Good. Gravy. Gert.
I have spent a week, literally, thinking I was locked out of our blog, and lamenting it to everyone near and far.
Guess what? All I had to do was log into BLOGGER, not my own blog link. Duhhhhhh.
Last Sunday, I changed my blog to reflect some of the new dynamic views. I actually like some of them very much, but when I tried to go back and post Sunday's post, I could not get back in. I let the whole week go by (trying to use the link on our computer) and this afternoon, have sat down and thought about and went to www.blogger.com, and was able to log in as if nothing had ever happened.
Sometimes the easiest way is the only way.
We have had a very hard week here. Those of you up north will laugh when I complain about the cold, but it has been hard here this week. Doing chores in low temps in the dark in the morning makes you wonder why you are keeping so many chickens. Next winter, by hook or by crook, the little henhouse will be out of commission for the winter. We cannot put a heated waterer base in there, and it is very, very hard on the birds. We do have a red heat lamp going in there now, and the inside dwellers are rarely leaving the pool of warmth it provides. The hardier Welsummers, Rocks, Silkies and the two Naughty Girls are going outside, though. The waterers outside freeze again by 10 AM, if they have time before the starlings drink everything in them. Starling poop is everywhere, on everything, and the smell is disgusting. We are going through layer pellets like gold chips.
16% layer pellets are now 10.10 for fifty pounds at our feed store, actually having gone down a bit.
50 pounds of Snickers Senior, which is a horse feed we are currently feeding the llamas because they dropped the sheep feed we were buying, is 12.20 per bag. To give a comparison, at Tractor Supply (where I love to shop) Dumor, Purina and Nutrena are all 14.95 a bag for 50 lbs of layer pellets. Llama chow is actually 17.99 per bag. Yes, it's all about economics.
We were buying a simple back yard bird feed from TSC for 9.99 a bag for 35 pounds. It has gone to 11.99. To this mix I would add peanuts at 11.99 per ten pounds from our feed store, and some black oil I would get at Wal Mart, where it was cheapest. I make ten pounds of peanuts last for two weeks.
Now we have gone back to buying Backyard Blend from our feed store, Valley Feeds in Bonner Springs, Kansas, because even though it is 19.99 for 40 pounds, it has a good blend in it and really doesn't need anything added. They actually have a premium backyard blend for quite a lot more, but it's beyond our reach at this point. I am buying suet from either TSC for 99 cents to 1.39, or at Wal Mart (for about the same).
Our brome hay, because we are buying a small amount at a time, is costing us 6.00 a bale, and we notice that the feed store is NOT getting good hay now, and has warned us they will not have hay a couple of months from now We tried to stock up and have about 14 bales now in the little haybarn. This latest bale I opened this week does not smell as good as the previous, and I notice the llamas are not eating it with as much relish.
This morning it was 14 out when I went out to do chores, and 20 when I took eggs to the food kitchen. On the way back, after a ten minute stop at the little store in Tongie, it dropped to 19 and then to 18. BRRRRRR. I can see through the window that some of the birds from the big henhouse are coming out into the pasture, since I have left their entrance open all week. Lilly is out there, laying in wait if some bird comes too close to the perimeter fence.
This doghouse is in Butch's old pen, and there is a reason that Three the old rooster is standing there.
This tiny little hen, from the same hatch as Teeny, is using it daily to lay her egg. Yes, I have to crawl on hands and knees to get it.
Keith will kill me for this one, but here he is at noon after doing some errands, taking a nap with Gertie and Abby. They love their daddy. He drove many miles this week to meetings in Topeka, and then yesterday to meetings in downtown KCMO and other places. Doing chores in the cold and stumbling around in the dark take it's toll on you.
This little girl is at my feet:
Yes, Hannah is still with us. She has just about recovered from the enucleation, but the jury is still out. She is having a very hard time, and we think has now lost 99% of her hearing. The vet, after checking her this week, said he thinks she could still tell light from dark before, and now sees only black. She will cross the kitchen, come to a corner, and simply stand in the corner, waiting for someone to rescue her. Twice this week she nearly fell off the bed, and finally, Wednesday morning, I woke to find her on the floor by the dresser. I am now crating her during the day, and also, now, at night, so that she and I both get some sleep. She is the dearest, sweetest little girl, but we are both thinking now that it is not fair to her for the way she is living. We're trying to make a decision based on her needs, not ours. We have noticed now she is "snugglier" where before she slept near us, but not against us. Anchoring herself is probably helping her.
I have chicken breasts to fix for dinner tonight, so am going to stop now and go look at recipes. I did see a good one this morning on the television for chicken salad, so am keeping that in the back of my mind. Sometime this week, or perhaps next weekend, we are going to have brisket, which we do rarely. Yummm!
Did anyone make the Cheeseburger Salad I wrote about last Saturday? It is SO good! I love the Pioneer Woman and I love her recipes.