Thursday, January 31, 2008

Oh, Deer

Every evening we have two deer that visit us, they always show up while we are doing the evening feeding, they aren't the least bit concerned about us. Angel would bark at them when they first started showing up but she has gotten use to it and now ignores them. They know they have a safe haven here.
Well, we were blessed this evening with all of our Kids and Grandkids coming for a visit and they just happened to be out target shooting with a new BB gun that my Grandson got for Christmas. I just hope that our deer weren't too traumatized and will come back tomorrow night. I also hope that my sons will mature some day.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I only found one good footprint frozen in the mud after our visitation Tuesday night. I am thinking Bobcat, I pointed it out to my DH and he thinks so too. I looked at tracking websites and this track matches the Bobcat track pretty closely. It was mostly a round track with round toes and no claw marks.

Maude is struggling to stay alive, her breathing is very labored, but she did get up and eat some this evening. My new rooster also has some injuries but nothing serious, he lost some feathers and has some bloody spots on his head.

I took some pictures of the track but I haven't transfered them to the computer yet, so I don't know if they turned out or not. I will post them here, if they did.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Nighttime Visitor

You know what they say about Indiana weather? If you stick around long enough it will change. I went to my favorite weather forecast website this evening and there was every kind of warning and advisory that you could imagine, except for a heat advisory. They had a Severe Thunderstorm Warning, Wind Advisory, Hail, Winter Weather Advisory and a Wind Chill Warning.

I dutifully shut down my computer and waited for the storm to hit, I didn't have a long wait. The thunder and lightning started, I went out without even a jacket on, it was so warm, a couple of minutes later it started pouring rain and hail. I mean it was coming down violently.

My husband had left me home alone, so I turned on my handy, dandy Police scanner and they were getting 911 calls for damage all over the county. Trees were down, two houses were flattened, power lines down and roads closed, trees down on houses and cars. But as they went door to door in hard hit areas they didn't find any injuries.

I called to check on my kids, then settled back with a good book (an instruction manual). All was quiet for awhile, the wind was still blowing but not as bad. Then my LGD, Angel the Great Pyrenees, started barking like she meant it. I figured that she was barking at the wind but then I heard the sound of something hitting the chain link fence on the dog kennel that holds Maude and Ethel.

I put my book aside just in time to hear Maude and Ethel start screaming bloody murder. I grabbed my handy, dandy Black and Decker Spotlight and ran out the door in just my night gown, only to discover that the temperature had dropped about 30ยบ and it was snowing.

I was yelling as I ran out the door to scare whatever it was away. When I got there I found a lot of chicken feathers in the doghouse and Maude and Ethel behind the doghouse. My new rooster and one of my banty hens were cowering in the opposite corner together.

Maude walked out of hiding when she seen me and most of her feathers on one side were gone and she had large puncture wounds on her back side. I looked around with my spotlight and didn't see anything. Then my handy, dandy Black and Decker Spotlight went out. So, don't rush out and buy one on my recommendation because they do not hold a charge worth anything and they don't give you a warning before they die.

It was a dark and stormy night and there was something out there....

I finally made it back to the house in the pitch darkness, but I was still wondering what had been in that pen and what could have made those big holes in her flesh.

I put on more appropriate clothing for the sub-zero weather that had just blown in. I went out and started the Blazer, turned it around to face the kennel, so that I would have lighting. That was when I noticed that there were no horses around the big bale feeders, anyone that knows horses knows that they are always around big bales.

Not only were they not around the feeders but they were down farther away in the pasture, in a big group, snorting and blowing, with there ears forward at attention, so again I wondered just who our visitor had been. I gathered up the hens and rooster, one at a time and took them through the ankle deep mud into the goat/chicken shed for Angel to watch over for the rest of the night. It was the first time that I had attempted to pick up Maude, she is one heavy bird.

I will look for tracks tomorrow morning. We have coyotes here all of the time, we have even walked up on them while they lay in the middle to the herd on a foggy night. I find it hard to believe that the horses would react the way they did tonight, if it had been a coyote.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Mille Fleur d'uccle

Here it is, the moment that you all have been waiting for, the introduction of my new Rooster. I haven't named him yet, as a matter of fact, I haven't even named my other rooster yet. The new rooster needs a French name. The other rooster is a Booted Bantam, so I guess he needs a Pirate, Cowboy or Harley Rider name. Any and all suggestions would be appreciated.

He spent the night with Maude and Ethel, they are my big cornish hens, he has never had his freedom, so he didn't know that he just needed to fly up and out of the pen. Maude and Ethel are too heavy to fly, so that is where they live full time. All of my other Chickens are free rangers, but they do get in and out of Maude and Ethel's pen occasionally.

Mille Fleur d'uccle Rooster

Mille Fleur d'uccle Rooster

Maude and Ethel
Maude and Ethel

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Just Stay Home

I have made my decision, I am not going anywhere ever again. A few weeks ago, I was sitting in the waiting room of my Doctor's office, when I looked down at the floor and discovered small clumps of straw and manure under my feet. Well, I knew that the appointment was for 8:30 am, so chances were that I was the first person to occupy that seat for the day.

I went to the restroom and cleaned off my shoes then went back to the waiting room and pushed the mess up under the chair as inconspicuously as possible.

This evening I went to Church and the same thing happened, it isn't my fault that the chickens aren't more careful about where they eliminate waste. They leave an undetectable trap right outside the passenger side door of our truck for my nice clean Church shoes.

Another thing worrying me is that I don't notice my billy goat having an odor anymore, this could mean that I have been desensitized to his smell, in which case, I might not notice that I smell like a billy goat. Hopefully some close family member would tell me. I might be safe though, maybe he is just out of the rut and doesn't stink anymore, after all, no strangers have asked me if I raise goats lately.

I hope I am not becoming one of those old pathetic Chicken and Goat Farmers that everyone makes fun of, that would be embarrassing. People tend to admire horse and cattle ranchers but goat and chicken farmers are a very discriminated against minority. If you are one, you never admit to it. People always snicker when you tell them or ask you why (that is another reason to stay home and not go anywhere).

When you meet other people like yourself, you instantly bond and sympathize with each other. We are an intelligent group though, I just spelled, decision, inconspicuously, eliminate, passenger, desensitized, discriminated, sympathize and intelligent, my spell checker has confirmed that I was correct.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

New Member

I have a new member in my farm family, a Mille Fleur d'uccle rooster. I already had two Millie hens, so come spring, I hope to raise some purebred chicks. Both of my little hens are very broody and one of them hatched out 3 eggs last spring, all roosters.

My sweet cousin bought two hens and two roosters off of my neighbor, I knew that he had them because he gave me the two hens that I have now. My husband wouldn't let me get a rooster because we already had a rooster and I don't think that he wants me to get into raising chicks. So, being the perfect wife, I didn't whine much.

Anyway, my sweet cousin didn't need two roosters, so for some unknown reason my husband asked me if I wanted one and of course, I did. I plan to try to raise my sweet cousin a hen in the spring to pay him back for his generosity. Hopefully I won't get all roosters again.

My little bantam Mille Fleur d'uccle rooster, is just adorable but he is as wild as he can be and a real loud mouth. You would think that he was a wild bird the way he acts, which is strange because my hens are so sweet and friendly. This breed is known for there tameness. They are also known for the rich eggs that they lay, tiny but delicious.

His continuous crowing is extremely annoying, it sounds like a scratchy record but of course most people now-a-days don't know what a scratchy record sounds like. This younger generation has missed so much.

I will try to get some pictures of my new guy, as soon as I can get him tamed down some. Here is a picture of my Millie hens:

Mille Fleur d'uccle Hens

Friday, January 25, 2008

Forwarded Emails

Don't you love forwarded emails? I do enjoy them if they are funny or informative in someway, but I hate the ones that are just harvesting email addresses. These usually include something about having good luck if you forward it on to 10 people in your address book, but if you don't then you will have bad luck for 3 years and all of your hair and teeth will fall out.

Other email harvesting forwards are usually very spiritual, telling you some heart wrenching story about the love of God and that if you don't send this email about Jesus on to 20 people in your address book then you are ashamed of Him. I get a lot of these from a certain lady that refuses to pay me $80 that she owes me. I'm sorry but don't try to convince me about how much of a Christian you are, when your walk talks louder than your talk talks, but that is another subject.

The next time you get one of these email harvesting messages, look at it closely, go to the properties of that email and look at the header. If that email has been traveling for awhile, you can get hundreds and hundreds of legitimate email addresses from it. Then the innocent recipients cannot understand why they get so much spam, they never give their email addresses out to anyone, but the problem is that their friends, family and acquaintances give their addresses out every time they forward one of these messages to them.

One of my good friends only sends me the really good stuff and I liked this one. So, if you haven't received it yet, here it is:

Just in case you ever get these two environments mixed up, this should make things a little bit clearer.

you spend the majority of your time in a 10X10 cell
you spend the majority of your time in an 6X6 cubicle /office

you get three meals a day, fully paid for
you get a break for one meal and
you have to pay for it

you get time off for good behavior
you get more work for
good behavior

the guard locks and unlocks all the doors for you
you must often carry a security card and open all the doors for yourself

you can watch TV and play games
you could get fired for watching
TV and playing games

you get your own toilet
you have to share the toilet with
some people who pee on the seat

they allow your family and friends to visit
you aren't even supposed to speak
to your family on the phone

all expenses are paid by the taxpayers with no work required
you get to pay all your expenses to go
to work, then they deduct taxes from your salary to pay for prisoners

you spend most of your life inside bars wanting to get out
you spend most of your time at work wanting
to get out and go inside bars

you must deal with sadistic guards

they are called managers

Now get back to work. You're not getting paid to read Blogs!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Extreme Tracking

For those of you who have blogs and have been using Extreme Tracking to monitor your blog stats, if you added the tracking code directly to your "template" or "layout" using the "Edit HTML" tab, you will have to remove the code from there, as it will no longer work from that location.

You will now have to go to the "Layout" tab, then on to the "Page Elements" tab, then choose "HTML/JavaScript" to add the code to your blog at either the side or bottom of your pages.

Still Spinning

After spinning a good length of yarn with my light weight spindle, I unloaded my spindle onto the back of a kitchen chair then tied all four sides with short pieces of string. I then slipped it off of the chair and put it in hot tap water for 20 minutes.

I towel blotted the yarn dry and stretched it back over the chair to finish drying. This is done to set the twist of the yarn. When I took it off of the chair for the second time, it was no longer trying to unwind itself.

My first hand spun wool yarn is uneven and bumpy, but I am proud of it. Now I will spin another length of the same wool and then twist the two together to make a two-ply yarn that I can actually make something with.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Drop Spindle

I purchased a drop spindle kit that included wool, spindle and instructions on eBay. I anxiously started spinning but soon became discouraged because it wasn't quite as easy as it sounded and the instructions didn't help.

I googled for drop spindle videos, to watch how others did it and these videos didn't help either, they just made it look so easy and no matter how hard I tried, it wasn't easy. I found myself constantly turning the spindle because it would not spin on it's own, except in the wrong direction.

I finally figured out that the spindle was just not heavy enough to continue to spin in a clockwise direction without a lot of help from me, but as I continued winding on the yarn, the spindle got heavier and would spin easier without unraveling what I had already spun.

The moral of this story is to buy a nice hard wood spindle and not a cheap kit.

I Can't Hear You

It seems to me that this should be a two way street, I know that several people are reading my blogs daily but for some reason you never leave a comment. I wouldn't mind a little feedback occasionally. You can leave a comment anonymously, so no one will know who you are.

Now for some unfinished business. On January 5th, I posted a blog called, "This is War". I have persevered, my long suffering and patience have paid off. I have won the war and have my revenge.

The trap that I set after that terrible first encounter was sprung this evening. It was with great satisfaction that I heard the snap of that trap. I am thinking about skinning the little devil and using his fur to patch the hole in my jacket, but the color just isn't a match.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Just Lovely

When I went out to feed this morning, it was gently snowing, the ground was covered with a fresh dusting of snow, it was just lovely.

I enjoy feeding on mornings like this, it wasn't too cold, just beautiful, peaceful and quiet. One hen had already laid an egg which I deposited in my coat pocket.

I came back into the house to get a small bucket of warm water with some Apple Cider Vinegar in it for my goats. As I leaned over the sink, I heard a popping sound, but it didn't register at first. It wasn't until I was going through the kitchen with my bucket that figured out what the popping sound was. Oh well, that old coat needed a good washing anyway.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Bald Eagle

There was a time when seeing a bald eagle where we live was unheard of, but for the last 3 or 4 years we have been seeing a few during the winter months. This morning my husband came in the house and told me to get the camera. I grabbed it and ran out to see what was going on.

Sitting in a tree overlooking one of our smaller pastures was a bald eagle. He looked enormous but my camera doesn't have much of a zoom, so I am afraid I didn't get adequate pictures of him.

In comparison to some of the hawks that we have around here, the hawks might get away with one of my bantams, but this guy could take one of my standard Rocks or Rhodies, maybe even Shorty, our miniature horse.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Our First Casualty of 2008

We have only 5 mares bred this year and the first one due to foal was Jetta, our black ApHC mare. She was due to foal at the end of February or the first of March. Yesterday was January 19th and we certainly were not expecting any mares to foal on the coldest night of 2008 so far. I think it got down to 4°F here.

My husband went out to find a dead black leopard colt this morning, it was out of the sack and was clean, we don't know for sure what happened but assume that it was just premature and not viable. It was small and the mare had just started making an udder. By the look of it's feet, it never got up.

This may be the result of the quality of hay that we are feeding, a result of the drought this past summer, normally we would have had the mares separated and on good alfalfa before now but we just didn't have enough good hay to put them up as early as usual.

We are very disappointed because we have never gotten a black leopard from any of our own mares before. This mare has always had bays in the past.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


The lowest earthly life form is a species called a Spammer, this may also be the lowest life form in the whole universe. I don't know anyone who's life has not been infested with these terrible parasites at one time or another.

While most of these infestations come into your system through the use of a home computer. Even those who have no home computers can also be affected by these pests, through a medium called the United States Postal Service. The parasites are brought into your home by a human host or carrier, these hosts were at one time called Mailmen but with the advent of spam their name was changed to Mail Carriers.

There is no cure for this disease, but research continues. The only answer to this growing problem is that all those who are infested to just quit buying from or falling for these schemes. If the Spam would quit being profitable then all of the Spammers would disappear back into the cesspool from which they came or find another way to rip people off.

These lowly spammers can use your email address to send out spam emails, then your email address gets reported for spam and you can no longer send legitimate emails to your friends without their email providers blocking your email address or sending your emails to their junk folders.

I have also received very nasty emails from people accusing me of sending porn emails to them, after a spammer used my email address. Before accusing people of being spammers or reporting their email addresses, you should look at the complete header by going into the properties of the offending email to find out exactly where that email came from and not just by looking at the address in the "From" area.

It is kind of like a wolf in sheep's clothing. I get Viagra ads, enlargement advise and phishing schemes from legitimate Church addresses, Bank addresses and so on.

On another subject, I got a scary email today that makes me leary of making any large purchases from eBay. I wouldn't sell my eBay account for $5000 but some people might. It gives you something to think about.

Here is the email:

I want to propose you a deal, if you let me use your ebay account i will give you 5000$ a month. You will only have to let me post some auctions on it and you will get this money. eBay will believe that someone broke into your account, they don't have to know that you gave it to me. They will think i stoled it. Please reply if you are interested. I repeat, nobody will ever know you gave it to me.
Thank you.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Don't Taunt a Tiger

Police: Victim drunk during tiger attack - Yahoo! News

The news this morning is that the three Tiger attack victims in San Francisco had been smoking pot and drinking vodka, one was legally drunk. They also admitted to taunting the tiger. I guess they never read the rules of living a long and healthy life, which includes something about not playing leapfrog with elephants, never, ever, messing with the Ladies Auxiliary and never taunting Tigers unless their tails are wagging.

The Zoo was still negligent here, they still have a responsibility to protect stupid people. This could have been young unsupervised children doing this and the result would have been the same. I have known a few kids under the age of 12 who could have done this.

Where is the Zoo's responsibility to the animals. Shouldn't the animals be protected from stupid people as well? Maybe the zoo animals should sue this zoo.

How hard or expensive would video surveillance be for each area of the zoo. A couple of people to watch a bank of monitor screens, they could have a loud speaker at each enclosure to yell at the stupid people or young kids if they start to tease. They could also dispatch a motorized guard to the area immediately.

Common sense is what we need here, people, that is what separates us from the animals.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Still Waiting...

I order most of my Christmas gifts online, I buy a lot of stuff from I also get one of those LTD Commodity catalogs and the Grandkids love to look through it and pick out junk that they want. I learned very quickly that if you order from them, you had better do it as soon as the catalog comes out or you won't get your stuff before Christmas. Also you are always in the dark about how much shipping and handling charges will be, they ship all of the items separately to make the most money they can and when it is all said and done, you cannot believe how much this junk has ended up costing you, that is why they sell stuff so cheap.

So, I started using Lakeside Collections, which carries the same products and actually is an alias of LTD, but they let you pay shipping and handling fees upfront. I seem to get my stuff quicker with them, but here it is the middle of January and I am still waiting for one Christmas gift that never came.

I also used a "Buy It Now" button on an auction on eBay, the seller is in Lithuania, but had very good feedback and sells tons of stuff on there, so I thought I was safe. I paid for the two items on November 16th and today is January 17th, the package still has not arrived. The first time that I contacted him about not receiving the items, he told me that it sometimes takes a month. That would have been in plenty of time for Christmas.

I think that I have been patient enough, I have filed a dispute with eBay but he hasn't answered it for a couple of weeks now. The worst part of this is the fact that my husband told me I was stupid to order something out of Lithuania and that I just got taken. I hate it when he turns out to be right like this.

I had some online returns this year which was a first for me. I had to return my Grandson's Heelys to, they are the tennis shoes with the wheels in the heels for all of you out of touch people. Anyway the return was very easy, I even printed the return label right from their website and didn't have to buy postage.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

AFP: Kill all wild horses in Australian national park: environmentalists

Environmentalists call for aerial brumby cull - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Again, I say, what a waste of a natural food source, don't they have Zoos and Dog Shelters in Australia that could use this meat? But I guess there are animals in the park that can feed on the carcasses, as long as they don't shoot them all at once.

So, is shooting humane or is injection the only humane solution? Where are Bo Derek and Willy Nelson when you need them? Bo, get out of Canada and head for Australia, quickly.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Catching Up

I seem to have gotten behind in my life and need to do some catching up. I have several rope halter orders that need to be made and shipped.

It seems most of my website clients wanted updates after Christmas. We had a horse come home from the trainer and his info and pictures had to be updated on our site. I even took some videos of Leroy with the trainer and posted them, you can see them here: 2004 ApHC Bay Leopard Gelding For Sale . The page has a lot of pictures, so if you are one of us poor peasants who are still on a dial-up, then it will take a while for the page to load and you will have to really be patient if you want to watch the videos.

Leroy may be a famous horse, we got a call the other day from a friend who sent Leroy and Biscuit's pictures in to a magazine, I forget the name of the magazine but he said that they had gotten back with him, wanting to know the reason for their names. I don't understand that, doesn't everyone name their horses Leroy and Biscuit? Leroy had actually been named by the owner of the mare that he is out of. We bought him after he was already registered. Biscuit is an actual descendant of the great Seabiscuit and Lady Bugs Moon, so thus her registered name, PS Lady Seabiscuit, you can visit her page here; 2007 ApHC Chestnut Leopard Filly For Sale .

Chips Ahoy Leroy

PS Lady Seabiscuit

I just got back in from doing the morning feeding, I can walk on top of the mud now, it is frozen, we have several days ahead calling for cold temps, so I can take care of my animals myself and give hubby a break. He only has 30 something horses to feed grain to every evening besides my stuff, it is taking him around 3 hours at this point.

I broke the ice for water this morning, it was pretty thick. I have to carry water out to my goats and chickens in a gallon bucket because that is the most my back will allow, so sometimes I have to make several trips. I don't even mess with the hoses, even if they have been drained and aren't frozen, they still hurt me to drag them around, the bucket is easiest. I usually get warm water from the bathroom for everyone when it is cold, they appreciate it.

Angel was very needy this morning, I had to sit down and spend some time petting and hugging on her. I really enjoy my life, I would never leave home, if I didn't have to.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Fox

I have to stop talking about goats now or my eldest will be calling me "Goat Woman" instead of "Chicken Lady". He called me Granny for awhile when I was sitting outside all day with my rifle across my lap waiting for a fox.

The story goes like this; I was talking to my Son on the phone one day this past summer, when one of my little banty hens came right to my door yelling her head off.

The banties never come around the house/barn, so I told my eldest that something was wrong and I had to go. I hung up the phone and went out to see what was going on.

Right behind the goat/chicken shed was a fox and he had something down and was biting it repeatedly. I started running, as much as I am able to run with my back like it is, towards him and screaming at him. He totally ignored me and continued focusing on trying to kill his prey. I was almost able to reach out and touch him before he turned loose and trotted a short distance away, sat down and looked at me. I can't stand that kind of disrespect. But I didn't have time to deal with him just yet, I had to see to my injured bird.

My injured bird turned out to be my old rooster, Foggy. He and I had had a parting of the ways not long before this incident happened and that is partly the reason it happened

Foggy and I had always been buddies. I would sit in the doorway of the goat/chicken shed and he would stand in the doorway beside me, overlooking our Kingdom. My husband's sister had given him to us and they told us that he was mean, but he had never shown any ill will towards us, we could pick him up and hold him and my Grandchildren could pet him.

Then one day, I didn't know that he was behind me and I turned around and stepped on him, he took it personal and flogged my bare legs. Foggy was well endowed with 3 inch spurs. My legs looked horrible, I was bruised, cut and had large welts.

Not being one to hold a grudge, I forgave him because after all, I had provoked the attack. I guess he wasn't as forgiving as I was and he must have taken great exception to being stepped on because a few days later he flogged me again.

He never flogged anyone but me and on the third flogging, I went to the house and told my dear husband that as soon as it gets dark and cools off, his spurs are coming off and I don't care if he bleeds to death.

Now bear in mind, that this wasn't a rash decision, I had tried to break him of this nasty habit on several occasions when he didn't actually get the job of shredding my legs done, but only had made an attempt. I would use him as a football, until I was exhausted because every time I would kick him, he would come back for more. I also broke a good broom on him. So I did try to give him several more chances.

That night, we twisted the outer horn of the spur off, then took horse nippers and cut the spur clean down against his leg. He bled very little. You are suppose to bake a potato and then stick the spur in it for a few minutes and twist the spur off but that's only if you like the rooster.

Foggy was a very good rooster, as roosters go, he would give his life for his hens but enough was enough, and I took his only weapon away from him. Now I was looking down at him after the fox had reluctantly left him there. Who knows how many times that fox had come around and Foggy had successfully fought him off, but not this time. Are you crying yet?

I knelt down and put my hand on his lifeless body, he was still breathing, so I gently picked him up and carried him to the house/barn. I laid him carefully in a wire cage and went into the house to get him some water. When I came back he was on his feet and gladly accepted my kindness. I left the cage door open and went for my gun.

I grabbed the phone and hit redial, I thought that I would get my eldest Son but got my youngest instead, little matter, they could both remind me how to load my rifle. It isn't something I do everyday. However, after having my memory refreshed, I went hunting. The varmint was no where to be found but I knew he would be back. So I waited...

I sat outside in a chair with my rifle across my lap the next day but he did not return. The following day, I looked out the window in time to see him saunter by and go into the high weeds across from the goat/chicken shed. From this vantage point he could bide his time in safety while waiting for his chicken dinner. So I walked out and trudged through the weeds.

I didn't see him anymore that day or the next but on the fourth day he returned. I lucked out and happened to look out the window just in time to see him behind the goat/chicken shed again.

I slipped out the door, quietly released my safety and took aim. He must has heard me because he did a quick trot up the path away from me. I stood my ground hoping for a good shot but he was getting too far away, finally he turned with his left side towards me, still moving at a trot and I wasted no time taking the shot because I knew he would disappear in the weeds again.

As soon as I had squeezed it off, he jumped in the air and fell to the ground, he flopped around for awhile, so I was certain that I got him. I waited for a short time then started towards him, I was almost there when he jumped up and ran off, I shot again but missed this time. To my knowledge, he never came back, he may have crawled off somewhere and died.

Foggy recovered and things between us remained the same, I would like to say that he forgave me and we became friends once more, but that was not to be. So after a couple of more floggings, and a lot of whining, my husband loaded him up and took him to the local sale barn. The rooster that I have now is his son, he hasn't tried anything with me yet. He is much smaller than his father, but he has the same tenacity.

My Yearlings

Cooter, my buck, his nickname is "Rancid" during the rut.

Cooter and Angel
Cooter and Angel are best friends but when they play, they play rough.


Calico and Collette
Calico and Collette
Calico is the oldest of the yearlings, these are not current pictures, they are bigger now.

Collette is pretty dirty here but this is the only more recent picture that I have of her. She is a little timid with people, she does not like strangers.

Don't tell anyone, but Paris is my favorite, she is friendly and loves people. The other goats push her around, she never fights back.

Precious Paris is always curious. Angel catches them by their ears sometimes, she has never brought blood but she has caused frostbite on both Cooter and Paris, by getting their ears wet when it has been cold.

The Two Older Does

Cinder the oldest(2004) and mother to Giselle(2005)and Calico(2007)

Giselle and Cinder
Giselle and Cinder

Giselle will finally be a Mommy in March

Saturday, January 12, 2008

My Goats

Since my eldest Son is now calling me "Chicken Lady" because he says all I blog about is chickens, I will change the subject today.

My goats are running full time with the buck now, so come the end of March, I should have my first kids and a fresh doe to milk. My eldest Son should be happy to hear this because he gets free milk and he is a big milk drinker. Something is clucking at the door, I will be right back.

Cinder is my oldest goat, she is a Nubian, Giselle is around 75% Nubian and 25% LaMancha, all the rest of my goats are around 75% Nubian and 25% Boer.

Cooter, my buck was turned in with the oldest two goats, Cinder and Giselle, on the 25th of October and then I put the young does, Colette, Calico and Paris, in with them on the 13th of December, so they shouldn't start kidding until the middle of May.

Giselle is a three year old first freshener. We had her in with a buck for a short time as a yearling and she came up empty, then we took her back to another buck as a two year old and she came up empty again. This was her last chance, my husband didn't want to continue to support a barren goat. But she is obviously pregnant this time, she is going to have multiples by the look of her.

Cinder is my herd queen, she rules supreme. She has always given me twins, always a boy and a girl. She is the mother of both Giselle, three years ago and Calico, last year. We sold Giselle and Calico's twin brothers. I think that Cinder herself was either a triplet or quad.

Cooter, Paris and Colette were all triplets from different does. So I have a good chance of getting multiples from all of my girls.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Domain Name Registrars

New domain name practice criticized - Yahoo! News

The above article is very disturbing to me, this is the first time that this has been confirmed to be true, that I have seen but I suspected this was going on because it has happened to me a few times.

Clients will search for a domain name then contact me to build them a site, telling me that the name they want is available but when I check it isn't available and we have to find a different name.

I had one business with a long, unusual name hire me to build a website and when I checked on the name it was available, I called the clients to find out if the name I had chosen was suitable and they said, "Yes, buy it." I went directly back to register the name and it was no longer available, so we had to go with the .ORG of the name instead of the .COM. A couple of weeks later I checked on the .com and it was available again. So that registrar forced me to buy two names instead of one. Greedy crooks!!

The Rest of the Story

This post is not about chickens, it is about crows. It is actually the rest of the story for my previous post.

After the Chicken Hawk swooped down in my face, he circled to come back and that is when my other Livestock Guardians went to work. We feed a lot of grain and so we always have several crows hanging around. For some reason crows don't like hawks and will gang up on them. That is what happened this time. They started chasing him, attacking him repeatedly. He did land in a tree but they landed in the same tree and waited for him to fly again. When he did, they started a new assault and then totally chased him away.

Sometimes I get a little tired of their big, loud mouths, but since I got chickens, I have a new respect for them.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Chicken Hawk

My Rooster
And again today I am going to talk about Chickens. I love my goats and horses but maybe I like Chickens because that is what I remember about my Grandmother, her with her chickens. I remember playing in the barn as kids and there were nests set up everywhere. I loved finding eggs back then and I guess I still do.

I found my first egg from my new chickens this morning and one of the red hens was in a nest when I was out there to feed this morning, so I am sure that I am going to find at least one more.

When I went to feed this morning and turn my 5 Barred Rocks out for the first time, two of my new red hens were already out with my 3 banty hens and my banty rooster. I was feeding them outside the shed when one of the Rhodies ran quickly into the shed, then the rooster who was standing next to me made a loud noise and the other Rhodie ran into the shed and the 3 banty hens got up against my legs. The rooster ran a short distance away from me and the hens into an open spot and the next thing I knew a Hawk swooped down right in front of me, I couldn't believe how close it was. I guess it was trying to get one of the small hens. That rooster had tried to sacrifice himself to save his hens.

I have had this happen with another rooster that I had, they will warn the hens and then run right into danger to draw the predator away from the hens. They will even make the same sound as a hen laying an egg in order to confuse a predator.

My Hens

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

More Chicken News

I know that you are all waiting on pins and needles to find out how the great chicken transfer is going. Well, when last we visited the Spinner's Farm, she had taken her three Rhode Island Reds to the goat/chicken shed during a driving rain and wind storm, you will be happy to know that they survived their first night in the shed.

Meanwhile, back at the house/barn, I do actually live in a barn with a small apartment built on one side. The five Barred Rocks were waiting in a large pet taxi to be carried one by one to their new home. The transfer went without incident, the Rhodies were turned out into complete freedom, which I doubt they had ever experienced before, while the Rocks were put into the large cage in the shed that had held the Rhodies the night before. Tomorrow the Rocks will join the Rhodies in complete freedom.

I was afraid that Angel would chase the Rhodies but there seems to be one Rhodie that has an attitude. When I first took her out to the shed she pecked the nose of a curious goat named Cinder, who is my oldest and queen (alpha) doe. I don't know what happened out there because I was gone most of the day but I did notice that the three red hens and Angel seemed to be respecting each other's space.

Angel is terrible about chasing my little banty hens, she doesn't hurt them, at least she hasn't so far but she does enjoy the chase. The banties have learned how to avoid her and they know when she is sleeping.

Rhode Island Reds

I did get my Rhodies taken to the goat/chicken shed. I carried them one at a time through the driving rain and waded through the knee deep mud. I am not complaining after the drought that we had this summer, I am still not tired of mud. I am elated that our drought is finally over.

Getting the Rhodies into the large cage that I have in the shed was a trick, I had six goats and a dog trying to help me. I came back covered in mud and manure. I will try to get my Rocks taken out there tomorrow.

The three Rhodies seem to be aggressive and loud, that is why I went ahead and took them to the shed, they were fighting and making a lot of noise.

My Barred Rocks are very quiet and don't seem to be fighting at all, you hardly know that they are here. I hope that they are all good layers and I will have some eggs to sell.

My Pony, Blackie

I wrote the following story about my first pony several years ago and posted it on my website, but I thought that I would re-post it here for the cousin who reads my blog.

Perhaps not all, but a lot of ponies are evil or at least that was my perspective as a child. My first (and only) pony was a black gelding named strangely, for some unknown reason “Blackie”. He looked innocent enough, but inside he was completely deceitful, conniving and totally evil.

I loved him unconditionally, after all, he was a dream come true. What little girl wouldn’t want a shiny, glistening, beautiful Black Horse? I had waited all my life for him, all five years of it!

My Father had always had horses before he had gotten married and started a family, so trying to be a good Father (I think??), as soon as he was able and had the acreage he bought Blackie.

How was he to know the horrible danger that he was exposing his precious 5 year old Angel to. As far as I know he didn’t have anything against me?

He taught me to saddle and take care of Blackie. He tried his level best to teach me to ride him. He was limited in this area because Blackie was too small for him to teach me by example. Dad did the very best that he could, considering that we were dealing with an extremely intelligent, sophisticated animal.

Blackie was multi talented. He had excellent Math skills. He could precisely calculate the distance from the top of his saddle to the lowest portion of the nearest limb. This skill was useful in removing anything that might be occupying the saddle at any given time. He was also quite gifted in navigational skills, as he could always find his way back to the barn with no assistance from the rider because usually there was none on this back.

Then there was his uncanny ability to tell time. He always knew exactly when one minute had expired. That was the amount of time that he would allow me to ride him before running off back to the barn if there were no low limbs around. Again, demonstrating his wonderful navigational skills even with a rider on board, as it didn’t much matter where I wanted to go anyway.

He was also excellent at judging human character. He instinctively knew that my Father’s tolerance level was less than mine. So therefore, he never bit me when Dad was watching. He also knew exactly how much pressure to administer so as not to leave a mark!

Of course the day finally arrived when my Father could no longer tolerate my pony coming home riderless or it may have been my endless crying that he could no longer tolerate. Whatever it was, as I was saddling up one day, he put his foot down and in his “I mean it” voice he said, “This is your last chance, if you don’t get him under control and let him know who’s boss this time, we’re selling him!”

My heart rent in two, I was devastated! My dream was about to be destroyed. So off I went to the nearest low limb, but this time I totally lost it. My temper raged, I thought about how stupid Blackie was! Didn’t he know that he was about to be taken away from my loving care?? I had never been so mad, with my small fist I came down repeatedly between his ears, yelling at him at the top of my lungs. When my little fist got sore, I resorted to the ends of my reins against his neck! A very shocked and dumbfounded pony stopped dead in his tracks and asked, “Where was it that you wanted to go again?”

That was the day that I learned to ride and although I very seldom resort to violence with a horse, I learned that it does have its place.

From that day forward, Blackie respected me and kept his “evilness” in check. He never did love me though, some horses never do, they simply try to get along as best they can with lowly, ignorant humans.

It wasn’t long after this that I was ready for a real Horse. We sold Blackie to my poor, unsuspecting cousins. Sometime later, I was visiting my cousins and we decided to ride him. I put his blanket on and turned around to get the saddle. When I turned back around the blanket was on the ground. I put it back in place and reached again for the saddle only to find the blanket back on the ground. The next time I replaced it, I waited and sure enough he reached around like a flash and pulled the blanket off with his teeth! I replaced, he displaced, I replaced, he displaced, he should have belonged to a rodeo clown.

A few months ago, I was talking to my cousin and she said, “I have something to show you.” She reached into her purse, pulled out a picture and handed it to me. I looked at it and saw an old decrepit looking black pony. I said, “Surely, he’s not still alive?” She said, “No, but he only died a few of years ago.” He had to be around 40 years old! I was amazed! I looked back down at the picture and sure enough it was still there, after all of those years, that evil gleam in his eyes. I am positive that if I had been there the day that that picture had been taken, he would have bitten me when no one was looking. Oh, how that hurt...

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Horse Slaughter

Horses surrendered by ranch owners

After reading the article above and talking to a friend on a message board, I got to thinking about this situation that we find ourselves in. My friend told me that it is getting hard to sell big dog breeds because of the cost of dog food, it is getting ridiculously high. Yet, the value of horses in this country continues to drop, due to the closing of slaughter houses, drought and rising grain and hay prices. Anyone can afford a horse now but few can afford to feed and care for that horse.

We have been offered some of the free horses out there, the ones that no one wants, these usually include the old, the impaired, or the young untrained horse. We have to face the facts that there are some horses that are unwanted, just like there are unwanted dogs or cats. However, you never see an unwanted cow or pig, I wonder why?

In the article that I posted above, the comment was made that they were taking these horses out of one rescue with no resources and putting them back into another rescue with no resources. Horse rescues are overwhelmed with a glut of horses and have no money to feed these animals. They are becoming like the animal shelters, who routinely euthanize or send their animals away to be euthanized. Our local shelter became a kill-free shelter for awhile, they quickly became overrun and full of disease.

I know this is an emotional issue but the cycle of life is just the cycle of life. Why do humans think that they are so smart that they can change the normal pattern of nature. All animals have a survival instinct, I believe God put it there so that they wouldn't quickly become extinct. But how do we know that animals really fear death? They may be like me and fear injury but death should just be another part of life. All animals go to heaven anyway, right? How do we know that they don't welcome death when it comes?

I don't think that anyone should have a voice in this debate that doesn't own horses, period. People tend to live in a dreamworld where all horses are majestic, beautiful animals that are the picture of health, running through open pastures and that just isn't reality.

We do run our horses on open pasture and they are fed very well, even our unwanted and useless horses are given the same treatment as our valued horses. But many people have horses that are stuck in small stalls most of the time and don't know how to properly feed them. All horses aren't healthy, many have arthritis or other crippling diseases. Some are just old and very skinny, we have had good horses here that once they reach a certain age and their teeth get bad, we just cannot keep weight on them even though they are eating twice or three times the amount that the other horses are eating. They are the ones that stay close to the road where people passing by can see them.

Another thing that is funny to me and I am as guilty of this as anyone else, but we think that a horse is not healthy unless it is rolling fat, but to be a healthy person we must be bone thin.

I just read another article about a man shooting his two horses and burning their carcasses, it made national news. They were trying to decide if he could be charged with anything. This was in Illinois where the last U.S horse packing company was closed down. What was he suppose to do? I don't know his situation but there are some people who don't have very many options.

You can't take your unwanted horses to a sale barn because they won't get a bid and you will have to pay a fee and take them back home (some are just leaving them at the auction barns). You can't afford to keep them anymore for the rest of there days, because you still have to feed your family. Rescues are turning them away or you just don't trust the rescues to take proper care of them. You are expected to euthanize your old or impaired horses but then what do you do with them? Rendering companies will no longer pick them up without a large fee, so unless you have a backhoe or are good with a shovel, I think burning is a reasonable alternative.

Feeding wildlife is another idea, it is the circle of life. We lost a wonderful old mare a couple of years ago, she just dropped dead going up a steep, rocky, wooded hillside. There was no way for us to get to her with a tractor and there was no way to dig a hole. So we had no options other than leaving her where she fell. It was amazing how fast she disappeared, even her bones and hooves were utilized. However, if she had been euthanized by injection this would not have been an option, they have to be burnt or buried very deeply. Many people live in states where they are not allowed to bury, burn or leave them lay.

Our Vet recently faced this dilemma, the rendering company that had always picked up the animals that he had euthanized at his office, would no longer pick them up. We haven't seen him for awhile, so I don't know what he has done about this.

I do love horses, I also love other animals, but I eat beef, pork, chicken and fish. The last time I checked these were animals with a survival instinct also. Whether you believe it or not the meat that you eat didn't just come from a grocery store, it was once a living creature.

Dogs, cats, tigers, lions, bears, humans, and other members of the animal kingdom have to eat, so why is this resource being wasted and this burden being placed on horse owners and rescues?

I am totally against horses being transported into Mexico or Canada to be processed. I think that processing plants should be regulated in this country but not just the horse processors, the standard should be the same for all animals.

Sometimes it is all in the terms we use, we don't mind eating beef that has been processed at a packing plant but we would never eat horse meat from a slaughter house. It is alright to euthanize an old horse with a needle but we mustn't kill them with a gun. I have heard and I don't know if it is true, that some Veterinarian's in other countries carry guns to euthanize with because they feel that the injection is cruel.

One more thing that I firmly believe, the Humane Society as a whole, I am not talking about our local shelter, is a money making organization that takes advantage of and uses big hearted people.

More articles:
Death Across the Border Awaits Horses Spared It in the U.S. - New York Times
Drought is a hard time for horses - Los Angeles Times

Over The Rainbow

It is such a warm day here for the 8th of January, it is ashame that it is raining and so windy. I haven't put my new chickens in their new living quarters yet. I started to do it during a lull in the rain. But when I walked out to feed my goats, I soon realized that if I carried them one at a time to the goat/chicken house, they would be plucked by the time we got there.

So I decided to keep them here at the house in two cages until the wind stops trying to blow us all to Oz.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Barred Rocks

I finally talked my wonderful husband into going after the chickens that he promised me for Christmas. He did some farrier work for my cousin and he paid him in chickens. I got five Barred Rock hens and three Rhode Island Red hens. I will try to post some pictures of them tomorrow if it isn't raining.

The temperature on this 7th day of January in Indiana was 69 degrees for a high and tonight, after dark, when we went to get the chickens it was 61. We are suppose to have thunder storms later tonight and tomorrow. Then the temp. is suppose to return to normal. But it was fun while it lasted, I was even able to go into my goat pen today without falling in the mud.

I can now call myself a spinner. I have been spinning yarn and even though it isn't very pretty, it is still yarn.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Spinning Yarn

I spun (is that the right word?) my first yarn tonight, I read all of the tutorials that I could find on the web, I read the instruction book that came with the Drop Spindle Kit, I watched the online videos but nothing helped. I finally put all of that information together and kept trying again and again. I eventually made something that vaguely resembled yarn.

I will try again in the morning and maybe then I can actually call myself a spinner.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

This Is War

He has gone too far this time, I can be tolerant to a point but he has pushed me over the edge. I have been noticing mouse droppings around the house, in drawers and such since Christmas. But being in the Holiday mode, I didn't really go on an all out offensive, that has changed, I don't care if he is cute and just trying to make his way in this world.

On New Year's Eve we went to the neighbor's for the evening and to ring in the New Year. I wore my favorite Orvis wool jacket that I got on eBay for a song. Orvis does not sell a jacket like this one now and I always got complimented on this coat.

Well I stuck a couple of small Hershey's chocolate bars in my jacket pocket and forgot about them until today when I noticed little shreds of paper and foil on my jacket. To my horror that evil mouse had chewed a big nasty hole in the front of my beautiful jacket.

He is dead meat now! I will hunt him down and snuff out his miserable life if it takes me till doomsday. It's bad enough that he ruined my good coat but you just don't mess around with a woman's chocolate bars!

Friday, January 4, 2008


Since one of my friends emailed me to remind me that I only have a couple of hours left before tomorrow and I will be dishonest if I have to manipulate the time and date on this blog again, I thought that I had better hurry up and get today's post written. Actually, I am down to one hour left, but I can get 'er done.

I had started to post here tonight when Chloe my Miniature Schnauzer (and you thought that I couldn't spell), kept giving me grief and annoying me until I realized that I had forgotten to feed her today.

I went outside at about 10:30 to get her food out of the dog food barrel, when I heard my brave Livestock Guardian Dog "Angel" barking. Then I heard this distressful cry that I didn't recognize at first, I thought that it might be a tom cat or my own cat in trouble. Then I yelled at my husband like I always do, whether he deserves it or not.

I finally decided that it was one of my big Cornish hens in distress. We ran out to the small dog kennel where we keep the Cornish hens, they have a nice dog house to sleep in because they are too heavy to roost up high.

We had our handy little Black & Decker Rechargeable Spotlight that we bought ourselves for Christmas with us and discovered that there was more than just Chickens in the dog house, a 'possum was with them and I don't think he was just trying to stay warm. My dear husband held the light on him while I ran back into the house to get my rifle.

When I returned, the Chickens had left the dog house to seek help from my husband but the opossum was still in there. I handed my darling husband the rifle and I took the spotlight while he shot the opossum and a hole in the dog house. It didn't kill the dirty devil but did mortal damage and he wandered off in a hurry.

We came back to the house and my precious husband went to bed, then said, "I hope I didn't shoot a hole in the big water tank." I considered this and decided that someone ought to go check, so I did. I stood right where he had stood when he had fired the rifle and followed the bullet path with my very handy spotlight and sure enough that water trough was right in the path, we had made sure that there were no other animals behind where we were shooting but hadn't thought about that trough. I checked for trickling water but didn't see any. I guess we will know for sure tomorrow morning.

And in case you are wondering why my LGD didn't take care of this problem for us, the hens were in a pen that she couldn't get into and she did just what she was suppose to do, she raised a ruckus. GOOD DOG!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

I'm doing good

This is my 13th post, I seem to be reaching my goal of keeping a journal.

If you have read my previous posts, you know that I have an ongoing problem with AT & T. They called today to tell me that the repairman would be here on Saturday the 5th at some vague time. I reported problems on my phone line on the 28th of December and was assured that my phone would be fixed by the 5th, not on the 5th. Well the repairman showed up today and said that he didn't think that he fixed the problem but might have. Then advised me to get cellular phones and just ditch the land line, since we have so much trouble with it and they can't locate the problem.

He also said that I could get my internet connection through my cell phone since we have a good signal here, I went to the website and couldn't find any information about a wireless internet connection. Maybe the same people that built the web site for GoDaddy built the AT & T site.

My LGD Angel

Angel is my LGD (Livestock Guardian Dog), she is a Great Pyrenees. Angel was born on the 30th of July, so she is still a pup. She is very playful and loves her goats. She was born in a goat pen and has always been in a goat pen. Great Pyrenees have a natural desire to stay with a herd and be a protector but they still require a certain amount of training.

One of the hardest parts of her training has been not to give her much attention, so that she will bond only with her caprine (goat) herd and not to a human herd. She longs to be petted and that makes it very difficult. We do pet her and play with her inside the pen when we feed her but if she comes outside the pen, she is scolded and chased back into it. As she grows, she should get too big to be able to leave the pen at all.

We are also trying to teach her not to jump up on us, she will eventually be a very large dog and with my back problems, I don't think that I could handle her jumping on me. She is timid around us and doesn't come into our space unless she is invited but when we call her over and pet her she gets a little excited and wants to put her feet on us. She gets a stern "No!" and is pushed away. I hate being so cold to her but I got her to do a job and this is all a part of her training.

I did teach her to lead, which she hated but I got that job done in just two days, working with her for around 30 minutes per day. She has been spayed and that process was pretty stressful for her because she had to be separated from her herd for around 4 days. She was supposed to be kept up for 7 days but it just wasn't working, she was so unhappy that I finally went ahead and put her back in the pen. She healed up nicely with no problems.

I know that you should have two LGD's and not just one but my husband would barely let me have this one because of the cost of dog food.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

It's Cold

Luckily there is a post date and time feature on this blog, so that if I break my new year's resolution and forget to blog or wait until after midnight to blog, I can just manipulate the date and time to redeem myself. Don't you just love technology?

I braved the cold this morning to feed and water my goats, chickens, dogs and cat. One of my dogs is a house dog but I still have to go outside to get her food. All of the waterers were frozen solid and everybody was dying for a drink. It was around 10 degrees and it really didn't bother me, I can take the cold but not the heat, just ask my poor husband who complains because I always have the heat turned off. It is a wonder that our water lines don't freeze.

Summer is nice, I like the green grass and the fully leaved trees but when it is hot, I love my air conditioner. Basically I just hate to sweat.

Anyway it was cold today and it is suppose to get down to 4 degrees tonight, it is already 9, with spring like weather predicted for this weekend, up in the 50's, that means the mud will return.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The First Day Of 2008

Well, we have come to the end of the first day of the year, it snowed and the temperature dropped all day. Tomorrow is suppose to be even colder. The mud has all frozen and the ground is a lovely white. It was a nice day just to sit and look out the window.

My husband took care of all of the stock today, so I didn't have to go out. I really don't mind the cold, I actually prefer it but when it drops below 18 degrees, I am not so anxious to be out.

I worry that the animals don't have water and it will be difficult to get them water in the morning. Angel, my Great Pyrenees pup will be snuggled in with her goats tonight, she is well equipped for the weather and loves the cold but she is a heavy drinker, so we will have to get water for her very early in the morning or she will go looking for it herself and I don't want her wondering away from home.

Happy New Year!

2007 went out like a Lion, the wind was howling, it was raining and we even saw some lightning. After midnight the temperature started dropping and we started seeing a few snow flakes around 2:00 am.

It is snowing now and sticking to the ground, it is very cold. The mud isn't muddy anymore it is all frozen which makes it easier to walk on.

All of my chickens will have to be put in the goat shed and bedded down with straw. It was good that they got to be out in the sunshine all day yesterday.