goats in coats 2014 edition

This morning we woke up to this:

looks like minus 10!

looks like minus 10!

This am, both of the goats were shivering. Time for the coats.

sydney can't believe she got the coat too.

sydney can’t believe she got the coat too.

We checked on them later, and alas, the Dongo was still shivering. Time for a new tactic. Enter the sweatshirt.
(Note for Mom: for Christmas next year, Roppongi probably takes a large not a medium, but maybe with 3/4 length sleeves!)

she probably takes a large--but with 3/4 sleeves!

she probably takes a large–but with 3/4 sleeves!

She looks a bit dashing in that shot, don’t you think?
But no, she was glum. This pic captures her mood.

we probably should have trimmed the sleeves for her.

we probably should have trimmed the sleeves for her.

She knew what was coming, the big blue sheet went on over top of the sweatshirt.

We did manage to cheer her up a bit though, with her favorite winter treat–hot molasses water. Mix about a tablespoon of molasses into about 3 litres or a gallon of water. Some people say that their goats really like the water hot and not warm. Today I tried that, and sure enough, Roppongi drank most of the bucket. They love it, and it’s a nice energy boost and vitamins for them.

In other winter news, note to self–this is why they made plastic chicken waterers.

galvanized waterers are not practical for winter!

galvanized waterers are not practical for winter!

I always wondered why people made the plastic ones, the galvanized ones would seem to last much longer. I like this nice big one in the summer in their run. It’s big so I don’t have to keep refilling it. Our plastic one was leaking last night, so I had to use the galvanized one, and lo and behold–you can’t get the frozen ice chunk out of it in the morning. ARGH. So we went out and bought a new plastic one today.

Other than a few small gripes, we’re all doing ok in the big cold. Just waiting it out until tomorrow. The kids had no school today, and they’re on a two hour delay tomorrow. But it should be up to the 40s maybe by the end of the week. Whew!


summer storms
July 18, 2013, 6:38 pm
Filed under: farm, preparedness | Tags: , , , , ,

We’ve sure had a lot of rain this summer.

here it comes!

here it comes!

Came home one afternoon to see this storm coming in. Sure got dark quick…

big storm hit about 2 minutes after this picture

big storm hit about 2 minutes after this picture

While I watched, the wind kicked up and a tree fell down over by the wedding tree!

tree across our trail entrance

tree across our trail entrance

We keep having big thunderstorms that drop a lot of rain. Nice to not have to worry about watering the garden! But the power did go out last week for a whole day. And voila, we were reminded that we really DO need backup power–as we have no water and more importantly no SUMP PUMP action in the basement. Flooding was minor down there, luckily. But we should really think about our preparedness for this kind of thing!

a late frost equals plant protection

We’ve had some really unusually great weather. So great that things started to come up and even bloom way too early! Then, as expected, a big freeze came. Another one is scheduled for tonight. Here’s how it looked for the first one:

Scary halloween show. Wrapped fruit trees in row cover.

a pretty pillowcase adds a decorative touch. Two bamboo stakes make it easy to slip this over a small daphne.

When you run out of sheets, start looking for boxes. Beer boxes with a bamboo stake through the handle worked well.

I put away all the sheets and stuff, so looks like i’ll be hauling everything back out tonight! Can’t wait til we’re in the clear and on to the real spring!

chickens in the factory, climate change edition

Have you hugged your power plant today?

I just can’t stop thinking about a story I heard a few weeks back. 50,000 chickens/4300 turkeys die in separate cases of power outages (one in NC and one in Kansas). Get this, 50,000 chickens died after the power was out for 45 minutes. Less than an hour. 45 minutes between life and death. How horrifying. And it took the folks 26 hours to bury all those turkeys.

Apparently our food system is just this fragile. The birds are jammed in there, it’s hot and needs ventilation even if it’s not 100 degrees outside. A quick google search shows that this is not an isolated incident.

July 2011: Minnesota, reporting nearly 50,000 turkeys died in the heat.
September 2010: 60,000 chickens die in North Carolina. A generator powering fans in the chicken houses quit working.

And Meat & Poultry report that nearly 100,000 broilers have been reported lost to the heat wave in July. In the northern areas, barns don’t have great ventilation systems. Some grow sheds have 20,000 birds in them!

So while some of the farms have back up generators to power the fans, any interruption of the power supply can lead to major losses. Hard to believe that less than an hour is all is takes to do it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about climate change, and while plans suggest that cows will produce less milk in climate change models, I didn’t connect the dots to see that for factory farms, there will be a much increased reliance on a stable power supply. Spooky side effects of factory farming people! Spooky. And really, just a big waste for a pile of unnoticed, unmemorable, tasteless drug-laden,  protein nuggets.

turdacres rehoming program
June 8, 2011, 10:47 pm
Filed under: chickens, farm, preparedness | Tags:

little dude couldn't hurt a chicken?

Things are starting to get serious around here. $#%^&#@!@ mice have been destroying the strawberry crop. @%^@%^%$&&&* groundhogs (fattys) are eating my purple coneflower and yarrow and sunflowers. The other morning I went out to the kitchen garden and a turkey flew into it!! I was chasing him around the paths, and he finally flew up on top of the chicken run. Chickens were still inside the coop but they were looking out the window in astonishment! And then, there’s the coon thing.

The other evening the chickens and goaties were out for a late evening munch. I was in the field with the goats and the chickens, as is their way, started their circuit around the house, away from me. A while later the girl happened to be looking out the window and she saw a raccoon by the garage! Dude came out and we were rounding up the chickens. Somehow there were chickens behind and in front of the coon, and he darted past bubbles and liz in his haste to escape the commotion. Sheesh. Dude said the coon was stalking the chickens and that was NO good.

Tractor supply provided the trap. We brought it home and then wondered, hey what if we catch a skunk?? Anyhow this evening I looked out at dusk and saw the coon by the driveway. Dude went out and baited the trap. An hour later we looked out and this poor little guy. Doesn’t he look sad? Doesn’t he look glum. Poor guy, a nice big pee spot under him, and a big pile of poo, little dude was feeling sorry for himself. So…we took him for a car ride! He didn’t say much on the trip. But he happily left the trap and headed into the woods several miles away from our house! Good luck little dude!!

how to be late for work
April 20, 2011, 12:31 pm
Filed under: farm, preparedness | Tags: , , ,

Last night the wind woke us up. It’s pretty scary in a wind here as we have a lot of big trees in various states of decay. The news reported that there was a reported gust of 56 miles an hour at 434 am. Yep that’s about when we woke up. I heard the thump. But had to wait until much later to see what happened.

Whoops. Here’s how to be late for work…

need to cut it out to get out

big rain poor drainage
February 28, 2011, 9:13 am
Filed under: farm, preparedness, the yard, utilities | Tags: , , , ,

Whew, this is some crazy weather. A snow day last monday and a record dump. And today, it’s rain. Sheesh. It was a scary night. Around Turdacres, the one thing we fear the most is the rain. You can’t really live in house that has three sump pumps in the basement, and NOT fear the rain, right?
So, this morning we awoke to a) leaky roof (argh same place we fixed last year) and b) water alarm! One of the sumps–the new one, of course,–overloaded the GFI and kicked itself off. We got it fired up again, but we’re on alert. I went outside to document the flooding. Amazing!

Our little creek–which was kind of dried up a lot of the summer last year–became some kind of white water thing! It even washed over the road. Sheesh.

We had a good flood on the typical places we see water–

the driveway near the rhodies

the middle of the field

not usually so much here

But the huge flood created some new areas of concern..

the driveway creek?

And this one is really unknown. Kind of frightening to see all this water so close to the house.

the pool next to the pool

It says we may get more rain today and we have a tornado watch until 1 pm! This is strange weather. Back to cold temps tonight. 20 days til spring people!!!