Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Driveway Interloper

 A couple of mornings ago as I pedaled out to the chonkeys, I stopped my bike with a lurch.  A big black  bovine was standing in the driveway, inside the fence.  Now wait a minute, let me get my bearings!  

It was my good buddy, Blackie.  You've met him before.

And there on the other of the gate in our driveway was the baby.

Well, that threw me for a loop, I gotta tell you.  Now I'm pretty comfortable around horses, but cows and steer, well I'm not so comfortable.  Just haven't been exposed to their company too many times.

So I got Rick, opened the gate and shooed him out.  Piece of cake.  Of course in the meantime I had texted the human neighbor and she corralled both uninvited guests. 

As an aside, I have no idea if Blackie is Baby's dad, but it's very interesting to see Baby run to him in the pasture when mom (Mathilda) isn't around.

Chicken News.
I'm getting three 3-month old Isa Browns from a local feed store (Maher Feed) very soon.  The critical decision of names is at hand.  Remember most of the girls are named after singers.  I've been tossing around "Babs" Streisand, "Petula" Clark, and "Leslie" Gore.  But I'm open to suggestions, please.

Thought I would entertain you with the calling of the hens after their free range time.  It amuses me no end to see the thundering herd come bounding in for treats.

  Yes, that's my high-pitched screech -- the voice I use every time to call them.  And it works.

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Here it is, the best nondairy yogurt.

I've tried quite a few and this is my favorite.  Try it, you'll see.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

It's "First Day of Pasture" Day !!

 I perused the pasture about 10 days ago and was not happy with what I saw.

The donkeys were pleading with me to let them onto the pasture and I promised them the gate would open on Sunday.  But it just wasn't looking tall enough so I promised them Wednesday (today) and, yes, it was the best day ever (!) according to Sugar.  When my former horse barn let out 50 head of horses on the summer pasture for the first time in the season, the thundering herd racing for that green grass was pretty dramatic.  Not quite so dramatic with three mini donks walking through the gate with heads down. 

So they'll get to contentedly wander the pasture for part of every afternoon until it gets eaten down and then they'll have to take a week's break to allow for some re-growing.  But that won't be until early July.

Now that we have the red letter day news out of the way, let's back up to old business.

The bird nest.
Come to find out it was a wren's nest, not sparrow as we initially thought.  But that's kind of neither here nor there.  A few days ago there was a flurry of activity in the rafters of the barn with two wrens -- mom and dad?  -- bringing food to the nest.  Or at least that's what I surmised.  And I got divebombed one day.   
But now, no sign of activity.  So I dared peek in.  Nothing.  Rick did a better examination this morning and saw no eggs, no broken egg shells, nothing.  How very strange.
Any guesses?

And finally, I feel like I'm back to square one on the issue of chicken euthanasia.  The administrator of  a chicken group on FB told me my method was inhumane.  What?!!  I almost fell off my chair.  
I spent a great deal of time talking to vets about four years ago and finally thought someone from the poultry "department" at Michigan State University offered the best solution.  
So what to do.
I've started talking to vets and farm sanctuary caregivers about this specific question, again.  Not sure yet what the answer is.  But that threw me for a loop!  I would never ever do anything that remotely smacked of being inhumane.

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Say Yes  

I tried out a new recipe last night and it got two thumbs up.  Of course I didn't think to take a photo until after dinner was over, but let me give you the recipe.  I recommend it.

Crunchy Broccoli Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

The Clean Bowl Club

 Before we get to the main topic today, I would like to give you a couple of updates.

First mama bird and her nest/babies.
A few days ago I heard cheeping coming from the tack box, aka the nest.  But then we had the incident.
During morning chores as I was entering the hay aisle Sweet Pea swooped in and with amazing speed grabbed something on the ground.  I saw it hanging from her beak; it was about and inch and a half long and naked.  I grabbed her to try to rescue the baby but Lulu grabbed it out of Sweet Pea's beak.  At that point I figured it was too late.  How the baby fell out of the nest and the tack box is quite puzzling; the nest is tucked back in a corner nowhere close to an edge.

A couple of days later while I was in the midst of morning chores I saw mama bird leave the nest so felt comfortable peeking.  And there I saw another baby.  Since then I've seen mama with something in her mouth wait for me to leave the hay aisle.

Although the chicken/baby bird carnage was hard to watch, this "miracle of life" unfolding is pretty exciting.

Last post I showed you an example of a goofy egg -- one without a shell.
Then we had this beauty.

It's not terribly unusual to find a cracked egg, but the number of fissures in this one is not normal at all.
What are these girls up to?

Turning to donkeys --

When the donks are given their portions of Equine Senior they slowly and carefully eat e.v.e.r.y morsel.

Here Spice demonstrates the technique

Once every morsel is gone, as your dog might do, the donks carefully lick any remaining molecules.

  Gabby, never one to give up, asks me if second servings are forthcoming


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Say Yes

A couple of weeks ago I described my newest smoothie combo and I'm still finding it to be pretty darn tasty.

It's quite a pretty green with baby spinach, banana, frozen organic cherries and a touch of spirulina.