Summer is here…

May 31, 2016

This little guy as you can see DID NOT want me to hold him. He hatched yesterday, a day later than his siblings. He really should be thanking me instead of attempting suicide to get away from me. If I hadn’t stolen his hatch-mates his mama would never have come back for him. As you can see from this picture I got some sun this weekend. Summer is upon us full force. I need to do all I can to keep myself the children and my animals cool.

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Hatch Day

ducklings with mama 3
Duckling #3 is by the mama’s foot.

May 29, 2016

Five new ducklings hatched this morning from a grey hen that I kept from my first hatch of my first year. I feel a deep sense of accomplishment when an animal that was born and raised on my farm continues the cycle. She was a very good mom even tried to get me as I was stealing her babies from her. She only had five babies so hopefully her nest has more eggs and now that these babies are lost to her she will go and hatch out more.  Continue reading “Hatch Day”

I’m Sow Relieved

helga with piglets

It’s been a busy 2 weeks since I last posted. We went to a wedding in Santa Cruz and had a mini vacation there. It was very nice for my husband to be able to sit and do nothing! My good friend Shanna took care of my home animals for me, this is all the poultry, rabbits, dog and cat. It’s very relaxing knowing that you can leave and have a good time and someone who knows animals has everything under control for you.

At the tail end of our vacation Zoey, my eldest, got sick. Threw up all over her plate at the Santa Cruz Diner. AMAZING waffles there btw I highly recommend them. She was sick on and off for over a week. We actually ended up taking her to the hospital the following Friday. She just kept throwing up and complaining of stomach pain as well as refusing to eat or drink. It wasn’t until the following Thursday that we had a confirmed diagnosis of mesenteric lymphadenitis. The solution for which is rest and ibuprofen/tylenol. That was just one long, scary, tiring week. I don’t even know why I was so tired I stayed on the couch for three straight days watching tv and cuddling the Zo-bug. She is all better now praise the Lord up and bouncing around and making up for lost time in the eating department.

Last week I had another hatch of ducklings and two litters of piglets born totaling 17! We have been waiting it feels like forever for those little buggers! Zach was out there right after they were born. He could tell right away that one of them wasn’t going to make it. My Hampshire/Hereford sow, I call her Helga Hufflepuff so that I can remember that, had 12 and the super runt didn’t make it to the morning.

I don’t know if all sows do this but my sows often have 2 or 3 huge piglets and then 6ish medium sized and then 2 or 3 runts. Occasionally we get a super runt who is about half the size of his medium class siblings. They rarely survive more than a day or so the few that have have developed hernias which will rupture at some point so they have no value in terms of selling. I haven’t had any survive to adult size. Runts aren’t great for use as breeders because they pass their runtiness along. Runts produce more runts which isn’t helpful. It also takes them a couple months to catch up to their siblings in size IF they can get enough food. However the 16 left are several days old now and doing very well which is good cause we are going to need to sell them to buy hay for this summer.

We had ranch visitors yesterday, my old high school friend Caleb and his girlfriend Brittney! I am convinced she is plotting to move out to my ranch and just love all my animals for the rest of her life. I caught up a piglet for her to play with, it was not pleased to be away from mom but she and Caleb had a good time cuddling it and taking pictures. They were also interested in the alpacas, those creatures get way too much attention. I believe they originally came out to ride my two horses Derby and Sage. However my two ingrates as well as my in-laws horses Cherokee and Remington took off as soon as we showed up. Turns out they had been getting into the pig food and correctly assumed they would be in trouble.

ranch horses

The above picture is Sage on the far left with Derby next to her and walking away, he is the leader of the herd. Closest to the camera is my in-laws gelding Cherokee who they are currently working on breaking him to ride. Behind him and almost out of sight is the little colt Remington.

 

That’s all for this week!

Teenagers…

teen ducklings 6

The animal kind, I have no tips or tricks when it comes to the human kind. Now that I’m in my twenties the human teenagers in my life make no sense to me. Remember those adorable itty bitty ducklings. Not so adorable or itty bitty now. Roughly the size of small cats the youngsters have got their pin feathers starting to come in. They will molt twice before I let them run with the big dogs. I moved them to my teen cage. They have a small trough in this cage with water in it so they can take a full bath but it’s not deep enough to drown in.

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Happy Mother’s Day

mom

Unbelievably that’s not me. That is my mom. She still looks 30.

On this mother’s day I figured it was a good time to talk about the greatest of mothers, mine. I know everybody thinks their mom is the best but somebody’s mom has to be the best and seriously it’s mine.

It took me a long time to write this post. While using words may be my gift, I often have a hard time expressing how I feel. My mom went out of town this year to visit my favorite grandma (I’m totally not looking for brownie points…). Since I won’t be able to see her this mother’s day I thought a good gift to give her would be words.

My mom is very gifted. She is a great nurse, photographer, teacher, cook, gardener, general handyman. She also has vast reserves of patience. Which unfortunately she did not pass on. She always has time to talk or play or sing or dance on the coffee table. She has never made any of her four children feel like we were annoying or that she didn’t have time for us. Believe me we were annoying and had lots of time wasting thoughts we just had to share with her. Mainly my siblings, because everything I have to say is of the upmost importance naturally.

While she will never win any awards for coordination. I don’t know how many times she has cut herself slicing bagels or stabbed herself with screw drivers or broken glass. She makes up for it by having this uncanny ability to find lost items. She can also walk faster than most people can run. Not a good thing, she likes to go for “little walks” with me. Which is basically me going at a full sprint for 4 miles while she leisurely strolls along. She also recently did a 30 mile bike ride. I abstained because, well I don’t really have an excuse I just didn’t want to, it looked and sounded hard.

What I’m trying to say is I love my mom. She’s the best person ever and if I am ever half the woman she is then I think my kids are gonna turn out just fine 🙂

 

Until Next Time…

New House Part 2

Zach floor

 

They managed to get the floor built in two days. The entire first day (first day with family helping) was spent leveling pier blocks and going back to the store multiple times because we (me) did math calculations wrong. For those of you who don’t know me I am terrible at math, even with a calculator. If it goes beyond basic addition it’s beyond me. Even with basic math my knee jerk answers to such things are usually wrong. 7+8=13… until I think about it, which I usually don’t.

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Goodbye Boy Pig and Other…

piglets3Today the mobile butchering company came and took the two pigs we were growing out for a client. It is never a good idea to name pigs or any animal that aren’t going to live past their first year. It helps if you don’t think of them as pets. Zach and I take this to an extreme. We are TERRIBLE at naming animals! I think it’s a combination of not caring and not being original thinkers. The two that we have been growing out since they were born on our ranch 8 months ago were named Little Boy Pig and Other. When I would feed them in the mornings I would call them, “Here pig pig pig!”

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