animal friends? chicken and squirrel edition
April 4, 2014, 2:14 pm
Filed under: chickens, farm, goats

Oof. One of these days I might actually have a heart attack when I open that door to the chicken coop. This afternoon, I went out to check on the girls. It’s pouring rain and the run door is open and the chickens are out and about somewhere. So I go to check. I open the door and EEK! Something runs out of the coop. I look over and knuckles is sitting there on the nest box trying to lay, while a red squirrel is in there eating all of her food! WHAT?!! I hopped into the run to see what was going on, and the little dude (trapped inside the run) was really giving me the whatfor. He was hanging on the wall on our new chicken wire wrapped run, chitting and chattering away. Dumb thing. Eventually I let him go and he made a break for the open door.

Between the possums, coons, mice, deer, turkeys, assorted birds and squirrels–the goats and chickens have some fun (and sometimes scary) interactions with their fellow wild animal friends. But seriously, heart attack. Yeesh.


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!

happy new year it’s cold out!
January 4, 2014, 8:44 am
Filed under: farm, goats | Tags: , , ,

Here’s some pics from trip to the barn this morning.

that's cold. but supposed to be even colder in a few days.

that’s cold. but supposed to be even colder in a few days.

pretty morning light

pretty morning light

sydney aka polar bear

sydney aka polar bear

need more ice in my bucket!

need more ice in my bucket!

Roppongi doesn’t like the cold so much. She was a little bit shivery this morning, and wouldn’t come out. If she gets worse, we’ll have to pull out her goat coat!

roppongi would not come out

roppongi would not come out

We’re expecting temps to fall to minus 12 on Monday. Yeesh, wish us luck on that one. We’re not in the midwest or Edmonton you know!! We can’t handle it!

fall garden = dahlia time!
October 11, 2013, 7:41 pm
Filed under: dahlias, favorite plants, gardening, goats | Tags: , , , , ,
Dahlias spilling over onto the walk

Dahlias spilling over onto the walk

I do love me some dahlias! This year they seemed to take forever to get going. Maybe I planted them a bit late? Maybe I didn’t give them too much love. Certainly I didn’t spend too much time staking them!

Oh well, they’re still nice.

dahlias and verbena bonariensis

dahlias and verbena bonariensis

Even with a half finished pathway. These orange ones  on the left are Maarn.


This one is new this year. Pretty huh? Might be Awe Shucks? But I’m too lazy to bend down and look at the tag.

This one is snowflake

This one is snowflake

IMG_0684This is some little sweetie romaine lettuce, with strawberries.

fall kale planting

fall kale planting

Here’s some red russian kale. Yum! Along with a container of soapy water that I use to capture stink bugs. Not so yum.


And here is one sweet goat, having a rest under the big oak tree. She’s so cute! She likes this spot because it’s the highest in the paddock. Silly goats with their height thing. She’s also a digger and she’s made a little sand pit over there , dug up all the grass.

end of the season
October 10, 2013, 6:19 pm
Filed under: gardening, goats, tomatoes | Tags:

end of the tomatoes!

Yep, it’s finally the end of the season. I’m watching the birds eating crabapples, and turkeys wandering across the yard. Everyone is packing it up for the season.

I picked the last of the tomatoes. Green ones for goaties! We’ve had a couple of nice pasta dinners with fresh tomatoes chopped up with basil and cheese. Yum! So I guess I’m ready to say goodbye.

IMG_4140 When your plants look as bad as this one–you’re ready for them to go. I took them all out, and put them on the burn pile. Of course the burn pile is now in a goat paddock, so anything remotely edible is gobbled right up. I didn’t think goats should eat tomato plants, but they seem to enjoy nibbling them. They’ve also had a heyday eating the squash vines (who likes those? no one I thought!)

At any rate, we’ve got our last fall lettuces and peas in, and enjoying the dahlias in full bloom!

ta da! peonies are out!

Yes, so in the end spring decided to arrive. Abalone Pearl is the first of the peonies to open. So pretty!

Abalone Pearl Peony

Abalone Pearl Peony

It’s been a busy time for us, but we did get the tomatoes in. This year, most will be in the front yard bed where the crazy pumpkins were last year.

Tomato bed, front yard

Tomato bed, front yard

New this year is a resting spot in the garden. I bought this chaise at the end of the season last year, and it’s a nice place to recover! Right next to the rosa rugosa, and the nice strawberry flowers.

Chaise in the "u"--espalier apples surround it.

Chaise in the “u”–espalier apples surround it.

Everyone is working really hard –the goats eating new shoots as fast as they can, and we’re also weeding like crazy trying to get ahead of the game.

Roppongi finding good stuff--outside the garden fence!

Roppongi finding good stuff–outside the garden fence!

Roppongi likes to stick close to the fence while we’re weeding–she really appreciates all the good stuff we throw over at her. 2 foot tall dandelions yum!

It’s a beautiful time of year here and we’re so happy to be back outside!

goats with coats!
January 29, 2013, 1:52 pm
Filed under: goats | Tags: , , ,

Ok so it’s been pretty cold by our standards around here. It got down to 3 degrees, and has been hovering around 10 for a week now. No fun for the animals! And if you’re a skinny goat, well it’s just too much. Our poor little Dongo–Roppongi–has been seen shivering and shivering. Poor thing, she needed a coat. We ran out to the store and voila–a stylish goat coat was purchased.

Blue is not really her colour!

Blue is not really her colour!

Sydney–always eating and with her nice thick coat, was, of course, not chilled at all.

yo Ro, what's that you're wearing??!

yo Ro, what’s that you’re wearing??!

Oh, ok. If I can still do my "supergoat" pose, this coat'll work!

Oh, ok. If I can still do my “supergoat” pose, this coat’ll work!

Silly thing. I did feel so bad for them in this cold snap. Plus to add insult to injury, they got a new load of hay in, and it’s not the nice green 2nd cut they had been snarfing, and wasting like crazy, no, this round is a pretty crappy first cut. You know it’s bad when the hay man says–don’t worry if they don’t eat for a few days–they’ll eat it eventually!

Well yes actually hay man, I do worry! And little Dongo doesn’t have a lot of excess fat on her. So along with the coat we picked up some goat balancer supplement, alfafa cubes. And they’ve been getting a winter daily ration of: one carrot, handful black sunflower seeds, and handful balancer pellets. It seems to be working. They look better and Roppongi stopped shivering. She can handle about 15-20 degrees, but when it got below 10–well poor thing!

Today it’s abnormally warm out–about 60! Goats are out enjoying a walk about. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that it’s going back into the 20s later this week. ACK yep I’m officially ready for the END of winter!!