|The guineas moved in one cohesive group at all times|
|I love their beautiful feathers!|
|Sari, one of the new hens. I thought she was a self blue but she has|
a single slate marking on her wing.
|"Can I help you?" Last of the original flock all refeathered and beautiful|
|My handsome fella, Yellow, showing off his new tail feathers.|
I bush-hogged the back and side yard. At least until the mower deck threw half a metal disk out from under it and it started shaking so badly that I was afraid I was going to throw a blade. I swear I didn't do anything rough with it! I was just mowing! Flat ground with nothing but grass! I Promise! It was really rusted and I guess it just decided to give up the ghost at that moment. Either way I managed to break my father in-law's bush hog attachment... thingy. I hate breaking stuff that belongs to other people! I am always so careful with things that don't belong to me! I admit that I am really rough on my stuff though. Ugh... At least it waited until I was pretty much done with the back yard.
I also weed-eated (is that a word??) the pig fence line, the garden fence line and some along the paths between garden rows before I wet through all 3 batteries. Did I mention that Brad got me a battery powered weed-eater? It is a Black and Decker and takes the same batteries that my chainsaw does. It was refurbished but is working like a champ. The real sell? It came with 2 batteries and a charger AND it cost less than a single new battery would have. I had been planning on getting another battery for my chainsaw because it never lasts very long. Now I have 3 batteries and can charge 2 at a time. I think my old battery is having a hard time holding a charge though. I have a bad habit of leaving it on the charger even after it had been charged.... like for weeks. Note to self: DON"T DO THAT!!! Anyway, now I can weed-eat in the garden so I can see where I am walking and don't step on anymore snakes. Hope, hope hope.
While I was in the garden I pulled out all of the sad, mostly dead tomato plants. The aphids and stink bugs finished off what the blight had all but destroyed. Even the green tomatoes I kept trying to bring inside to ripen kept rotting before they could because the aphids compromised them in some way. I started to burn the vines, the stakes, and the ties. Normally I keep the ties and reuse them, but I don't want to spread blight to my plants next year. The plants were still green enough to make them too wet to burn. Hopefully the fire dried them out some. I will try to burn them again tomorrow. Now the only thing left in that row are my pepper plants, which are still doing marvelously and pumping out the peppers, I might add! I also turned the soil and planted a small patch of beets (detroit red). I plan to plant more, but I need to amend the soil... with something. I figured that at least this way, some got planted. Whether they will grow is another story all together.
I cleaned out my in-laws' 3 deep freezers a couple days ago. We needed to make room for all of our future pork! The pigs greatly appreciated it. No... not the freezer space. They got everything that wasn't meat. About 5 trash bags worth of creamed corn, boiled peanuts, okra, bread, peas, and other yummy stuff. I shared the pumpkin, pumpkin pies, bread, berries, and corn with the chickens, turkeys and guineas. They were very grateful for the treat.
The pigs are doing great and are getting so big! I switched them to a locally milled unmedicated mash. They seem to like it. The chickens aren't managing to steal quite as much, and it isn't as big of a deal when they do now that it doesn't contain antibiotics. I have been raking acorns up and feeding them to the pigs, as well as throwing them persimmons as they fall from the tree. Good thing that they are happy with that. I completely forgot that they are out of feed until about 30 minutes after the feed store closed today. I think some days that if if it were up to me to remember to breath, I would have keeled over many years ago... Oh well. Scraps, acorns, and persimmons it will be until monday. And maybe some chicken feed.
I have to say, pigs are the easiest animal on the homestead to take care of. They are such a pleasure! They never cross the fence, or even test it much anymore. A single strand of electric keeps them in their paddock. They aren't into anything. They don't make a ton of noise. They eat all of the scraps, and aren't picky like the poultry. Refill their feeder, check the waterer to make sure it is functional, toss them some scraps (veggie peels and such), and they are content for the day. They may be a permanent addition to the homestead. Not these guys, as they are all male and are all "fixed", but perhaps next year I will get a breeding pair.
Oh, and Luna... She killed one of my chickens the other day. It was "Peggy": My gold and black Easter Egger, as opposed to her sister and counterpart "Sue" who is black with gold markings. She did it while I was at my in-laws' cleaning out the freezers. That correction collar doesn't do any good when I'm not here to push the button. She has been tied during the day for the last few days. I have been letting her off the chain to run and play with Ari and Elliot at night for a few hours. Once it is dark and all of the poultry are safely out of her reach. I need to get her out during the day and spend time with her around the chickens so I can correct her when she gets tempted. She isn't going to get trained tied in the front yard... Tomorrow I am going to start doing that. I'm writing it down so I will hold myself to it. I am holding out hope that she will be a good livestock guardian. She is still young and full of energy. She seems to realize what she did wrong, now. Hopefully I can deter her from making the decision to do it again. My rottie, Cassie, whom I lost a couple years ago at the ripe old age of 15, killed a chicken when we first got them. I trained her not to even look at them and she never touched another one. She was the most brilliant and loyal dog I have ever had the pleasure to see and I was blessed to have been her owner. She, too, was a shelter rescue. Cassie, however, was capable of things that most dogs aren't. Did I mention that she was brilliant? So, just because it worked for Cassie doesn't mean it will work for Luna. Luna seems really smart and receptive though. With enough time spent training her I am hopeful. Only time shall tell.
Now off to start dinner.... super late I know but Keegan is spending the night with a friend so I'm not in a great hurry. I also need to try to find a recipe for pickled banana peppers. I picked a load of them tonight and they wither quickly if not used. I also picked a few jalapenos and lots of bell peppers! Sounds like a good night for Brad's favorite: Tacos! Made with his dad's ground beef raised right down the road on pasture. :) I love eating as locally as possible! It makes me feel good to know how and where my food was raised. Life is Good. And so are tacos :) MmMmMm