Archive for February, 2010

Double Your Pleasure…..

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Eeeeeep! Look what we finally got this morning.

double yolk egg

A double yolk egg! I had all but given up that I would ever find one of these. I am totally all about yolk in an egg. It’s the best part. So I almost peed my pants when Bernie called me into the kitchen this morning to see this beauty. It was all the more surprising because it came from a small, skinny egg. We have three girls that lay very small slender eggs, and the yolks are very large. Today one of them had a double yolk. Yay! Because it wasn’t really unusual in it’s appearance before he cracked it, we didn’t take any pictures. But I took some pictures this afternoon of two that are pretty similar.

eggs

The rounder eggs both weigh in as large eggs. The two skinny eggs both weigh in as small. And the egg that had the double yolk looked very much like those two skinny eggs.

This was definitely double the pleasure for me. I savored every bite and chewed with a smile.

Moving Right Along

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

The evening before the 2010 Snowmageddon began, Bernie and I signed a contract to have a deck built. That was a couple of weeks ago, and there has been so much snow on the ground since that day that I was beginning to doubt we’d have the deck before summer. But Friday, the construction company sent a guy out with a Bobcat to move all the snow away from house so they can start work a lot sooner. And while Mr. Bobcat was here, he cleared the area in the backyard where the goat barn will be built so Bernie can start on that. Yay!

The snow has been moved for two days now, and the temperatures have been above freezing during the day, so the area around the house is close to being snow-free.

yard,Diesel

And, even though it’s muddy, I will absolutely not complain….. this time…..

mud

The deck will span the length of the house in the front, and then wrap around to span this side of it.

yard,pups

Diesel and Dolly are standing on the path Mr. Bobcat plowed to get to the area where the goat barn will be built.

yard,Dolly

Unfortunately, I forgot to tell Mr. Bobcat about the Sewage Treatment Plant the county forced us to get, and we suffered a casualty.

Photobucket

The good news is the piece that was shattered is a protective cover that we can hopefully get replaced easily. And Mr. Bobcat did make it back to the goat barn area and get it cleared.

goat barn location

We are supposed to get freezing rain tomorrow, but it doesn’t sound like there should be much, if any accumulation. Bernie plans to start building the goat barn Tuesday. And I’m hoping the deck work begins very soon.

While I was out taking pictures today, I decided to head up to check on the plants in the greenhouse.

greenhouse

Its was 41 degrees outside, but it was balmy 83 degrees in the greenhouse, with 34% humidity.

greenhouse

The thermometer displays a few things, and one of them is the low and high for the past 24 hours. It looks like it got down to about 30 last night in there, and the highest temperature in the past 24 hours was 102 degrees. And the most of the plants in the greenhouse look pretty good. They died back for the winter, but many are beginning to pop up again.

greenhouse

greenhouse

Oregano,greenhouse

Psssst, Danni……. this is the rhubarb. I’m hoping it’ll be ok for a month or so until I can get it into the ground…..

greenhouse,rhubarb

I didn’t check the greenhouse on a regular basis during the really frigid weather we had, but I do know that the gallon jugs I painted black and filled with water never completely froze – even during the week or two that we never got above freezing.

Things may not be happening as quickly as I’d like on the homestead, but I think they are finally starting to move along now.

Still Snow

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

We are finally getting temperatures above freezing….. but it’s going to take this mess quite some time to melt off. Today Bernie dug a path for me to go to my greenhouse.

snow

Duke supervised.

Making Lemonaide out of Lemons

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

OK. With two feet of snow on the ground, and the possibility of 3 – 6 inches more on Monday, it’s quite apparent that building a goat barn isn’t going to happen as quickly as I’d hoped. I’d be fibbing if I said that doesn’t bother me. I think about Mirrie, Hope, and Chance every single day and I do wish they were here.

Even though we can’t work on building the goat barn, I’ve been looking into the best feed/water configurations. So, for those of you who have goats, would you please do me a favor and tell me your thoughts on some of this? I’m mainly concerned about the water, feed, and hay I provide inside the goat barn. The barn will be 20 feet long, and 8 feet wide, divided like this – 5X8 stall, 8X8 main portion for goats, and an 7X8 area for milking/doctoring and hay/feed storage.

For the hay, Bernie planned to build a manger. But I found some wall mounted hay racks that look as though they help reduce waste, and that won’t take up as much space. With three goats, I figure a corner mount and wall mount may be sufficient? What do you think? This is what the wall mount looks like. Would two (corner and wall) be adequate for daily hay inside the goat barn? Or do you think we should just go with a large manger that Bernie builds? The goat barn isn’t going to be extremely large, so I’m hoping to save space where I can – but if those wall/corner mangers aren’t adequate, we’ll figure out something else.

How do you secure water inside so the goats can’t knock it over? I found these wall mounts that look great, but there are several different types. These are also used for feed. What do you do for securing feed and water? This page shows several – do you use any of these, or do you recommend another method?

Kendra, from New Life on a Homestead provided a link to the Fias Co Farm website, where I found detailed plans for building a milk stand. Milking may be quite a while in our future, but I can see that using a milk stand to secure a goat while caring for her may be a necessity long before then. And this is something I may be able to work on in the coming days to make me feel like I’m at least moving a little bit forward!

If any of you goat parents can offer some advice here, I would really appreciate it. Thanks!

Appreciating the Beauty

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

As I type this, another snow storm is hitting us. But I’m not going to complain right now. I’m going to show you some of the beauty I took time to appreciate today.

Like these icicles.

Icicle

Most were intertwined in the overhead netting.

Icicle

But look at this interesting icicle.

Icicle

And look at the face of this sweet little Phoenix hen.

Phoenix Hen

The white in the face of my White Faced Black Spanish hens is really starting to show.

White Faced Black Spanish

This girl is having a bad hair day for sure.

White Faced Black Spanish

A lot of beauty surrounds us here on the homestead. We are truly blessed.

The Big Dig

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Bernie and I worked hard at keeping up with shoveling and plowing as the snow was falling last Friday and Saturday. By the time it ended Saturday evening, the snow was about mid-thigh on me, the chickens refused to leave their coop, and the pups were having a hard time finding somewhere to potty. I dug a small path between the house and the chicken coop, but I only removed the top foot or so of snow because it was pretty firmly packed from my walking on it. The chickens really did not seem to like it, and this is as far as the would venture down it:

snow

So, in order for the chickens and pups to have an area for roaming, Bernie plowed the area between the garage and the chicken run.

snow

And I shoveled a small opening that led to the chicken run and, within only a few minutes, Pico brought a few ladies out into the cleared area.

snow

That cleared area joins with our driveway.

snow

And Bernie is at the end of it, where he’s been for quite a while, shoveling the last few feet of the driveway that hook up with the road that leads to the main road. Diesel and Dolly know this, and they want to go find him.

snow

I had only intended to take a few pictures and head back inside, but I knew the pups had cabin fever, and I knew they really wanted to find Bernie, so around the corner and down the driveway we went.

snow

Around the bend, and over the little creek.

snow

And then back up, beside the old cabin.

snow

And at the top of the hill, they saw him.

snow

And I saw why he’s been down here so long.

snow

I would say this has been the Big Dig of 2010, but I’m afraid to assume we won’t get anything worse. It’s only February. And we do have another storm heading here tomorrow night……..

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back…..

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

The pups and I decided to check out Bernie’s plowing on the driveway. He did a great job – but judging from the effects of the wind, he has a little more work to do……..

We got more snow after I filmed this. And Bernie plowed the driveway a couple of more times. But there is still an awful lot of snow in those trees……..

Large or Small – I Love Them All

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Most of my older hens stopped laying as the days got shorter. Fortunately, I have several pullets that hatched out last year, and those little girls are keeping us in eggs through the winter. And since there are several different age groups, the eggs vary in size between the older pullets and the younger that are just starting to lay.

I just love checking for eggs each evening. I just can’t wait to see how many I’ll be collecting, or the size of each of them. The size really ranges – from itty bitty to extra large sometimes. And even though my chickens are white eggs layers, some of them lay tinted eggs – kind of a pinkish/beige sort of color.

Eggs

I love my chickens. And I love their eggs. Every stinkin’ one of them.