Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Menagerie

With so little time I've hired a lawn crew, Gertrude and Agnus. The sweet girls not only mow and fertilize the lawn for free, they volunteered to clean up the garden stubble. And that was even before our 3 year old bestowed the illustrious titles of Blue Wave and Purple Sparkles. Everyone should have a Blue Wave and Purple Sparkles especially since they leave the strawberries, raspberries, currants, gooseberries, and cabbage alone unlike the critters that begin with a G and are milked twice a day.

My only complaint about the lambs is this morning they left me desperately scramblinhg for wool as I tried my best to stop their headlong rush to greet the (dress clad) Jehovah Witness ladies, mistaking
their vehicle for the arrival of the grand daughters. Yes, our two lambs when not forming a greeting committee or mowing the lawn can be seen trailing along with the kids, one with a purple leash and dog collar and the other a blue set. Probably where the Blue Wave and Purple Sparkle inspiration came from. Who is who I don't know but I have been informed that the nice selection of sheep collars I have is not nearly as handy as the dog ones. Why the sheep need collars at all is beyond me since the lambs follow the grandkids everywhere. Maybe it has something to do with we don't have a dog.

But then who needs a dog when you have baby bunnies to play with. Yes, we have four, all girls of course. You might have recalled we inherited a boy and a girl meat rabbit from the grand kids. Once there were two and now there are six.

Assigned to bug control and lawn fertilization is a strikingly handsome Asian Blue, copper brown and iridescent peacock like feathered rooster named Rainbow Dash.  ("Cause it's such a good name!", says our 6 year old) and of course the name has to be used every year for something. First it was kid wether goats and now it is a rooster. Hopefully he lives a long life and I won't have to try and find another excuse not to name something that we register by that name. Rainbow Dash is not alone for he competes with Sir Gallop for the ladies, lots of ladies. Sir Gallop is named for way he runs crossed the yard. Rainbow Dash may be dashingly handsome but Sir Gallop is the true gentleman as he checks the yard to see if all the ladies are in the coop before retiring.

This year is the first for raising the Easter Egg breed and Asian Blues. So far I am super impressed with the Easter Egg breed. It is not an official breed yet but they get really big, really quick making them a great meat bird. Not to confuse that with gets really big really quick as in the Cornish but Cornish are not foraging birds, don't lay well at all, and have to be babied. My Easter Egg chickens are free range and they have laid sooner than my Rhode Island Reds and Wyodottes, plus are friendly. (Butter is a great example, she hops up on the stand when I am milking and insists on being petted and petted and petted.) Though a pullet, they still lay large adult size eggs. Now if we could just find the eggs. I found a nest with 28  eggs tonight behind a pile of plywood hemmed in on one side with a heap of antlers. I am tired of playing hide and seek especially when it requires contortion acts like last night and then I am left to display my horrible throwing abilities as I pitch the eggs off into the field beyond not knowing how old they are.

We got a partial weekend to ourselves. Kirk rushed to insolate a shed, putting down a rubber mat floor, and we put together nest boxes.Next to build for the coop or cccc...poop as the 3 year old calls it, is the roosts, hook up electricity, add a window, and a small door for just the chickens. And that is only what the chickens need before winter. So much to do and so little time.

Since 6 goats, 20 some chickens ( No, I don't have an exact count. They are everywhere.) 6 bunnies, 1 bum calf named Sam, (the sweetest calf we have ever had), 1 cat along with a brand new kitten named Duke Wellington and four grand daughters have come to reside with us, our place and time is full.

I'll try to blog a couple times a month and let you know a few of the things I've learned. Not with the detailed information as in the past as there is just not the time. But since my brain never ceases and it would be nice to format my thoughts I'll give it a try once more.

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