Friday, January 29, 2010

We are on vacation!
(yes, we have left the farm in the very capable hands of Becky and our friends Fran and Anna....and have flown the coop for a few days of fun in the sun!!) We thought you might enjoy a few slideshows from the farm in our absence.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

In Capable Hands

"Leaving on a jet plane....."
and so the song goes.

It has been a couple of years since we have left the farm for a vacation.

This morning we are catching a flight to a warm
and sunny location (Caribbean) for 9 days
of sun and fun....and rest!

For the next nine days, the animal care
will be in the capable hands of our friend Anna.
We will miss our critters, for sure.

But, ahhhhh, how nice it will be to feel the warmth of the sun
for a few days.

I have prepared some special blog posts for you in our absence....
so check back daily.....and enjoy some scenes from
Bee Haven Acres.

More tales when we return.....

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Last Minute Chores

These past couple of days have been filled with last minute chores. (We are leaving for vacation tomorrow.) In preparation, I have been cleaning chicken houses, moving hay, filling feed bins...just generally getting everything organized for our help to take over. Of course, I am never alone. My co-pilot, Bobby, is always there for a ride in the gator. Even TomTom has been tagging along.

I wanted to show you how Bobby has changed in the past few months. This picture is from November.....
I just took this picture this week....Bobby is so much fluffier than just a couple of months ago. He looks like a different cat.
TomTom never likes to be left out.....so he hops in the bed of the gator and off we all go!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Maternity Ward

Things are quiet in the pregnancy pen these days....but not for long.

Myrtle is due soon...any day now, actually.
Missy is quite large and moving slowly these days.
Sissy is still not very large...perhaps she does only have one baby as we saw on ultrasound.

O'Malley, on the other hand is rather rotund and moves unbelievably slow.
The four of these does are sequestered in their own yard that is equipped with the maternity ward. Video cameras are set so that Becky can keep an eye on them at night. Warming huts are set up and ready for the babies. The excitement is mounting! We will bring you lots of pictures when the little ones arrive!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Weekend Chores

Farm work is a daily thing.
Even on weekends.

Additionally, though, on weekends we try to get "projects" completed...
especially when we have help from "the kids".

This weekend Amanda and Tim joined us for a bit of farm work.

The guys continued to fill my cedar garden boxes....
topsoil and compost....

after all Spring is just around the corner. (Isn't it?)

Amanda and I washed and packaged eggs for this week's sales.
That particular chore is an every Sunday occurrence.
Our layers are doing a great job of keeping up with demand this winter.

Friday, January 22, 2010

All Creatures, Great and Small

You might think me crazy.

But, I have a hunch that you don't.

I can tell by the comments left for me that you all

are animal lovers....

just like me.

Large animals....to small animals, I love them all.

Even the predators have their place in the world.

Without human intervention, the world works perfectly.

Each and every animal has its place.

Even the lowliest rodent.
Each day, when I go to the pond to feed the duck,

I am greeted by a family of mice inside the feed bin.

(Somehow they've managed to chew a hole in the plastic bin, right up under the lid.)

There they are, just staring up at me with their big bright eyes.....harmless.

Each day, I gently free them from the feed bin

(afraid that they might be stuck there and die of thirst).
I know that sounds crazy.

After all, we do have barn cats to keep the mouse population at bay.

But looking down at these adorable creatures....

well, they just melt my heart.

I'll continue to "save" them each day.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Horsing Around

I thought you might enjoy this slideshow of our horses. I took these photos yesterday while doing afternoon chores. Becky's three bays are spending a lazy afternoon at the arena. My Bigs and Littles are hanging out in the front pasture as I do a bit of pasture cleaning. Ollie and Red love to help! Watching these beautiful animals through the eye of the camera forces one to really "see" them....incredible creatures that they are!



The music for this slideshow is George Winston's "Living in the Country"

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Windows of The Soul

I need to take more time with my "good" camera.

When I do, I take pictures like this....... Photobucket

and this....(laughing)
But seriously, I have this thing for eyes....

windows of the soul.

It is hard to look deeply into their eyes and not be stirred

by the soul looking back at you.

If you have animals, you will understand what I mean.

Sometimes I think that the only difference between them and us is

the ability to speak.

And, if they could speak, what would they say?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Caption Needed

Becky and I did a little goat maintenance the other afternoon.

Catching them can be the hardest part.

Caption needed.....

We wormed them.
We trimmed their feet.
We laughed ourselves silly....

Monday, January 18, 2010

Jubilation

The waiting is over.

We are overjoyed to bring you the news.

The rabbit died.

I know, that sounds very sad.

Fear not, we don't even own a rabbit.

Actually, the weather warmed up long enough to

comfortably perform pregnancy checks on

our dear Sissy and O'Malley.

O'Malley was successfully impregnated by our beloved,

departed Mojo.....TWINS!!

Sissy is "with kid", also...only one was visualized.
That doesn't necessarily mean that she only has one, though.

We will have to wait until April to know for sure.

But for now, we are so very excited....

Although we no longer have our dear Mojo....

we can look forward to his progeny this spring.

Friday, January 15, 2010

It's Still Winter!

Have you ever noticed that as soon as Christmas is over,

stores and catalogs start showing spring and summer wear?

They call it cruise-wear or resort-wear....

as if everyone heads to a warmer climate after the holidays.

Well....not us,

not here at Bee Haven Acres.

No, we remain in our thermals, wool sweaters, hats and gloves

until the weather starts warming....sometime in April.

Not to be outdone by the goats,

our chickens had a bit of a fashion show, themselves, yesterday.

They refused to model resort wear, though,

and stuck to winter basics instead.

Modeling the latest in henwear are

Ivanka

and Natasha.
Many thanks to fellow blogger Anke of Our Piece of Heaven
for knitting these wonderfully fashionable scarves
for our turkens (Transylvanian Naked Neck Chickens).
Anke was amongst the few of you who thought that
our dear gals needed some warm neckwear for winter.

I think you may have found a niche market Anke....
You might be on to something here!
And yea, for not sending us any resort wear!!

PS...Hubbs thought I should call this piece "Hot Chicks in the Country".
Again, I repeat....this is a family rated blog.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wooooo Hoooooo and Ritz, Too!!

Why is Jack smiling?

Well, he just cannot help himself!

(And no, it's not because I have Ritz crackers!)

(Which, I do...but we'll talk about that later)

He's so proud of Forrest and Sissy.

They've been discovered!

Their "Vogue" shoot was featured on "Nanny Goats in Panties"
( a wildly popular and quite humorous blog written by Margaret in Sacramento).
These two photogenic camera hogs were featured in her
"Goat Thing of the Day" column yesterday.

(You can even subscribe to her blog on Kindle!)

Nanny Goat in Panties

OK, so, I don't buy Ritz crackers for our household.

We've sworn off of processed foods like that as much as possible.

You know...

trans fats,

white flour,
too much sodium,

high fructose corn syrup...

all those sins we try to avoid.

We do, however, buy Ritz by the case for our goats.
They love them.

I mean LOVE them.

I must admit, so do I!

What's a girl to do.....

There they are....

everyday....

just lying there tempting me

on top of the goat feed.
OK, one for you.....

And two for me!

Don't tell Hubbs that I'm eating Ritz out of the goat feed bin!!

Ah, that salty, buttery flavor....you KNOW what I mean!!!

Jack's not the only one smiling now!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Egg-stremes

Yesterday afternoon I gathered eggs as usual. Our hens have not slowed down in egg production this winter. I keep an infra-red light on in their henhouses all winter for warmth. Does this affect egg production? Your guess is as good as mine.

Well, things were going along as usual, until I came upon this particular egg. This is the largest egg that I have ever found in our henhouse. I pictured it here beside our smallest egg ever.
Here it is beside the usual eggs. The white is from our fancies, and the brown is the typical size for our brown layers (by the way, the dark brown is Jumbo sized). The apple is there as a size reference.
So this huge wrinkly egg must belong to some other creature who just happened to be passing through our henhouse. Or perhaps it is the first attempt for one of my young and upcoming layers. What a way to start out! Pitty the poor gal!! It is not unusual for a new chicken to lay a few misshapen eggs as she starts out. This one, however, is most unusual!

PS. (Hubbs thought I should name this post "getting laid", but I thought not....after all this blog is family rated....or at least until now it was)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Vogue

Ok, you'll need a little imagination for this post.
We had a little photo shoot the other day.
A couple of our goats are camera hogs.
Imagine, if you will, background music from Madonna.
"Vogue".
"Ladies with an attitude"
"Fella's that were in the mood"
"Don't just stand there, let's get to it"
"Strike a pose, there's nothing to it"
"Vogue, Vogue, Vogue"
PS: If you were hoping for the results of the pregnancy checks on O'Malley and Sissy....it was just too cold this past week to shave their little bellies for an ultrasound....maybe this coming week will work out....the weather is finally supposed to get seasonal...in the 30's instead of the teens. Stay tuned....

Monday, January 11, 2010

Farm Show 2010

All you other "crazy chicken ladies" will enjoy this post!!

Hubbs and I spent Saturday afternoon at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. This is an annual January expo that highlights PA agriculture. It is held in our huge State Farm Show complex....and it is indoors. Thank goodness, because Farm Show week is usually the coldest week of the year.

For us the highlights are the milkshakes, baked potatoes and the chickens. We worked our way through the displays of dairy cows, beef cattle, sheep, goats, horses, alpaca, rabbits and pigs...and finally found the birds.

Wouldn't this guy make a great pal for Rod?
I did a bit of dreaming (planning) for birds that I would love to add this summer.
On the list are a couple of geese,
more ducks, turkeys
and bantam (tiny sized) chickens.
We were mesmerized by these frizzles....
how about a frizzle turken.....
Here are a few bantam varieties that I liked.....
Old English game birds are tiny, tiny chickens on very long legs.
Aren't these roosters handsome? They are also bantams.

Now I just have to think about how to re-organize my henhouses!

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