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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I have noticed the last two days am seeing more sightings of coyotes or even a lone wolf. It makes me wonder why are they out so early in the evening. Is it breeding season or are they having a difficult time finding food and water. We have had very cold air these last few days.
It is not that unusually to see coyotes during the day because they are opportunistic. It is also calving time in many areas of Kansas. Mr. Gadget told me someone shot about 9 that were harassing his cows the other day.
We do not own a lot of property so I fence to keep them out as much as possible. I also believe that you should make an effort to protect you animals without needing to kill the predators. If you kill one others will come to take their place unless you make them extinct.
My front pasture in very secure with cattle panel that is at least 5 feet tall. I have never seen a coyote in the area but I have seen them trying to find a way in. They could climb the fence but then they are in an open area which would be hard to escape. Coyotes do not like to take a lot of effort and so more on to easier prey.
Other than using cattle panel constructing fence at least 5-1/2 feet high, using 4”x6” or smaller woven or welded wire fencing, and place a barbed wire across the top and bottom of the fence is a good tactic. The no- climb horse fence is one of the best fences out there but it is expensive. I use it around my chicken coop and have never seen even a raccoon or skunk in the area. The other pasture fencing I use woven goat fence. The barbed wire will prevent the coyotes from being able to jump over, or dig under the fence.
Using Donkeys, guard dogs, llamas is another useful technique. One sheep owner in Colorado sets up an electric fence area to keep his sheep at night with a guard dog. He said, he has never had any attacks with this technique.
Please head over to these two Intriguing writers.
Study God’s Word
Ready Set, Done!
Dogs will be dogs….. Dogs will be dogs….. Return Address
Oh, Mrs. Owner, I know how you’re stress. I have a very high canine predatory instinct so I just can’t resist.
Squeaky toys, balls, birds or any objects dragged along the floor elicit stalker, chasing, pouncing or bites. I just can’t leave the cat alone so I suppose crating will be frequent. So I will stalk, chase, and bite the arms, legs and pant legs of humans I see. I will likely continue this behavior all my life, you will see. I am a hunting dog, though and though. It is my life ampition to hunt and chew. So protect the kitties and critters forever. For they will be a victims of my chasing forever.
Very annoyed cat . Tale wagging so fast it is a blur on the left.
Hunting break time
For the short trip to the new brooder in the barn I put them in the box they arrived in. My have they grown. When they arrived the only fitted into half of the box.
Today I was not sure if there would be anything new to write and then I saw the little fleshy growth. It is not much but very like the teenage who gets a few little whiskers. A few chicks are now sprouting a little chicken fashion statement with a little comb beginning. Usually roosters get them first so it looks like I will be having a few chicken meals in the future.
I see little tails coming out today. They still peep, peep and a few chirps but soon the should change. They are also getting a lot more flighty and panic when I change the water and food. I am sure Little man is not being helpful in the aspect since he wants to pound on the container they are in. He knocked the light down on this today. the chick in front is a Production Red, The dark on in the back is a Silver Laced Wayndotte. The one on the side of him with head up is a Welsummer.
You can start telling that some are roosters by their stance even at such a young age. He should be crowing soon. He did not want to stand still at all so hence the fuzzy picture.