Friday, April 24, 2015

The Girls Have Arrived

Last Saturday three little girls joined the crew.  However, they were reluctant to step out into their new digs.  I let them be for a couple of hours and they still didn't want to venture out.  So we slowly angled the cat carrier to force the issue.

They have been enjoying the heat lamp this past week with our unusually chilly temps.

It was a feat to snap all three girls together, but here is the sassy trio:

Names are coming along slowly.  Only one for sure -- Ruby.  She has the darkest red/brown coloring. I'm debating about "Chica" for the other reddish hen but alas, the third is nameless at this point.

Rick did a wonderfully grand job with the coop.

He used some saplings that the donks had decimated for the roosts.

The outside pen is 99% complete but it was too chilly to let our 11-week olds out.  Today is the day!  Freedom!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Spring Sings

I don't need a calendar to know spring is here.


1.  For about a week the mud has been g-o-n-e.  No boots needed.  This is a good thing.

2.  Donkeys duties have been cut in half.  What took 30-40 minutes just a short while ago, can now be zipped through in 15 minutes.

3.  I wear my jams out in the morning to greet the donks.

4.  Donkeys are bellowing constantly telling the world how mistreated they are to be closed off from the pasture.  (If we want the pasture to sustain them through the summer, we've got to give it a fighting chance through May.  No nibbling allowed at this point.)
If you hear their bellows, don't believe a word.

All is right with the world (knock on wood).  

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Chicken Coop in Progress

We've decided to take the plunge and broaden our horizons to include laying hens.  I had been thinking about this for over a year but wanted to wait until I had retired to make sure I had time in the mornings to properly tend to everyone.  Now, the time is right!

I've actually purchased three Isa Browns but they're currently residing with my "egg lady" about 10 minutes away.  My carpenter husband is in the midst of building the coop (as I write this) and I've been itching to show you the progress.

Its cozying up against the back of the donkey shed.  
I've read the donks can help keep predators at bay.

After only a couple of days, the walls were up.
This beauty is 8'x8' with a height of 6'. 
Snazzy, huh.  I'm loving it.
The outside pen will go to the right of the coop.  

One entry to the coop is situated through the donkey shed.  I felt strongly that in the winter I did not want to be obliged to shovel an additional path through deep snow to get to the hens.

Although I'm not intending to have a large flock, and we're only starting with three, this gives room for expansion.  You see, I have no intention of killing the girls when their laying days are over.  They'll become pets and we'll bring in three replacements. 

\My favorite husband about an hour ago working on a door.

Friday, April 3, 2015

A Modest Digression

Donkey blog purists will perhaps raise an eyebrow or give a slight shake of the head when they see this post has no connection whatsoever to donkeys.  None.

But let me explain.

Recently I finished reading "The Hundred Foot Journey" -- perhaps you saw the movie with Helen Mirren -- in which an Indian boy's family moves to France and eventually opens an Indian restaurant. He speaks fondly of the aromas and spices of his birth country's meals.

And then I watched "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel".  Situated in India.

A few days later as I was thinking about the evening's meal preparation, I remembered having purchased a spice of Indian origin.  And I had done nothing with it.  Well, of course, with India on the brain, I had to dig that spice packet out and test its properties.

   Garam Masala

While sauteing carrots I added a gentle shake of the finely ground brown powder.  It added just a touch of sweetness and perhaps smokiness.  Definitely a yes.

Should I delve further into "exotic" spices?

With what spices have you experimented?