Sunday, October 27, 2013

A tale of 4 roosters

Since he was attacked back in June, Mr. Roo has been improving, but slowly. Then just last week after I returned from my NJ visit, I noticed he was looking worse than ever. I took some photos to show the vet, but I won't post them here because he looks so awful. Vet says he has a respiratory infection. It was so bad they did not think he would recover, so I was prepared to send him off to meet his maker on Tuesday morning (with the help of Don on the Hill, AKA the Terminator).

But Tuesday morning comes around and there is Rooty Toot out in the coop looking all healthy and eating and drinking like normal. Some of the girls were in there with him, I think to protect him. They told him this was his only chance to make himself look good...

So I went to the vet and picked up the antibiotics that may or may not cure him, but at least now he has a fighting chance. He is in the garage in Chicken Hospital, under the heat lamp with his food and medicated water. He is standing tall and looking pretty proud of himself.

I think we will take this opportunity to move the 3 "baby" roosters back to the real coop. That way there won't be any competition for Roo until he's back to his fighting weight—he was awfully thin when I picked him up to carry him back to the hospital!

Now the little boys will only have to defend themselves against the big girls!

Be nice, big girls!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Heading to NJ for the weekend

Going "back home" to visit with Little Sister and Jersey Girl. I took 92 photos this afternoon, hoping to get a few good ones. I did, but have no time to process them. So I leave you with a single photo of one of my 3 handsome baby roosters. Take note of all the apples on the ground. The ones that got away... The smell is absolutely delicious!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Three little pigs aren't so little after all!

We picked up the 3 new piggies, 6 weeks old, this morning from Tammy, our pig breeder in Smyrna. The second photo is of the 3 of them in the back of the haywagon (the CR-V). The 2 lucky ones got to ride in comfort in the dog crate. We thought it would be big enough for all 3, but these little piggies must have been eating up a storm because they are much larger than the ones that we picked up last year and the year before. Poor little black piggy had to be stuffed in the cat crate on the right...

As usual we had a tough time picking names for them, but we decided on Alice, Nora, and Irving for a few of our favorite authors. (Up to you to guess which authors we named them for...) Alice is the mostly red one, Nora the black one with pink go-go boots in the front, and Irving, the only boy, has the most white and the most spots.

I got out of work a little bit early yesterday due to some computer virus at the newspaper office. I came home and tried to fix up the pig shed in time for their arrival today. I got about 4 nails hammered in when I must have disturbed a wasp nest. Even though I got stung twice, I am happy that we found out before we had all the little babes in there. As much as I don't like using insecticides, there's nothing like a good can of wasp spray when you need it!

Pigs are settling in nicely. Goats are curious about their new neighbors. Dogs just went out for a walk with us and checked out the newbies.

For the first time ever, I just noticed while we were out there that 2 of the older hens were lying down in the shade with our 3 young roosters. The young ones are still in the "baby coop" at night, but young and old hang out back here by the house for most of the day. They are all free ranging together.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Bushels of apples and picking up those little piggies

Last week, we (mostly I) picked 10 bushels of apples and sold them to the Fly Creek Cider Mill to use for making "a special batch" of hard cider. I had planned to bring them (reluctantly for reasons I won't mention here) to Dyn's Cider Mill, just up the road from us, but when I found out they charge $3 per gallon of cider to press our apples, and they need a minimum of 7 bushels, it seemed like a waste of picking effort (and apples). I can buy local cider for $3.99 a gallon.

The box in the photo is exactly one bushel. I found out that the easiest way to measure is to pick them in 5-gallon buckets. 2 buckets=1 bushel.

This was quite a banner year for apples here, and I probably could still pick another 20 bushels from our property, but it gets a little difficult when you get all the low-hanging apples from the close and easy trees, and then have to venture into the weedy, goldenrod-infested wild territory.

So we made $50 for easy pickins, and then I spent $20 of that in their store before I left.

I did, at least, find out that our wild apples are not all that wild, and at least some of them are probably Northern Spy apples.

I also cooked up my first batch of homemade apple butter, and am quite proud of the results! Yum!

Next weekend we pick up those baby pigs from the last post. More pics to follow!