Thursday, July 31, 2008


Our rat terriers generally kill any critters that show up uninvited in our yard, but they weren't messing with this bad boy. I found them barking at this big, coiled-up bull snake from a considerable distance. Obviously, I don't have a great fear of snakes (as long as I know they're there anyway). So I picked him up with a stick, put him in a big garbage can and then drove him into a wooded area about 5 miles away to release him. While I would've appreciated him consuming any rodents around here, I was also concerned that he might eat some of our eggs as well. Plus, I didn't really want to run into him again unexpectedly. Therefore, I decided that relocation was the way to go.
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The Rabbit Ritz

My husband tends to go a little overboard when it comes to building things. Our rabbit house is a great example. I wanted to build the bun-buns a bigger cage/house/hutch. One day, I started sawing and drilling, determined to construct... something. My husband saw what I was up to and decided to "help". Before too long, he had created one heck of a rabbit cage. The end result is WAY more elaborate than I had planned, but the bunny-girls (Ashes and Tammy Faye) haven't complained a bit.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Some Feathered Friends

I haven't always wanted chickens. To be honest, I really never gave them much thought... until I visited my neighbor, who had a small flock of chickens. I was fascinated by the interesting things she told me about her chickens and their behavior. Then she sent me home with some fresh eggs. I thought it was a nice gesture, and while her eggs were very pretty in various shades of tan, brown, green and blue, I didn't expect any difference in taste. I was wrong though. Fresh eggs definitely taste different - in a really good way!

So then I was hooked and had to have some chickens of my own. I've had chickens since April 2006 now. The past two springs I have even raised some chickens for meat. Did you know that there is a big difference between the chickens you keep for eggs, and the broiler birds you raise for meat? They're like two separate animals. Stick around, I'm sure I'll walk you through it next year.

Currently though, I have 21 laying hens. Some are old and don't lay many eggs anymore, but they're nice old gals and so I'll just keep on feeding and housing them through their retirement years.

The girls are well protected by two roosters. We call the older one, Herman, because he looks just like my neighbor's rooster whose name is Herman. Yes, I was a total copycat on that one. I couldn't think of a name for him and Herman seemed like a great thing to call a rooster. Don't laugh. Have you ever tried to name a rooster? So now when I'm talking to my neighbor, I refer to him as "my Herman" as opposed to "your Herman." She knows what I'm talking about - or at least she pretends that she does. That is Herman there in the picture to the left. He's a curious fellow, but also pretty darn gentle for a rooster. The younger one never even got a stolen name. I just call him "the younger rooster." It doesn't seem to have given him any kind of complex yet.

Then there are my smaller, new chickens. I ordered eggs from eBay and incubated them this spring. What I have now are one Frizzle rooster, one Frizzle hen, and two Silky hens. They are smaller chickens and they lay tiny little eggs (though these haven't reached the laying stage just yet.) The silkies appear to have wild fuzzy hair rather than feathers, and the frizzles look more like regular chickens that have been caught in a windstorm. Their feathers curl around all over the place. I think the purpose of these four will be purely to make me smile every day. They look both cute and ridiculous. I need to get some current pictures of them so they can make you smile too.

So that's how the chickens found their way into our lives. They are the one and only animal here that actually makes an effort to earn their keep. We keep them fed, and they return the favor:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Quick Introduction

I'm generally not good at being brief, but I'll try to give you a quick idea of who I am and how I live without writing an entire autobiography in my first post. Bear with me, I will probably find this a very difficult task.

I grew up a country girl that was born and raised (okay, TRAPPED would be a more accurate word) in town. My earliest memory is of petting a horse at rodeo when I was 18 months old. My mother swears I can not possibly remember it, but yet she can't explain how I am still able to accurately describe the entire scene with great detail - right down to the fact that the horse was a palomino. I can not remember a time when I didn't love horses - all animals really, but horses especially.

Growing up in a family that wasn't exactly "pro" animal was a challenge for me, but over the years I managed to weasel my way into having hamsters, rabbits, a cat, and eventually a dog. I begged and begged and begged for a horse - probably every day of my life. I went to horse camp every summer and worked as a ranch hand as many weekends as possible at a riding stable about 45 minutes away. All I've ever really, really, really longed for in life is to live in the country and own horses.

Fast forward to marrying my husband almost 16 years ago. He had grown up on 25 acres in the country himself and while animals weren't really his focus, he eventually wanted to live the country life too. Finding and affording the right place wasn't easy though. It took 9 years before we were able to buy our 8 acre farmette and move from town out to the country.

While nothing has been exactly "easy" for us, living here with our two children is something we truly cherish. Today we share our country home with 4 horses, a pony, 27 chickens, a goat, 2 sheep, 3 dogs, 3 cats and 3 rabbits - though these counts are always subject to change without notice.

I guess, for me, this blog will be a way to document my thoughts and experiences - a diary of sorts. If anyone cares to read it, fantastic. I hope it doesn't bore anyone to tears. :)