Wednesday, May 22, 2013

my little farmer girl










Always in search of bullfrogs by the pond
So shy around people; so completely fearless with the animals
Sampling the grasses with the goats
Between rows and rows of garlic
She walks gracefully and self-assured


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

out to pasture

The days have been so very full around here of late. We're extra busy, and extra tired by sunset each day, but also so full of joy. It's just what I've needed recently - many other creatures to care for, which brings me outside myself for a bit, focusing my attention on the very basic needs of others. It's a replenishing sort of exhaustion, if that makes any sense.



This is our new Gold-laced Wyndotte. Isn't she stunning?

We were finally able to purchase the long-desired electric poultry netting to keep everyone safe from the fox, and the hens are incredibly happy to be free-ranging again. We've got the ducks in there with them for now, too, and they seem to rule the roost! The younger laying pullets are still undergoing their initiation phase with the older hens, but I have faith all will be peaceful again in a week's time.


My Cuckoo Maran (the black and white one on the left here), who I was hoping to get some beautiful chocolate brown eggs from, appears (and sounds to be) a rooster. Hmrn.

We have plans to bisect the fence this weekend so the meat birds can forage more as well.  




The turkeys are also getting lots of outdoor time in this hutch we found left on our property, and fixed up so they can enjoy the grass and sunshine until they're big enough to free-range as well. Soon, very soon!

This is our third year here, and we're finally becoming more settled and claiming this place as our own. It feels as if our little farm is coming to life after a long slumber.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

cured


I would never believe it if I didn't see it happen before my very own eyes. The little chickie with the not-so-little spraddle leg, curly toe problem has made a full recovery! I really thought he wasn't going to make it. And then another one was stricken with the same issues, and I became disheartened for awhile. Splinting them both multiple times each day, only to have the splints fall (or pecked, as the case may be) off within 30 minutes. Watching them spastically move about, unable to stand. Picking them up throughout the day to dip their beaks in water...

Lamenting the sorry state of affairs, I (skeptically) offered them water with a sprinkling of vitamin packet solution dissolved in it and gave them a reduced protein feed of 18.5% rather than the starter feed containing 23%. I decided to give it a week before deciding exactly what to do with them. Two days went by with no noticeable improvement. Then on day three, I thought they might be moving about just a tad more gracefully. I didn't get my hopes up, though, and was just grateful that at least they didn't seem worse.

And then another day passed and another. And each day they stood taller and for a longer time. Their legs were wobbly, but straight! And their toes uncurled! I continued my regimen, minus the (now deemed by me to be horribly worthless) splinting, cheering them on, happily changing out their miracle water which had been covered in pine shaves because they were actually scratching at the ground! Can you imagine writhing around on your belly one day with your legs completely unusable, and then greeting the morning with an upright posture, taking the first steps of your life? I can't help but think there's a kind of "amazing grace" type allegory in this tale. For now, I will just say: It really is nothing short of amazing.

Why, hello. You'd like to be released from sick bay now, I see? Oh, good for you. I'm so happy to see you've actually been able to hop out of your brooder box! Nevermind the poo you've left all over the floor. We'll clean that up later. No need to thank me. Here, have some more water!
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