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!
It’s June now, how did that happen?! Enjoy some photos of the cuteness that abounds on the farm!
This little nugget goes to The Humane Society of North Texas to be adopted next weekend! Get you a kitty cat!
Goats are ridiculous and cute. Baby Esther is off to the left. I love her.
Yes, this chicken has roosted for the night on an extension cord. At least one and sometimes two hens roost on this extension cord every night. You would think they did not have a room full of roosting bars…..
Can you find the kitty cat?
Quila went down to the mailbox with me and it makes me nervous when the dogs go near the busy highway by our house. She was clearly trained by someone at some point. I told her to sit and stay and she did!
Usually we have our hay delivered, but when I realized how close they are to our house I thought I could convince Boot City to accompany me with his giant flatbed to pick it up a load ourselves and save the delivery fee which has gone up this year.
The hay picking up was pretty uneventful, but the Greeting Committee are ADORABLE!
I know the tri-color hound was a rescue, but not sure about the other one. You just don’t see a lot of Basset Hounds and these two were the more fit and less baggy variety. Everyone reading this probably knows I’m an avid fox hunter. Well did you know that Basset Hounds are hunting dogs? They are! They hunt similarly to a pack of fox hounds, but they hunt rabbit and the followers are on foot rather than horseback. You can read more about hunting Basset Hounds here.
This guy. I can’t even.
Their long ears serve a purpose by dragging scent up off the ground and helping waft the scent of their prey and keeping the scent near their nose.
She had the scope out the trailer before loading. She jumped up all on her own. Don’t be fooled by their size or shape, Bassets are athletic dogs!
My goal in life is to have a retired Fox Hound (or 5), a retired Beagle and a retired Basset Hound all from recognized packs. I just love these hunting dogs!
The wind huffed and puffed and tried to blow our house down last night! Thankfully it appears that the only damage incurred was a few branches strewn about and a tarp that tried to blow away. The power was out for a few hours, but came on just as I left for work. Yay for the house and tack room having AC today!
We need to name this goat. He’s a whether and is pretty silly. He enjoys helping unload hay.
I built my cinder block container gardens a few years ago. We usually grow some squash or some onions or whatever, but since we started doing Blue Apron a couple years ago we don’t really need to grow our own stuff. When I was outside last weekend I saw a hummingbird and it motivated me to plant some flowers. I snagged these at the feed store on Sunday. The donkey has eaten a few of the pink flowers, but the chickens have left them alone. The taller pink and orange ones are Lantana and should get pretty big. If they live, that is.
Simon has the prettiest face. Such a sweet boy.
The horses are always curious when we put out the hammock. They walk by and pretend like they aren’t staring at it and somewhat terrified.
Happy weekend! Do you have any fun plans? I have my fingers, toes, legs, arms and whatever other appendage will cross crossed in hopes of RAIN! It is much too dry right now.
It appears that summer is coming to Texas sooner rather than later. It was supposed to actually RAIN here this week, but the alas we only got 0.05″. Sad face.
This is our foster mama kitty and her litter. She has quite an adorable group of kittens if I do say so myself! She is possibly the sweetest mama cat we have fostered so far. All these kitties will be available for adoption soon! Well, I think the male calico is spoken for, but all the rest are available.
Hanging with Pablo.
The whippet in his natural habitat. You know, looking for stuff to chase or chew on.
Pablo running down a hill. It was just too funny to not snap a photo. I was walking down the driveway to get the mail and I think he hoped I would have treats.
Against my better judgement, I have been “talked into” another round of foster kitties.
One of my kitty-loving friends who also fosters for the local shelter and humane society sent me an email with pics of a pretty darned adorable litter and asked if I could foster them.
Side note: I keep my foster kitty families in the tack room in my barn. This way they have plenty of space, can run and play and climb things, and there isn’t a worry about a dog misbehaving and hurting a kitty. The downside is that there are kittens climbing all over my stuff and getting kitty litter all over the floor. For these reasons I was taking a break from fostering kitties. It was nice to have my tack room back!
My initial mental response was “no”, until I read “there is a male calico kitten”! You see, male calico kittens are very rare. Of all calico kitties born only 0.03% are male. To have a calico male requires and extra X chromosome. Male calicoes therefore have TWO X chromosomes and a Y. This also means that the majority of male calico cats are sterile. Only 1 in 10,000 is fertile. So they come “neutered”!
Here is our boy. He is mostly yellow and white, but has a grey spot between his shoulders which makes him a calico!
The rest of the litter are pretty darned adorable. The little guy on the far left in this pic is the cutest, fuzziest little yellow tabby and white you ever did see! The calico boy is on the far right and a yellow tabby sister is in the middle.
This is a calico female.
There is also a sweet gray tabby and a Siamese and white kitten. Mama is a solid yellow tabby so Dad must have been fuzzy. WHY ARE KITTENS SO CUTE?! These kitties are about 5 weeks old. We will probably have them until they are about 12 weeks or so. Old enough to get spayed/neutered. I am not 100% certain, but I’m pretty sure we will keep the calico boy. If our current house kitty will allow another house kitty.
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!
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?!
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!