Monday, June 20, 2022

Loss and Love

 We had to say good-bye to Gunner last week.  I'd like to tell you more about the boy, but not now.  Maybe next week.  We're all missing him.



To be honest, I had been remiss in filling the inside hen dust bath.  In fact, I wasn't sure it wouldn't be a waste of time.  Who would be bathing in the coop in this summer weather when during free range time you can bathe anywhere.  But I persevered and did my blend of wood ash (a great way to clean out the wood stove), sand, and diatomaceous earth.  Lo and behold, clearly its being used.  Oh, by the way, I also added some herbs said to be good for mite control (heavy on the rosemary).



.The flies are in full force now so donks are constantly bothered in spite of the fly spray applications.  A nice breeze on a lazy Sunday morning was helpful in allowing for a pest-free breakfast.  Volume up to hear contented chewing by Sugar.


Speaking of eating, if you're on Facebook, take a peek at Jacques Pepin cooking videos.  They're usually under five minutes and I am always fascinated at his down to earth cooking style.  And of course his ease in the kitchen is enchanting.



*  *  *  *  *  * Just Say Yes *  *  *  *  *  *


I'm glad friend Bev alerted me to this non-dairy ice cream.  Whoa -- delicious!  Yes, it's a bit pricey but  an infrequent indulgence.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Yoo Hoo, Chickie Chicks

 Donkeys are deliriously happy.  First cutting hay has arrived.  Fresh and oh so green.  It is positively lip smacking good.

And speaking of lip smacking, if it's summer it must be tabouli time.  In our house there are certain dishes one only enjoys during certain seasons.  Tabouli is one.
But wait.  We don't prepare it in the traditional fashion with lots of parsley to be eaten as a salad.  No no.  It is stuffed into pocket bread (with your favorite condiment) and eaten as a sandwich.

From my 1978 Moosewood cookbook:


Throw in whatever veggies you have in the frig and you have a tasty summer dinner.


I've said it before (probably on many occasions) that the general public does not give chickens their due when it comes to intelligence and personality traits.  My girls are chock full of personality and sometimes smarts.  And, so you ask, who of the flock knows her name? 

Without question Sweet Pea.  But she's been with me seven years.  And comes when called (well, when she feels like it).


Next, I think Fluffy knows her name.  She has only lived here since August 2019, adopted from the Michigan Humane Society.  No she doesn't come when called, but whenever she's around while I'm doing chores and I say her name, she immediately chats back.  Every time.

Fluffy top
Violet, bottom

Peggy Sue was one of the girls we rescued from a farm that was getting sold in 2018.  We literally got the last four hens of a 100 chicken flock.  Peggy comes when called, although sometimes I have to call three or four times.  But hey, same with the dogs.




The moral of the story -- don't shortchange the girls.  They're talkative, like to help with chores,  strongly bond to people, and best of all, are often hilarious. 


 
   


Monday, May 30, 2022

Chuckling at Chonkeys

It's not hard to fall in love with chickens.  Especially when they've been with you for some time.
Sometimes they make me chuckle, sometimes they test my patience.
Today we take a look at the chuckles.  At least my chuckles.  Let's hope you chortle along too.

Both the donkeys and hens have internal clocks that keep me hopping.  Gabby, with her vocals that carry to the back of the theatre, always reminds me of meals.  And the chickens seem to know when its free range time, and, when free range time is over.

Here they're impatiently waiting in the porch for their "we're free" time.




A couple of days ago I finally cleaned out the coop.  I don't quite remember how I got into this habit, but I put straw down on the new side and shavings down on the old side.  I no longer bother to spread either out as the girls get down to business pretty quickly to take care of that chore.

At first only Peggy Sue, Etta James and  Joannie Lu volunteered.


   But not too long later almost everyone got into the act.

And yes, they most certainly arranged it quite perfectly.


In a bid for equal attention, the donkeys adopt some pretty adorable poses.






    


Monday, May 16, 2022

The Pasture Has been Opened, let the celebration begin

 Chonkeys are happy.  Well, most of the time.  They still believe they are being starved beyond imagination and feel the need to yell at me.  But finally they have been allowed pasture time and they are happy.  

Donks are only allowed a short time per day as is usual with spring grass.  But they seem content with even this short time.  And the hens have been allowed short free range time.  It seems migration is mostly over here and with it, a lesser chance of them contracting avian influenza.  I hope.  After only an hour, the bird girls are back in the yard ready for treats.  I don't have to herd them in from the pasture.  it's a little odd.


Spice, Sugar and Gabs are mostly cooperative


You met Stella last week.  She's happy too and blooming her heart out.





 * * * * * *Just Say Yes * * * * * *

I  have been waiting and waiting for this product to reappear on my local Kroger supermarket shelf and last week my wishes were answered. 



Yum


If you have access to Netflix, I'd recommend the movie "What the Health".  The health effects of eating meat and dairy are explored and it's not a pretty picture.  A meat eating friend viewed it and came away with a new attitude.  Catch it if you can.


 

Monday, May 9, 2022

Stella, My New Love

 Due to a mishap, I couldn't join you last Monday. I'm feeling much better today so let's see what's new.

Meet Stella.  I couldn't be more excited to introduce you to my lovely beauty who joined the house a couple of weeks ago.  


I'm trying to give the little girl everything she wants and needs.  You see her great aunt Gertie lived with us for about seven months in 2020 but perished.  Tragically.  I do not want the same fate to befall Stella.  So she gets gently placed on the deck during the day to soak up as much sun as possible, gets her mist bath, and of course her hydrating beauty regime.  She is blooming like crazy right now.

The chive pot I mentioned in an earlier post that wintered on the deck and was exposed to all elements associated with a  Michigan winter is growing like a weed.  I continue to be amazed.


Take a look a these cuties.  An unexpected gift from friend, Bev.  I bet you're jealous.


Now let's turn to the four legged ladies.
Not sure if I mentioned to you that I was able to maintain a nice bedding foundation in the barn this winter.  I chalked it up to Luigi being the culprit and now gone. 

Well, take a look at this.


  In about one day the girls "nibbled this (former) bracing post down to nothing.


Yes, they are oblivious to the destruction they are responsible for.  And think their antics can endear me to them.  Ha!


I hope you are swooning in the beauty of spring.
 

     

Monday, April 25, 2022

A Day in Chonkeyland

 I have lots to show you so let's get started.

Recently we went from more than a dusting of snow to 70 degrees within a couple of days.


See the white netting over the chicken run?  It's snow.  On top of the real netting.


We're trying our darnedest to follow recommended biosecurity to keep our girls safe from the avian flu.  So the bleach solution is at hand in the donkey barn. 


We need to spray those shoes/boots before entering the coop.  We have lots and lots of geese and ducks in our area with ponds galore and golf courses nearby.  And as you've probably heard the migrating waterfowl are bringing it into the area.  

I've read differing opinions on when it will be safe to let the girls free range again.  I actually think they're getting used to being homebound.


Marigold was squawking up a storm yesterday.  The reason for her ranting was unclear.



And then I stepped in and got Peggy Sue frazzled over picking a nesting box.


When I had the decency to step away she chose a different box.  Shame on me...


The official donkey manual requires that when donkeys get their (hot) slop all morsels are cleaned from the bowl.  Gabby is quite methodical with this chore and savors every minute.



Lastly I'm trying a new coop cleaning concoction.  The "recipe" called for either oranges or lemons soaked in white vinegar and marinated for about a month.  Throw in some cinnamon sticks and voila.


I just bottled mine on April 26, so that means I get to put off cleaning until May 26.  I'm no fool.


Monday, April 18, 2022

Scenes From a Teeny Tiny Farm

 As I look out the window at a couple of inches of snow, I am inclined to leave the weather out of today's discussion.  We're just ignoring it.

In that spirit, at our house, if the windmill appears on the scene it must be spring.  And voila.



A visitor stopped by the other day to have a quick beverage.  She didn't stop to chat, but scooted off busy with the business of the day.


Sugar left her morning hay, too too tempted by the bird seed thrown for the girls. 


 
This gives you a small taste of what the donkey song sounds like at almost every meal.  Imagine standing about a foot away...



And finally, a beautiful spring evening descends.