Monday, November 27, 2006
We've lost two more chickens, a Buff Orpington and Gobble our bustled Rhode Island Red. We decided to look at a livestock guardian dog, and were considering a rescued Pyr/Anatolian Shepherd, but we decided the size might be too much for us. So, we looked at the English Shepherd. They look like they have the qualities of what we need in a dog, herding, guarding and hunting. We went to Shreveport on Saturday and brought home Doc Hudson, Doc for short. You can see more photos at http://s38.photobucket.com/albums/e128/jausenclaus/Doc%20Hudson
Here is one of him and John.
Friday, November 03, 2006
In my last post, I posted photos of the chickens that we had lost. Since that time, we lost 2 of our oldest ducks to a early morning raccoon attack. This happened on October 6. The next day we hatched a lone duckling. He/she is doing great and is cute as a button, hence the name. Here is Button the day after hatching.
Note, the pan he is in for his bath is the pan he was in right after he hatched.
Other bird updates
All of our original hens are of laying age now. This week we had one day of 12 eggs. Chickens need about 14 hours of daylight to lay eggs, and each egg takes about 24-26 hours to process. So, with the days getting shorter, our egg production will be getting less. Hubby is looking for sources to sell the extra eggs to, so if anyone's is interested, we do periodically have eggs available. Right now all are brown eggs, except for two hens that lay light green eggs.
Our latest batch of chicks, 44 total, are living in cages in the garage. With the cooler weather, we haven't decided the best time to integrate them with the flock. The cages are too big for the hen house, but we could have enough room if we were to add more roosts. The outdoor pens will be too cool for the the chicks. So, for now they're in the garage. We've only lost one chick out of the group, but we do have one that is having problems, not sure what, possibly neurological.
One last comment. We have some really goofy geese. They have learned to fly and have made it out of our fence. But, they are too "dumb" or "stupid" to figure out how to get back in. They are alot of fun to watch and seeing them fly is wonderful, but we may have to be clipping some wings sometime in the future.
Guess that's all for now.
John started Awana with a friend of his this past September. He seems to really be enjoying it, and was so proud on the first night when he got his vest. To get the vest, the children have to memorize the core scriptures and lessons that Awana teaches. Here is a photo of him in his new vest.
Halloween was pretty eventful for John this year. His school had a party and a fall festival, and on Halloween night we attended the festival we've gone to every Halloween since he was two. This year, my mom went with us. Here's a photo of her and "Spiderman".
Five more years.....until AARP!
Yes, that's right, five more years to the big 5-0. It doesn't seem possible. I don't feel this old, but its here. My body does seem to be feeling it though, just ask the family. I guess that's all for today.
Monday, September 18, 2006
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Hubby's 56th birthday was on Friday. On Wednesday, we drove to Cameron, Texas to pick up an order of Delaware chicks. They joined our week old "Rainbow Pullet" group from Meyer Hatchery. Because we had so many roosters, the plan was to buy more girls to keep the boys happy and also to sell farm fresh eggs. They are all adorable. That night, Hubby found evidence of the demise of Thomasina and Salvador Dali (formerly Dahlia, until he underwent a sex change).
Saturday, we celebrated Hubby's birthday and had a really good time. When it came time to put the chickens to bed, we couldn't find Willie (a gold laced Wyandotte, aka Rockstar). Hubby found him a few minutes later. He'd been killed and it was still light outside. It made us rethink what had happened with Thomasina. Maybe she was actually attacked instead of hiding from the boys.
This morning, we patrolled the area to see if there was any evidence of problems from the night before. As I was rounding the corner, I found Mr. French (Buff Orpington). It was a terrible sight. I won't go into what it looked like. I let the birds out, then couldn't find one of the ducks. So I looked for her, and finally found her. But, about 30 minutes later, Hubby found the body of one of my favorite girls, Lacy (gold laced wyandotte). Lacy was low girl on the totem pole. She was just starting to finish feathering out, it had taken a long time. She also like to ride the backs of the sheep and spent a lot of time in and around our garage. She will be sorely missed.
Well, the day just got worse and worse. John woke up feeling bad, so it was an at home day for him. I still don't know what was really bothering him. Around 12:00 noon, it started raining and rained off and on for hours. The ducks have a new pond behind the barn that they can actually swim in, pools of water everywhere and mud like quicksand. To top it off, the pen that we've been keeping the chickens in (a large dog kennel with tarp) is collapsing under the weight of the water on the tarp. If we have any more rain tonight, it might be totally collapsed tomorrow. Because of this, we spent over an hour running around in the rain, through the pools and quicksand rounding up chickens to put them in the barn overnight. Most of that time was with just about 3 or 4 chickens. Have you ever tried to run or walk with mud over the top of your shoes chasing a wet chicken. We're lucky that neither of us fell in the mud.
So, this was our week and our day. I sure hope it drys out some tomorrow.
Have a good week!
Sunday, September 03, 2006
We also had our first round of swim lessons. John did well, even went down the slide twice on the last day into 12 feet water. But, he needs to work on some things, including his concentration and paying attention. Here are a couple of photos of him at swim class and with the slide. We also bought one of those Easy Set pools at a discount and put it up after his swim lessons. He was delayed in being able to use it because he developed Scarlet Fever right after the swim lessons ended.
Coop is under construction
Well, we finally are going to have a more permanent home for the chickens. Hubby has been working hard at it, but with the heat we've had the past month, it has taken longer than expected. But, the door and ramp went on today. We just need to finish the interior wallboards, paint and trim. We also have to figure out the best way to treat the floor. I took a number of photos of the chickens, ducks and geese today and will post them in photobucket, hopefully tomorrow.
Here's the link for now. http://s38.photobucket.com/albums/e128/jausenclaus/.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Updates: I've been putting up blinds, pictures and have been searching for the right drapes for a couple of rooms. Besides the mess, the house is becoming to look like a home. We have 16 new baby quail (week old) and another sick bird in the house. One of the adult quail had an eggbinding episode and prolapse. Not pretty, I won't go into details, but I'm surprised she's still alive.
Goldie, our chicken that was attacked by a hawk is now a full fledged hen. We have a very small light green egg from her. So we now have green and brown eggs. Her "sisters" should start laying soon too.
I haven't done anything at the old house lately. Stuff keeps happening for me to use as excuses, but the main thing is, its depressing to go over there, and quite overwhelming. I enjoy being in the new house, so it makes it harder to drive the 30 miles to work over there, eve though I'm there usually for other reasons.
For those of you who know my mom, she took a fall at Denny's about a month ago and broke the bone in her arm that goes into her shoulder. It's been pretty painful for her, but she seems to be on the mend.
We have our first "party" next week. My book club is meeting here. It will be the first time in about 10 years I've been able to host book club in my home. We're reading books that pertain to chickens, Still Life with Chickens by Catherine Goldhammer, Enslaved by Ducks by Bob Tarte or Hen and the Art of Chicken Maintenance by Martin Gurdon. I gave the girls a choice between the three. It ought to be interesting discussion. And no, we're not having chicken or lamb for dinner.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
John and I can actually pet the lambs. We started giving them grasses through the fence, and they will now come when we call. The two boys love having the ears and noses scratched. The largest lamb, Napoleon, even comes up the fence to "hug" me and ask for more. Last night, we got them to eat grass from our hands inside the pen. This is another big conquest, usually they run from us.
Goldie, our Americauna/Easter Egger/Araucana pullet who was injured in a suspected hawk attack, ran up to me the other day and squatted for me to pick her up. This is the first time any of the chickens have done this because they wanted to. We have a few that like to be picked up, but it is usually not their idea, its ours.
Snakes! We've found two snakes, possibly poisonous (Copperhead?) in the past 4 days. The first one was curled up in the nest box (cat box top) that we use for the chickens. It looked like a blackened banana peel. I was looking inside for eggs and saw it. Charles came and "took care" of it. What is really scary is that John likes to pick these up when a chicken or duck is inside. He could easily have done that and might have been bitten. Last night, I was getting ready to put John to bed and Charles was watering trees. I heard him yelling and waving his arms. He said there was a snake (he said rattle) and wanted me to get his gun. I hate guns and don't want John any where near them, but here I was running with a loaded shotgun out the front door, through the chicken pen to give him the shotgun. He said he almost stepped on it. Pretty scary. He wasn't sure it was poisonous, possibly a Copperhead or maybe just a rat snake. It was bigger than the one on Sunday. Definitely scary. The scariest part is that both John and I were walking in this area a lot on Saturday and Sunday.
Tuffy has finally found the cat door from the kitchen to the breezeway. He's been going out there a few times this morning. So that's another first. He and Tiger also escaped last night during the ruckus with the snake. If John hadn't seen Tiger outside, we would not have known to look for Tuffy.
And the last first. Yesterday marked the first anniversary of the fire at the Biblical Arts Center. The Dallas Morning News had an article about what the future has in store. They plan to rebuild it. In a former life, the BAC was where I enjoyed the best job of my career. It always felt like a mission to create the exhibits and work with the artists there. Now the office that I worked from is probably nonexistant. It was right behind the large Miracle at Pentecost painting. Charles and I loved the place so much that we were married there on May 9, 1998.
This might not be considered a first, but was really sweet and cute. It was the first time we saw anything like this. One of our 7 week old goslings (Toulouse) was "kissing" or nipping the female lamb, Josephine, this morning. It looked so sweet. Well, Louis (Josephine's twin) got jealous and put a stop to it. But it was really neat while it was happening
Well, I guess that's all for now. Just thought I'd share.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Wow, it's been over a month since I posted the last message. Not much has changed, but we are adjusting to life on the farm. All three of us look forward to being with the birds and the sheep. When I was first approached about having chickens and ducks, I thought my husband was crazy. He even mentioned wanting to have 50 of the things. I thought maybe 2 or 3 would be fine. But, once we got into it and I joined a few Yahoo groups and started really looking at them, I got hooked. Now, I'm not sure we have enough! There are so many different types of chickens out there it is amazing. And personality, wow. You just don't know what its like until you experience it.
So, each evening our highlight of the night is sitting in the chicken pen watching the chickens run and chase grasshoppers, chase birds, see ducks swimming in their pool. All I can say is I feel peace and I look forward to this every evening. I am planning to post some new photos in photobucket, or here on the blog, but I need to resize them for display, so it may take a few days. I'll just give a teaser right now, a picture of John with our 5 week old Toulouse goose, and some other goofy photos of John enjoying life. (I was just able to add these today, 6/25/06. Here is the photobucket link for future photos: http://s38.photobucket.com/albums/e128/jausenclaus/).
We've had another supposed hawk attack. One of our Americauna/Aracauna/Easter Egger chicken was attacked about a week after Dax. But, we've been able to nurse her back to health. She sleeps inside at night, but we let her out with the others when we can be there to watch her. Because she's bare backed, she stands more chances of being attacked by the other chickens. We've lost a few quail, both to heat and escape. We did lose Ethel, the mom of most of our quail. And we also lost one of our Gold Laced Wyandotte chicks.
The sheep are slowly letting us touch them. As long as little mister is not around, I can actually put my hands on the face of the largest lamb. We've named them, Napoleon, Louis and Josephine. Kind of goes along with being French sheep (Rambouillet). We haven't named many of the chicks who are now 6 weeks old. The Buff Orpington rooster is Mr. French, and we plan to name his girls, Buffy, Jody, Sissy and Mrs. Beasely. But, we haven't come up with names for the Black Australorps or Gold Laced Wyandottes. A few of the ducks have names, but not many. We have Mud Duck (the only brown one), Cha Cha (a tall solid black duck, possibly a runner), Daphne (female Rouen or Mallard). The older chickens are Thomasina, Henrietta, Missy and Mollie (Barred Rock), Greta and Gobble (Rhode Island Red), and Merry and Goldie (we were told Araucana, but probably Easter Egger or Americauna).
Well, guess that's all for now.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
We set out new pens tonight to give the chickens and ducks more space, and boy do they enjoy it. It was great fun to see the ducks splashing around, with everyone having a good time. But, I noticed that the sheep were acting funny and hadn't eaten much. This is very unusual for them. Our littlest dog, Dax, had really seemed to enjoy the farm. He even liked the sheep and went straight up to them, slept near them, etc. Today, he was sleeping in the yard, or we thought he was. Something didn't seem right, so I went over to check him and found out that he was dead. We're not sure what happened, we think its possible that a hawk might have caught him, or maybe the sheep did something to him. Anyway, we are now without a wonderful little dog who overcame a lot of hardships. He was severely abused when he was a puppy to the extent that we are sure he suffered brain damage. Because of this he never did well with potty training. His bones creaked when he walked because the arthritis was so bad. And he had allergies that caused his skin to itch and become irritated. Despite all of this we loved him dearly. He will be sorely missed by all of us. I was telling John tonight that while I was pregnant with him, we used to get Dax to howl just for the fun of it. He had the funniest high pitched howl you would ever hear. Our dear boy, we will miss your sweet smile. May you be running free of all skin problems, with a clear head that brightens your loping gait that has no pain. We loved you.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Well, we've been here almost a week and everyone seems to be settling in. The cats have made it downstairs a few times, but they stay mostly in the master bedroom area. It sounds like a thundering herd of buffalo up there when they "playing". Of course, it depends on which cat you ask whether they're playing or not.
I now have the daunting task of emptying the other house. I'm hoping to clear out one room a day, which means I should have the house emptied by Monday of next week. But, we'll see. I'm the world's worst procrastinator.
John's MDO is having an awards/graduation ceremony tomorrow, so we are going to attend. He has learned quite a lot this past year there. Its hard to believe its over. He can now write his name, some letters and can read letters and numbers. They also can be credited for getting him potty trained. It sure wasn't me.
On another note, my cousin's daughter is not doing well. She has a young baby and has had complications ever since his birth. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. Her name is LeeAnn.
Well, on for the next week. Have a good one.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Our other residents, Tuffy and Tiger the cats, Tipper, Tara and Dax the dogs, and Uno and Dos the Cockatiels are doing fairly well. Surprisingly, the pet that has handled the move the best is schitzo Dax. He likes to talk to the sheep, goes right up to them in his staggering loping way with a goofy grin on his face. They actually looked like they were talking yesterday until one of the sheep butted him away. But, he continues to go toward them. Tipper and Tara seem bored, and Tipper has become quite the escape artist. Tuffy and Tiger have barely made it out of the Master bedroom, but they're becoming a little more bold. Tuffy actually made it to John's room and visited with him tonight. Our birds, Uno and Dos seem to really be enjoying life in the living room. They've been shut away for so long in the old office at the house. We just can't get them to keep quiet. The house still echoes because of the tile and wood floors.
John and I are still adjusting. We have yet to be able to relax and enjoy living at the new house. Every night and day have been spent on something to do with the move. John's schedule has totally been destroyed, so we're working to get that back in shape. He was rolling at 2:00 this morning for at least an hour. He does have a cold and cough right now so that takes care of some of it.
Yesterday was our eighth anniversary. We were married on May 9th at the Biblical Arts Center. Its so sad to think that the lovely place we were married doesn't exist anymore. We celebrated with a sick child. We tried to go to Red Lobster, met with a barf bag, cleaned up, then tried IHOP, met wtih the threat of another barf bag, and finally just got groceries and hubby cooked eggs and bacon. Tonight we ate at a local steak restaurant and had a nice time.
Guess thats all for the update now. My next few weeks will be to get the other house emptied and ready to sell. What a daunting task.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
We've added to the farm menagerie. Three Rambouillet lambs joined us last week. They're very cute, but kind of skittish and aren't comfortable with us yet. We are anticipating a hatch of up to 56 quail eggs this weekend. I purchased 48 through the mail, so we don't really know how many will hatch. And we are also expecting a delivery of 12 chicks, 5 ducklings and 4 goslings around May 4th. So, we are swimming in birds right now.
I'll try to get some updated photos of the birds and also the lambs posted soon.
Monday, April 03, 2006
Here are some photos of the interior of the house. None of them really do the house justice, but they are a good representation. Most of the rooms with special features are included. More photos can be seen at http://photobucket.com/albums/e128/jausenclaus. All of the house photos should be at the front of the blog.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
We have added to our farm population - six 3-4 week old pullets - 2 Rhode Island Red, 2 Barred Rock and 2 Araucana. So, we now have eight chickens and nine ducks after adding have four cute ducklings. Another batch of quail hatched on Monday, bringing our total to 18 babies and the two parents. We're busting at the seams with birds right now, but its fun and John loves interacting with them.
Well, that's all for now.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
I've been looking at washers and dryers and was amazed yesterday when I decided to do some research on them. We have a second floor laundry room, and have planned all along to get a new set of front loading w/d. Because I couldn't make up my mind between two, I started looking into them and was amazed to find out that some of the models don't work too well on the second floor. They can vibrate the whole house. Some of the models are recommended to only work on a concrete floor. This is not something you hear when you go to buy them, so it was a surprise. Since yesterday, I've been reading alot and have determined which one to try for, but I've got to make sure whoever installs it can level it correctly, so my decision on where to buy it may change. Just something I thought I'd pass on, because it was a surprise to me.
Quail update: We hatched a new batch of babies on March 7th. Ten hatched, three with problems. Two of those did not make it, and the third has leg problems, but is very strong and healthy, so I don't know if it will make it. It may never walk right. We also lost one of the Valentines babies yesterday. I don't know if it died because of the power going off Friday night (scared and trampled), or if something was wrong with it. I think it was the last baby to hatch, because it was one of the smaller birds.
I will try to post photos of the house soon. Its turned out real pretty, but its kind of hard to take photos that look good and you can really see the rooms. We have a ton of work to do to move in, which should be within the next couple of weeks.
Friday, March 17, 2006
Quail update: We had a new batch of quail hatch around March 10th. This hatch had 10 babies hatch, 3 with problems. Two of those have not made it. We still have one who will probably never walk. We've separated him, and hope to get him up and going. He's healthy, eating, drinking, but his leg is dragging. This is sometimes fixable, but we don't know where its heading. The original hatch has 6 healthy almost adult babies that are doing great. We're very pleased with their progress. Our two chicks are also growing into beautiful hens, and should start laying in about 6 weeks or so. I'll post updated photos of them soon too.
Monday, February 20, 2006
On Valentine's Day five baby Coturnix quail hatched. A "surprise" sixth chick hatched on February 17th. Hubby was planning to take the unhatched eggs out of the incubator and saw the little fuzzball running around. It may be hard to see him in the photos, but he is the smallest one. Here is a link to our quail babies. They are almost a week old now, and are already getting wing feathers. They all seem healthy and happy.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Coturnix quail are bred for both meat and eggs. The Coturnix hen will lay up to 300 eggs a year, usually in Ethel's case about one a day, sometimes skipping a day. We really have no interest in eating the eggs and will not be killing them to eat or hunting them, but we'd like to have a bunch of quail at the farm to enjoy. These little quail have very sweet sounds and are not too flighty. So, we just incubate what she lays and hope we'll get a few babies in the process. We do need to get some eggs from another location to keep these little guys from inbreeding too much.
House update: The wallpaper should be finished today. The builder has been hanging lights, so the house is getting its character. Its very colorful. John's room is adorable and the wallpaper in the downstairs bath is really pretty.
They put in the pipe for the propane tank yesterday. We have to get a mail box, because we are actually getting mail. We also should be having the final concrete flatwork done, probably nextw week.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
I still need to take updated photos of Fred and Ethel. They are looking tons better that they did when we brought them home.
This weekend, we are also expecting to receive about twenty-five quail from a rescue operation in California. The birds are just a small number of over 5,000 quail that were found in deplorable conditions at a slaughter house there. They are coming by van to deliver the birds to us. So, we have to get cracking on building pens for the ducks, quail and chickens. It has been a fun month or two, we hope everything will go smoothly when we move to the farm.
House update: Our granite countertops are in and are very pretty. The type of granite is Volga Blue and is very dark blue with peacock color blue shiny pieces randomly through it. I have yet to take a photo of it that shows it to its best advantage. In fact, that is one of the reasons I don't have current photos of the painted rooms yet on the blog. Its very hard to get good pictures of vacant rooms, especially in small spaces, so I'm goint to try to work on them. Charles has laid the floor in the master bedroom and hallway. It's looking really pretty. John's room is adorable and the two upstairs baths look great, just the way I thought they'd look. The master is still missing the clawfoot tub though. It will be installed with the rest of the plumbing fixtures. I meet with a wallpaper hanger on Monday, so hopefully we will have all the wallpaper finished next week.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Four jobs I've had:
- Ice cream shop
- Bank Teller
- Museum Curator
- Mom (the best job)
- Dallas Metroplex
- Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Brazosport area, Texas
- Lubbock, Texas
Four websites I visit daily:
- Yahoo Groups (Moms, Chickens, Pets, etc)
- Google (I look for info on lots of different stuff, right now mostly house or kid related)
Four television shows I love to watch:
- 1. Desperate Housewives
- Greys' Anatomy
- Extreme Home Makeover
- All My Children
Four of my favorite foods:
- Chicken Fried Steak
- Sliced tomatoes
Four albums I can't live without (at least for the moment):
I'm terribly boring and can't remember the last one I bought, probably kid related though.
- The Wiggles Big Red Car (when we're in the big red truck)
- Styx Paradise
- Phantom of the Opera
- Les Miserables
Four DVDs I can't live without (at least for the moment):
- Anything Thomas the Tank Engine
- Phantom of the Opera
- Gone with the Wind
- Grand Canyon
I don't know anyone else that does blogs, so I'm sending it to my book club and my mom's group.
This little exercise really shows you how boring my life really is.
House Update: We now have a septic system and one flushing toilet. Wood flooring is being laid. I will be meeting with wallpaper installers sometime this week and we will be purchasing all of the hardware (door, cabinet, bathroom), and the last of the lights. We hope to be moving in by the end of February.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Glory be! We have thunder bumpers going on. Some much needed rain is falling as I type. We've been blessed with good weather during the house construction, but Texas is sorely in need of this rain.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Here are photos of the fireplace, stairs and kitchen cabinets. The painter starts tomorrow. We have have set up a phone line, electrity and propane services, which have yet to be installed. Still waiting on septic, flatwork and the final plumbing and finish out.
Saturday, January 07, 2006
Friday the showers were installed in the master and downstairs bathrooms. We used cultured marble and they really look nice. Hubby wanted something that really looked like marble, so we chose "walnut swirl" for the master and "grey swirl" for the downstairs bath. Our cabinets have also been installed. Here are photos of the vanities for the master bath. I will post photos of the kitchen cabinets when I can get photos made of them. The stairs will be installed on Monday and the painter should begin painting by Wednesday.
Sunday, January 01, 2006
We finally selected our wood for the floor at the house. We bought Bellawood Brazilian Mesquite. Its really pretty. It has a golden tone, but also some red in it. We plan to match the color when staining the kitchen cabinets, doors and trim. We're still discussing the tile in the rest of the house. We also have selected wallpaper for the kitchen and dining room and are going in the right direction for the downstairs bathroom.
My baby will be four years old a month from today. It's amazing how time flies.
Well, have a Happy New Year.