Saturday, September 19, 2020

Straw Wouldn't Get My Vote, But Chickens Prevail

 If I were a chicken and I had the choice of laying an egg in picky pokey straw or a soft bed of pine shavings, I know what I would choose.  But my chickens beg to differ.

Helen (Reddy) has been insistent for several weeks that she be allowed to nest in the hay/straw aisle.  And each morning I have to pick her up and insist she go back to the coop.  After doing this several mornings,I finally got it through my thick head to place some straw in a nesting box as an experiment.


 Clearly Helen wasn't the only girl who thought that was a swell idea.  So I made two more.

Even with a choice of three straw nesting boxes, Helen still prefers the hay aisle.  And not just in the morning.  When the girls are allowed their free range time and i return to round everyone up, I often hear a squawking from the barn.  Sure enough, she has left the flock, returned to the barn, flown over the barrier to get cozy in the hay/straw and finds herself stranded, or so she thinks.


   She was a little perturbed to find herself the star of my Candid Camera video the other day.


 

And speaking of chickpeas...

A couple of nights ago I made a new recipe that was quick to whip up, tasty, and easily made vegan.



My version turned out more soup-like which was fine.  I used kale and fresh tomatoes since they're so plentiful right now.  And I omitted the pecorino.  Easy and just the ticket for an early fall dinner.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Callin' In the Crew

 Same words, same voice.  Usually.
I have my donkey voice and my chicken voice.  And generally say the same phrases for everyday tasks.  

Our normal routine is breakfast and morning chores around 8:30 or 9:00 a.m.  Out in the pasture, for both donks and hens at 1:00, back in at 3:00 for a snack.  So you need the words and the voice to get everyone back in where they belong.

Here donkeys are hauling some derrieres back in. 
Note:  If you were a fan of "The Closer", a TV series from a few years ago,  you clearly will never recognize my version of Brenda Lee Johnson's southern "thank yoooo". 


A logistical note.  I have just discovered the hard way that blogspot only allows videos of a minute in length.  My original video was 20 seconds over; trying to trim in a phone is a hack job at best.
My apologies.  

Usually I have to go round Luigi up, in the far corner.  In this instance he did finally come all the way.




 


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

I Want My Vet Back!

 So here's the deal.

Our dog vet, who is a mobile vet and comes to your home, has not been practicing since covid.  Our dogs are not high maintenance, BUT, we have a 13 year old


and we have a greyhound.  Under certain circumstances greys have special medical needs.

When I realized our vet (who is a combination of super smart and country doctor) was not returning soon, I went on a hunt for a vet who would come to the home to euthanize and one who knew greyhounds.  I settled on one to use in the interim.

And wouldn't you know Faith, the greyhound put us to the test.

We discovered this little gem on the inside of one of her thighs.  I did send a photo to our usual vet, he gave a virtual diagnosis and advised we see a vet who could remove it.



Well, after going through the riga-ma-roll of the new vet, Rick and I want out vet back.  To start the ball rolling the estimate included items we felt unnecessary, similar to another vet clinic we left in 2004.  Following surgery the vet didn't speak to us, a go-between was used.  Do we like her?  Who knows as we've never laid eyes on her or had an opportunity to speak to her on the phone. That's at least 2 strikes.   It wouldn't take much to get a third.

But the princess is fine.

Do not test us again, Faith!


      

Monday, August 24, 2020

My Chickens Have a Sweet Tooth

 During the more frequent heat waves we have encountered in Michigan this summer, the girls are partial to summer treats -- frozen blueberries, watermelon and their usual banana.  Spinach and lettuce -- poo, only if they must and I simply do not offer any delicious sugary options.  It is clear they only eat it as a last resort. They attack their fruit treats with aggressive gusto, pouncing on pieces and running to a different area in the coop to make sure no one steals their treasure.  Sometimes it's a little disturbing to watch.  Equally disturbing is their enthusiasm for eating eggs.  Cooked or raw.  I still have a hard time with that one.    

I discovered through reading Fresh Eggs Daily that you can provide cold water for them to drink (I would not have assumed it safe at first blush) .  So on these steamy days I fill a tray with iced water; they spend several minutes sipping.  

As I've said I like morning feed the best -- everyone is calm, relaxed and pleasant to be with.

Just be forewarned.  If you stop by to visit, make sure you have a banana or two and you'll be greeted with open wings.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Visitors to Our Teeny Tiny Farm

 Sometimes we have visitors pop in.  Some hop in, some slither in, and some fly in.


And some walk in.
I'd say about half of the human kind who wander in are smitten with either the chickens or the donkeys, or both.

And here's the perfect example of smitten.



Amy oohed and aahed and generally fell in love with the donks.  And it was reciprocal.  Anyone who will give treats and scratch a derriere is A-OK in the world of donkeys. 

 

And, of course, I believe they know those who have kind hearts and generous spirits.


From many years ago, back with the original three amigos, long-time friend Diana was completely in love.


You can see the joy on her face.


The neighbors next door are a little more blase.

 

Donkeys, yea, what's the big deal.  

And the three babies in the middle don't give the donks a second look.  Too busy growing up in the world.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Close-Ups

 Puppies First



Gunner, now approximately 13 years old, but cute as ever



Faith, the Princess

Donkeys Now Take the Stage


Peek-a-boo Luigi


Donkey ear sighting


Sugar and Spice, sisterly love

Clucks Bring Up the Rear


Peggy Sue, Marigold, Joannie B
"Someone said there were treats!"


Nothing to see here, move along.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Four Donkeys (Sometimes) Steal My Heart

I have complained vociferously (while you dear readers simply nod in calm support) that four stinky donkeys ignore any toy I have supplied, be it beach ball, traffic cone, hanging milk jugs,  Jolly ball, etc.  Yesterday it became clear their new favorite toy is the hay manger.


As you can see, it has been shifted from the middle of the shelter to another selected spot.  Not my doing.  Not Rick's doing.  You may wonder, who could possibly have moved it?  Hmmm... 

I've spotted this shifting more than occasionally.  Their new toy. 







Rick constructed the manger last summer to avoid all the hay going on the ground.  Here, the troublemakers have just pulled all the hay out of the manger to - the -  ground.















Certainly not wanting to leave you with the impression I shake my fist at these four all the time.
In a moment of weakness, we had a chill moment.