Friday, October 21, 2016

Trimming Sheep Hooves

Yesterday afternoon I decided to tackle hoof trimming
for Gracie and the girls.

Actually Hubbs and I had done Gracie about a week ago.
At the time, the girls were having nothing to do with that idea
and ran whenever we tried to catch them.

Yesterday, for some strange reason,
Hope just stood still as I walked up to her and put a halter on her head.

I only wish I had pictures (or even of the whole procedure,
but since I was alone and equipped with only two hands,
I had to forgo using the camera.

I ended up standing on the lead rope with one foot,
while straddling Hope's middle with my legs.
Bending over I picked up each hoof...
one at a time and trimmed off the new growth.

This procedure was not without it's trials and tribulations...
as Hope tried her best to escape from me several time.

When finished, I repeated the procedure with Faith.

By the time I was done my jeans and shirt were muddy,
and my arms were covered in mud and sheep poo...
up to my elbows.

Next time I will set my camera on a tripod and video...
but this time, you are just going to have to take my word for it....

We were successful...and I have the stains to prove it!

After hoof trimming was finished,
I rewarded the girls with a treat of Ritz Crackers...

And the craziness of hoof trimming was immediately forgotten!


I was wondering if you might help me out.
Writing a blog every day for this many years can prove to be challenging.
The writing is easy... the ideas are sometimes difficult.
So....if there is something that you would like to know more about...
any questions, etc. that I might answer....
could you leave me a comment...
Questions always give me fuel for a blog post.
You're the best!

Thursday, October 20, 2016


There are these three fellows...

who amazingly have not strayed from the immediate area around the barn.
(And they are within earshot of the henhouses!)

I've concluded that although they act all tough and full of themselves, 
they are actually quite timid...
let's call them "chicken!"

(And yes, they are always completely clean and bright!)

And then there is this fellow...
who, rescued from the other three picking on him, has fallen into quite a great life.

He spends his days with his hens,
happily strutting his masculinity...
when he's not hanging out hunting for bugs on the manure pile!
Notice, that even with hanging out on the manure pile, he remains beautifully white!

It pays to be the underdog around here...
you often end up with the best life ever!

I finished another hat for Mackenzie...

It's great to be back knitting again.
I did work on a project over the summer...
a wrap...

Summer knitting tends to be slow and sporadic.
Now that days are shorter and cooler, it's time to get Christmas projects started!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Nighty Night Bird Brains

Every evening as the sun retreats from the sky,
we head to the barn and begin our tuck-in chores.

The horses and donkeys get their last meal of hay for the day.

The pigs get their chow and a little hay for the night.

We scoop poop and make sure everyone has enough water for the night.

Then we head up to the chicken houses in search of three wayward turkeys...
who still have not learned to return home in the evening.

Last night Ethel had decided to roost on the roof of the goats' run-in shed.

Tom and Fred had settled in on the goat fence.

Hoping that Ethel might hop down and follow them, Hubbs began walking the boys
down to the barn and into their yard.

Ethel did not follow suit.
Instead she hunkered down and resigned herself to a night spent alone.

We couldn't leave her there...
for safety sake and also to reinforce that nights are to be spent at home.
So, Hubbs climbed the ladder and chased her off the roof.

While he accompanied Ethel home to the turkey yard,
I closed the front doors to the henhouses.

The last house to be closed was this one...
whose occupants are notorious partiers and usually have to be reminded of curfew!

Last, but not least... the sheep get their nightly allotment of hay...
and by that time it was quite dark.

It's pretty much the same around here every evening...
which is partially why we spend so many evenings at home.
It's a commitment...but one that we gladly accept.

For all of the work that it takes to keep this many animals...
they repay us many times over in joy!

Yesterday took me away for several hours....
to spend in the company of this little one.

I knitted her hat while she napped.
She wasn't terribly impressed...
and quickly removed it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Pumpkin Bread and Chestnuts

We are experiencing a brief return to summer weather this week.
After a brief shower yesterday morning, the temperature soared to the low 80's
and will reach the same again today.

"And I thought summer was over!"
The rain shower gave me time to do a little baking...
seven loaves of pumpkin bread from the one long-neck pumpkin 
that I successfully grew this summer.

This recipe is great... I found it yesterday on a favorite blog.
It's delicious. (Especially with a little freshly whipped cream!)  You can find the recipe here.
Perfect with a cup of hot tea.

In addition to the usual farm chores, there were a few errands to run.
A trip to the mill for pine shavings, a trip to the feed store for chicken feed and scratch,
and also what I hope is the final mowing of the season...
filled the afternoon.

When the chores were finished, it was time to enjoy some donkey time.

As I have shown you so many times...
it is hard to take pictures of the donkeys when I am with them,
as they spend most of the time right on top of me.

I do little grooming tasks for them while they stand so close.
Like... clean the "eye boogers" from the corners of their eyes...

rub their ears...

scratch their butts...

and peel off their chestnuts...

Donkeys (unlike horses) only have chestnuts on their front legs.

Most horses have them on all four legs.
They are a calloused area that, if allowed,
will grow many layers and become quite thick and hard.

It seems they are a vestigial remnant of something...
perhaps a scent gland, or perhaps a vestigial wrist pad, or vestigial toe.
It's all a bit of an evolutionary mystery.

Regardless, I keep the donkey's peeled so that it never has a chance to grow thick and gnarly.

While I worked on Chloe, Daphne found a way to scratch an itch...
one of those itches that are impossible to reach (if you are a donkey)...

Judging from the closed eyes....she must have gotten the right spot!
Doesn't she have lovely eyes?

Monday, October 17, 2016

A Mini Hike

Most Sundays, weather permitting, we take the dogs for a hike.
They love it.
We love it.
Autumn is our favorite time to hike...
and there are so many places for us to explore right around the farm.

Yesterday afternoon we gathered the dogs and headed out.
We thought it might be fun to take a couple of the horses,
so we took the Littles.

Red and Ollie were happy to accompany us.

We headed out our back driveway...

Hubbs with Ollie,
and me with Red.

We hiked through woods, meadows, up hill and down...

 eventually ending up at our front driveway,
where we stopped for a little lovin'.

I am sure these two boys had just as much fun as we did.

Lovin' time always gets a little silly...
thanks to Ollie.

It was a perfect weekend with the Littles....equine and human...

Can you believe how big these two are getting?


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