Monday, October 8, 2012

Free range eggs

The girls are out and about, finding all kinds of goodies during the day.  It is so nice to have fresh, homegrown eggs again!  Now that they are old enough to be laying, I'm getting anywhere from 6 to 11 eggs a day.   These are Silver Laced Wyandottes, and the two golden ones are Golden Wyandottes.  A nice change from the all black chickens we had for years.  Jersey Black Giants are nice chickens, but I wanted some more color this time around.  The only problem is we don't have a rooster, so there won't be any babies out of these girls, just lots of eggs.  Maybe next year I'll get another batch that includes roosters, too.

   I'm glad the snow melted from the other day.  Waking up to two inches of snow wasn't fun. (Wednesday) I'm not ready for snow yet!!  It was very pretty in a wintery kind of way, but it can wait till the end of November before it snows again, please.
   The deer came in again last night, right through all the fencing and all that I had put up to keep her out.  Actually I think she walked in through the open gate that Nellie pushed open, but she left through the fence and tore it all up.  She is really going to have to go in the freezer!!  I heard her get tangled in the fence at 3 this morning, then got free and then had the nerve to snort at it.  Dang beast.  It is now a battle of wills between her and I.  So far, she's winning!  Not a good thing.  John got a little pellet type gun a couple of years ago, so I think I'll figure out how that works and start peppering her with that and see if that keeps her away, at least until hunting season starts in a couple of weeks.  If Nellie would do her job like she is supposed to, none of this would be happening.  Id have a freezer full of veggies, the apple trees wouldn't look half naked, and life would be great.  I am so grateful I have friends with bountiful gardens that shared their produce with me this year!

   I'm taking on some custom spinning jobs here this month.  I haven't spun wool in a long time!  It should spin up pretty fast.  I'll have to dust off the Louet and get it ready to go.  I use my Majacraft Rose for spinning the cashmere, and the Louet for everything else.  I haven't done anything else for a while, so Louie is a bit dusty. :-)

  Well, that's it for now, more as it happens...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Weather is changing finally

The weather is finally going to cool down and maybe even rain!  We've gone all month without a drop of rain, so it's getting rather dry out.  Today the wind is blowing and there are a few clouds scuttling across the sky.  I had the woodstove going last night, but let it go out today, since it's in the 60's.
  I got another fleece dehaired today.  Camilla has some really nice cashmere!  A nice white and micron count under 16.  Some soft, wonderful fiber.  The machine is making an unfamiliar noise that I can't figure out what it is, so I'm done dehairing till the guy from mini mills gets here sometime next week.  I'm so glad he's coming through here!  They don't make the "rounds" every year, at least not out this way, so I'm glad the timing is such that the noise happened just before he gets here.  I've got 9 fleeces left to go, plus there is an order coming to be dehaired this week.  So the machine can't quit now!

  The deer has eaten 99% of my garden this year.  She has done waaay more damage than the goats ever have in all the years I've had goats.  She ate all the green beans except one tiny meal, all the peas except 4 tiny meals, all the broccoli, the spinach, a lot of the carrots, pulled up the onions repeatedly so I only had about 5 of those, and now she is working on the apple trees.  I have put up more booby traps for her than I can count, and she just figures them out and gets in anyway.  She even lifted a double layer wire cage off the beans!  I had a hard time getting that off to pick my one meal, but she just pulled it off and ate the beans, just as another little meal for me was about ready.  Grrrr....  She also had pretty much eaten the whole blackberry bush that was getting some ripe berries on it finally.  At least I'm getting some of those.  One or two a day.  She just blasts through the high fence I have up, even though it is that black snow fence stuff that is highly visible.  If there weren't so many things to hit around the garden, like vehicles, etc., if I missed, I'd just shoot her and put her in the freezer.  Since she's eating my winter's food supply, she can be my food supply, at least the meat portion.  With at least 10,000 acres of national forest all around us, there really is no reason she should be in here at all.  The dogs are afraid of her, so they are worthless.  Although Nellie, I think, has figured out that this isn't "grandma" deer and that she can chase this one away and it will run from her.  She finally did that last night with great success.  A little too late, but better late than never.  When John gets home, we are putting up a real deer fence, or I'm not even going to attempt a garden next year.  I've told a couple of bow hunters about her, and one came up a couple of times.  Of course, she didn't come anywhere near the place till after dark.  So all that accomplished is two disfigured trees cause the guy had to have "room" for his tree stand so he cut a bunch of branches out.  Way more than I thought he would, or he said he would.  Now the trees look ugly.  Especially the one near the dairy barn.  I might just cut that one down now.  Then the guy filled his tag by shooting a deer from his deck at home.  A lot of good that did me!  Don't think I'll invite him up again to hunt, ever.  Yes, I'm rather annoyed with him.

  The chickens are laying quite good now!  6 to 11 eggs a day, depending on the day.  I've been waiting all year for this, and having fresh eggs is a wonderful thing. :-)  I'm getting enough to sell again, too.  I have a few customers that have been waiting for these girls to start laying.  They say these are the best eggs they've ever had.  That is a nice compliment to my chicken raising ability. :-)  Thank-you!
  The bears have moved away from here for now.  I think they are still visiting the people down below us, but I haven't seen any fresh sign around our perimeter for a while.  This is good.  I saw one out on the forest service road last week as I was heading out for a bale of hay around 8:30 in the morning.  Not too far down the road from here!  Must have been what the dogs were all barking fiercely at the night before,  
  Well, that's all the news from here for now.  More as it happens....