Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Mother and Guy Goose

Goose Egg vs Duck Egg

We found our first goose egg in February and were of course excited. I didn't expect it to be that big, but it was giant. Our female goose, Mother Goose, had laid about four eggs haphazardly around the chicken house so we collected them with plans of popping them in the incubator after getting a handful ready to go.
After a little spring cleaning and a fresh thick layer of straw down in the chicken house, Mother Goose decided it looked so comfy and went broody. She made a perfect nest with the straw and feathers she plucked from herself and I'm pretty sure a couple ducks and a chicken layed a few eggs in there as well, so she may have a variety of children next month.
The issue here was that we had five goose eggs that were about to be put in the incubator and a goose (which trumps artificial incubating) setting and ready to hatch. So I carried the eggs up to the chicken house, locked Guy (her protective fella) out and was hoping to perhaps slip them under her somehow. She was and still is very cranky if you get within five yards of her, so what I ended up doing was putting each egg on the ground and sliding it under her with a really long stick. It was challenging and she jumped up hissing every time one touched her, but she didn't reject them and is still sitting on them today, phew!
Mother Goose comes off the nest for a short while every day to hang out with her beloved Guy Goose, but other than that he is on his own and just looks so lonely. Hopefully at the beginning of April we will have a fresh gaggle of gosslings following Mother around chomping at grass and swimming in the "pond"... and perhaps some duckling and chicken brothers and sisters as well.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Winter Inside and Out

It's cold outside and humdrum inside, it certainly is winter.

We had a little snow storm (thunder and lightening included) a few days ago. It left lovely landscape behind and excited littles. It has been a very snow-covered winter which I enjoy. I always say if it's going to be cold--which it will be as we live in Iowa--it might as well be beautiful!

I'm trying to get away from the seasonal monotony, or "momotony" and get back into the groove adding thoughts and pictures here. Perhaps it will brighten up my days a bit. I have been doing a little Konmari-ing the past few months and have come up with many many things that have left or are on their way to leaving the house. Each cluttering item that goes takes a little bit of weight off me I didn't even know I was carrying, such a nice little bonus. There is so much left though, I've got a lot of work ahead of me.

Tonight as I was shutting the chicken houses for the night, Sunflower (the dog) was along with me as usual. The ducks and geese usually stick together and are last in, usually having to be persuaded (herded) into the door. Lately the geese have been very irritable. They basically hiss at you if you look at them, which is new. Well, Sunflower was getting too close for comfort and one goose was standing his (or her?) ground firmly, hissing and stretching his neck far up into the air. Poor goose got a little too carried away and stretched his neck too far back he fell over backwards. Those geese are pretty, but they sure aren't smart.

Our chicken numbers have been dwindling over the winter. We have about 15 roosters too many and no time to fix that. Basically every poultry processor near (and by near, I mean the closest is a good hour away) us is closed till April. My husband will have a nice little jaunt in a couple weeks to take care of this issue, but then we'll have a nice variety of birds in the freezer including some duck and turkey. The little baby turkey is all grown, gobbling like his daddy. And hopefully this also makes the mood in the yard a happier one. All those roosters, fighting with one another (to the point of death a few times unfortunately) is really just making things tense. It's no wonder we've got like 5 eggs from our hens in the past few months. I had to break down and buy eggs at the store the other day, it was a sad day. But, the six month old eggs hidden in the back of the fridge just weren't tasting fresh enough anymore, ha.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Interview With 5 & 3 Year Olds

Who are you going to marry when you grow up?
Mason - Elliot and Finnley
Finnley - Lindy
Elliot - Hadley

How many babies are you going to have?
Mason - 5
Finnley - 3
Elliot - 100

What will your first baby's name be?
Mason - Jakey
Finnley - Adaline
Elliot - Adaline

What are you going to be?
Mason - A dad firefighter. Elliot and Finnley will stay home and guard the babies. And a farmer.
Finnley - Policeman
Elliot - A fairy

What is your favorite food to eat? To cook?
Mason - Pork and tuber soup. Garlic bread noodles
Finnley - Bananas. Bananas.
Elliot - Grapes. Ravioli.

Favorite Book?
Mason - The Prince Has a Boo Boo
Finnley - Puppy Love
Elliot - Hansel & Gretel

Favorite Color?
Mason - Cornflower
Finnley - Pink
Elliot - Purple

What do you like to do outside?
Mason - Clean the chicken house and haul new straw with my tractor.
Finnley - Play basketball
Elliot - Play with Pongo (kitten)

Favorite Drink?
Mason - Mystic Mango Kombucha
Finnley - Old (our word for pop, she does not drink this for the record)
Elliot - Chocolate Almond Milk

What do you like to play inside?
Mason - Tag with Dad
Finnley - No answer
Elliot - Horseland

Favorite Toy?
Mason - Legos
Finnley - Train Tracks
Elliot - Puzzles

Favorite Animal?
Mason - Buff
Finnley - Ponies
Elliot - Zebras

Who is your best friend?
Mason - Abigail
Finnley - Sumo (cat)
Elliot - Pongo (aforementioned kitten)

Favorite Song?
Mason - Insects Are All Around Us
Finnley - The F Song {Listen Here}
Elliot - Chicken Bop {Listen Here}

Favorite Dessert?
Mason - Swipers (pie crust, butter, cinnamon, sugar)
Finnley - Cake
Elliot - Swipers

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Elliot & Finnley - On Your 3rd Birthday

We got up bright and early (a recent trend I don't necessarily support), Dad and Mason slept in a bit.

We sang Happy Birthday to you, though  you didn't wait for us to start the song before blowing out the candles on your breakfast cookies.

Mason was so excited for you to open your presents he could hardly wait for me to make a cup of coffee. He gave you each a birthday shirt he proudly picked out.

Mom and Dad gave you some new books that I talked you into reading with Dad so I could finish making my coffee, before heading up to the playroom to try out your new dolls and furniture.

You helped do the morning chores, which usually consists of you:
  • Throwing handfuls of feed where you shouldn't.
  • Chasing the fearful ducks.
  • Mom holding up so you can shove some grass into the turkey run.
  • Playing in the duck pond.
  • Collecting walnut piles and playing on the mower trailer.
  • Begging to carry an egg or two back to the house.

And then there was mud. Elliot, you cried when you fell and got your hands muddy, but life was better after you wiped them on a buttonweed leaf. A bubble bath followed.

Dad spent most of the day at home. We just hung around the house, playing (and some of us cleaning). We had just gone to the zoo with friends the day before.

You talked to Grandma Deb on the phone, the conversations were short.

Grandma Kim and Grandpa Tim stopped in with Viggo and you piled on Grandma, per usual.

For dinner we had brats, taco mac n' cheese, and mixed vegetables. For supper it was yogurt, carrots, mango, grapes, strawberries, avocados, oranges, and kombucha. Your kombucha drinking faces are entertaining.

3 years old and you still make an annoying mess with your meals. You call it "soup pie."

The day ended in princess jammies, your chosen books (Turkey Day, Tiny Tiger, and Louis the Fish), and snuggles.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Summer Highlights

The kids have been spending a lot of time playing outside in the mud. I don't have a lot of pictures to share of that because they always end up naked during that activity.

We met up with family at the Living History Farms in Des Moines and we loved it. Tyler and I want to go back sometime without the kids so we can ask lots of questions.

Lots of newbies on the farm this summer.. Tom and Sasha hatched one turkey baby. Every night the turkeys sleep outside in their run and the baby sleeps beneath Tom. If you talk enough, you peak the baby's curiosity and he pokes his head out through Tom's wing. It is seriously cute.

We had a raccoon break in up in our old coop and lost a couple young chickens. We also had an opposum living under the turkey house and probably assaulting Tom each night. The creature has been moved to another location, although we are suspecting another now...

If only we were ready to be bee keepers, we've got a hive inside the wall of our new chicken coop.

We took a vacation to the other side of the state to visit friends. It was fun, but long enough. We cut it short because everyone was tired and cranky.

Our niece spend a little over a week with us. She is so great with the kids and it was nice having her company. Wish she could visit more often! She also managed to get Tyler and I hooked on the show Grimm, something we would have never watched.

I successfully grew lots of rainbow chard, peas, and kohlrabi. The jury is still out on the rutabagas and I may get at least one pumpkin. The rabbits ate the five types of beans I planted since we didn't get the garden fence done. I was also unsuccessful at growing a few other things, guess there's always next year.

I butchered my first chicken! We had a young cockerel hurt himself and Tyler had to work that night so I took on the task myself. My parents decided to come watch, which was handy a few times during the process. It went so much better than I thought it would and the flavor of the meat was good. Tyler and I just did a second rooster (a Rhode Island Red that started attacking Tyler) last night and it did not go as well as the first one, but we learned some things that work and don't work with a full grown bird.

The kids all ran a high-ish fever for a day and then the girls broke out in weird spots. I was hoping chicken pox or measles to get those out of the way, but I'm still not sure what they had. I'm thinking hand foot and mouth. Whatever it was, it was thankfully a quick and easy virus!

We are getting plenty of eggs these days. The hens are getting better about laying in places we want them to. Our Pekin ducks and some of our pullets have started laying so the daily egg count keeps going up!