Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easter Octave Homestead Update

I've been slacking on posting lately because things have been so busy lately. From Easter preparation to baseball games, from plumbing disasters to chicken introductions, and from buying a new car to attending the funeral of a dear family friend, there has been A LOT going on the last 14 days. Really, the untimely death of Pancake set off a whole string of very stressful events that have precluded me from posting more often. I hope to be back on track now.

To start it off, look how pregnant Pot Pie the sheep is!

Actually, this is a terrible angle that doesn't really let you see it.
But trust me - she's about to pop.

They just won't stay still for a picture. Too much grass to eat, I guess...
We also bred the rabbits on Easter. It took them a while to "court" but I think it was ultimately successful. We ran them together again the next day to be sure. Coconut had a good 4 or 5 "shots."

Skittles, left, is skittish and scratched me up good the first time I tried to get her moved into
Coconut's cage. I wore gloves and long sleeves the next times.
So, 'round abouts May 20th, we should have our first kindling. Yay! So exciting!

We also moved the baby chickens into the pen with the big chickens. Oh yeah - I guess I didn't mention yet on this blog that I added chicken wire to 6 panels and the chickens are now in the movable pen system. It's all falling into place......

The chicken introduction pen was built with leftover scrap wood and extra chicken wire.
Lo-tech doesn't really do it justice....
But, it's only designed to be used for like 5 days at a time, maybe twice a year.
Adding the new chickens to the existing flock cause QUITE the stir.
Corn the Rooster (whose days are numbered) led the fray.

Tossing in some handfuls of clover helped distract the old chickens.
I built then pen on Monday, and Tuesday night we closed up the coop and moved the new chickens in. I then opened the coop door Tuesday morning, and all hell broke loose the chickens got to know each other. It was a furious scene of feathers flying and clucking and squawking.

The cows are doing fine. Bridget has been producing right around 2 gallons a day. She's fidgeting a lot more, partly due to the shake-ups in teaching others to milk. That's OK - she'll adapt. She absolutely mealed on a clover patch a few days ago, and yesterday's milk smelled like clover. It was odd.

We started labelling the milk so we can keep track of it.
The evening of 4/18 sawwell over a gallon. That was just the evening....

Meanwhile, the leftover whey and food pieces have allowed the pigs to double in size, at least, since we brought them home.

The pigs got moved into a fresh pen. Fresh roots, fresh grass, fresh dirt to dig into a garden.

And then there's the kitchen scraps. The get so excited they get IN the trough, so pouring
the food out often results in it getting ON the pigs, as you can see with the hard boiled eggs
on Porkie there. That's OK - they lick it off of each other.
Basically, we're behind on garden panting, behind on building projects, and generally just feel stressed out an exhausted right now. But the animals are doing great.

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