Monday, March 29, 2021

Nifty Neighbors

 Not everyone is lucky enough to have neighbors like ours.  Quite outgoing, chatty, and good lookin' to boot.  Oh yea.

In the background - Blackie
In the foreground Matilda and Baby

These are the names I have assigned to the neighbors.  And Blackie knows his name.  You betcha.  With the snow gone, this is prime season to offer them carrots.  Blackie was familiar with the drill from years past, and Matilda is now getting the hang.  Baby finds the process quite curious.

 Long time readers will remember I get big bags of #2 carrots from a particular vendor at the county farmer's market; at our house they're designated "donkey carrots".  Donkeys do not get a vote about sharing with the cows and when they get a glimpse of me tossing treats over the fence they do express their displeasure.

I've yet to catch a good shot of Baby; he's getting more accustomed to me but still is not completely confident.

All three are a delight.

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I'm going to start a mini section of the weekly post with the thought of offering delectable vegan products, recipes, or other miscellaneous tidbits.  It will be called --

Say Yes

This week's featured item -- Kale, cashew, basil pesto sold at Trader Joe.
A few years ago I started making my own pesto with basil from the garden, but I'll admit it's not vegan.  This is a very tasty alternative and it is vegan.  I did add a bit of olive oil to the sauce as it was a bit dry for our taste.  Over some bowtie pasta -- easy, quick, and tasty.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Passive Aggressive Donkeys

The girls are obsessed about the Equine Senior.  The vet had advised to keep the donks on the extra feed until the pasture comes in.  Which will be toward the end of May.  So for now, the girls get extra rations on a daily basis and they L-O-V-E it.  In fact when I've provided hay and straw, but have not yet gotten to the Senior, they take matters into their own hands.  I get blockaded.

On this occasion, Spice planted herself directly in front of me, while Sugar had me blocked on my right.  The barn door was on my left so I could not move.  At all.  

Usually when I'm told what to do by the donkeys I dig my heels in and say "you're not the boss of me".  But, clearly...

Here I had tried to ignore the donkey directives but Gabby made sure to keep an eye on me while I was in the chicken coop.  And that right ear is fine tuned in my direction.  Clearly I could not escape.

*  *  *  *  * 

My intention for this post was to provide some close ups.  How anyone gets clear, in focus close-up shots of their clucks is beyond me.

a group shot pose (7 of the 9 girls).

Aha, gotcha!  Now the problem is I don't know if that's Lu(lu) or Joannie

Goldie paused briefly 

While Pegs demonstrates how climbing in the treat bowl guarantees success 

And my lovely girl Gabby willingly paused in mid bite for a glamour shot

As always we conclude with a shot of Luigi

Hope you're grazing happily, my boy


Monday, March 15, 2021

Smiles All Around as Weather Improves

 Last Monday, as I kvetched about in my post, I was still using cleats to traverse the driveway.  By Wednesday the ice had predominantly disappeared and cleats weren't necessary.  By Friday the mud had dried up significantly.  Isn't that amazing?

Although the chickens would only venture out on snow or ice very occasionally, the mud was another matter.  Mud didn't slow them down at all in investigating the donkey yard, after a winter of being cooped up.

In fact Marigold illustrates the fine art of mud puddle drinking.

Not to be outdone, Fluffy demonstrates ice water sipping.

Because the weather is conducive, the girls can now enjoy their afternoon exploration jaunts.  Getting everyone back in the coop has proved problematic the past few days, though.  Here the escapees investigate wild shrubbery.

While Sugar enjoys a sun nap.

Sometimes the girls rush into the coop after their afternoon exploration and rush to a nesting box.  Apparently my girls don't like to lay eggs out and about and prefer the comfort of home.
Turn your sound up for this one.  Here is the unique sound a hen makes as she makes herself comfortable in a nesting box, preparing to lay.  The only visual is flashes of her comb.


Monday, March 8, 2021

Typical Chonkey Shenanigans

 Most mornings follow a pretty standard routine.

Throw hay for the donks.  Let the hens out.  Clean up manure. Clean out the coop.  Throw straw for the donks and then give them Equine Senior.

Saturday morning things went on as usual.  Chickens played in the hay aisle while I cleaned.

But then --  there was a mild revolt!

Hay had been thrown in the pasture, but was abandoned.  Straw was abandoned as well.

(Although one of the hens wanted to investigate the straw.)

It seems the donkeys sent Sugar to the Boss Lady to negotiate for Equine Senior now.

Gabby was trying to appear aloof in the background to see how the talks were going.  Let me say we stuck to the boss' schedule.

But finally donkeys got what they wanted and hard feelings flew out the window.

As an aside, yes we still have ice on the driveway which means I still have to wear cleats (!!!)
I am not too proud to say I drive my vehicle out to the donks when I don't have to haul water, just to avoid the cleats.  Rick thinks it's silly, but I hardly let that deter me.

Today temps rose to the lower 60's.  So while we're experiencing a mudfest in the donkey yard, with areas of small lakes, there is still ice in the driveway.  If my prayers go answered, it will melt enough to allow a clear path all the way up the driveway.  

As yet another aside, those who have been with me for a couple of years know we established a Little Free Library in the summer of 2019.  Although many LFL stewards put their's outside their homes, ours is about 10 minutes away.  I hadn't been in a bit because of snow and weather considerations.  Today I drove over and this is what greeted me.

Books stuffed in every which way to the extent the door on the right would not close.  This is pretty typical.  And it drives me c-r-a-z-y.

The positive note is that users are indeed sharing books, but I just wish they'd figure out how to do it neatly.  Every time this happens I have to literally pull out every book and start re-arranging.

One can always hope.

Fabulous Luigi

Monday, March 1, 2021

Tidbits From the Teeny Tiny Farm

 The good news -- 

Do you hear the clock ticking?  Yea, not much good news.

Donkey blankets came off about a week ago and the girls were greatly relieved.

We've had some gloriously sunny days recently (although not today) and the hen girls are drawn to those sunny patches in the porch.

I thought Marigold was in a bad way not long ago.  She was lethargic, first sign of trouble.  Then Rick found an empty egg membrane hanging from her derriere.  Based on advice from a local chicken group she got the spa soak in Epsom salts and a blow dry.

  I don't think she was raving to her friends about the services...  Nor did she leave a tip.

I was worried about her, but after a couple of days she seemed to bound back, running around with the rest of her cohorts.

As for the bad news --

 Half of the driveway leading to the chonkeys is walkable.  We've experienced warming temps and freezing at night.  The cycle has again made the driveway treacherous, and I don't use that term loosely.  Even with cleats.  It's some scary stuff.

And what I could not bring myself to tell you last week -- we lost Lily.  Exactly one week after Luigi.  She had been in the basement for several days, to make sure she was warm and not being harassed.  The last few days we were hand feeding her with applesauce, yogurt and blended oatmeal.  And finally it became clear we had to let her go.

When Marigold showed signs of distress, I honestly did not think I could face it.

And I need not mention, sweet Luigi is missed