How did I get to be one of these people who grows older and is around less people, but more animals? I guess it is because we are heading out to live on our acreage in a rather short time from now and I am trying to assimilate. I better become accustomed to animal emergencies, animal drama and animal goodness.
Off to a great start, we are thoroughly LOVING our first flock of chickens and their eggs are making our recipes taste much better than I imagined. I don't think I could ever go back to buying grocery store eggs. To anyone, I would recommend buying Buff Orpington chickens for your egg-laying variety...they are docile, easy to care for and the lay more eggs than we can eat. We have four Buff Orpingtons and one little Bantam, Miss Speckles.
Once we move to our land, we will definitely buy more of these chicks. Deputy Dave and I will also designate an area for a rooster to live with his gals so we can have regular chicks hatching on the farm to replenish the stock in the most natural way instead of having to buy chicks from outside sources.
Just as I love to have fresh laid eggs in our refrigerator, ready to eat or cook with, I also love my garden fresh Sweet Basil. I won't ever buy Basil from the grocery store again either. And, we grow Rosemary. Usually, we have chives and other herbs, but this drought in Texas has devastated our gardens.
|These are the tops of pineapples. We eat the flesh, chop off the|
green top, plant it in the earth and it turns into a beautiful, tropical
easy to care for plant.
|Here's another Pineapple top stuck in the earth several months ago.|
They are obviously heat-resistant as well. We've also planted these on
our acreage and they're doing great.
|And YES! Those are dark rain clouds in the distance!|
I just hope they don't sputter, as has been our luck this year.
Deputy Dave is preparing the veggie garden bed for winter plantings.
This morning, I found a rather large "Templeton" in the feed area...dead. It was about 7:30 am and not a fun thing to find upon waking up. I had been about to let out the chickens when I discovered Templeton lying there staring at me. I froze. Then, I realized that Templeton was not lying down for a rest...he was out for the permanent count.
We do not put out poison, so I don't know what happened. Belle, the Yorkie did go a bit wacko when I put her outside last night, but the rat didn't appear to have deadly wounds on his body. But, man, he looked well fed. I think he'd been eating chicken feed spillage ---- which we are working more diligently to reduce, especially with our first purchase of pellets for food instead of chicken crumble. We'll see if that helps. I nearly took a picture of dead Templeton; but decided against it. Still, it's a solid Farm Life Lesson. No matter what, we will have rats in the city. All the neighbors leave their dog and cat food outside, so it's a losing battle.
Regardless, my hero, Deputy Dave, promptly headed outdoors with the shovel to dispose of the yucky visitor. Little did Templeton know...going to our house would introduce him to "Hotel California...we are programmed to receive, you may check-out any time you like...but you can never leave..."
Goodness, I hope the 100 buddies hiding in the bush will decide to go elsewhere.
But, back to the dogs...I've been completely amazed by the Yorkie's intelligence, common sense and intuition. She now sees that the chickens are not our enemies. She is beautifully acquainted with them at this time and is constantly in the backyard with them. She seems to be bored with them at this point. That's great because I didn't know if she'd ever be able to stop chasing them. She's a fast learner.
Instead, this week, she's found chasing to be more worthwhile when it involves my vacuum cleaner, the fence-line as the neighbor mows their backyard, the leaf blowing across the yard, but not the chickens.
|Belle is having way too much fun!|
He seems to have infinite patience in stock. This is when I get to see the Shepherd in him. He is so gentle, even when he is trying to get his message across...he knows how to do it effectively, yet safely.
|I wonder if she realizes that her entire head can fit inside his mouth?|
|Howdy is saying, "Whatever..."|
He continues to impress me with his instinctual nature and his desire to obey and please his master is top notch. But this gal, my Lyla (spelling never correct) is the BEST one out of the bunch.
I think we'd better get moved to our wooded acreage as soon as possible. With near ten acres, we'll be much happier with loads of room to run and play.
We were at the feed-store today and I came across a HUGE livestock "baby" bottle and I held it up, looked at Deputy Dave and said, "I can't wait to get to use one of these!"
He just laughed, but I'm sure he knows that I mean it. I really do.