My favorite times of the day at home are in the early morning just before the sun rises and at night just as the sun sets. I had errands to run after work today (and to stop and see a dear friend whose house I left THE camera at over the weekend) so got home just in time for dusk. Animals are always pretty active just before the sun sets.
The chickens are busy just before the sun sets as this is one of their more vulnerable times. Coyotes are pretty active at sunrise and sunset and the chickens show a more keen sense of awareness at those times. That and they are gathering up to go to bed.
The rooster gathering up his lady friends.
People often ask us how we train the chickens to go to their coop and the truth is we don’t train them to do anything. It is amazing how hard wired they are to do what they do. They have a 6th sense (it’s called survival) to go to where they perceive to be the safest place at night. When we first got chickens we were worried they would roost in trees or other various places where we didn’t want them to roost. Never ever have they roosted anywhere but in the barn. Often in places in the barn we didn’t intend them to roost, but safe nonetheless. There is even one who sleeps on a spotlight in the new barn by herself every night.
Do you see the white hen landing on her roost for the night?
Pablo was exceptionally helpful with chores tonight.
This is Pablo. He’s famous.
I couldn’t resist photos of the horses. I know I’m biased, but they are beautiful!
Jaguar and Coco
Sterling and Noelle
And, of course, the sunset. This view never gets old.
Pink sky at night, sailor’s delight!
When I started this blog I was really determined that I wasn’t going to use iCellular photos. The quality isn’t as good as a “real” camera and all that. But there are a lot of really funny things that happen at the farm that you can only catch on an iCellular. So you’re just going to have to endure some lesser quality photos periodically to enjoy the silliness.
Last Saturday while I was at the Closing Hunt (getting photos with my “real” camera) Boot City sent this photo to me:
Peaches, the banana thief.
This is our 11/12 year old foxhound, Peaches, eating a banana. Yes, our hounds like fruit. Evidently. Peaches doesn’t get around very well and we are pretty sure she had some help getting the banana off the counter. Most likely from the hound who ate about 8 apples off the middle of the dining room table a few weeks ago (Cupid).
Then, today, I get this photo from Boot City:
Annie, banana thief #2
We have almost this exact same photo of Annie only instead of a banana she has a dead rat. I digress. At this point in the day there didn’t appear to be any bananas missing from the counter (I bought more bananas just last night after the hounds ate their fill last weekend). Our suspicions pointed to Annie having stashed a banana over the weekend during the initial banana thievery events, then going back for it sometime today. She is known to do that with eggs she steals from the chicken coop.
It appears we were wrong:
We are again placing blame on Cupid for this attempt at banana thievery. None of the other dogs are as agile at getting things off tall surfaces nor do any of the others seem to have the intestinal fortitude to do what it takes to get things off the counter quite like Cupid does. She has a lot of stick-to-itiveness when it comes to food. One might attribute her voluptuous figure on her commitment to eating food she’s not supposed to eat. Cat food. Apples. Anything small children are trying to eat. Goat feed. Cattle feed. Chicken feed. Alfalfa cubes.
Thanks to the banana thieves no one will be having banana with their oatmeal tomorrow morning.
A few weeks ago we acquired an orphan billy goat. We keep a small herd of Boer Goats. Currently we have a few females and one wether (non-breeding male) and have been planning to get another billy goat to breed the females this year. Our goats (thankfully) do not fulfill the goat stereotype and jump on cars, eat paint and generally terrorize the property. Boot City has a LOT of cars around so it is a blessing that our goats aren’t destructive (Sterling the horse takes the cake there, but that is another post).
A friend of ours has some female Boers who are in the midst of kidding. Sadly, the first doe to kid died a few days later from a freak infection. It was a very uncommon and not communicable disease that took her life about a week after kidding twin boys. The boys were bottle fed for a few days before our friend decided the kids needed to move to homes with more time resources to care for them. We’ve bottle fed a few goats in the past few years and I bottle fed sheep and calves when I was a kid so we volunteered to take one of the boys. The other went to another friend so we are able to keep tabs on the brothers.
This is a photo of them the day they went to their new homes. The “red” head is Bullet and the black head was “Bingo”. I’ll explain his name change in a minute.
They were born in late January and, even in Texas, the weather can make it MUCH harder to care for baby animals. We brought “Bingo” home on a Saturday afternoon in February when the temps were climbing into the 60s and by Sunday night it was back to freezing and ice. So, he moved to the house to be near a heater and come to think he’s a fox hound. We kept him in our breezeway with a heater for about a week until temps climbed back up to the 50s and 60s and he could be back with his goat friends. Animals kept with humans when they are babies are a LOT harder to deal with as adults than those reared by their own kind so we wanted him to be with the other goats as much as possible.
The more time we’ve spent with the little guy the less his name seemed to fit him. Boot City has a thing for horrible 70’s and 80’s TV shows and Sanford and Son is his absolute favorite. He’s been working at home a lot lately thus watching an inordinate amount of Sanford and Son…..one thing led to another and our baby goat has become “Lamont”. The “Son” of Sanford and Son. Our Lamont was a little slow on the uptick to really get the hang of the bottle after moving to our house (evidently he did fine before the move, but oftentimes big changes can hinder baby animals). This was how how earned his name. Fred Sanford always called his son a “dummy”.
No worries, he eats JUST FINE now! He’s also taken to grazing on grass in his pen and eating pelleted goat feed and alfalfa. The earlier orphaned goats eat like adults, the more likely they are to develop normally. He still loves his bottle, he gets two a day, but he’s growing rapidly! So, that is the story of our orphaned goat. Check back for updates as Lamont grows to become a magnificent Billy goat and the father of lots of kids