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~ Dreamy abstraction in Four Square House on the Pairie

Category: Barnyard (page 1 of 2)

Corn and Soybean Time

It has been difficult to plant this year with all the rain. Yesterday, I planted some higher beds to  flint corn, peas and soybeans. These will provide some food and biomass for compost in the future. The peas will also help provide soil conditioning. I am hoping that I do  not cause too many problems working such wet soil but I am really need to get the seeds in the ground before it get really hot.   It rained again last night so it might be a couple of more days before I am able to plant some more.  This rain is helping the new plants in the food forest and the hedge row plantings.  I must admit it is nice not to have to drag a hose around to water all of them.

I  worked with the two donkeys some more today. I try to spend at least 15 minutes per day at least with the hoofs and on the halter.  I still need to work of getting the halter training done and the desire to run off when they see the halter. It will be a while before that happens. I have also been working on hoof care. The mother is doing better with the lifting of the hoofs but the little one is not willing to have the hoofs touched. I have worked slowly with a twisted rope to lift the little hoofs up.


Don’t Name Livestock


Ram scent



A prevalence message this saturday at  K-State Sheep Producer Day was to avoid naming your animals. It could not be father from the truth. I was never one to want to name my animals but other family members could not resist.  After developing  a strong attachment to your animals on a personal level it makes it harder to make good judgment on culling out undesirable and problem animals.

If you are farming for profit and animals are animals  not living up to your expectations they need to be culled from your herd. A poor mother, animals that does not produce offsprings are candidates for removing from you farm.

Get rid of them while you are mad at them.

~Alan Culham

If you had to bottle feed a poor mother again this is the time to get rid of her now. Do it now before you change your mind.

Now I believe giving every ewe a  chance. I had a first time mother that had a huge lamb that ended up requiring an assisted birth and  Mr. Gadget suggested sending her to a processor. I disagreed since it was her first and a very difficult birth. I want to give her another chance. It it happens again then she will have to go. having too large of lambs with birthing issues is another problem you do not want to deal with.

I also have a beautiful ewe (above) that was a botttle fed lamb. Tinkerbell  is really friendly and beautiful but If she does not end up lambing this spring I will only give her one more chance.


Keep the Bugs Away with Essential Oils

bugs away

News has come out with the discovery of a new virus called the Bourbon virus. It is named after Bourbon County, where the patient had lived.  It is not known if Bourbon virus was the cause of death or how much it contributed to the resident’s death but the discovery makes another reason to be concerned with tick carried viruses. Right now we are not in the tick season but it is still possible for it to get warm enough for ticks to come out and the deer tick can be active in the winter as long as it is above freezing.  So if you are in tall grass of bushy areas you should be concerned.

Last year I did not get one tick and found very few on the dogs. This was from keeping as much mowed down in the property as possible, treating my clothing as much as possible with  Permethrin and using an essential oil treatment. When I was not going to be in areas that were likely to be heavy in these insects and wanting to keep the mosquitoes away I used an essential oil treatment on my skin and clothing. This worked very well for 30 minutes before needing to reapply for mosquitoes control. I liked being able to something without deet when in the Garden and around the barn.  I made up a mixture using the Rocky Mountain Oils’ Bug Off! mixed with water and whiskey.  You can also use witch hazel or apple cider vinegar to make this mixture. I have used apple cider vinegar to help keep flies off large animals but next year I will add the oils to get even better results.

This is how I make the Bug repellent.

  • Fill  8 oz. spray bottle 1/2 full with distilled or boiled water
  • Add witch hazel, whiskey or apple cider vinegar to fill almost to the top
  • Add 1/2 tsp vegetable glycerin, if desired
  • Add 30-50 drops of essential oils to desired scent.  If I do not use a premade mixture such as Bug Off! I add a mixture of oil to make my own mix.  My personal favorite mix is: Rosemary, Cedarwood, Clove, Lavender, Cinnamon and Eucalyptus.  This mixture works great and smells good too!

Bug Off!: Citronella, Cedarwood, Lavender, Peppermint (India), Eucalyptus radiata, Eucalyptus citriodora, Thyme, and Lemongrass.


Stress Busting Hustling

Ram scent

I Smell Something


I used to mow paths through the wood lot and other places for quick walks. Walking is a astonishing stress buster for me. I learned this a long time ago from a former supervisor who took me for a walk one time when I was upset. This was when I was just nearly an adult ending my teen years. Since them I have found walks very useful.

Now it is more difficult to take short walks in the woods or pasture area due to the need to keep a watch for Brutus. Brutus is a large ram with a tendency to want to ram you. Rams seem to get a lot of excitement from ramming each other and sometimes other things. Shortly after this picture was taken I saw the stance. He was eyeing me and getting really to ram me. I had a stick in my hand so he quickly turned when he noticed it. They can be very dangerous.  Just want the boxing bag below to see how high the ram sends it up in the air.

My plan for Brutus in the spring is to become lamb chops and other products. Just waiting on those lambs.


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