Fall is making a brief appearance this weekend here in North Texas. The wind is HOWLING today and I have a suspicion that we may lose more of the roof off the old barn. Owning property with outbuildings is not always glamorous. The fox hunting season is kicking off soon and we will be celebrating the beginning of the season this weekend. I’m SO excited!
Onward to updates from around the farm over the past week or two.
One of the last toads of the season. This guy/gal was in the dog water bowl and I thought he was too cute!
I have been nagging and nagging Boot City to finish the road gate as part of our pets-in-traffic prevention program and he FINALLY got it done! I LOVE it! It is the fanciest gate ever! The frame is 8″x2″ and the whole thing is 14′ wide so is very stout and yet very modern. The hinges he used are super heavy duty so it opens and closes smoothly and evenly even though it weighs more than 500lb. The automatic opener still needs to be installed, but I’m fine with the manual open and close for now.
These days it is very difficult to get a photo of the muppies that isn’t blurry! We let them in the house in the mornings and evenings and they play and play and play! Animal and Annie Sue went to the vet yesterday and they were 30lb and 25lb respectively. They will be BIG dogs!
Muppy play time.
We have a handy man/contractor doing some updates to the house right now and his first project was to replace the door from the breezeway to the garage. The door was in poor shape when we bought the house, but was made tremendously worse by the dog pack we have had during the past few years. Jessie did the door in and the entire bottom half was missing! The new door is metal so no worries about it getting giant holes in it, just scratches.
The new man door from the breezeway to the garage.
What are you up to this weekend?
HAPPY Friday! I”m sorry I’ve been MIA this week. I’m travelling for work a lot this month and didn’t schedule myself very well. We had a lovely holiday weekend and I got was happy to help with some dog transports to open shelter space for Harvey evacuees from the Houston area. Shout out to the Woof Gang group in Wisconsin for taking over 40 dogs out of Texas!
Betty Lou loves her aunt Quila! Quila is a bit unsure about Betty Lou.
It is hard being Coco Chanel.
A different kind of motherhood on the farm. This spider’s abdomen is covered in baby spiders.
Happy FIRST Birthday to our favorite Whippet!!!!!
Holy smokes, it’s September already! How did that happen?!
The past few days have been so emotional for me. I watch my Facebook feed to see countless posts of the devastation in the Houston area from Hurricane Harvey. My heart is warmed and my faith in humanity is restored to see SO many people stepping up to help people and animals in need. We will be taking in some shelter dogs a as a temporary stop on their trips out of Texas to make room for Harvey evacuee pets. My Facebook feed is also full of posts of the devastation from fires in my home state of Montana. Over 500,000 acres have burned this summer. Farmers and ranchers are losing their livestock and livelihood to these fires. At the end of the post I’ll include links to organizations I feel have the best direct impact on those in need in Texas and Montana.
Onto more uplifting pics of cute animals!
Pablo meets a Muppy!
When I was riding on Tuesday night I got a bug in my eyeball and it has looked like this since Tuesday night! It looks much worse than it feels.
Our goats like to play with and in their food.
Links to help Harvey victims:
Fund established by Houston’s mayor: http://www.ghcf.org
American Associate of Equine Practitioners: https://foundation.aaep.org/form/foundation-donation
USEF Disaster Relief Fund: https://www.usef.org/donate
Urgent Animals of Fort Worth: https://www.urgentanimalsfw.org/donate
Austin Pets Alive: https://www.austinpetsalive.org/hurricane-harvey-evacuations/
Tarrant Area Food Bank: http://tafb.org/donate/
It has been a relatively uneventful week on the farm. Which is a pleasant change! My horse trailer has a bit more damage from the runaway roof than we initially thought it had, so it goes in for repairs next week.
Enjoy the farm pics!
Casey had a photo shoot last weekend for his sale ad. He’s so handsome!
Jessie enjoying some time cooling off in a puddle. Hairy dogs don’t love Texas summers!
The muppies are big enough to nurse while Mom is standing!
Mickey had a follow-up vet visit this week. The trip was very hard on him.
Late last week we noticed that one of our goats had a very large mass on the side of her neck. Upon closer inspection we found another mass. One of the masses had scaly skin and the other was just normal fur-covered. Great.
The uglier of the two masses.
From the other side of her neck. It was quite large!
I googled “goat mass on neck” and didn’t come up with anything specific so texted some pics to my regular veterinarian (he mostly only does horses, but is pretty awesome and will advise on our other 97 animals) to see what he thought.
He sent me a link to a document about Caseous Lymphadenitis and advised that was what he thinks it is mostly likely to be causing the masses on her neck. In a nutshell this is a bacterial infection that is difficult to cure and may cause death. Uplifting information for sure! He advised that if that is what it is we could wait for it to rupture or lance it and drain it. With all my experience with Sterling’s stifle and lancing and draining I felt very well prepared to give it a go.
If you are at all familiar pigeon fever in horses, this is caused by the same bacteria and seems to act in a similar fashion, just in goats instead of horses. The fluid in the abscess is HIGHLY contagious so all caution must be taken to gather the fluid when it is drained, keep the animal isolated until the wound is completely healed, disinfect the area where the animal is kept after it is healed and dispose of all bedding/feed/etc that the animal was exposed to during healing.
Turns out poor Punky (our goat) has about four abscesses and only one appeared ready to drain. Boot City and I got her situated in her new home, gathered our tools and put on clothes/shoes that could easily be cleaned and sanitized. I got the honor of lancing the abscess and draining the fluid while Boot City restrained the goat. I’ve seen quite a few abscess lancings in the past few years and this one was by far the grossest. I had a horse get pigeon fever twice in one season and this poor goat’s abscess released at least as much if not more fluid. I would guess about 8 to 10 ounces. She was not the happiest of patients so we moved quickly to get it over with.
The shriveled up skin after draining the abscess.
Now we will clean out the incision area with an iodine solution every day for three days and medicate the external incision with Furazone. The other three abscesses won’t be ready to be drained for at least a couple days. Poor Punky will likely be in isolation for a least a month or two. I didn’t snap a photo, but at least she has a chicken buddy! One of the broody hens has decided to stay in the stall with Punky. They are quite a pair!
So, if you ever need advice or information about lancing and draining an abscess, I’m happy to provide my firsthand experience and advice.
I will preface this post by stating that my husband is the handiest human being on the planet and I’m forever grateful for all of the things he does to support my ridiculous horse habit!
You may recall a couple years ago we built some runs off the stalls on the new barn. All of the runs and a paddock have been completed for over a year, but Boot City had some sort of what I referred to as gate-o-phobia; fear of building a gate. We had a need for at least six gates plus a couple of it-would-be-nice-to-have-a-better-gate-here spots so agreed that we would take some time off work around the 4th of July holiday and do some honey do items around the property. Gates were clearly at the TOP of the list!
I don’t know why Boot City had a phobia of building gates, because the finished products are all very lovely and functional gates. If you aren’t a horse person or someone who has an understanding of the need for good gates, this may sound silly to you. Gates are vitally important with livestock. Weak or poorly made gates can break and let animals into spaces where they don’t belong or (much worse) hurt them. A horse that eats too much of certain types of feed can get life-threateningly sick. If you have multiple species of animals there are some feeds that are fine for one animal and dangerous to another animal. Or animals can get out of their enclosure and onto a busy road. I think you see my point.
I wish I had photos of Boot City’s gate designs, but all I have are photos of the actual gates.
The first gate goes to the paddock where Sterling is currently convalescing. We had originally planned to put the gate on the other corner of the stall run next to it, but this created an alley that horses would go in and try to kill each other. One horse in the small alley is much safer. This gate has a unique (to me anyhow) hinge that is connected on the actual post. It’s a pretty slick design and results in a very minimalistic look, which is what Boot City was going for when he chose them. You cannot add this kind of hinge later, it has to be planned for when the fence is built because the pipes are welded onto the metal post and the hinge is essentially a ring dropped on said post. It was originally planned to be for the gate to the stall run, but the plan design change affected that, too. Our next long weekend project is to finish the fence that you can see isn’t doing much other than attempting to convince a horse to not step over it. Thankfully most of my horses are lazy and they haven’t busted out yet.
Gate #2 is next to Gate #1. Boot City was NOT happy about using this hinge as he thinks they don’t look as good as the one connected directly on the pole, however they do allow for more adjust-ability in how the gate hangs. I think it looks just fine. Sometimes I forget how artsy Boot City is and he cares quite a lot about aesthetics. The bottom of the fences and the gates is about 18″ off the ground, high enough that a horse that lays down and sticks a leg through the fence shouldn’t pin the horse’s leg and cause it to panic. Safety first folks!
Both Gates #1 and #2 were built from oil field pipe and sucker rod. Very basic, but nice clean lines.
The third gate he built is between us and our neighbor. We had long abhorred the gate that was in place and the posts had COMPLETELY rotted out so we decided to just go a head and rebuild a portion of the fence and build a new gate. This gate would be practice for the one that he will build to go at the end of our driveway to keep out the riff raff (and keep IN the damn dogs).
This gate is the inspiration for the design of the gate he will build at the end of the road. We won’t use the exact same type metal frame and unfortunately our driveway entrance isn’t wide enough to do the same type of anchor post with hinge, but you get the idea. I love how it is modern yet fully functional and uses very basic materials. This one was designed by Bercy Chen Studio LP in Austin and the photo is by Mike Osborne.
This is the gate in progress. The frame is 4×2 steel tubing and the inside is a 6 gauge horse panel. He trimmed the panel to fit inside the frame and then welded it exactly in the middle of the 4″ tube. This gate will be very sturdy and look lovely!
Beerhounds help build gates, dontcha know?!
The fence hasn’t been finished so I don’t have a photo of the full setup, but here is the completed gate right before Boot City installed it on the hinge. I definitely felt a sigh of relief that the horribly shoddy gate, that was also about 2 feet longer than it should have been to be stable, is gone. You know what they say about good fences, they make good neighbors.
The finished product!
The gate is installed and once this fence project is complete Boot City will embark on building the driveway gate. It will essentially be the same design, but use 6×2 steel tubing rather than 4×2. It’ll also be somewhat longer so may require some type of stabilization in the center area. I’M SO EXCITED TO BE ABLE TO LET ALL THE GOATS, HORSES, AND DOGS RUN FREE AROUND THE HOUSE AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Boot City and I both took some time off work this week to get some stuff done around the farm. Usually when we do this we get distracted and hardly accomplish anything on our to do list, but we did really well this time! Lots of gates built, arena sand delivered and some purging of Boot City’s metal collection.
Little Mickey is quite the snuggler. He has no idea that he only weighs about 5lb. He acts like he is a 70lb pack leader! So funny!
Casey is spoiled and gets 24/7 turnout, mostly because he is so well behaved and not a fat kid. He often has chicken buddies while he grazes during the day and the other horses are in their stalls.
Simon. Just because he is a lovebug and so cute.
It has become somewhat of a tradition for one of my hunt friends to host a gymkhana the weekend before the 4th of July. We were blessed with moderately cooler temps this year and had much fun!
I got a truck load of sand for my “arena” and the dogs and horses took full advantage of the sand pile. There was much dog wrastling and horses rolling!
It is never easy to see them go, but its time for these boys to move on. Boot City took them to the goat sale this morning. I always tell myself that they end up in a home similar to ours and get good lives.
What are you up to this weekend?
It is the LAST day of June! How did that happen?! Summer appears to be here for good for a few months. It isn’t blistering hot just yet, but it is quite warm. Boot City and I are taking some time over the next few days to do some pretty major farm improvements. Hopefully some will be blog worthy!
This is what Dickens thinks of mornings when he doesn’t get to go outside.
Harriet is right in the middle of her heartworm treatment. She is handling it like a champ. Dogs who are having the fast-kill treatment have to stay calm and quiet to avoid getting their heart pumping too hard. As the worms in their heart die, they get pushed out into the bloodstream and if the heart gets to beating too quickly it can kill the dog if a worm gets lodged in just the wrong place. It appears that Harriet gets this and when she is allowed to come outside she is very docile. She doesn’t run and play with Dragon and Dickens like usual. She may feel a little under the weather, but she seems more like she just knows she needs to mind her p’s and q’s. She is a wonderful little dog!
The dogs LOVE to eat my horses’ Muenster Milestone feed. They like it so much they get in empty bags just to lick the bag. Weirdos.
We got some good rain last weekend and early this week. We had been a few inches behind average at the start of June, but according to my Farmlogs app we are pretty much caught up to average.
For a little while this was a FULL rainbow. I never tire of seeing rainbows, they are such happy things.
Since all my riding horses are pretty much lame except for Coco, she has been getting LOTS of rides lately! It is really paying off and she has made a ton of improvement in the past few months. Fingers crossed she will be ready to do a real course at a real show by the end of the year with lead changes and everything!
She does make happy faces, too! I think she enjoys her job and hanging out with me. She definitely LOVES her some treats!
Dragon and Dickens are both sighthounds, which means they are bred to hunt by sight. This instinct is much stronger in Dragon than in Dickens, but he certainly joins in when she goes on the chase. Lately they have been chasing the cat, which means the cat has been actively avoiding coming in the house or being around the house in general. We lost Tarzan and Marby last year so it makes us very sad that Sabrina doesn’t feel safe in the house. I don’t think the dogs would hurt her, but it isn’t fun getting chased every day. She disappeared for a day or two and we worried the worst had happened.
She showed back up in Boot City’s shop and it appears that she may becoming a shop kitty! We have moved her kitty food to the shop and Boot City has made a bed for her. Hopefully she will feel safer there and stick around. We love our Sabrina! Plus this might keep her away from the busy highway which is where the other two cats met their demise.
Do you have fun weekend plans? I’m sure lots of people are going on trips for a long weekend since the holiday is Tuesday. Be safe and have fun!
This was a relatively quiet week at the farm. The weather is heating up to typical Texas summer temps, which makes me kind of sad. The spring and fall here are delightful, but the summers really are brutal!
Sweet little Harriet had her first heartworm injection this week. She was quite lethargic the first day, but has pepped up since. She will have two more injections in a month and hopefully will then be cured and ready to be adopted!
I can’t even with these two! This is no less than 150 pounds of dog on one dog bed. Never mind that there are at least two other same-sized dog beds they can use.
This is Mickey, our most recent foster from the Fort Worth shelter. He is your typical 6 pound dog who acts like he is 60 pounds! He is also heartworm positive so will be starting treatment soon. In the meantime he is trying his paw at goat herding.
Pardon her closed eyes, but this is Coco modeling her new fly sheet. She is a solid 16hh so I have mostly bought her sheets and blankets sized for a horse that tall, which is generally a 75-78 depending on their body type. Well, Coco has a very compact body and she was tearing up her size 76 fly sheet because it was too big and didn’t fit her correctly. This sheet is a 72. She is so petite!
This photo is a barn evening in a nutshell! Peaches asleep in the middle of the doorway. Quila chasing chickens trying to find eggs to eat and chickens wandering in the barn aisle and pooping on the floor.
Happy weekend y’all!
When I woke up this morning I was pretty sure someone outside was flipping a light switch off and on. In reality, it was Mother Nature. I check the weather pretty religiously and I’m confident there were slim to no chances for storms today. Alas, by the time I was finishing up feeding the horses it was POURING rain! We are still a few inches behind average rainfall, so I’ll take it!
This was Pablo’s feed pan when I got home from a work trip last Friday. It rained over 3.5″ that day!
This is what happens when you forget to latch Sterling’s stall and he’s in the barn all day on stall rest. Oopsy! Pic cred to Boot City
How many hens can you find in this photo? They are ALL broody and stay in this position, more or less, 24/7. Chicken ridiculousness.
These two are goat brothers. I think it is so cute they are the same color! The little guy is for sale if you are in the market for a baby goat.
One of our adorbs foster kittens. They go to the Humane Society of North Texas this weekend and will be available for adoption! Get you a kitty!