An Introduction

This blog is a little bit about everything. My life as a mother, a wife, and owner of a home with an acre. We like to call it our family farm. My family currently consists of the human members- my husband, S and our two beautiful girls, B and O; then there are the animals- our dogs, Charlie & Lola Belle and our Chickens. Check back often, you never know when we'll add a new member! ; )

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


The coop is on it's way!  I heard from my brother last week and the coop might be here this weekend!  Yay!  I know the girls and Rudy will be so happy to have a complete home.  Plus, the girls are getting close to laying age, so I will be happy that they have a nice play to lay their eggs where I (hopefully) won't have to search for them.  The oldest is about 16 weeks and the youngest is about 13 1/2 weeks- they should start to lay between 18 and 20 weeks, so we're getting there!
My brother has sent me some progress pictures of the coop as they build it, but I'm not posting them until it is here and complete, then I will post them all from start to finish.  We've had to make some adjustments along the way, and he didn't use my coop plan- he had some architect interns draw up their own plans, so the coop is a lot different than I had planned on, but it will be home for my chickens and i the end, that is what I need.  I'm so excited to have it here soon!  
In the meantime, S built me a wonderful new watering system for the chickens.  I was using the waterers that you fill, then turn upside down and the water comes out into a base, but the chickens dust bathe near them (no matter where I put them) and the water turns to mud within minutes of me cleaning them.  Not ideal.  So, I went online and bought some chicken water nipples, then we looked at some pictures of other waterers people have built using the nipples and we chose one that we liked.  We used a 5 gallon bucket, a lot of pvc fittings, some hose and a length of pvc pipe with the nipples in it.  Hard to picture, I know.  I'll get some pictures of it soon and let you know how the chickens like it.  I left their old waterers in yesterday when we installed the new system, but I removed them today after I saw a few of the girls drink from the new one.  If a few of them can figure it out, they'll all drink from it soon.  Oh, and Rudy is in with the girls!  Yesterday when I let the girls out to free range, I decided I'd let Rudy join them and after a few little "pecking order" scuffles, they all seem to be doing fine.  I went ahead and let Rudy in the run with them when I put them away and all was well.  I went down to check on them again last night to make sure there was no issue with finding roosting spots and they were all cuddled up, roosting together- with Rudy in the middle of all his girls.  I love it!  This also solves my problem of the goats wanting in Rudy's bachelor pad... now they can have it!  Although with no more chicken feed in it, I'm sure they won't want it.
Also, to finish up the "to be continued" from my last post, we were contacted by the dog rescue and they let us know they had, in fact, chosen us as the adopters of the dog we had met with.  I was very glad to hear that we passed their test, but S had changed his mind.  He is in the running for a position at work that would involve some changes that may not make this the best time for us to be adding a new dog into the family.  So, we told them that the timing had become and issue and we could no longer adopt the dog.  : (  I was disappointed, but agree with S that it isn't the best time.  I am crossing my fingers that he gets the position, not only because I know he wants it, but also because I know he'll be great at it!  Then sometime down the road it will be a better time and we'll find ourselves another great dog.
The countdown continues to the first day of school!  One week from today we will officially have a Kindergartener and a Pre-schooler!  They both have the same first day, which I'm wondering if I will regret, but they are both SO excited!  I am nervous about it in all aspects possible, but it will all be fine and we'll get the hang of it in no time... I hope.  B has also recently started soccer and games will start the second week of September and be every Saturday after that until mid-November... and, yes, they are usually at 8am.  Really people?  Saturday?  8am?  Ugh.  O has joined B's dance and tumbling classes as well, and she is loving it.  We tried this about 6 months ago and she decided not to stick with it, but this time she asked to go, so hopefully she's in it for the long haul... at least through one recital this time.  : )  Wish us luck!  

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Rudy is learning to crow...

Last week when I was on my way to feed the goats and chickens I heard a noise.  I wasn't quite sure what it was, but as I got closer, I realized it was coming from my yard.  Then when I got even closer I realized... it was Rudy!  He is starting to crow and right now he's got the start of it down, but it's not quote a full-fledged cock-a-doodle-doo.  He's on his way, though- and he's pretty adorable doing it.  Today I finally caught it on video:
And since I'm sharing videos- here are some others that I have to share.  One is when I was trying to get Rudy on camera, but Dallas and Dixie wouldn't have it:
And then my beautiful little girls doing what they love to do any time we drive anywhere, even 2 minutes away.  ; )  Rockin' out!
Some more, hopefully, big news... the chicken coop might possibly be on it's way!  My brother says he will be starting it next week and it should be completed in about 2 weeks.  Yay!  He did send me some pics of a model coop and I had to ask him about one revision, so I'm hoping that doesn't delay the process.  I guess we won't know until the day it shows up here, but I so look forward to that day (and so do my chickens)!

We also met with a dog today who is in need of a home.  We found him online and he is currently at a foster home with a rescue organization.  Two people from the rescue brought him to our house to let us meet him and so that they could do their standard "home check" for adoptions.  We had also filled out their 5 page (or so) adoption application last week.  So, they were here for maybe an hour and a half, they looked around our house, our backyard, our front yard, the goat pen and chicken run.  Then we met the dog, who is adorable.  Then they had us take a walk down the street with Charlie to allow him to meet the new dog away from "his territory".  We walked, and walked, and walked.  They wanted them to walk one in front of the other, then switch, then side by side- with no sniffing, then, finally we brought them back towards the house and allowed them, on leash, to interact.  Of course, they were fine and we brought them in the house to allow further interaction and let the new dog sniff around the house a bit.  I did not mind any of this process one bit, that is until they told me that we were one of three applicants who want this dog and they would be doing this with all of us to see who they will choose as the best fit for him.  What?!  My understanding was that there were multiple applications for this dog and ours was their first choice, which was why we were doing the whole "home check" thing.  I figured at that point, unless they saw some red flags about us, or we didn't think he was a good fit, we would be able to decide if we wanted to adopt him.  Well... nope, not the case.  They are screening us and they will decide who gets the dog.  I thought we were doing a good thing here trying to give a dog in need a good home.  Hmmm.  I guess not at this rescue.  So, now we're supposed to wait to hear from them in the next week or more.  I'm thinking I'll still be looking for other doggie options while we wait to hear.  Let me add, however, that these are wonderful people who volunteer and take this time to help these dogs find homes.  It is great and they are great for doing it.  I just think we're going a little overboard in this case.  ; )  Thanks for hanging in there through my little vent.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

*I'm sorry the links for You Tube are not working as links, I'm new to this and not sure why they are not clickable links.  They worked on Facebook...?  I guess unless I figure it out you'll have to copy and paste them to watch.  Do it... it's totally worth it!*

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Another little update

First of all...the play structure is finished!  This was not a small job, it took a lots of hours and a lot of hands to get it done.  B & O are lucky to have such a handy dad who, with the help of some friends, built it for them.  Also, of course, a special thanks to Grandma & Grampa who funded the project.  Here are some pics from start to finish.
Now that's some play structure!  I'm pretty sure one of them can move into it when they turn 18!  ; )  Speaking of them growing up- we officially enrolled O in preschool to start at the end of them month or the first week in September!  It's coming up so fast, my little school girls.  They are both very excited and ask, on a regular basis, if today is the day I will drop them off for school.  We've been school clothes shopping, school supply shopping and lunch box shopping.  I think we're pretty close to set.  Now we just need to work on that bed time...

We also have a little bit of sad news to report.  We lost Pixie, our sick Barred Rock pullet, last week.  Poor girl had just been getting worse and worse, so we had to put her down.  Current count is now 12 pullets and one young rooster.  Rudy, the rooster, has still not been able to re-integrate with the girls.  I tried when we put Pixie down, since he'd be alone in the garage once she was gone, but he was pecked bloody again.  So, for now I have made him a temporary "bachelor pad" in the goat "mini-barn" that the goats decided not to use.  Who knows, in the future if we end up with another boy or two, maybe we'll just let them all crash there with Rudy.  As long as they can get along, that is.

Speaking of Rudy and the animals down in the goat pen.  Tonight they sure had it in for me!  Well, I guess it was pretty much just the goats being trouble makers, but they all had a part in it.  First off, the goats have figured out that Rudy is in the mini-barn, so when I go in to feed him or change his water, they try to get in also.  They know that chicken feed is tasty, but they are not supposed to have it, which makes it all that much more appetizing!  The door can not be latched from the inside, so when I am in I am constantly attempting to keep the goats out or kick them out when they get in.  Well, tonight I had a tray of mealworms for Rudy and a bigger tray of them for all the girls.  Now, Dallas and Dixie were not left out, I had brought them a bunch of carrots and left them happily munching while I went to give Rudy his surprise treat.  Well, the goats scarfed down those carrots in no time and were busting into the mini-barn to see what I had for Rudy.  I had not-so-smartly put the larger tray of mealworms for the girls on the roof of the mini-barn when I went in, so with the goats trying to push in past B & O (who wanted to watch Rudy eat the mealworms, of course) and the door being bumped back and forth, the tray of meal worms came crashing down.  Mealworms everywhere.  I don't know if you know what mealworms are, but I hate them.  The chickens love them.  I do not touch them.  I pour them onto the tray and set them down for the chickens to enjoy.  Well, here they were on the ground, attempting to escape into the dirt and straw.  Ugh.  I had to pick them up.  I tried to do it using some straw, kind of like chopsticks, but it wasn't working so well.  Then Dixie decided she could jump up almost completely onto my back while I was bent over searching for mealworms and try to eat my hair.  Lovely.  So, I just started picking up the darn mealworms and tossing them into the tray as quickly as I could so I didn't have to touch them much.  Yuck!  Dixie continued treating me like a jungle gym, and I'm pretty sure Dallas joined in a time or two.  I had almost all of them picked up when Dixie decided whatever was in that tray must be yummy, so she grabbed the tray with her mouth and knocked all the mealworms back onto the ground.  At this point I lost it.  The neighbors must have thought I was crazy.  I yelled at the goats like they were misbehaving children.  I yelled at B & O to help me... what I expected them to do at 3 and 5 years old, I have no idea.  They did nothing.  It must have been a show to see.  Well, Rudy had been inside enjoying his treat undisturbed, so I took what I had left of the girls' worms and tossed them in for them to devour.  Which they did, in under 3 seconds.  This is why goats are livestock and not domestic pets.  They are not well behaved and they will poop wherever they stand.  They may be as friendly as our dog, but we are reminded of the differences just about daily.  ; )