Friday, May 14, 2021

Catching Up in Merry May

We have lots going on around Calamity Acres these days!  

Let's get started. 

A week ago, I was contacted by a friend, Tammy Potts, a local guidance counselor and long-term cat advocate.  Four years ago, I re-homed four feral kittens from one litter for her... Rusty is the sole survivor of that quartet, that I know of.  Tammy approached me to see if someone around here would take a feral kitten that had been spayed and had her shots, but was very, very frightened.  There were also odd circumstances around her landing at a local rescue, Hope Inc., in  Leavenworth.  I told Tammy I would take her myself. 

Everyone, meet Wanda. 

Wanda has tried to get me at least ten times, do not be fooled by her sweet little face.  She is seriously feral.  IF my phone was still syncing, I would be able to show you how she normally looks.... like a scared little ball of fur waiting for the next bad thing to happen to her.  She is only about six months old.  In fact, we were not sure she was going to make it, as she cowered in the straw for the first few days.  However, I have a litter box in the hen house and was happy to discover that she is using it. 
She also is making fast work of wet food, and I got her kitten food today. 
I go out and talk to her four or five times a day, and I think it is going to be a few more weeks until she can safely be released.  Then I'll keep food for her after that (IF the raccoons don't get it). 

I put a camera in the hen house two days ago, thinking it MIGHT show her moving a little, and I was so glad to see she even appears to be playing with the toys in there.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief. 

I wish we could find another feral to put with her, I think they would have a better chance. 

The Baltimore Orioles are flocking to the feeder on my deck, and I had to go buy 
four more jars of grape jelly today.  The crazy thing is, they don't stay, and I always over-buy jelly every year. 

The bird on the right (not the one in the air) is an Orchard Oriole. 

Not an Oriole. 

My squirrel friend has gone back to the tree. 

These guys are still around, in fact, they are wreaking havoc on the deck at times. 
Right now I am at the point where I leave just a little bit of food out for them at dusk, 
and that's it.  I have not seen any babies brought up yet, either on the deck cam or the 
yard cam. 

So, if I could get my phone to sync up... I could show you that I kept one chick of the 
four red... one was killed by a gigantic snake and two went to a friend.  I decided I needed flock replacements after all, and I stopped at Kansas Country Store in Leavenworth after a doctor's appointment on Monday and bought six pullets. 

These are brown egg layers, six nice pullets. 
Not losing any more to the giant snakes... I will split these three and three to grow on (when older) in my two snake-proof brooder pens. 

Nine lambs left last Friday to be sheared.  Only seven came back.  One is being kept for observation, 
one suddenly died, one whom I had been worried for.  The others are on the pasture, which I have trimmed down and will trim some more today, before the rains come for the weekend. 
I am feeding them once a day now, to supplement their grazing and fatten them up a little after their worming. 

Rusty, my grand old (four years now) man.  He is still here, still mousing in the hen houses. 

My dear, faithful Jester. 
He has just been the best dog.  I know we are both a little overweight, 
but we are happy, and that's all that matters. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

How The Heck Did We Get to May?

All of the sudden, it's MAY!

A week ago, this happened!

My helper Ben brought over nine lambs from the Smiling M, 
his home farm. 

They are little girls and boys. 

The girls will remain at the Smiling M as replacements, and the boys 
will be going to the sale as they gain weight. 

That pen is so overgrown now after a week of off and on rain, that I am going to have 
to have Ben work on it the next time he comes. 

With a really warm day (80 degrees) came the big snakes. 
This one killed one of the red chicks I saved a month ago. 
Ben and I put her in a pen in the old hen house with her sisters. 
I actually saw the snake in there and did not even fathom it would take a half-grown chick. 
I came out fifteen minutes later to find it down the snake's throat to its' shoulders, and the snake 
wrapped around it.  I picked it up and shook  it; it dropped the baby, but it was smothered. 
I took the snake outside.  There was another just as big, and a third, about half their size. 

The three surviving babies went back into their brooder cage. 
Now two have gone to another home... and I am left with one, who is currently in the 
Silkie house, but going back into the brooder cage at night. 

The silkie house. 

(The little hen house) 

How I picture my hen houses. (laughing) 

They are back!  Baltimore Oriole female through the 
front door.  

A half orange disappeared off that feeder this morning, 
I can't wait to check the two cameras I have out there

The little lamb pictured with Ben above is usually all by herself.... I am keeping an eye on her. 
She was far from her friends yesterday. 

I keep three sources of water for them, and go out several times a day to check on 

I lost one of my remaining Brown Leghorn hens two weeks ago. 
This one is acting strangely, I have only found maybe three eggs from her. 
She is spending time in nest boxes, as if she were going broody, but... that's where I found her sister dead.

Really not what you want to find first thing in the morning. 

I have lost six hens since the cold in February... 

I took the silkies in trade for the four chicks (have kept one 
chick of that four) and I think of taking in a few older chicks from 
Tractor Supply, but.... feed has gone up three dollars a bag across the board. 
I'm waiting to see how things shake out.  I honestly don't know how 
people (Like I used to be) who have multiple species and large flocks are doing it right now. 

This is the tub where I dumped a "Wildflower Mix" last summer. 

I let it re-seed itself, and LOOK!  

I won't be seeing this much longer. 

They will have to stay on their side of the yard once all the planters are planted. 

How we watch tv in the evenings :-) 

We all have the best dog in the world. 

Jester is my good friend, and this is how we try to end our days.