Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Eventful, Productive, Bitter-Sweet

Yesterday held to be an eventful day.  The weather we had reflected the mood of the entire day, as the day progressed being nice, beautiful, cloudless, and warm turned almost suddenly to complete cloud cover and pouring rain, lightening up slightly with a touch of sun.

We left early to go fishing.  We had such a great time, finding a wonderful little spot to fish that I loved.  The sun was shining, the area was grassy and not covered in stinky fish like the dams often are.  It was perfect.  As soon as we got home, probably close to 2:00, I find both goats in labor!  Bootsie was on the porch just bleating her little heart out, as her brother was pushing her around trying to mount her, the poor girl.  (Amos, the brother, was working on finding a new home after tearing out the fence at my parents', and immediately was taken to the back yard to stay separated from the girls.)  I found Meri in the yard, surrounded by curious geese and ducks, pushing like mad.  Maybe 30 minutes later (max), we had our first kid delivered.  This little girl is a spitting image of her daddy Moses.  Next, up on the porch, we have Bootsie.  To save a lot of drama, I'll say neither her or the baby made it.  It was a single birth, but the baby was just too big to get through the birthing canal, and would have made Bootsie bleed out.  I made the tough decision to put her down and do a C-Section to make sure we didn't lose any babies if there was a twin in there.  There was not.

 Meet little Bambi.She is 2 days old in these pictures. (taken the day after "today")

Today was also a fishing day.  We woke up early again to hit the road.  We came back home, played with little Bambi (Meri's baby), sold Amos, and fixed BBQ sandwiches with homemade coleslaw and shredded BBQ pork (recipe follows), and sweet Hawaiian buns.  Oh, man!  Talk about delicious!  If you attempt the following recipe, be aware, it isn't exact.  I guesstimate after reading a recipe online for coleslaw, and I omit onion.  I don't care for raw onion, but by all means, include a small yellow onion (or red if it is your preference) for the recipe.The coleslaw itself makes LOTS, so you can half it to make a smaller portion.  I would say it made enough for 10 servings (at least).


  • 1/3 cup Buttermilk
  • 1 cup real mayonaise (not salad dressing and not Miracle Whip
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt 
  • 1 tsp ground White Pepper (white is stronger than black)
  • about 1 tbsp of onion powder (to replace to omitted onion)
Mix together, taste, and adjust above ingredients to taste.  Once satisfied, set aside (or refrigerate) for later use.  

Coleslaw Salad
  • 1 small head of cabbage (the smallest you can find)
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
Chop up and mix.  A food processor would be okay, but try your best to get uniform sizes.  Grading the carrots will get you a good consistency with good texture.  Mix the dressing in, cover, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.  Letting it set for a whole day is best, however it is still good after three hours.

Pulled Pork Barbecue from the Oven:

Dust of your cast iron dutch oven for this, and you won't regret it.  Get a good quality pork loin roast of any size to fit your family.  The internal temperature must reach at least 145*F (medium rare).  I have not started making my own BBQ sauce yet, so I went with good 'ole Sweet Baby Ray's Hickory & Brown Sugar.  You can choose your own sauce or make your own,  Pour the sauce over the pork loin, and cover the dutch oven. Place in a preheated 400* oven for 1 hour, lower your oven's temperature to 250* bake for another 2 hours.  When it's done, pull out the dutch oven, take off the lid, and let your roast rest for 5 minutes.  Shred the pork, mix it all together (add more sauce if needed).  

Take out the coleslaw, uncover, and stir well.  Taste before serving, adding more salt and pepper if needed.  If your dressing is too watered down, add more mayonnaise to thicken it up. When it is satisfactory, it is ready to serve.

Lo and behold!  The finished product!
Beware!  This is pretty messy. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Broody Pictures, and Crazy Chickens

Mama Hens all over!  I finally got pictures of all my broody girls, and we'll start off with the mamas.

This Mama has recently been named Cookies 'N Cream.  She decided to go broody yesterday.  She was the most docile to transfer in, since no other of the broody hens wanted to sit in the transport bucket (the feed bucket I was using put the bantams in when taking them to their broody cages).  She has three Barred Rock pullets that she took well.

 This is Frenchy, also recently named.  She has two Golden Laced Polish, one White Crested Black Polish, and one Speckled Sussex under her.  She has had chicks under her since Wednesday, when the order of chicks were delivered.

 Gray Girl, recently named Fish (and will likely be forgotten and renamed to Gray Girl), still has four Speckled Sussex, three unknown, and a single Black Sex-Link.  The bantam chick passed away not long after we got it.  Not sure what happened.  It was listless and refused to perk up.

She had her first full day of free range, and promptly showed her babies how to take a dirt bath.

Myrtle has several chicks hatched from my own coop.  They are all sired by a Black Copper Marans (BCM) and they hatched from blue/green eggs.

This Phoenix is broody, sitting on 4 green eggs (from Myrtle and the BCM roo).  They should hatch in another week.

These two ladies, a d'Uccle and Black Japanese Bantam are broody but don't have eggs under them.  If there are more than one broody hen, they will fight over the nest, possibly breaking eggs in the process, so no eggs until a broody cage becomes available.

This is the on again-off again broody Buff Japanese Bantam.  She was on the eggs that are now under the broody Phoenix.

My current favorite chicken, a Silver Spangled Apenzeller Spitzhauben named 

Black Copper Marans pullet and Crested Cream Legbar (blue egg layer) pullet.

Buff Laced Polish running around with an egg shell.

Little Mister and his cute self.

Crested Cream Legbar close-up 

The guys in the outside brooder have been doing a bit of free ranging, if you want to take it so far as to call it that.  They seem to be happy getting to sun when the clouds aren't hiding it, but they refuse to leave the porch.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

New Chicks and Ornery Broody

I have several broody hens.  Yes, I am aware "we all know this" as I have indeed badgered my readers several times with the subject, but I felt I should lead this entry for any new reader's benefit, since it is pertinent information.  Leading on from a previous post, the Buff bantam had been sitting on her eggs for about a week, she decided to just simply get up and refused to sit on them again.  Her broody broke.  "Great," I thought to myself sarcastically.  So yesterday I took her eggs to my recently added broody, a Phoenix.  She took them well, and the eggs are progressing nicely (I candled them today to be sure).  If that wasn't bad enough, Buff Bantam went straight back to being broody again!  I mean, COME ON!  Dang broodies and their inability to be convenient, except for this one perfect broody hen...

Another batch of chicks came in today.  Out of them, I'm keeping two Polish (a Golden Laced and a White Crested Black), a Speckled Sussex, and two Barred Rocks.  Well, at least that was the plan.  I brought in a couple of broody hens today to see how they would react to the new chicks.  Not all broodies, I found, are not as accepting as the gray bantam....  The two I brought in were cruel, pecking and attacking them.  Those two went back to the coop.  I waited until night, thinking it would make it easier to transition the broody girl with chicks, and move her into a crate.  I brought in an EE bantam, having her lay on eggs while she was brought in.  When she settled, I traded three chicks (the two Polish and the Sussex) for the eggs, and she took them well.  The Barred Rocks were not as open to the idea.  They refused to go under Mama hen, and Mama became agitated with the Barred Rocks.  I don't have another broody box so we may not be keeping any Barred Rocks.
I hope she accepts these three okay.  So far, she seems fine, albeit confused.

Cows are still happy in the pasture pen.

 Annabelle comes up for some loving every chance she gets.  She enjoys a good rub down from chin to flank at every opportunity.

The Goats and their pregnancy is coming along well.  Bootsie is miserable.  Poor girl does the shuffling waddle when she moves from point A to point B, scuffing her back hooves along the ground as she goes.  Meri is fine.  She seems like she hasn't had to adjust much since her impregnation.

The Kids still love to help out, and the pups still enjoy some time roaming the farm pens.

Last mention of broody (until next time), I now have a broody duck to add to the broody collection.  So, I have a broody Phonix sitting the the lost eggs of Buff Bantam.  Buff Bantam, an EE bantam, Black Japanese bantam, and the duck are all broody with nothing under them.  Myrtle, the inside EE (previously pictured) and Gray are broody with chicks.

I need to figure out what to do about the Barred Rock chicks, and who to put them under.  If I could trust Buff Bantam to stay on her eggs, I would give the BRs to the Phoenix, but I can't trust her to stay broody if I move her, and I don't want the other broodies to fight over the nest and break the eggs (happened before with Gray).  I'm overwhelmed....  *Sigh*  I might be selling a few broody hens.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Fence Raising

Image result for small heart emojiWe hosted a bitty productive party to get the fence finished.  Paid people in beer and crawfish! Loved it!  I believe it was a success, thanks to a couple of Terry's old co-workers.  We still had a ton of crawfish left over, I had enough for 2lb 9oz of shelled crawfish, and we gave some out afterwards.  Worth it!  I see some étouffée in my near future.

The cows were put out in the pasture, and they were so excited!  They were all over the place, tasting this, eating that, lick, lick, lick.

Obviously, they are very happy being there.

  As Promised, here are some picture of a couple of broodies.  They are out on the porch right now.  They'll have to come back in before bed.  Snakes are bad this time of year.  Thankfully, I haven't seen any yet, but it's still early, and it is inevitable.

Guess what!  The eggs under Myrtle hatched yesterday!  5 out of 5 hatched, but sadly, one was lost.  I don't know what happened, but it was long gone when we discovered it.  This morning, they were removed from the coop and put into a cage until they can get a bit bigger to defend themselves.  In other words, stick with Mommy 24/7.

The Ameraucanas are doing well.  I got a few pictures of their wing feathers growing out.  I'm not sure if the wheaten are splash, blue, or regular yet.  I will have to ask some expert opinions on them soon.  I'm fairly certain I have a few splash wheatens.
^White        .........        ^Blue
Both of these are a wheaten of some type...  Both are beautiful, without a doubt.