Now We’re Getting Busy!

Remember how I was complaining that we were in the “hurry up and wait” holding pattern?
Yeah, we’re out of that and working our butts off to get things going for growing.

We picked up the last of the garden seeds I needed to get for planting.
Now we’re at the “pull wire ’round the garden” stage…Hubby already put in the posts around the garden, and we were right on track to pull the wire fencing…until we discovered that we were out off cable ties.
I know, it’s crazy to think that anyone on a farm would run out of cable ties, but it happened, and we stalled.
Hubby stopped and picked up a hundred of them, and we’re ready to pull fencing…that’s going to happen this weekend, so that I can start planting things like carrots and peas and beets…because until the fence is up, I can’t plant anything because of asshole-not-supposed-to-be-free-ranging chickens. πŸ˜‰

Lemon chicken…she does what she wants.

Once the fencing is up, we’re good to go.
Plus, I have to build a gate, but we can use temporary measures for a day or two until that’s done.

The meat chickens are 2 weeks old now…and eating like crazy.
Between them and the replacement eggies, they’re going through pounds of feed a day.
We’ve had very little losses too this year. 5 meaties and 1 eggie.
After last year’s fiasco, we made sure to change things so that everyone did better this year, and so far, so good!
We have a huge brooder that came with the garage when we bought the place. It has it’s failings (it’s 5 feet tall and the door is too small for any normal sized human to climb through), but those can be fixed later on. Right now Hubby climbs in, morning and night, to refill feeders and waterers. Once this batch of chicks moves off to the poultry yard, we’ll change the design of the brooder and install a bigger door for ease of getting into.

We’re also hoping to build another brooder in our Little Red Shed.
Oh!
Have I not shared about the Little Red Shed??

Our new feed shed…

Hubby made a deal for the shed, but the catch was we had to move it roughly 5 miles.
To do that, a friend of Hubby’s from work came out with a crew, loaded it up and brought it home to us.
Sounds easy, but it took some work, and it was pretty amazing seeing this building being hauled down our road!

So now, Hubby and I are discussing turning 1/2 of that shed into a chick brooder with different sections for different ages and breeds.
Why?
Because for Mother’s Day…
I GOT AN INCUBATOR!!!

Now I’m just waiting for it to arrive, so I can take a bunch of our Easter Egger eggs and try to hatch them out.
Of the 18 EE chicks I bought last year, 5 were hens.
LOL!!
Not that having a whole bunch of roosters to grow out is a huge deal, because they simply go to Freezer Camp.
We kept one, and he’s been diligently fertilizing eggs every chance he gets. So, since none of my hens are showing interest in hatching eggs (and I was so hopeful after the one in the Fall decided she was going to!) I began looking for a cost effective incubator.
When I found what I wanted Hubby said “Ok. Go ahead and buy it. Happy Mother’s Day.”
πŸ˜€

Also on the list of things to get done for growing season…

~ Clean up around the fruit trees/bushes.
My currants and honeyberries are poppin’!!
Huge growth so far on both, but I need to clean up the grasses underneath and around them, and put down a mulch to keep the weeds down. And add some rotted manure for fertilizer.
Apples and pears are a little slower, but still doing well…maybe this might be the year to get some fruit? I’m hopeful!

~ Give the horse shelter a deep cleaning.
Hasn’t been done since February and we’re now at that stage where it needs to be cleaned out to the dirt and have fresh straw tossed in for the summer.
Besides, I’ll need the rotted manure compost for the Fall to add to the garden.

~ Time to prep the straw bales for the straw bale gardens.
I’ve got the 5 big bales to grow in, so I’m going to do that. But they have to be “seasoned” first and that takes about 2 weeks of watering and fertilizing.

~ Get the piggies!
This weekend, hopefully, we’ll go on a drive to pick up 3 little piggies who will grow into our winter bacon/hams/chops/stew.

And soon it’ll be haying season, because I will continue to cut hay every chance I get. Those small bales I put up have come in handy soooooo many times!
And, there is still talk about getting a calf to grow out for meat.
I had a chance to do so this year, but just ran out of finances…
Sometimes, no matter how much you want something, you have to weigh what would, in the end, be the better investment for the farm.
This year I had the choice of adding an incubator, chicken plucker, and a high quality pair of hoof nippers for Hubby, or a calf.
Yeah, I had to go with the 3 investments in self sustainability this year. :/

And, of course, once the garden produces, canning season ramps back up.
*sigh*
This is the stuff I love.
This is what I dream about all winter.
Getting things growing and getting things stored and put up on the shelves and in the freezer for the next winter.

In between it all, I sneak out at sunrise to take pictures of the Merry Mares…because sunrise is always going to be my favorite time of day to take their pictures.
❀

Ruby

Sable…with Astrid behind her.

Here’s to busy summer days…and rain as needed.
❀

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Spa Day

Nothing better than equine spa day!
Okay, there are better things, but equine spa day makes me (and the Merry Mares) really happy…

First up, as always, Sable.
Because if Sable ain’t first, ain’t no one getting done.
Trust me. 1500lbs of Palomino tantrums makes sure of that!!
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Checking out Hubby’s toolbox…

First you have to check the toolbox.
You never know there might be treats in there…
(there never are, because nosy brats would gobble them up before having to stand like well-trained horses who know how to get their feet trimmed without being gigantic arsewads)

Having hay snax while Michele does the hard work…

Bit of a crack there, but it rasped out pretty well.
Sadly, Sable went far too long between trims. 😦
After she was sick last year, it took a long time before she was able to balance enough to do more than a quick pick out of her hooves.
As soon as we were able to get her back on track lifting her feet, we called in Michele.
I knew she would have the patience to help our Palomino Princess get through her first full trim since being sick with confidence.
❀

Sable sure does love to watch her feet being done.

Somehow, I missed getting shots of Astrid having her feet done.
Not sure how that happened, but it did…

Oh and then there was Ruby.
Geez Lou-eez.
That horse, she’s something.
And this is why I never balk when Michele tells me what I owe her afterwards…

“Oh, I’ll stand here…
I might even doze off…
But I ain’t lifting my damn feet for no one…”
~ Ruby

She ain’t sick, she’s not injured in any way, she’s just…
Ruby.
Her way, or not at all.
*sigh*
But, Michele did get one front hoof up and picked out before the painted asshole decided she was leaving, by going straight backwards…as fast as she possibly could.
Which, lucky me, gave my already fucked up shoulder something to think about. Nothing good, but it was something to think about.
But, when you see the horse is going, and may catch up the person holding her foot in the lead as she goes, you don’t hesitate, you do what needs to be done to make sure the human is safe.
Human safety first.
Always.

So, I snapped the rope up, which made the donkey go backwards a little quicker…but, when she hit the end of the lead she stopped.
Normally, she pulls the rope out of my hand and makes a break for it. This time, she stopped and waited.
And came back at my request.
So…
Humans were safe, and horse, while being a shit, wasn’t as much of a shit as she normally is. πŸ˜‰

After giving Michele a good sniffing, Ruby took a moment to process her thoughts…

And then decided that she’d relax and let the work get done…

But she still made Michele pull out her yoga moves to get her done.

Sharing with Thankful Thursday at Brian’s Home…because words can’t express how thankful I am for Michele.
Her patience, her caring, her skills with my donkeys is appreciated so much. Having someone work with your equines who understands that everyone has their own personality and own needs is absolutely invaluable.

❀

It’s Coming!

I took this shot at 7:59am.
This morning.
Like, and hour and a half(ish) ago…


I annoyed the crap out of her (literally!) moving around, trying to catch the sunspots and flares just right on the lens.
The tongue tells the story…
“Go’way…tryna sleep here. Yer sucha pain in my rump with that damn beepy thing!”
I’m a fair bit out of practice with my morning sunrise shots…but still, I do love this shot, even if it’s not perfect.

Spring is on her way!

Sharing with Comedy Plus for Wordless Wednesday.

 

Tired…But Hopeful for Spring

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m tired of talking about the weather. Not that there’s much else to talk about these days, with how the weather dominates everything we do at this time of year.

Honestly, how can we *not* talk about -40*c temperatures?
With windchills in the mid to high -50*c range?
How we survived it for near on to a week, with very few little glitches?
How the Merry Mares came through with kicking, bucking, galloping, playing colours?
And now how we’re under a snowfall warning and could see as much as 8 inches of snow by tomorrow morning?
But we’re lucky where we are, because south of us, they could see upwards of 15 inches…so there’s that.

It’s tiring though, when we’re longing for spring and sunshine and warmth that doesn’t come from the furnace…

In 25 days I will start my pepper seeds.
2 weeks after that, I will start my tomato seeds.
I’m clinging to that, because that’s my sign of spring is coming.
I’ve been ready to start seeds for months.
I’ve studied what worked last year, what I can do better with this year, and made my list of what I need to buy for seeds to get going.
I’ve been diligently cleaning the horse shelter to grow the compost pile to add to the garden next fall.
I’ve also been on top of the household compost and look forward to it cooking down some once the melt hits.
Then I can clean out the poultry coop and put the bedding/waste in the bottom of the bin when we move it.

We never did get a fence built around the garden, so I’m hoping to get that done this year. We found a couple of dog run style chain link set ups this past summer, and I’m hoping to use one of those.
I really want to be able to pen the poultry into the garden at the end of the year to act as the clean up crew.
Makes my life so much easier in the spring!

In the meantime, since it’s been way too cold to take the camera out to capture the Merry Mare’s in their playing glory, The Kid and dressed up the cats.
Nancy was not happy and none of his shots turned out…unless you like flaily blurs of tabby running away from the camera.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Daisy Mae, however….


And this one…


Next up, I’m going to crochet her a little hat and scarf set.
A chicken hat.

There’s a reason for it to be a chicken hat…

See that chicken in the back?
The light coloured one?
That’s Lemon Chicken.
That’s her name. She’s one of my green egg layers.
She’s also a brat who loves to come up on the deck and eat the cat food I put out for the outdoor cats.
Well, we’ve had some rather lovely days, where she’s been wandering about the yard like she likes to do.
One of those days, I came back from collecting eggs in the coop to find her at the back door, having a conversation with little miss Daisy Mae through the door.
There was cooing and chirping from Lemon Chicken and mewing and other odd noises from Daisy Mae…
Un-fricken-believable.
The cat and the chicken have decided they’re pals.

So, once things warm up enough that Lemon Chicken starts free ranging again (even though she’s *supposed* to stay in the chicken yard), the plan is for the unlikely friends to have a face to face meeting.
And Daisy Mae will be wearing a crocheted chicken hat.
Hilarity oughta ensue.

 

C-c-c-cold Redux

Ugh.
Right back into the deep freeze.
And it’s looking like we’re stuck there for the next week.

But the horses are doing well…
In fact, they’re happy as equine shaped clams with their latest oat straw bale.
There was a bit of silliness as Hubby brought it into the pasture.
Scary noisy thing (yeah, the tractor is terrifying…dorks) bringing a big thing towards them.
Led to some running and bucking and general silliness.

Once it was down, the net wrap cut and we left the pasture though…
They were in there like 3 dirty shirts.
πŸ˜‰

nomnomnom

Astrid!
Behave!

I’m so ready for spring…

Chunky Monkeys

It’s been a bit of a dull winter for photos, so this past weekend Hubby suited up, pulled out the tractor, cleaned some πŸ’© and then made the Merry Mares run.

Okay, so he doesn’t *make* them run, they just know the game…he shakes the tractor bucket, they get silly, (running, bucking, kicking and rearing) and I take pictures.

Then, when it’s all done, there’s rub downs for sweaty horses and maybe a cookie or two.
And wine for the photographer. πŸ˜‰

Is it time for cookies?
We’re ready for cookies, y’know…

Flashback Friday

We’re going way back to the horses very first Yule with us.
Freezing cold, they’d been here only 39 days, and I wanted holiday pictures.

The surprise and horror on Cookie’s face!

Ruby was having none of these shenanigans…no matter how much Hubby tried to convince her.

And then there’s Sable…who with the very first shoot was a rock star, ready to pose.