Friday, May 25, 2012

The Stakeout

 Sweetie the heifer who decided one day to stick her head in the front door to see what was up.  Right through the screen.

This year I thought I'd be battling bugs and weeds in my fruit crops. 

Not so.

I've got a critter battle going on, and that's the worst kind.  On our farm, I'm in charge of all the fruit and vegetables.  This year I'm hoping that you will see a self serve stand or two called "Fairchild Farmgirl Produce" around our neck of the woods.

That is, if I can keep these animals out of everything. 

Let me just say that when I first saw my strawberry bed, I was delighted.  Tons of blossoms on all my plants.  'This is my year!,' I thought foolishly.  Then I left them alone.  A watched pot never boils right?  I went back a week later only to see strawberry plants eaten.

WHAT?  Then I saw her the next day.  Sweetie.  Eating my strawberry patch to her hearts delight.

Out in the apples it was the same story.  All my Honey crisp blossoms eaten along with inches of leafed out branch.  "Big D!  There's something eating my apple blossoms!  You need to find it and kill it."  I snapped at the poor man who had too much to do already.

"I know what it is." He told me with a laugh.  "It's big and black and weighs close to 900 pounds.  Find a way to keep her in and you'll be fine."

Dang Sweetie!

So finally we put up a fence that could keep her in.  Five jewels of snap that she doesn't even look at anymore. 

Problem solved? 


Out in the strawberries, I notice that the plants are growing again, but the blossoms aren't there.  Then I spot her...a hen.  Eating blossoms. 

Dang chicken!

I called up Don Denekamp and told him I had a gift for him, a hen that eats strawberries.  He took her and put her in his chicken coop.

Problem solved?  Nope. 

The vicious circle keeps a spinin'.

"Mom!  Your sheep are out in the apple trees and they're eating them!"  Why aren't they just "my sheep" when the lamb check comes?

"Mom!  Your sheep are out in the grapes again!  They're not even touching the grass, just eating leaves and clusters!"  When did they grow?  They shouldn't even be able to reach the clusters.

That's right, we haven't tightened sagging wires yet. 

Last night D and I drove around the place and found that the sheep were out once again.  But guess what?  We found out where they were getting out!  Found some tell tale signs of wool sticking to the fence.  We're a modern day Sherlock Holmes detective team! 

Later on, I was feeling pretty good about the whole deal and doing dishes, when Big D comes in and shouts...

"Your stupid dog is eating chicken eggs again and got'em all over her face!" 

My stupid dog? 

Happy Trails,

"Defender of Food", Fairchild Farmgirl

PS I was out checking strawberries just now and my stupid dog was eating them too.  I think it's going to be harder giving away a smelly New Foundland, so I better find a way to deal with her, right? 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hello World!

Here's Mamma Puff's little brood as they explore...the barn yard by the hog feed bulk tank.  Not exactly the world but imagine how big it is to them?

Old Mamma had to make a hard decision however.  Probably not hard for her at all.  She's an animal after all.  She took her six and decided that the rest of the nest wasn't worth setting on.  So she up and left it...with all those eggs.  We cracked two open, one wasn't fertile but rotten and the foam shot across the kitchen landing on the pizza that I hadn't put away yet from dinner. 

Sorry Cody, no leftovers for breakfast.

After a few sprays of Lysol and opening up all the windows, we were back in business.  We cracked another.  There was a baby chick inside, but dead.  For the eggs to be still "with live chick" they need to be at a constant temp and if that temp gets cold for more than 4 hours, they are dead.  That's what happened we think. 

But, she also had to get these 6 to feed and water within 48 hours so they would live.   I wish we'd have come along sooner, but she had these hidden in the barn. 

So, now you know the story...the one thing that we now worry about is...


Signing off,
Fairchild Farmgirl

Monday, May 7, 2012

When The Rubber Hits The Road...Or So To Speak

Good afternoon kids!  I know I've been a sorry blogger, but when the first signs of spring hits until the first frost come November, I'm like a spotty shower in July...hardly ever around.

Okay weird analogy but I'm doing my best.

So I told my Facebook friends that I was going to blog about this the other day, and the other day turned into two weeks ago, but I  found a pocket of time while I wait for the hay grinder to leave while the cattle bus waits for us to get him loaded.  Here goes:

When a banding goes wrong.

Big D called me down to the lots (about two weeks ago) and asked me if I'd ever seen something.  Funny, when he asked me to come down there and look at something, I was under the assumption that he made me something and it was in the cattle shed. 

What kind of crap is this pregnancy doing to me?

Oh, he had a gift alright....

Nope I can safely say I had never seen that before.  Particularly not after a ham dinner on a Sunday night.  

That kids, is when a bull is banded but only the sack falls off and not the cords.  There is an extreme amount of blood that came out of this poor fella before the vet came.  I worried...Big D worried.  This was in a group that we had picked up from the sale barn, so we couldn't even give the vet crap for not banding it right. 

Here the vet is sewing him back up.

Here's his needle. It's curved and kinda neat.

The needle below is what Jeff used.  Any guesses to what that large needle is for?  Now ladies, cross your legs..that is to sew up a uterine prolapse.  Can we all say, "Yooooowwwwwwwwwwwwiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeee!"? 

Note to self, when in labor, push hard, but not tooo hard. 


Fairchilf Farmgirl

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Just Ducky

Hey peeps, these are the, I mean ducks...I mean soon to be ducklings.

Last night we washed another 26 eggs to put int he incubator.  Sometimes I wish I had more hens to lay more eggs, then as I wash them at about 9:30 pm once a week, I realize, "hey 3 is plenty."

This is the pile drying while we are washing the incubator.  It's nearing 10 PM and I'm thanking the good Lord above that I only have 3 laying ducks. 

Here Big D is writing the dates on one side (note to self, always write the date on don't want one that's been in there for too long.  Whewww the stink!)

That makes 52 eggs (about) to hatch.  The dirty ones are just from the last 5 that hatched out and walked all over them. 

Signing off,

Fairchild "Crazy Egg" Farmgirl