Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Weekend, what weekend?

We are in major project mode at the ole homestead. So many things to try and get done before the winter kicks in and dumps snow, ice and ick on us.

Duck house is almost done. This weekend or next Dad is coming up with the backhoe to dig in electrical and water lines to both the barn and duck house. Then fix the broken tile line in the upper paddock but what’s even more cool is that the duck pond will get dug for real. Once that gets done, we can reset some fencing, put up the solid fence between the ducks and dogs, then get the flooring done in the duck house, walkways/chutes up to the small duck doors so the hooligans can get in and out this winter. Photos as we progress, I promise.

On the duck subject—there are a few available this fall. 2 khaki drakes-2 yrs old, 2 yearling white anconas, 1 yearling ancona drake, 2-3 cayugas(no idea on sex yet). Give me a jingle if you are interested in some fun quackers. All have been handled some, had dogs work them at least once and are healthy. I can vaccinate if needed but we are working on getting an organic certification on the ducks in the near future, so have to be careful what I do with them.

Horses-David’s working on his tack/feed room in the barn and it’s slow progress. Before the wind chill kicks up and the snow flies, we will be cleaning out the barn, moving his work area to a different spot, storing hay and making the barn a little more weather tight.

On the whole storing hay, that’s a small discussion we are having again this year. I had originally planned on getting some sheep or a couple goats when we moved in here. Tried the goat, it died while we were gone on vacation. Plus goats don’t eat grass, they are head level browsers. Only when everything at head level is eaten will they maybe turn their attention to the grass at their feet. I have some great friends with milking goats but I don’t want the work of milking every day. Meat goats-nah, again, boar goats just aren’t my cup of tea. Heehee, though I do hear that Bekka’s dowry includes a few goats from Tammy—good luck Alec!

Due to the problems with intergrating sheep with horses, it’s just another road block to consider. See sheep are funny, they have issues wit CU toxicity so you have to be careful about what livestock you keep them with. Horses and poultry use much higher levels of CU and therefore it’s in their feed, mineral blocks and supplements. That means any woolies would have to go in a paddock/field on the east of the property, kept away from the ducks and and and....

Which, gets me back to the hay issues. That’s David’s small hay field. For the winter that means less hay from our own field and more purchasing good quality hay from Ron. Not a bad deal as he has some great hay ground and the horses do well on his stuff, but at 3-4 dollars a bale, well, ugh. That adds up when you consider the elephants aka Clydesdales eat at least 1-2 bales each day, then the stock horses, then sheep?. Then there’s the additional feed for winter, somewhere to put the woolies-ie another small barn/shed to build. Vet bills, hoof trimming, shearing unless we get “haired” sheep. Garrett help me out here--- do I really want to get into this too?

So back to the projects at hand—no sheep or goats for this year. Dog room is almost complete. Thank you to Bekka and Alec for helping me this last weekend. OCD has its place and Bekka used it to her advantage. Carpet is out and new vinyl flooring is in. Discussion continued as we rolled up the last of the old pad and this weekend I will get the wainscoting for the walls and the industrial rubber trim for the floor. The dogs love the new floor already. It’s a cinch to clean, looks awesome and Connie(the human not the puppy) gets a chocolate bar for suggesting the product we used. I’ll post some pics after we get the walls done this weekend.

Garden is about at its end and I need to get my garlic planted asap. Carrotts to freeze and dehydrate. Salsa to make and see what I have left in lemon cucumbers for pickles. The beans are starting to dry so I have to wait to pick those for shelled beans and next year’s seeds. Oh the herbs-gotta dry those this weekend too. Then it’s till what I can, plant fall/winter crops and figure out what to do for next year.

What else, what else? Oh new kennel run in the garage then it’s out back to the small dog yard to put down gravel along the house. Wood stove will be in by the end of October, new sump pump lines in and I think I might even get around to painting the kitchen and study!
Are you tired yet? I am just thinking about it. Forgot, four dog show weekends coming up too!

Later gators.....


penni said...

Well, now I need a nap -- and I thought my days were full!

Dawn said...

Wow, take a little time in there to sleep too! Farm life is definately busy.

Kodi said...

Whew! It's fun having a picture of all that you are doing in my head now that i've seen the buildings. You've been quite busy!

I need to email you to get info on building agility stuff like you have - that's my winter project. Kodi got his own tunnel at the DM shows - now we need to expand his toolbox!

Cindy said...

Totally forgot about the agility stuff! I'll do some digging for that after class tonight. I need to bug you for something else-receipt missing in RV :0) Email me!!!

Sherilyn said...

Wow! I'm glad Bekka has been a big help...her OCD does come in handy! :) Now if I could just keep her home once in a while to help us out! hehe She wants to spend her weekends with your leggy red-headed collie! Good luck with that dowery! ;)

You'll have to let me know what kind of flooring your using in the dog room. Still trying to decide what to use in our living room/dining room. Has to be appealing to the public when the house goes on the market one of these days (of course, we still have to decide where we want to move, but that's another topic!)

Let's not think cold weather, or that nasty S or I word for a while yet!

Have fun!

Ebonwald Cardigans said...

oh dear.....

Well i KNOW for a fact that horses HATE sheep! My mini's would pick the sheep and goats up by their spine area. I actually had one paralyzed when the mare flung it against the wall.....

I can't imagine what Clydes would do with them!

Also of note....most of the hair sheep and the wool breeds bred for fiber (not meat like Suffolk or Columbias) are GRASS fed!! So no grain or corn or anything extra needed! They are hardier, live longer, produce more young, etc.

I liked that little hay field by your driveway...I could see a couple ewes getting rotationally grazed there (even small pens help to keep the grass from getting too mowed over).

Gosh i could go on and on...maybe a phone call sometime?

Kathy and Kim Gibson said...

Okay now that is crazy busy! So we have to add separate fencing for sheep and horses? As Ellie Mae would say Woooooo Weeeeee!