, gotta scrub her bucket once a week, minimum.
Came home from the stable to find her napping in the sunset.
So, I went and snapped a few pictures. Then I rubbed her back and rump. She likes that. 😉
Meanwhile, The Kid had gotten the beet pulp ready and taken it out to hang up for them.
Cookie didn’t even bother getting up.
Okay, now I was beginning to worry.
Time to check pulse, temperature, gum colour…
Everything was normal.
Hubby brought hay to the feeders, and she got up and went to eat hay.
So, I went and got a handful of canning salt and offered it to her.
She licked a bit up off my hand, but for the most part, she wasn’t interested. But, was still eating her hay.
So, after making sure I could hear her tummy working, I left her to eat.
And that’s been my week.
Oh, toss in a nausea inducing migraine for me too.
Brought on by the stress of worrying about my big Dork, no doubt.
By Tuesday, she still hadn’t eaten more than a mouthful from her bucket, so I scrubbed it again, rinsed it with an apple cider vinegar/water solution (which I gave to the chickens 😉 ) and soaked a red solo cup of alfalfa cubes with a 1/2 cup beet pulp, and scaled her flax back to 1/2 cup.
That she ate about half of.
Still not normal, but definite improvement.
And that’s where we’re at, feed wise. More alfalfa cubes than beet pulp, flax at 1/2 cup, and she’s eating more and more of it.
Yesterday, she even picked a fight with Astrid…though, I tell ya, I think some of the problems this week have to do with Astrid throwing her weight around. Cookie is still second in the herd and Astrid doesn’t like it. So, when Cookie shows even the teeniest bit of weakness, Astrid is all over her.
Hubby’s theory is that during some asshat-ery, Cookie tweaked something, and was sore from it. Astrid jumped on it, pushing her around and jockeying for herd position. Cookie, not feeling 100% already, felt the stress of it, and went off her feed.
It does make some sense, since, as she’s eating more and more of her pail, she’s snapping at Astrid’s little pushiness movements.
Like, yesterday, she chased Astrid up the snow drift, biting her the whole way. And, when Astrid tried to come down to retaliate, Cookie bit her fetlock (that’s how tall the drift is!).
Either way, made me worry myself sick about it all.
Never a good time. 😦
Edited to add:
She hasn’t refused all food. She’s been eating her hay like normal, she’s been drinking just fine, and things are coming out the other end as they should be.
It’s her daily pail of beet pulp that she was refusing.
She hasn’t lost weight, and yes, she’s been seen by the vet. 🙂