Three of Abigail's daughters have come back with Abigail. The big reddish brown guy is a Tamworth/Berkshire mix. He's the same age, plus or minus a week, as the little black American Guinea hoglets he's eating with.
Hambone is the boy's name. The three girls are Smaug (she's the smallest), Floppsy, and Mopsy. Cottontail is still with my friend keeping her hoglet company.
So last week, we picked up Catherine's pet lamb, Lola.
We also got a 5-month Nubian/LaMancha male as a companion for Freckles. His name is Francisco; I had him castrated this week. Helped the vet do it in the driveway.
The other female we got didn't work out; she was too tall to keep confined. She kept hopping the fence between one pen and the other. Don't need a wandering goat eating up my garden. So I traded her for a Nigerian Dwarf/Mini-Saanen mix who is currently in milk and will be three this year. Her name is Fiona. She's the second one from the left.
Little Fern is also a new addition to the farm. Her parents are Freckles and his sister, Frida. Yeah, I know. I sold Frida back to the woman from whom I purchased her initially. But she didn't want any babies so I got the doeling back. Fern was born May 11, 2014.
She's getting the hang of the bottle. Slowly but surely. She didn't run from me when I went in with her second one of the day.
I picked him as first because he's the most dangerous. He's attacked my 9-year old daughter on numerous occasions. So many that we've armed her with a tennis racket when she goes outside alone so she can fend him off. He's also attacked other people's children and that's really not cool.
As he was a 14-month old rooster, he was thick skinned and rather tough.
I turned him into rooster and rice soup and pressure-canned it.
Planned to process five of our six roosters today. That's too many roosters for just 12 hens. But Mother Nature interfered again. Couldn't find a spot to set up the propane burner - wanted to set up a big pot outside and keep the water nice and hot, but too windy out there.
It's currently snowing. Husband had to leave early...AGAIN... because of the weather. Didn't want to get stuck here or in transit in the projected 5-10 inches of snow.
Planted more seeds today. We planted some cabbage (3 types), cauliflower (2 types), bok choy, and various herbs last weekend and we have little sprouts!
Today, I planted some Minibel tomatoes. They are a tiny cherry tomato that does best in containers so no reason to wait for frost concerns for those. I also planted Roselle Red Thai, which is a kind of hibiscus that had edible flowers and leaves. Sounded interesting when I was buying seeds. What I didn't use, I put into a card and will mail to my oldest daughter in Tulsa. While speaking with her today, she said she was going to try and grow some tomatoes in her apartment and I thought "Hey! I have the perfect tomato!"
Bacon is still brining as is the ham. I think I'm going to smoke a piece of bacon tomorrow and see if it's ready. It's been about 10 days.
Tuesday, the landscaper came out to meet with me and talk about what I wanted to do with the gardens.
The one in the front of the house, where the L-shaped porch is, will be cleared of bushes and whatever else is growing there and logs from the trees we had last year will be moved to the dump area. I thought I'd save money by cutting them up myself but locust wood is like iron - and it's eating up my chainsaw.
The other area is down in my garden where I dug out the raised beds. I'm going to have it expanded like five or six times the size I have now. All they have to do is till and dig. Then add compost.
He gave me a great price, because as he put it to his son (son is president, dad is vice), my job doesn't require any special skills but it's work he (dad) likes doing.
The plumbers showed up around 5pm on Friday night. They managed to dig out both faucets and replace one with a seriously kick-ass hydrant in an hour.
The one closest to the house, it's been broken for almost a year. Unfortunately, it was too old and rusted to fix. I was used to not having it. But I'm going to get an estimate from the plumber to see how much a brand new line would cost to install.
Mr. Freckles is sporting a mighty beard nowadays. His coat is also super thick. The vet told me that ruminants can tolerate the cold way better than other animals because the act of digestion that their bodies use creates heat.
Not much going on. Both the outside water taps are screwed up so I now have to hire a plumber in order to continue providing water to the animals and eventually water the garden.
Need to send one of the hogs to meet the meat maker. The girl is going to get hooked up on a date and will hopefully provide some tasty hoglets in good time.
My seed orders are here but nothing will be planted until next month at the earliest. Still waiting for potatoes, onion sets, shallots, blueberry bushes, and mulberry trees to be delivered come spring.
Puppy is getting huge! He'll be a great guard dog eventually. He's only three months old, but I have high hopes.
Husband should have his show moved by the end of Feb. No not much longer now until he's home full-time.