Posts Tagged With: farm animals

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning

So it was 54F when I went out this morning. Oh such a wonderful feeling as this summer it has often already been in the 80s when I go out. The sun was just coming up and it was crystal clear. I do want to remember this one.

I posted before about a morning in October of last year. A few things have changed since then. The sun wasn’t quite as high yet for pictures and not as far south so it didn’t show as soon. Candy has had a few companions as we have fostered horses. She alas doesn’t care for the constant change so now has a companion that the odds of getting adopted are slim and none. Four of the heifers went to auction and one to freezer camp. Yep, we eat beef almost exclusively for meat here at home now. Mark is loving having a steak anytime he wants one. Lastly, there are now additions to the farm that weren’t here last year. So lets head out.

The temperatures this week have made the tank a sight to enjoy each morning.

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Early morning at the tank

Once I get what I need from the house the first order is to give the chickens their bit of feed. They will come running when their door opens. Despite the fact they free range all day and eat lots of bugs and plants, they do like their feed as well. So a little bit gets spread about ten birds.

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I have gone to just throwing their feed on the ground

Then it is head to the barn and give Candy and Poppy their feed. They get a special one each morning and afternoon that helps with growing old (for Poppy). They will be nearby and Candy will holler as soon as she knows I’m close. She does love her feed and will guard and steal what she can. Mark met, a couple weeks ago, the first gal to ever foster Candy back several years. She said she came in with a major food protection attitude. Tells a bit about where she came from and her old situation. We feed them in their new stalls out back of the barn. The gates stay open unless Candy is being testy and then the gates close till they are done. Candy did well today except that when I went to muck out Poppy’s side (why do they poop in there? They have a few acres to spread the wealth.) Both horses were in there together. Not the best situation for me to enter.

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Enjoying Breakfast. Candy on the left. Poppy the right.

Now the sheep were already grazing halfway up the rise to the upper paddock. That didn’t keep them from knowing I was about and down they came running. They love their alfalfa. We had an health issue with them. Not serious to most, but as you can see, Ruth was the one that had to make a vet visit. She even ended up overnight at the vet’s who thought she would probably be dead in the morning. Alas, they didn’t know what good blood she did have in her. She surprised them by morning and has been getting back on top of life ever since. Alas, if you have a sheep with ulcers over both eyes (part of her trouble), do you think it is easy to catch her now that she is feeling back on top of life and put cream in her eyes? Think again. Easy at first when she was slow and not able to see well. But I dare you to try and catch her now. She can even keep quite the vigilance while eating and can see the wires of the fence so doesn’t run into it any more. But, back to the flock, they do get alfalfa each day to help build them up more, and at this point they would probably kill for their alfalfa. So here they are waiting for mom to finish with the horses and get on to more important beings to feed.

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Tabby also waiting with her charges. Yes, Ruth is there looking worse for wear but doing quite well. The camelid look is compliments of loosing wool but still having a bunch on her rear.

Tabby took on a new roll this morning that mom likes. She didn’t allow chickens to come near the sheep or her feeding areas. No chickens allowed to share the wealth. I have shooed chickens away (they really like alfalfa and have been giving Tabby’s food a try as well. Omnivores they are.) But I doubt too many of them will challenge her as they do me. A flurry of feathers as they skedaddle through the fence to make a try for horse droppings instead. Hopefully soon, Mark is going to make a feed trough to make this chore a bit better for all concerned.

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Yummy! Scoop is on ground as I tried to catch Ruth, but no one’s sticking their finger in her eyes today if she can help it. I didn’t press the issue. Try again later.

Next Tabby has been waiting ever so patiently. She gets a bit of meat to go with her dog food each morning. Food is a great friend. She does go under the gate and visit the tank, so hence the dirty feet.

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Am I next?

I will have to admit to taking several sheep pictures at this point. Who wouldn’t but then I headed to the upper paddock and loved the view. The moon has been lovely the last few early mornings when getting Mark out the door. By this time it was sitting above the trees with the sun shining brightly on all. But then it was time to head over to the chicken coop and see about it. Fun! One of the Barred Rocks just laid an egg. Still warm. So took it in for breakfast. If you haven’t had an egg fried very over easy that is less than hours old. You haven’t lived. The yolk is ever so creamy. As in creamy goodness. As in never had anything like it before with an egg goodness. Nothing like the old things you get in the grocery store.

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Gift in the nesting box. Thank you!

So after going inside and feeding the dogs there, they always have to wait ever so patiently on everyone else to get fed first; it is my turn (I might add that I often have first breakfast and second breakfast in the mornings. This was actually second breakfast for me today.) That new fresh egg went in the skillet and oh was it good.

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Cook it on the bottom well and then flip to just harden up the whites on top a few seconds, and you will have creamy yolk heaven.

Now one must move on to other things. But what a way to start the day.

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Categories: Bent Oak Farm, Fiber, Gulf Coast Native Sheep | Tags: , | Leave a comment

A Romantic Morning in the Country

I do have projects going but nothing at the moment to add to my memories as far as they go. But the last two mornings, I took the camera out with me on morning chores and thought I would share the romantic mornings I have. Now of course I am using that word “romantic” half tongue in check. It is work and getting out early and mucking out and stuff. But all in all, I really love my mornings outside with all the animals.

My first job is to get feed out for Candy and Mani. Without a word to me my dear husband joined Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society. I found out the day he told me we could be fostering horses by that evening. Well, despite an initial OH DEAR ME OH MY?! I immediately went online and bought a couple of books and got ready for them. We both have ridden many times – but actually care for them? Another ballgame. We soon had Candy dropped off to us (not the same day as I learned of this venture, thankfully) and a bit later then came Thor to join us. This past weekend was the big adoption expo. Thor was adopted by a family who does train horses which is good for him. He was beyond our means to know how to handle. Candy, though, refused to get in the trailer to go and as Mark had wanted to adopt her since the first day she came, she got to stay and is officially ours now. At the end of the expo we had another horse dropped off to foster. A sweetheart named Mani (hate the name though) who is 21 years old. Has a leg problem so can’t be ridden but makes a great companion. So Candy is not alone now. (She didn’t handle Thor leaving well at all.)

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Mani and some hens

As the early hours begin I go and get feed out for them and soon after, the door of the chicken coop opens and the hens start scattering about in the direction of the horses. They have learned that horses drop a bit of food and it is good scavangering under their feeding. Neither horse is bothered by them, and they are smart enough to move when the horses do.

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Sun just rising over the upper paddock.

Now I get out there before the sun is actually over the edge of our property. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t up for the area though. We are in a small dip and from up above the sun is well on its way with the day. I do enjoy seeing it come up in cloud, fog, clear mornings. Yesterday was foggy but today all clear.

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Candy finished eating and waiting on Mani

So at this time the horses are fed, the chickens are free ranging. I’ve counted hens. Looked over horse. Mucked out what needed mucked out where they eat. And I have turned on the hose to fill the trough that is at the barn. This trough isn’t just for horses and heifers though. I think the hens use it more than the waterer at their coop.

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After a long night it is time for a drink.

The hens do provide lots of entertainment around here and if you don’t have any, you should get some. Many cities allow backyard hens and if I was back in a city, I would have some, though since we free range I’d feel sorry for them being stuck in a small area. These guys travel and have fun while doing it. Always something going on. Well, unless it is still a hot Texas fall (Fall where did you go? I would really like some cool to cold weather.) and they roost in the big bushes during the afternoons.

I might add though that this trough has become a frog nursery. There are millions, evangelistically speaking, baby ones all around here. I actually think home is underneath it as it sits a bit crooked.

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One of the big ones.

Just yesterday I actually saw larger ones than the tiny ones. So here is one I got a picture of. When we clean out the trough and surroundings, I hope it discourages them a bit.

Back to farm animals, the heifers soon came over and joined us. They don’t beg for food in the mornings anymore since they only get extra in the afternoons, but this morning they came in close (Spooking the horses once.) and decided they needed to eat some of the hay that is available. Yes, we are dry and the pastures are a bit sparser than I’d like to see them. We will probably need to get hay soon.

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Why are you disturbing breakfast?

The five heifers are doing well. They mostly are still laying about in the early morning but sometimes get with the job of eating before I leave for the house.

After all is done at the barn, I put everything back and head for the chicken coop. Fun to watch the chickens around the wood pile. This must be one of their best opportunities for critter eating. They spend a lot of time here and that is fine by me. I like the idea that they’ve taken care of anything before I go up those stairs.

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King of the Mountain

Sometimes they all rush after me back towards the house as I refresh their water and check on their supplemental food. They do get some from us and aren’t totally dependent on what they find to eat. So check the coop, water, food and the animals are dealt with. Well, almost.

Many days I also wash down the coop, water plants, take care of things in the yard. But when all is said and done, I try to remember one last thing before going inside.

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The last washing up.

You never know what all is on your wellies when heading back inside. I always wear them to the barn. Then I don’t worry about what I step in or what can get in my shoes. So they must get a good washing down so that I don’t groan when I see their spot by the door full of who knows what that has fallen off.

But back to that – Well almost. When all outside critters are dealt with, I do still have to feed Sam and Mattie breakfast. I don’t think some mornings they like being last. I guess that is the problem of being the domestic animals of the place.

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Is it our turn yet?

Someday these days will be over and I will miss them. I hope that day is well in the future, but for now here is a note of what it is like in early in the morning in my peaceful corner of the world.

 

 

Categories: Bent Oak Farm, Fiber | Tags: , | 10 Comments

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