Thursday, December 31, 2009

Addendum to Today's Post

We awoke to another snowfall this morning;
and the snow has continued since then.
I love the way the farm looks when it snows....

The guest cottage looks like it belongs along a ski slope.
Snow is Sadie's favorite weather.
At noon I was out bringing the "Bigs" in from pasture
and putting the "Littles" out.
The horses become very playful when it snows...just like kids.
The littles race around the pasture....running and rearing and playing "piggy back"

(I think the testosterone is starting to kick in).
The barn kitties love to play in the snow....
except Ella,
who prefers to stay in the warmth of her warming hut
on the comfort of her own sheepskin.

(spoiled cat)
Rod Stewart has opted to stay in the hayloft today.
Methuselah, our lone duck happily paddles around
by the snow ducks.....
decoys (another story).

He ventures out of the pond for a little fresh feed,
then back in for a swim.
We keep aerators in the bottom of the pond
so that the pond doesn't freeze.

(I know....spoiled duck!)
What we don't do for our animal friends!

Turkens

Meet Ivanka
And Natasha
It has been a while since I have shown you a picture of the turkens
(Transylvanian naked neck chickens).
They are almost full grown now and have their adult feathers.
Surprisingly, turkens are very hardy chickens....
and these gals seem to be thriving quite well....
even in this harsh winter weather.
I just love the ruffle of feathers around their necks!
These two live with Babs and the other 9 "babies" that were not moved to the big chicken houses. These twelve chickens remain in the littlest henhouse that sits along the main drive up to our farmhouse. Morning and afternoon chores include a stop at this henhouse to check water and feed, throw the girls a scratch treat, and clean out accumulated chicken manure. Each morning the door to their yard is opened....
and each evening it is locked up to protect the girls (and boy) from predators.
This handsome chicken is, I'm almost certain, our newest rooster.
He is very shy and prefers to crow in the privacy of the henhouse.
He is much larger than the girls and, you can see by his plumage,
much showier than the rest.
His name is Kenny (yes, Kenny Rogers).
(All our roosters are named after singers)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Boys Will Be Boys

Arctic air has hit Bee Haven Acres. It is frigid and windy here. Each morning we awaken to a new dusting of snow...a dusting that doesn't melt. All of the animals except the goats and horses stay inside their shelters most of the day (including us humans).

The barn kitties burn off their excess energy by wrestling.
Normally their days are spent out and about the farm and woods....exploring and hunting.
This week, however, they are sticking close to their warming lamps....rolling around and "fighting" with each other to pass the hours.
How else would two little boys spend their time?
You might notice that Ella Bella is not involved in this type of play.
She spends her days lazing under her own heat lamp.....hissing a "stay away" warning when one of the boys gets too close. "Boys will be boys", she says as she lazily grooms herself with her rough kitty tongue.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Winter Quiet

Another Christmas holiday has come to a close. It was a wonderful holiday here at the farm this year....filled with family and friends. A few days of rain followed by bitter cold has slowed life down a bit. Daily chores are made up of mostly just the essentials....keeping manure cleaned up and plenty of feed to keep the animals warm.

This time of year gives us more indoor time....time to reflect, time to plan, time to reorganize our lives.

Bird watching is great right now as the cold weather drives more and more of our feathered friends to our feeders. Here are a few that visit with regularity.
Mrs. Downy Woodpecker
Mr. Downy Woodpecker
Mr. Cardinal (Mrs. visits, too)

Having the kids around over Christmas gave us a chance to stock up on firewood. Nothing makes me feel warmer in these cold winter months than knowing we have plenty of wood on hand.
This picture of our wood pile was taken with my Christmas present.....yes, Santa was very good to me...there was a wide angle lens under the tree (Thank goodness that Santa reads my blog!)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Twas the Night Before Christmas...

.....and all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring,
Not even a mouse.
The children were nestled,
All snug in their beds.....
Merry Christmas to you from all of us
at Bee Haven Acres!
We will be spending the next few days with our two legged kids....
so posting may be sporadic.
It is our hope that wherever you are,
your heart is filled with peace and contentment
this holiday season and throughout the
coming new year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Frosty Morning

I awoke to a clear, frosty morning today....perhaps the coldest yet this year.
As I was doing the morning chores, the only sound was the distant "who-who-whowho-who-who-whowho" of a great horned owl. The snow remains on the ground, continuing to make my world a magical winter wonderland. I love this time of year, when the world is held in frosty slumber. Each day unfolds as it does throughout the rest of the year, but in a quieter way. The animals all involve themselves in munching to maintain their warmth....so the loudest sound is that of chewing.
For those of you who wonder how Rod is doing.....he has adapted to his new lifestyle quite well. Ordinarily he spends his days outside the barn, but on these cold, cold mornings, is hesitant to leave his warm dry stall. (I have received several comments asking what type of bird Rod is. He is a white Polish Crested chicken.)
Frequents visitors keep him occupied throughout the day.
One of whom keeps stealing his warm spot. TomTom loves Rod's heat lamp. I am waiting for the day when I find them both snuggled up under the lamp together.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Chicken Reorganization

Yesterday morning I decided it was time to start to move the "baby" chickens to their permanent home with my other layers. These "babies" were hatched in August and have lived in my smallest henhouse (which I use as a brooder house) since then. Now that they are almost full grown, that house has gotten a bit crowded.

So, yesterday morning I cleaned out my two largest henhouses, and covered their floors with fresh pine bedding. I spread fresh hay in their yard (chickens hate the snow) so that they would have warm, dry footing.

Then I gathered a couple pet carriers and headed to the "babies'" house. Catching these hens was the biggest challenge.
I snatched them, one at a time, clipped their primary wing feathers, and gently placed them in the pet carriers. Then we took off on the gator for their new accommodations.

I carried them up to the upper house and opened the carriers....out they spilled into their new spacious quarters. It took no time for them to acclimate themselves to their surroundings...finding both their water and food.

Elvis and a couple of the old girls stopped by for a visit. Elvis laid down the law and then went back to the lower henhouse.
I checked on the babies a couple of times during the day.
...all was fine. They even ventured outside their new house for a bite of scratch. By nightfall, all were tucked in securely....the old with the new. I breathed a sigh of relief....it seems that this has been a peaceful transition for all. We'll see how everybody looks this morning when I open up their henhouse for the day.

Babs and eleven other "babies" remain in the old henhouse....a much more manageable and comfortable number for the size of that house.
By the way, I think this chicken might be the rooster that I have heard crowing within the baby house....although I have never actually witnessed him doing so.
He has grown much larger than the rest and his feathers are much fancier.....time will tell for sure.

Monday, December 21, 2009

And More Snow.....

Here are a few more pictures of our weekend snowfall. We were lucky enough to have Amanda and Tim snowed in with us. We spent Saturday making lasagne, baking, watching "White Christmas" and working on a puzzle. Sunday we all took the girls for a walk in the woods, then came back to hot chocolate and a roaring fire. It was a perfect weekend....quiet, peaceful and serenely beautiful. The rest of the week should be cold enough to keep the snow on the ground for Christmas. YAY!!!
The Bigs (Donnie Brasco and Moonbeam) in back, the Littles (Ollie and Red) in front.
Sadie, the mountain dog.
Amanda, Tim and Jack with the dogs.....me following with the camera.
Our arena....covered in snow.
The trail into the Hundred Acre Wood.
Amanda, Tim, me and the girls.
Just me and my gals.
Tim and Amanda, build a snowman.
Oh, how the girls love the snow!!
Becky's horses....Fagner, Ava, and Duffy.
The view from our Hundred Acre Wood...looking towards Becky's house and barn.

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