Friday, December 31, 2010

It's New Year's Eve,
and we are not much into partying,
so we are staying home and doing this....
Yep, that's right, we're splashing

and playing with our rubber duckies....

and getting crazy in our tubbie!


Then it's early to bed.
Tomorrow is a new day....
A New Year!!

Hope yours is happy!

We have so much planned for 2011
and we plan to share it all with you!

Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Big Canine Reveal

And now, the moment you all have been waiting for...
You may not have even known it,
but you have been waiting to hear this!

A few weeks back I wrote about a holiday contest that
we had amongst our family....
to correctly guess the breeds of our two mutts, Sam and Oakley,
and also that of Dr. Becky's dog Monty.

We had each dog genetically tested.
Each of our family members entered their guesses for each dog
with a $5 entry fee per guess.
If any of us guessed the correct breeds for a particular dog,
we would win that money.

Most of us thought that Oakley was a lab/ pit bull/ boxer mix.

NOT SO!!!!

Surprise!!!

Oakley is a "designer" breed..
A Spanador

OR

A labrador/cocker spaniel mix.

Are you surprised??
We sure were.

Then, there is Sam.

Sam was listed as a Lab mix in the shelter he came from.
We were sure he was part Viszla, some thought part
Weimaraner, some thought perhaps part beagle.

Well, Sam is a true mutt.
He is beagle/poodle/chow/rottweiler mix!
That explains so much.
Like....
why he runs through the woods and hunts,
why he jumps,
why he growls like a ferocious dog when he plays,
etc.

Now Monty, we thought was either retriever or setter...

As it turns out,
Monty is half golden retriever and half flat coated retriever.

Unfortunately, no one won the pot of money we collected,
so....
the money will be given to our local animal shelter.

It was great fun to learn about our friends' backgrounds.
If only we knew more about the lives they lived
before joining us here at Bee Haven Acres....
but I guess that doesn't much matter now....
what really matters is that all of these loving mutts live
happy lives now.

Friday, December 24, 2010


Merry Christmas from all of us 
to all of you!

I will be taking a brief rest from blogging so that I can spend 
time with our human family this coming holiday week.

Much love and wishes for a wonderful holiday season
from all of us
at 
Bee Haven Acres!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I Just Can't Help Myself

Ok, so I will apologize to you now.
But, I just cannot help myself.
I had to post a few more cute 
Christmas pictures.

This time the camera captured two of Dr. Becky's horses
in the holiday spirit.

Ava.....
who wanted to try on a few different hats...


and Sid....
(as Rudolph....who tore off half of his nose this past Fall.)
(Although you can hardly notice, now that it's healed.)

Sid was not about to try on any of the Christmas 
headbands. (How humiliating!)
But gloves on the ears.......no problem.
What a party animal!
(By the end of the party, he's the one who
crushes beer cans on his forehead!)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

All We Want For Christmas Is.....

A little red buck,
a little red buck,
a little red buck.

All we want for Christmas is a little red buck.
So Sally and O'Malley could have red kids.
"Sally"

"O'Malley"

Last year our red doe, O'Malley mated with our dearly
departed MoJo.  Two red and white kids were the result of that
mating....Sally and Fred.

We would love to continue breeding blue eyed, red goats
so we have been on the lookout for a new red buck.

 Dr. Becky just got word from MoJo's breeder
that one of her does just gave birth to two red bucklings.
After Christmas, we will be heading to see these two little fellows
in the hopes that one of them might end up moving to Bee Haven Acres.


We especially like the little fellow on the left.
Cuuuute!


Fred is pretty excited about the prospect of having another red
buck to play with.
"Does that mean I have to share my food???"


Merry Christmas from all of the "red" goats!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Oh How We LOVE Christmas!!

The presents are wrapped.
The stockings are hung.
The cookies are baked.
The carols are sung.

Most all of our Christmas preparations are finished.
Now, to dress for the festivities.
We have been trying on our holiday outfits....

Do you think Santa will like them?


"Anyone see my red nose anywhere?"

You might wonder how I was able to get this much cooperation.
Well, the first one is easy.
But after the rest of the horses saw Donnie Brascoe in his
Santa hat, they ran for the hills!
No amount of coaxing could get any of them to acquiesce....
until I brought out the Quaker Oatmeal Squares.

The Bigs and Littles will suffer through any amount of
humiliation for Quaker Oatmeal Squares!

I told them that if they let me take their pictures,
that maybe Santa might bring them each their very
own box of Oatmeal Squares.

It worked.



Is that mistletoe over your head, Ollie???
Pucker up!

Happy Holidays from the Bigs and the Littles!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fatigue

Alas,
we have had way too much Christmas merry making
in the past few weekends...
making us look like this:


Although we all enjoy the holidays,
getting back to "life as usual" will be welcomed.

At some point during our Christmas entertaining this past weekend
we noticed that someone had slipped Sam a piece of shrimp.
He tried and tried to eat it....
delicately chewing, then spitting it out, then chewing again.
Finally, he looked at me with his sad, golden eyes and said...


"I've tried and tried, and I just don't understand how you can 
eat these things!  Please don't make me eat it!"
"Blech!"
That's ok, Sammy...
you don't have to eat the shrimp!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Laughter is Great Medicine!

I had to share this video with you.
I hope it makes you laugh as hard as it makes me....
laughter is great medicine.
And if that is the truth, I should be very very healthy!

Every afternoon, when afternoon chores are finished,
I take Oakley, Sam, and whoever else is with me,
out into the field by the barn for a game of fetch.

This is Oakley's absolute favorite.
And you will soon see that Sam plays his own type of game.
Enjoy!!
(change the setting at the bottom right of the screen to 720 for a 
high definition picture)


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Feeling Ducky in the Morning

The first chore on the morning list each day involves a trip to the
duck pond.
Each morning, at sunrise, I open the duck hut door
and 18 sweet ducks file out and onto the pond.
It is definitely the favorite time of day for them.
And for me, there is nothing like their enthusiasm to get me going.

I thought I would record this daily ritual and share it with you....
(change the setting in the lower right corner from 360 to 720
for a clearer picture....the lighting was dim....at sunrise.)
We have had great luck keeping this last batch of ducks alive.
This past May 1st, I picked up 17 day old ducklings from
our local feed store, brought them home, and cared for them
until they were big enough to bring to the pond.
Since then, we have lovingly herded them
(often by canoe)

into this hut each night for safe keeping.
The hut has fresh bedding, feed and fresh water.
Unfortunately, they feel the need to poop all over the inside...
(just one more stall to muck!)

Each and every morning, we go back down and open the door
allowing them access to the pond once again.
Two aerators keep the pond from freezing in this harsh winter weather

We provide them with fresh feed and scratch daily.
For this they give us eggs and hours of entertainment.
Hope you enjoyed another glimpse into early morning
on the farm!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Keeping Warm

Baby, it's cold outside!
Night time temperatures have been dipping below zero.
You might wonder how our equine friends stay warm
through this harsh weather.
Especially because they are not put away in a stall each night.


No, our horses live out of doors all year round.
They have access to stalls if they want them,
but more times than not, they just use them as
a "potty".

Being ponies, minis and draft horses gives them the advantage
of being able to grow long, thick coats for the winter.
And, they do just that.....
grow long and thick and shaggy....
and warm.


Besides wearing a warm coat,
our Bigs and Littles have access to lots of hay.
In the winter, their bellies become a furnace of sorts.
As long as they have hay to munch,
they stay toasty warm.


We also handle worming our equines a bit differently.
We do not have our horses on a monthly schedule for worming.
Instead, we check stool specimens periodically during the year
and treat accordingly.
Fastidious cleaning of pastures helps to reduce parasites.
There is good literature suggesting that monthly worming
has caused parasites to become resistant to the medications
currently on the market.

This year I noticed that our horses had bot eggs on their front legs.
Now that we have had some freezing temperatures,
we will give them worming medication to kill the bot larvae in their
gastrointestinal tract.
Yesterday afternoon, I inspected their legs and clipped off any
remaining bot eggs....
to prevent further ingestion.


Scarlet thought she might help me....


(Equine bot flies lay their eggs on the hairs of the horses legs.
Then, when the horses rub their mouths on their front legs,
they ingest the eggs.  The eggs begin their metamorphosis
in the GI tract of the horse, where they will live for the
next year...causing health problems for the horse.)

Later this week I will give each of the horses a dose of
worming medication....
hopefully the only dose they will need this year.

If you have horses, you might want to consider only using
de-wormer as a treatment, and not prophylactically.
It is important, then that you do regular fecal exams.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Early mornings are great fun.
When the morning chores are complete,
the gates to the pasture are opened and the horses 
are free to graze and run and play for the day.

Oakley and Sam especially love this time of day.
"Chase" seems to be a favorite game of dog and horse alike.

I captured yesterday's game on video for you to watch.....
click on the number at the bottom right corner of the screen
and change it to 720 p to view in high definition.
Enjoy
(the horses and dogs surely did!)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Bow Wow Bowl and other News

It's Christmas time again
and time for the annual farm Christmas celebration.
On Christmas Day, family and friends will converge 
at the farm with fun, food, and merry-making.

Each year we try to keep old traditions alive,
while adding new and wacky activities.
This year's addition to our celebration will be the
"Bow Wow Bowl"

If you read my blog with any regularity,
then you know that we have a few new additions to our family
this year.... a grandson and a few canine additions.

Our Bow Wow Bowl is a contest amongst the family to guess the breeds
of two of our newest friends....Oakley

and Sam.

We are also including in our contest Becky's (Dr. Becky....Hubbs' sis)
Monty

These three mutts are just that...
pound puppy rescues...
breeds unknown.

So, we had them each genetically tested to determine breeds
and those results are in a sealed envelope waiting for 
the big Christmas Day Reveal.

Amongst ourselves we are having a pool...
with the person who guesses correctly
claiming the pot.

For you, dear readers,
I am holding another contest.
Leave me a comment with the breeds that you feel 
are the correct combinations for each of our
handsome fellows.

Whoever comes closest will win a surprise from the farm.
Your entry should include your guesses for each of the three
handsome fellows pictured above.
The winner will be decided on the Monday after Christmas.


AND.....
Announcing a new addition to Blogland.
Our family "foodie", Amanda has started a blog.
You can read it HERE.....enjoy....she is quite creative!
Manny B. as I fondly call her is a newly graduated
Registered Dietician.
Besides being wildly entertaining, her blog is chock full of
useful info, recipes, and health tips.
Sign up to follow her....she's going great places and will take you
along for the ride!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Winter Egg Production

I have read a few articles with opinions on how to keep up 
winter egg production.
Most suggest using a light inside the henhouse to
counteract the shortened days.

I have also read that leaving a light on all night
stresses the hens.

Our solution has been to use an infra red heat lamp
in each of the henhouses.
This helps to keep the houses warmer,
and seems to keep egg production at a good rate.

Our hens and roosters seem to make it through the winter
happy and healthy.

The dogs love the chicken yard,
and always find something yummy there.

Today it was ice chunks...


And speaking of happy and healthy.....

Have a wonderful weekend.
We will see you back on Monday with more Tales from the Farm.

Oh, and if you like, you can check out my home blog
for a Christmas Farmhouse Tour.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Horsing Around

I thought you might enjoy a little tour of our "horse farm".

This is the area around the barn where
our Bigs and Littles spend their days.



Becky (Hubbs' sister) keeps her horses at her own barn.
During the winter months they graze in our hay field.
She uses this portable electric fence (solar powered)
to keep them in a particular area.

Here are Sid and Ava happily munching away.

Becky moves this temporary fence from location to location.
This allows for lots of grazing during these cold winter months.
The fence works amazingly well.

My horses don't graze here as they are a bit chubby.
This grass would really fatten them up!
We cut this hay field twice last summer.
Both Becky's and our barns are full of hay for the coming
winter months.
It is great to be self sufficient!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Brrrrrr.......

Old Man Winter pointed his icy finger at the farm this week.
We are in the midst of an arctic blast.
Just north of us, folks are having lots and lots of snow.
Flurries for us, gusty winds and temperatures dipping
into what we usually expect in January...
but not December.

Wintry winds are blowing...
and barn kitties are glowing.


Each of our barn kitties has a heat lamp above their bed.
Poor spoiled kitties.
They have been spending most of their days curled up
under the light...
reminds me of a fast food restaurant with three little cheeseburgers
all in a row under the heat lamps!

I just had to share this video of our grandson, Tyler.
Tyler has found his voice!
(turn up your volume)
video
He is definitely one happy baby.
And though this video ends with him starting to cry,
he stopped as soon as the video was over.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Circus Acts

I think if we had more time,
we might take an animal act on the road....
like a little farm circus.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
introducing.....

"The Greatest Show on Earth!"...

The Bee Haven Acres Jumping Chickens.

Two feet on the ground,
ready to jump for...
a Ritz cracker, of course!

And here she is, 
several inches off the ground
with Ritz in beak....

The amazing jumping chickens of Bee Haven Acres.

Ta Daaaaaaaa!!!!

I know,  you are saying that at this angle
it looks as if she might still be on the ground.
But, trust me, please...
she is about 5 inches off the ground.

Do you know how hard it is to catch a chicken in mid air
on film??

Trust me, she jumps!!

Ok, so you might not pay to see this show.
We won't be taking our chickens on the road quite yet!
Someday, though.........

Monday, December 6, 2010

Health Care Crisis

These past several weeks we have been having a sort of health care crisis
here at the farm. 
You know it's a crisis when the dogs take more medications than the humans!

But, such is life with aging canines.

With the adoption of our 15 year old Hickory this summer,
we inherited obesity, bad teeth, and a myriad of eye problems.
Then a couple of weeks ago Hickory began to decline rapidly.
Following a tick bite, she became very ill.
So, we put her on doxycycline to treat Lymes disease,
in case that was what had made her ill.
Within a few days she was back to her chipper old self.
Yesterday, I noticed a bubble on the cornea of her eye.
She already has cataracts, and most likely glaucoma.
I put ointment in her eyes several times each day.
I imagine she will eventually be blind.
For now, though, she is happy
and accompanies me to the barn each day,
riding shotgun in the gator.


Sadie is our 7 year old Bernese Mountain Dog.
She had a cancerous tumor a couple of years ago,
so we monitor her closely.
This summer it was apparent that she was gaining weight.
A blood test showed that she was hypo thyroid.
So, twice a day she received her thyroid medicine.
Recently, she has had urinary frequency,
so now we are giving her antibiotics twice daily for a
urinary tract infection.
She also takes arthritis medication each day,
without which she walks with a limp.


Maddie, our 5 year old Newfoundland began wetting her doggie bed
at night recently.
Doctor Becky (Hubbs' sister and our vet) told us that in large
breeds such as her, senile incontinence is a common problem.
Now Maddie takes a medication twice a day
to improve her bladder tone.
It seems to be working.

"Vit-e-yum time" is medication time.
The dogs love this time because they take their pills coated
in peanut butter.
Yummy, yummy treats!

Those of us who love having dogs in our lives eventually realize that
those beloved friends are with us such a precious short time.
We watch them grow from puppies, through adolescence, into adulthood
and eventually into old age....much more quickly than we would like.

It is a difficult thing to watch your best friends begin to fail.
We do what we can to keep them happy and comfortable,
knowing that in the end we will have to say goodbye to them.

We do whatever we can to love and care for these precious souls
who give so much in return, and pray that we can keep them
in our lives for as long as possible.

I must admit, if it weren't for the love and care of Dr. Becky,
we would not be able to have all of the critters that make our
lives so much richer!

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