Thursday, December 30, 2010

At 5:10 last night

I could still see my hands in front of my face!!

Hallelujah!  The days are getting longer!!!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

First Snow

 We've had our first snow.  Not our first as a family, but our first as a farm.

I need snowpants!!!  Dunno why I thought I'd get away without them.

It was a doozy, too.  A few trees fell, one cracked as we watched.

Pretty much spent the morning hours digging out the animals and bringing food and water.  It was very cold, and the wind took our breaths away.

Some of us dealt with the snow by refusing to deal with it at all.

No, they did not come out all day.  Yes, I did cater to them in their too small house.  It just proved to me that they definitely need bigger digs this spring.

Others of us waited for the path to be cleared and then ran right to the puddle, yelling all the way.  They ate al fresco, puddle-side.


One would have thought it would be too cold for puddle-lingering, but it wasn't.  Though two of the four were visibly shivering, they did not come out.  However, they did "wise up" and spend a bit of time warming their feet in the snow...

...and quite a few hours under the deck, where they were more than happy to allow me to crawl in and bring them a bucket of nice warm water, and some warm oatmeal/corn mash.

I was thankful today that I had trained them on oatmeal through the fall, because it came in handy today.   They had a nice oatmeal/corn mix in the afternoon, and for dinner, everyone (including the snow-bound girls) had an oatmeal-cabbage-cooked potato-feed dinner served with a side dish of warm water.  Mmmmm!!!    The meal should keep their "generators" lit all night.

Just one more trip outside now to button everyone up and find the food and water dishes so they don't get covered in snow, and we're all in for the night.  It was a good day overall.  Definitely a different experience than just worrying about getting our car free and our driveway clear (though we had to do that, too), but totally worth it.  I look forward to tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

But Sometimes It Is

Yes, I do have to say I spend a lot of time with the animals.  They are peaceful and give me peace, and I enjoy their company.  But that hasn't changed the fact that I'm still the same domestic girl I've always been.  Give me a multi-step, many-hour, multi-ingredient recipe, and I relish the challenge.  Hence the reason why Christmas cookies are not just one or two cookies, but six or seven.  More interesting that way.

This year, we went with six types and a candy.  I had help.  We had a good time:

And of course, there were aprons for all.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

It Ain't ALL Pretty

Warning:  Graphic picture ahead.  If you have a sensitive stomach (Sarah-dear) don't read this.

Life on a farm ain't all pretty.  Sometimes nature is not so nice.  You know Ginger was attacked by a dog a while back, and though she's gotten much better, she still won't pick up that wing.  I found her the other day, laying on her back in the goose "pond" (read: puddle).  She'd been there for some time and was soaking wet.  I took her in to dry her off, since she's not that waterproof since the injury, and discovered that I could see the injury on her wing.  Basically, it was covered in necrotic tissue.   Yes, I was queasy, I will admit that, but I did remove the tissue and discovered how bad the injury really was and why it was not healing.  This is why:

Basically, the dog tore her wing open on the top, and caused a nice hole further down.  Nasty.  This photo is of after I cleaned it, so you're seeing the iodine stain and a bunch of cleaning stuff in there and so on. 

To make matters worse, I found that because she had not been holding the wing up properly, she has a fair amount of frostbite on the part that holds her primary flights in place (basically her hand), because of all the dragging on the ground through the snow.  It was pink and swollen and the base of the feathers were bleeding.

A major cleaning and rebandaging was in order. 

(Am I being good?)

She was very patient.  I am hoping that, since I can now see what's going on and can actually touch it and treat it, she might heal.  I've taken better steps to insure she doesn't have frostbite as well.  She's completely bandaged with a gauze pad and Vetwrap and then covered in the warmest thing I have: batting.  Add a fashionable sling, and any girl is ready for a day in the puddle.

Attempt number 1.  The sling was too low.  Yes, she is hiding in my vest.

Attempt number 2 kept the wing up and tight to her body.  Much better!

If I get this to heal on my own, it will be a triumph, and I'll be having a drink to celebrate, I can tell you that.  I only hope I am on the right track with it now.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Love is in the Air!

 We've had some racy-er-interesting goings-on here lately.  I believe that Arthur may be getting a bit amorous.  All four are acting weird, and there's a little more "play biting" than usual.  Something was going on in their house last night , but no one's talking today.

Methinks that there might be some lovey-doveyness coming on soon.
Ah nature....
So, viola!  A nest box.  Just in case.

'Cause you just never know.

It is exactly what it says it is.  A box devoted solely to nesting.  I put it in now, so everyone can get used to it. 

Geese do not love change.  The last thing I want is for someone to want to lay an egg and then do it somewhere that I can't find it--or them.  This way, they can think about the idea of the box for a while, before they may need to use it. 

And will they need it?  I dunno.  If Ferdi and Ginger make the attempt this year, I will be surprised--they are pretty young.  But Margaret and Arthur are of that age, so you know, anything is possible. 

We all may be getting some interesting lessons about geese pretty soon.

And, no I did not WALLPAPER the inside of the box.  I'm not that crazy.  Here at Chicken Scratch we are poor thrifty and earth-friendly.  I re-used materials.  Some of it are sheets from mom's potting shed, some are pieces from the playhouse we took down, and the lovely patterned piece was the tabletop in my old sewing room, all put to good use again.  

Friday, December 3, 2010

Now a Musical Interlude...

Sometimes I get my little boy back again.  This was one of those times.

(yes, that is my lady-like snort there).
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