Thursday, December 6, 2012

Everything is Just Ducky

I am home sick from work today with a killer cold.  My head feels like it is going to explode.  This is day 2 of this nasty thing.  I went to work yesterday and my ears were ringing all day, my throat dripped and I yucked up enough phlegm to cover the parking lot.    Last night I almost choked to death on all the stuff I was coughing up, so I deemed it smart to take the day off and not subject myself to 4 hours of traffic, office germs and unnecessary stress.  However, just because I am sick doesn't mean I have no work to do.

I crawled downstairs and let the flock out.  They are so thrilled that the snow is gone and the grass is still where it is suppose to be.  When I opened the coop door they shot out like rockets and headed to their favorite grazing grounds.   I headed to the kitchen for hot tea and aspirin.

When I reemerged from the house I noticed the flock was gone.  No sign of them.  Garden and water ditch were empty.   I called them. No answer.   Very unusual.
I checked all their usual hiding places.  Zip.

It was then that I felt that little chivver of fear go up my spine.

I walked up the road to see if perhaps the ducks had finally discovered the pond.

No flock.

Now it was time to put Mavis, the wonder dog, into action.

"Find the flock Lassie."  I said.

She started running down the road, past the house all the way to the nearest street sign.

Her tail was way up while she ran.     Always a good sign.

It took me awhile to get where my faithful farm dog was as I was sneezing and blowing foreign objects out my nose ( excuse me).

As I got closer, she started wagging her tail and her nose was pointed east.   She wasn't going anywhere else.

I called the flock.  No response.

All that was in front of me were brambles.

I looked at Mavis, took a photo of the brambles and headed home.

Mavis stayed with the brambles.

I walked back to the brambles, took another photo, just because I need to show my friends how un-farmdog Mavis is, and headed home again.

 On my fourth step I heard a leaf rustle and stopped.

 Then I heard more leaves moving and soon my waddling, hissing feathered farm mates reluctantly came out of the brambles like the 7 dwarfs.

 They vogued for my camera.

 And then started to continue their grazing.

 They had nothing to say. (my ears are too plugged to hear anything anyhow..)
  They gave me the stink eye for discovering their new hiding spot.  
(Good dog Mavis!)

 And then went back to enjoying the sun, grass, bugs and occasional worm. Thats is what is vital to the flock and these 2 hen pecked ducks. Not as delicious or plentiful as the snails, slugs, japanese beetles and other garden pests from this past summer that they totally eliminated.

 Now that the flock had been found I headed down to the cows to fill their water tank up and do a "pre-rodeo" of capturing several weanlings.

Every November the spring born steers are sold.

The same family picks up the steers every year. 

The pick up date, depending on the weather, is this weekend.

Since the barn fire the only way we can capture the cattle that are leaving, is by enticing them into a corral made of portable panels.

These burned panels are the only thing that was rescued from the fire and we use them all the time.

So today I was going to put some beautiful 2nd cut hay in the corral and hope I could get a few of the steers to come in.

As I refilled the water tank, a few of the calves came over to see what all the sneezing was about.

So as all the adult cows ate from the round bale, I dropped the fence and carried over 1/4 of a sweet bale of timothy clover hay from my neighbors farm in the next town, and dropped it by the salt block in the middle of the round pen.

Its always the hardest getting the FIRST steer to come right into the corral.

This is where having gentle, curious, calm livestock really comes into play.

I jumped the fence and went back to the driveway and watched the clock to see how soon the first one would go in.

Tick tock, tick tock....

tick tock, tick tock....

8 minutes. 

 Red Sox Slider came to the plate first.

 The first one gets the most, and will attract a few others.

How long will it take to get the next one....

(pick a number)

tick tock, tick tock

tick tock, tick tock

56 seconds

Got 2

Garrett and Slider

 How long to get 3 ?

( guess)

tick tock, tick tock

tick tock, tick tock

44 seconds

Got 3 

and another one close by.

 tick tock

tick tock

59 seconds

Got 4.

Full House.

I do hope I can repeat this capture success just before the trailer comes this weekend.

With that task done I went to the next one.

A visit to the greenhouse up the road.

The owner made me a special wreath for my coop and  I needed to go get it before someone else wanted it.  Ester phoned me and said it was ready to go.

She made it just for my fowl friends.

It is customized with 3 yellow chicks and a big moose.  Much more beautiful than the photos show it.

I barely had enough energy to hang it on the coop.

It looks good.

Will look better with a little snow (and a Christmas pony tied to the fence.) 

So, are your coops and barns decorated for the holidays?

What are you using for decorations ?

Have your weanlings gone to new homes ?

Whats your best remedy for a head cold ?


  1. i love Mavis. we have a saying around here "sometimes the dog is right." sorry about the cold! hope you feel better. :-D *hands tissues*

  2. One thing I've learned from handling a Search and Rescue dog is "always trust your dog".
    For a cold, I swear by a Nyquil coma. For a fever, I believe in 3 aspirin, a hot shower, wrap in blankets and drink water. This can be repeated multiple times but twice usually does the trick but needs to be followed by a Nyquil coma.

  3. Oh I hope you feel better soon! It is no fun to be sick! Whenever I feel something coming on, I start taking Bragg Raw Apple Cider Vinegar. There is a "health drink" recipe on the bottle, but I just take a spoonful straight. It burns a bit going down, but it always seems to work. I would give that a try if you can handle taking vinegar :-) My husband mixes it with water and honey in case you can't do the spoonful by itself. My kids take a spoonful with a bit of honey on the spoon.

  4. What an adventure you have on the farm. I don't have a farm, barn or coop so no decorating there. Hope you get over your cold soon.

  5. I hope you are feeling better. I got the flu almost three weeks ago, was sick one week, kind of worn out and weak the next week, and finally feeling much better but still coughing.

    The area where you live looks a lot like our Ozarks...

  6. love that the flock fooled you (but not Mavis. Good dog!). Cannot imagine doing what you do even without a head cold. Get better. Mucinex-D helped me with the sinuses. And a lot of rest.

  7. Never any rest with animals around, but isn't it great?

  8. Loved reading your blog...nice that you documented your day for us♫ Feel better soon! My J effort is here:

  9. Sounds like you did more work staying home from work than you would have going to work...

    I hope you feel better and way to go Mavis!!!

    Great Job for the letter J...

    Thanks for linking.