Monday, April 29, 2019

(Im)Patient Bees

Saturday, April 27th, was bee pick up day.  Unfortunately, the weather did NOT cooperate for the bees to go in their new homes.

Temperatures for Saturday and Sunday night were predicted to go down to 30-degrees or lower.  I surely didn't want to take the chance that my poor queen bee, trapped in her queen cage and waiting to be released, would freeze before the workers could get to her.  

So the bees have languished in my dining room until today - Monday - when temperatures will climb and the nighttime lows will not be deadly.

It's kind of freaky in your home to hear thousands and thousands of bees humming.  I"ll be happy when they can get in their new homes. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Battle Against Predators Continues

The battle against nature continues here on the farm.  

Yesterday, I found a bunch of white feathers and knew they were from our very old rooster, Foghorn Leghorn.  He's been around for at least five years or more.  So I was very sad to see that it looked like "something" got him.  

I thought it might be a red-tailed hawk because there wasn't any sign of a trail leading to the forest.  The chickens have a huge area in which to forage, so putting a cover over them is impossible.  I've put up this version of a "scarecrow" before and it seems to keep critters away.  I hang the dress on a double shepherd crook plant stand and the sleeves blow and the dress bottom blows so it looks like it's moving.  This year, I put a plastic Halloween pumpkin head it to make it even scarier!

The dogs kept sniffing at a small hole that goes under the chicken coop and we thought maybe there was some critter under there running out and grabbing up my chickens.  Did I mention that I'm down to seven adult hens?  I have a bunch of chicks in the barn to go out to the chicken coop, but they're not quite big enough yet.  The live trap comes out every time we think something is trying to get my girls... last time it was old Mr. 'Possum

We tore open the bottom of the barn and got out our heavy duty flashlight and looked in and what did we find? 

Foghorn Leghorn!

All we can guess is that maybe a predator went after him and he flung himself through a tiny hole under the coop... or maybe one of the dogs was being very, very naughty and found him outside the chicken fence and thought he might be fair game.  

We left the hole under the chicken coop open so that Foghorn could find his way out and later he was in with his girls.  

I swear this rooster is like a cat with nine lives!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Spring Is Coming And Things Are Happening!

The grass is greener, the horses are fattening up and losing their winter coats, chickens and turkey are laying eggs, and the temperature is rising.

Spring is coming!

Red Bourbon Turkey has laid eight eggs.  I took six and put them in the incubator because domestic turkeys are notoriously bad mothers.  Hatch date:  May 18th.

Lots of little seeds have been planted and the garden plan is done.  

Now for the threat of frost to go away!


I love the spring.
For every day.
There's something new.
That's come to stay. 
Another bud.
Another bird.
Another blade.
The sun has stirred.

~ Unknown

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

No More Idaho Pastured Pigs

For many reasons, one of which is that we've become empty nesters and don't need the amount of pork that one pig brings in, and because I'm tired of feeding and watering pigs during the wintertime, we've got out of the Idaho Pasture Pig business.  

Also, our pigs didn't breed for two years and we're not keeping them as pets.

So to the butcher, they went.  

We plan to raise one or two feeder pigs each year and sell all but a half of a pig each year. 

That means we'll get a piglet in the spring and raise it until the fall and then have it butchered.

I'm happy to say no more piggy winter care!