Monday, September 24, 2012

Not an Ugly Duckling Afterall

You may remember from one of my first posts that we ended up with a stowaway duck that we named Clyde. He was a fuzzy yellow little thing and I assumed he was a Pekin.

As he grew and his feathers came in, he turned a mottled brown and white. I thought he was just an ugly Pekin.

Yesterday, I was online searching for goodness-knows-what-about-fowl when I saw a picture of an Indian Runner Duck. Right away, I recognized Clyde!

Pictured next to Clyde is his mallard girlfriend, Clay. We couldn't let him be alone, now could we?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Arsenic in Rice

Can we not trust anything that we don't grow ourselves?! One article suspected that some of the inorganic arsenic comes from fertilizing fields with chicken manure because some commercial chicken feed contains arsenic.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Marginally Better Milk Maid

When we were visiting with Dave yesterday, he asked if I was hand milking Kat out each day. Apparently, the hand pump doesn't work so well this time of year. What would I do without a mentor!?

When I got home that night I milked the does until the hand pump quit, then got out the bucket. What you see above is what I got from Kat after after the pump gave out. He thinks by doing this, I'll be able to build supply back up some (if I don't give myself carpel tunnel first).

I am by no means fast at hand milking, but I am becoming more proficient.

P.S. Did I mention how bad Kat still smells after being perfumed with Eau Du Buck? If I get a buck, he's going to have to live far from the house!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Long Day for Kat

We took Kat to my friend Dave's farm to breed her with his Dwarf Nigerian buck, Buddy. She's a little worse for wear.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Glass Gem

Wow, just look at this corn. To think, most of the corn grown now is some GMO experimental bastardization of what corn could be. Here's the story about Glass Gem.

This morning, I am shelling dried pole bean seed. It's a seed from Jeff's grandfather that he called "Rattlesnake Beans". It is shocking to learn how many varieties have disappeared in the last hundred  years.

It is also scary that seed can be patented. Farmers whose fields are infected by GMO seed are found guilty of owning the seed they didn't want and didn't plant! What a world.....

Friday, September 14, 2012

CIDR Trouble

This is a CIDR. It is a hormone suppository that goes in a doe's you-know-what to bring her into heat. Inserting it isn't my favorite thing to do. Inserting it three times into the same doe is really, really not my favorite thing to do.

Somehow, each of the past two nights, Onxy (or one of her sisters) has pulled Onyx's CIDR out. This time, I cut the little knob off the end of the string in hopes they won't be able to grab ahold of it. She is wise to me now and bucks like a bronco whenever I get near her read end. I really don't want to have to do this to her again until next year!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Learning to Say "No"

I have a hard time saying no. I hate to let people down, so I tend to take on things I know I can't do well. Which ends up letting them down in the future, and ends up stressing me out in the present.

Several times a week, I deal with the ramifications of saying yes when I want to say no. Sometimes it's little stuff like "Sure, I'll sell you a half gallon of milk" even though it means I don't get to make cheese for my family. Sometimes they are bigger obligations, like the time I agreed to run the nursery at church even though I don't have the time, I am not good with kids and can't organize my way out of a paper bag. I'm dealing with one of those biggies now...

Each time, my family takes the brunt of my inability to say no. Thank you to my wonderful sister for this devotional: Please take the time to read it and please don't take it personally if I have to tell you no.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


It is finally starting to feel like fall around here. The nights are getting cooler and the days are lovely. We made a lot of progress on the barn over the last two weeks. With the help of both our dads, we got the loft built. Our next step is to build a block knee-wall at the top end to deflect water. We have the block, we just need to find someone to build it for us.

I picked the first ripe fig off my fig tree. It was small, but delicious!

I inserted a CIDR in Onyx to get her ready to breed next month. She wasn't too pleased with me. Inserting a hormone inplant in a goat's you-know-what is on my list of things I never thought I'd do.

The boys and I went to give Rudy the Watertower Rooster some food and water. All the was left of him was a pile of feathers. Poor Rudy.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Patience is a Virtue

...when it comes to cheese and mead. I made this goat gouda on April 15, 2012. We finally cut into it last night and wow, it was good! Nice texture, pleasant sharpness, good salt balance.

The only thing wrong with it at all was that the wax developed holes on a couple of edges which allowed some other molds to begin growing on the rind. It was easy to cut off and didn't affect the taste at all, but it doesn't look pretty if I were to sell it.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Water Tower Rooster

Someone decided to dump off their rooster. I'm betting it was a townie with backyard chickens who ended up with a rooster instead of a hen. I feel bad for the feathered fella. There are much better things to do with an unwanted roo than to dump him in the country for the coons and coyotes. Here are a few ideas:

1. Craigslist him. I've sold 3 roosters on Craigslist for $10 each.
2. Put an ad in the local feed stores giving away "free rooster". Someone will want him!
3. Man up and eat him yourself. What kind of life do you think he'll have scrounging for all his own food while trying not to get hit by a car or eaten by wild critters? Better to "dispatch" him quickly.

I am all for backyard chickens, but understand, sometimes roosters happen. Please have a better plan than dumping them on the side of the road.