April 2017 archive
The theme of today’s Farm Friday post appears to be chickens!!! Chickens are the funniest and easiest farm animals one can own. The City of Austin will now PAY people to keep chickens! I can’t think of any reason why someone in Austin wouldn’t keep chickens now. Once you get their habitat established and it is predator proof, all you really need to do is feed and water them and clean their house periodically.
Boot City has been working very hard for the 11 years we have lived on the “farm” to improve the pastures. The hill on the front of the property looks completely different from the yucca pasture it was when we moved in and the chickens love to eat bugs there in the mornings.
Since the weather has been nice I have been leaving my tack room door open while I ride. I don’t want any critters making their home in my tack room so I’m usually pretty conscientious about keeping the door closed. Below is an example of just what will happen when the door is left open. She is a Cuckoo Maran (lays DARK brown eggs) and those girls REALLY want to live in the horse barn! They take up residence every chance they get!
I have an ongoing dialogue in my head that I imagine is the chicken water-cooler-gossip. I’ve posted pics previously of them lined up on the actual water trough. Since we finished the stall runs a couple years ago they also like to roost on the bars of the fences. I’m sure these girls are complaining about the gossip ol’ Henny is spreading about ol’ Bitty and Mr. Rooster. Hahahahaha!
My Dad often made poached eggs for breakfast on Sunday mornings when I was growing up. We had a contraption that poached the eggs without actually dumping them in boiled water. I didn’t really know that was how poached eggs were made before the contraption was available until I was well into adulthood. When I saw one at Williams Sonoma (different design than they sell now, interesting) a few years ago I bought one. The cups to cook the eggs were “non-stick”. Well, they said they were “non-stick”, they were actually not at all non-stick. After using it for a few years I finally threw the stupid thing away and got out my handy dandy Cooks Illustrated cookbook to learn how to ACTUALLY poach an egg. Turns out it is SUPER easy! Just boil some water with a couple tablespoons of vinegar and some salt. Turn off the burner, drop your eggs into the water (taking care to NOT break the yolks). Cook for 3-5 minutes and voila, you have poached eggs!
If you have any great egg recipes you should share them with me. We are still getting about 20 eggs per day (minus the ones Annie eats) and not selling NEARLY enough of them!
Happy weekend, y’all!
My favorite thing about the hunt group of which I am a member is the diversity of horse interests among the members. Never before have I known polo players! Boot City and I got to attend the season opener for the polo season this past Saturday. It was an informal match, but guests were dressed up, the horses were (kind of) fast and the champagne was drunk while the divots were stomped!
The weather for the match was AMAZING! Especially amazing after being so very very cold on Saturday. I even got a sunburn on my scary white legs!
The players were very social and came by the sidelines to talk to the fans many times during the match. Check out this polo pony’s fabulous polka dotted polo wraps!
The appaloosa polo pony was a HUGE hit! We learned from the player’s wife that at most matches the opposing team’s horses usually need a couple minutes to just stare at the appaloosa before they can focus on playing. I am not surprised by this because Sterling always has to stare at paint horses before he can focus, too. Paint jumpers are the MOST scary to Sterling because they have loud hair and loud bell boots.
I’m excited to go to more polo matches this season for tailgating. My polo friends often ask me when I’m going to switch over to polo from showing hunters and I tell them that I’ll make the switch once I’ve mastered jumping, which will be never. Just ask Sterling, I still have a LOT to learn! Plus, if you recall from my polo posts last summer, polo is REALLY hard. I’m not sure I have the necessary hand/eye coordination to hit the ball with the mallet rather than my horse’s legs.
This past weekend was the Southwest Hound Show hosted by Brazos Valley Hounds. I had the pleasure of being the show secretary and was able to snap a few photos during the day. It was kind of terribly cold after having been nice and warm leading up to show day, so I’m still recovering from being an ice cube for eight hours!
A handler showing an American Hound. I’d be lying if I tried to act like I know much about hound conformation. Different judges look at different characteristics more closely based on their preferences. The judge this year hunts a pack of mostly American Foxhounds, therefore he was more inclined to like an American hound’s characteristics as opposed to a Crossbred or English hound’s characteristics.
A group of American hounds. You can see the overcast skies that stuck around pretty much all. Day. Long. The sun peaked out a bit after the showing was over. American hounds are a generally bit taller than their Crossbred/English cousins and have a more substantial front end. Keep in mind, though, that each huntsman breeds specifically for the terrain where the hounds hunt and the quarry they hunt. Thus the differences between packs can be great even if they are the same “breed”.
The Junior Showman class is always a favorite. We only had one exhibitor this year, but he was adorable and his hound was very well behaved!
The contest for Best Hound of the show was very competitive and the judge took his time to evaluate the merits of both the Champion American Hound and the Champion Crossbred/English Hound.
In the end Brazos Valley Precious prevailed as both Champion American Hound and Master’s Cup Champion Hound! I am very biased towards this lovely hound as she is the granddaughter of Brazos Valley Catfish who is in retirement at my house.
Fort Leavenworth’s Valor was a top quality competitor and was awarded Reserve Champion Hound and Champion Crossbred/English Foxhound. This hound is a progeny of a Brazos Valley bloodline, so it was extra fun that both top hounds were results of the Brazos Valley breeding program!
Hound shows are a wonderful way to meet other like-minded folks who love the sport of foxhunting and breeding and raising foxhounds. We really enjoyed chatting with and competing against the other hunts who attended the show. Next up the Brazos Valley hounds will head to Kansas and then finish their show season in Virginia.
I’m looking forward to the Southwest Hound Show this weekend! If you live around DFW and want to see the loveliest fox hounds in the region you should come by! We will be at the Marvin Savage Farm, which used to be part of Greenwood Farm all day Saturday.
In the meantime, check out the goings on at the farm!
Sabrina, our foster fail kitty, LOVES her a box. She also loves the counter so a box on the counter is idea.
This is Dragon. I don’t think I have introduced her on the blog yet. Dougal was hit by a car and killed in December (so so so so so so so so so so so so so sad) and we were so lucky to get the opportunity to give his sister a home! Meet Dragon. She would dearly love for the baby goats to play with her, but she just ends up chasing them around and they are terrified of her. You can see how tiny the baby goats are and how tall (28″!) is Dragon.
I find the chickens in the wheelbarrow to be hilarious. It makes me sad that they won’t stay in the wheelbarrow and let me push them around. A girl can dream.
Why eat the hay when you can climb onto the hay bale and eat the much tastier tree leaves?!
Every ass needs a stage. Amiright?!
Boot City sent me some photos last week of Cattle Egrets with our grazing goats. He knows that I love Egrets. The Cattle Egret, or Bubulcus ibis, is a species of heron that has evolved to a life adapted to following herds of grazing animals and eating the bugs that accompany those grazing animals. You know, cows. Or in our case, goats and horses.
I do love a symbiotic relationship when I see one. The bugs are always bad in Texas so it makes me feel better when I see the goats or horses being followed by some Egrets because I know they are at least helping reduce the bug irritation to the goats or horses! As the larger mammal moves around in the grass, they inevitably disturb some bugs and that is the meal for the Egrets. Sometimes the bird will even land on an animal (Jaguar) and eat the bugs right off them! I have witnessed this a few times, but never snapped a photo.
A little research on Wikipedia indicates these birds migrated to the U.S. naturally (they flew here, they didn’t come on a boat) as the herds of cattle became larger and more established, but originate from Asia, Africa and Europe. It isn’t often you read about a species being introduced that doesn’t wreak havoc on it’s new home; e.g. rabbits in Australia. Good on the Egret! On other continents the follow different large mammals. In Africa they follow Cape buffalo, wildebeasts, waterbucks and zebras. Clearly the African birds have a more exotic partnership.
We are just glad to have them back this spring. Hopefully they will stay a long while!
Simon is the most laid back three year old horse I’ve ever had the pleasure of owning. I’ve (or my parents) had a lot of youngsters over the years and none have had the calm aura like Simon. He doesn’t act a fool in the pasture. He calmly goes in and out of the barn. He stands like a post when I mount and dismount. He stands quietly for grooming with no silly faces (like Sterling) or chewing on the cross ties (like Coco). He is so calm, that I apparently take it for granted. You can imagine my surprise when I found his foot like this when bringing him in from turnout recently.
I have NO idea if he did it in his stall overnight and I overlooked it when turning him out in the morning or if it he did it during turnout. He hasn’t taken a lame step (knock on wood) and it appears to be healing nicely, but holy smokes it looks BAD! There are also these scrapes higher up on the same leg that make one think he stuck his leg through the pipe fence in his turnout (the lowest bar is about 18″ off the ground).
As soon as I noticed the wounds I cleaned them up, but opted to not wrap his foot. The part of his heel that was pulled off started to get kind of nasty so after a few days I did super clean it and wrap it up. This horse. I tell you what, he is something. I cleaned the foot with the hose where I wash my horses and took him back to his stall where I put medication on the wounds and wrapped it up. All with no halter on Simon. For reals. He just stands there eating his food while I wrap up his gnarly injured foot. Have I mentioned how calm and amazing this horse is?! Granted he is only three years old, so things could change mightily with time. Boot City thinks he just so grateful to be off the track that he is on his best behavior to avoid being sent back. Running just isn’t his thing.
I feel like all horses go through an accident prone stage, so that is how I’m chalking up this injury. I won’t ride him again until it is fully healed and he seems sound (not that he doesn’t seem sound now, again, no limping).
1. This is my first time attempting to post from my phone.
2. We got a new foster dog on Friday.
She is described as a terrier mix, but I’d bet some 💰 she is a dachshund/heeler mix. I call her a homemade corgi.
Harriet is heartworm positive so we will be fostering her for as long as her treatment lasts. If you’d like, you can donate to her treatment. I’ll post a link in the comments. It is a tax deductible donation!
She has settled in quite well.
I’ll be posting updates as she goes through treatment. When it is all said and done you’ll be able to adopt her! 😉