Monday, March 29, 2010

It's Monday.

Ya'll realize that means I went to Auction, right?

Yep, we went.

I took 3 ducklings, the chicken gals that got served their pink slips last week, and some metal chicken waterers that were just hanging around here and not being used. I hate metal waterers.

Everyone brought prices I was happy with, and I'll be seeing a check on Wednesday.

I bought nothing.

Now pick yourselves up off your floors, ok?

I took two baby bunnies down to the local feedstore today, too, and sold them. YAY.

I have three rabbits left. That's it. I had somewhere around 11 rabbits right after Christmas, and we're down to - count 'em - THREE.

My mom wants one of them, the other two will be going to Friday Auction this week at Roger's.

I've also decided that I don't need two color varieties of call ducks. I'm planning to sell the breeding quad of Pastel Calls and keep the Blue Fawn pieds.

That's the plan anyway - we'll see if I actually make myself do it or not.

I think I'm sending all of my Speckled Sussex to my local friend. Maybe my flock of Welsummers, too, and I have this gorgeous pair of Heritage Dominiques that I hatched last spring myself that might be sold.

Thing is, I have been talking/planning to sell those Dominiques since they hatched. I've had no intentions of having Doms, but Dang! if these aren't the most beautiful Dom's I've seen! No wonder Hatchery Dom's never appealled to me! The pair I have are just gorgeous, and well, I don't want them to go to just anyone. I'm hoping to find a Dom enthusiast who'll recognize them for the beautiful birds they are. I think they'd make a great addition to someone's breeder flock.

Shoot. I think I have to keep 'em.

Yesterday I traded 3 ducks for 3 Bourbon Red Turkey hens and a pair of Roman Tufted geese.

We got two Turkey eggs today and the Roman Tufted's were so comfortable in their new surroundings that they engaged in full on PDA....DH came running in and said, "Omg, those new geese of yern are raunchy!"

As much as I had wanted Blue Swedish ducks, I'm beginning to think I wasn't supposed to have them. E V E R. My first pair were stolen from my back yard in '07, and now the pair I have is defective. My Blue Swede Duck either doesn't want, or has no abilities, to lay eggs. Not only that, but when she runs, it's almost like she's running in the special olympics - except it's the duck version of special olympics. She cannot keep her balance when she runs, and she almost seems asthmatic if stressed.

They have until Friday. I know they are playing the mating game, and she sets on a "nest" and pretends she's laid an egg, but dog gone it, if there's no egg by Friday - good bye and hello Auction.

I did put them in a new pen away from all other waterfowl today to see if that helps. My WH duck wasn't laying, either, until I separated her from all waterfowl. So...

I guess that's about it. Dinner is in the oven - BBQ chicken.

Tomorrow it's a day trip to Meyer Hatchery where I'm picking up some Black Copper Maran chicks...and then it's home to get some work done...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Friday Night Auction = Late Late Night and $2 Calves

Guess who went to a Friday Night Auction??

If you guessed me, you'd guess right! Becca and I hightailed it up to Roger's Auction. It's every Friday night at 6 pm. I took 2 rabbits to sell and Becca took 1 rooster, 3 ducks, and 1 rabbit.

We were very pleased with what our animals went for up there. I mean, the roosters all sell for at least $4 each - except for two LF OEG roos that sold for $50 each!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, they had a lot of baby goaties - bottle babies - E said I was absolutely NOT allowed to bid on goats! He said NO NO NO. He was very serious.

He didn't say anything about not bidding on calves or ducks.

And originally I wasn't going to bid on calves - except I watched two dairy cross bottle baby steers sell for $15 a head. Do you know how cheap that is?!

I looked at Becca and said for $15 I'm getting a calf! then I said "I should really call E first."

Except, Becca's phone was in her car. Shoot. I was trying to decide what to do - do I bid on a calf, and hope he's not mad, or do I continute to beg Becca to go get her phone - she said she wouldn't make it back to the auction area in time - and miss out on a calf all together?

The auctioneer meantime was trying to get bids on Jersey Bull Calves. High bidder would have choice.

No one was bidding. He was down to $1 per calf. PER CALF PEOPLE!

My card went up. I bid.

Someone else bid.

I bid again.

Other person bid again.

Another bid.

I bid again - at $6.

They bid $7 - and I stopped and didn't bid again because I was trying to decide if E would kill me.

I looked at Becca again and said I need to call him.

Auction ended at $7 and the high bidder took 1 calf. The auctioneer looked at me and said, "Would you like one for $7?" I hesitated for a split second, and then said yes. I mean, it's only $7!! and they were beautiful!

Then he asked "would you like two?"

I was dithering, I mean, yea for $7 I wanted two, but what would E say??

Instead of saying yes, I blurted - "I really need to call my husband first!"

The entire auction arena errupted into laughter. The lady infront of us whips out her phone and says, "Here, call him!"

I'm calling E and the auction is continuing. The next calf sold for $9 - still dirt cheap! E answers -

E: hello?
Me: I just bought a calf for $7!
E: We don't need a calf.
Me: But I bought one! for $7!
E: They're only going for $7? Ok.


E: You're in Becca's car! How are you going to haul a calf home?
Me: She has a tarp, we're going to tarp the back (Becca and I had sorta discussed this)
E: What about milk replacer? you don't have any milk replacer here - it's all gone.
Me: We'll stop at TSC for milk replacer

Becca says "TSC closes at 9 or 10"

The Lady who's phone I'm using says - "They sell Milk Replacer here." (and it's at this point that I realize half of the auction arena is very intently listening to my phone conversation to see just how this little drama plays out!)

Me to E: They sell milk replacer here! We'll buy some here on our way out.

Becca to me - Do you want a second calf? They are $2!!!

Me to E: It's only $2 for a second calf - do you want me to do it??

E - Hysterical laughter. Seriously. He's hysterically laughing into the phone - and I'm needing a decision.


E: Still hysterically laughing - I don't care, do whatever. *more laughing* Have fun.

I hang up the phone and shoot my hand up into the air for a $2 calf. The auctioneer says, "Do you want them all? There's only 4 left and they're $2 each."


I excitedly exclaimed, "We're hauling them in the back of a Blazer, I can't take them all!

This resulted in an almost rioteous uproar of laughter.

They added one $2 calf to my other calf.

So we go and pay and then we're loading up everything, and this older couple ask us if we'd like a third calf. They had bought 3 of the $2 calves, but really didn't have the space for the third.

So once again I called E - this was that conversation:

Me: OK, we have two calves in the back of Becca's Blazer -
*more laughing from his end*
Me: Do we want a third one? this lady bought 3 for $2 each and asked if we'd take one for $2. Becca said we could fit it in.
*more laughing*
E: Do what you want, but that means one more calf that we have to feed -
Me: I know! I'm Ok with that.
E: Ok.

So we stuffed a third - although smaller - calf into the back.

The one lady who works at the auction thanked me profusely for taking that third calf. I was sorta confused, and she said that the couple taking those calves don't really take good care of their animals.

I asked what she meant and her reply was, "Well, she says she feeds them.........."

I nearly cried - and it almost made me wish I had taken another calf from her, because she had offered to let me take 2 of her 3.

Anyway, I paid $11 for three Jersey Bull calves - it's not every day a person can say that lol

And, they are beautiful!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

BIG News, BIG Improvements Nine Years in the Waiting!

I'm actually scared to post the big announcement, because although I'm not normally one prone to believe in jinxing, I'm really afraid I might jinx this.

I know that I've been doing a lot of praying, and so have my friends, that this will work out, because, you know, 9 years is a looong time to not have water.....

Few weeks ago we had a well drilling guy out - and he gave us a quote of $29 a foot. So, just to have a well drilled, capped, and cased - no pump or holding tank and not piped into the house - at the very low side we were looking at $2900 and that's only if he stops at 100ft. If he has to go beyond 100ft, he wants $29 for each additional foot.

We just thought that was outrageously high per foot, but hey, when you need a well.....

Last March we were in a car wreck. We had been advised to get an attorney, so we did. About two weeks ago our attorney called and said the insurance made a very low offer, they felt it was too low, we were to the point of let's just settle. Our attorney told us to just wait - don't give authorization yet to accept offers, let me see what they come back with if I demand a high offer.

The next week she called back, and the offer was more. After fees and medical - we were looking at the exact amount needed to drill the well in pocket - exactly what the well guy said 100 ft well would be.

We told her to take it. We emailed authorization.

Then she called back. They settled for more than what she told us last week.

It's not a ton more, we won't be set for life or anything - but enough to get the well drilled and capped. Maybe.

So, we called another well guy. He told us $2800 for the first 100 feet, and then anything over 100ft is $10 a foot - OMG that's a way better price!

The last guy that was out witched for water and said he'd probably hit water at 55 ft, but would suggest going 110 ft to be safe - to make sure it doesn't bale dry.

Our neighbors have 160 foot well. The guy behind us only has a 35 ft well and my FIL 500 ft up the road has a 140 ft well. None of them have problems with their wells drying up, all have good water flow.

The spot they chose on our property - assuming this new guy thinks it's a good spot, too - supposedly has 5 underground springs running into and through the same spot.

I'm excited - but at the same time holding my breath. This will be our third attempt to get a well, and they say third times the charm...and I'm doing a lot of praying.

Scripture says, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His Righteousness...and all of these things shall be added unto you.."

another scripture says "delight yourself in the Lord and He shall give you the desire of your heart.."

Don't ask me where they are, I can never remember the references, but I know they're in there, and I'm telling you, we've been doing our best, but even trying to live a Christain walk has it's ups and downs, and we've found our human side taking over.

But I'm still praying, and I'm holding on to the promise of "the desires of my heart" I mean, if God found a way to give me the short time of owning my beautiful Alpaca - who wasn't a necessity, was just a pet and not a need - then surely God would see this need and desire of water atleast accessible in my own back yard!

I mean, I'm happy if I have to walk out my door and lift a pump handle! at least it would be in my own yard!

I'm hoping that wanting/praying for this well is not being greedy.

So, folks, if you're the praying kind, please pray with us, that this all works out, and that we'll have the money in the promised 4-6 weeks to get our well drilled (or rather, hammered in).

I think 2010 is a year of Promise, and God's promised to care for us. I think I've had to learn to be patient and wait for His timing, and I feel strongly that now is the time.

I will not lie, my biggest worry about living here has been if we have a total economic collapse, and we couldn't get anywhere, how would we get water?? we're set up for everything else, the water on our own property is the last necessity.

AND - this well is really happening!!!! the guys that will be doing the drilling came out Tuesday evening - of course it was right at the time I was supposed to be leaving with the kiddos for our 4-H meeting, but what the heck, won't kill them to be late for 4-H.

Anyhoo - he came out and marked where he wants to put our well.


So, they actually found 2 spots they really like for the drilling, but they said when they come back in 4-6 weeks to commence well making, they'll decide which of the two will be the best spot.

4-6 weeks!!!

Nine years of hauling water - nine years of waiting, trying to get one, not succeeding - it all ends in roughly 4-6 weeks!!!


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Bringing Home the Beef

Ok, so I browsed through my self-sufficient journal and found this older tale about us getting our first calves to raise up since moving back to Ohio. This was not the first calves we'd raised up, we'd raised some before we moved to TN. This is the tale of how Chase and Boss came to our farm, in the later winter/early spring of 2009.


We had decided yesterday that we were going to go to the auction barn today, and we did. Dh likes to go to look for fencing and at the beef and calves and just wish and dream. Normally.

Today they had a pen FULL of Jersey crossed with Holstein calves. Bottle babies. Oh my did we do some serious wishing right then! Our minds started whirling, can we do it? Can we budget in a calf?

I immediate started praying. Lord, I leave it to you. If we're meant to get a calf, you'll make it so. We left the auction after we picked out the calf we were hoping to bid on and ran up the street to Tractor Supply. We bought a bottle, scours tablets, and milk replacer. We had it in our minds that if we didn't get a calf today, well we would at least have these items on hand for later if we did get one. While we were there, we also agreed on an amount that we would be willing to spend on a calf. Never having bought or bid at a livestock auction, my excitement starts to get the better of me! (normally I only take something to sell, not buy.)

We get back to the auction and they were almost done with the outside stuff which meant soon they would be getting to the goats and calves inside. I realized I had forgot my auction card, and that's needed for bidding, so I had to go into the office and ask her for a bid card. Thankfully those are free, and they just write your number on a little green card.

We get into the auction arena and pick our seats...right up front! I was soooo nervous and excited I literally felt sick to my stomach. We sat there for thirty minutes waiting for it to start. While we are waiting, there in the auction ring is five baby goats. One white male that was 2 weeks old and 4 Nubian Doelings that were 1 week old...all had been bottle fed. Well, one little doeling just wouldn't shut up. The others were running and jumping and playing, this one was just walking around bawling. It was also the smallest of the four.

I told DH that thing is soooo annoying I feel sorry for whoever takes her home!

Yea, well, I guess I feel sorry for myself then, because we brought her home. The guys working the auction had handed the little one up to my kids to hold and pet, and well, they just fell in love. It worked out alright, I guess, because we were quietly discussing if we wanted one, since they were all girls, and how much would we be willing to spend? Well, we once again settled on x amount. The bidding was between me and a man off to the left. It was so on. I hit the agreed upon x amount and stopped...bidding stopped....I HAD WON! Not only had I won, but I had the choice to take them all or one or however many I wanted. So I told them to give me the little one they had let my kids hold. They've named her Bambi.

Then they brought in the calves. I was sooooo excited I could hardly contain myself. They started out high, I sat very still...they started out high and no one bid....they lowered it one went on that way until they got to x amount and someone beat me to the punch so I hit x amount and it went from there....I bid up to half the amount that DH and I had agreed upon to spend on one calf...and bidding stopped. I didn't even realize that I was the high bidder! I thought someone had outbid me...they waiting for me to choose my calf.

I said, "Who me?"

Auctioneer says, "Yea, you."

So I screamed out the calf's tag number, "145!"

Auctioner: You want 145, is that all? You want two?


I look at DH and said, you want two? He said for that price, yes.

So then I screamed, "135"

There was an audible grumbling among the rest of the bidders, because I had obviously taken the same calves others were wanting. Dh thinks, from the reactions, that other people just figured since I took the runtiest goat, I'd be just as gullible with the calves LOL

So it was great! We were super excited that we got TWO calves for the amount of $ we wanted to spend on ONE calf! We paid for them to get vaccinated, pinched, and scour guard. Then we loaded them up in our van and headed home.

Well, here is where we messed up. We get home, and duh, should have grabbed a rope! Dh's calf, number 145 for now, who's also the bigger of the two, freaked out and took off. We spent THREE hours looking for him. Finally gave up, was ready to cry, called all the neighbors and the sheriffs department and reported our new calf missing.

I was so sick to my stomach. I started praying again. This time I was asking God to help us. Apologised for having been greedy and buying two calves when we would have been happy with one, and asked Him to please help us find the big boy.

Meanwhile, a neighbor up the road stops in to ask us for some help fixing his dryer. I explain to him that my FIL and husband are walking the field and woods looking for our calf that got away. This neighbor was soooo awesome, and turns out, it is someone my husband had worked with over 11 years ago on the local dairy farm! He runs home and gets his wife, tells her what happened, and they come to help us look for him! They had a couple errands they had to go run and do, but promised they'd be back to help us.

It's getting dark by this time, and I tell DH we need to feed the other baby.

We fixed up a bottle for calf number two and went out to feed him. He started to bawl when he seen us coming. Dh wanted to help me get him in the barn so I could feed him, and then I hear an answering calf bawl. I froze. I looked down our logging road, and there standing as bold as brass is the other calf!! I told DH there he is!

DH hops in the van, drives up to FIL's (who had been helping us look for him) and tells him the calf is back. The neighbor was back and saw DH going up to his dad's and he came flying back up the street to our house. DH is already headed back in the field to head off the calf. FIL is standing by with rope and when the neighbor came up he told him what was up. They both take off to the back of the property and the neighbor cuts into a run.

Since I wasn't back there to see what happened, all I have is what DH told me. The calf tried to jump the fence or go through to the woods, DH spooked him and he headed the other way. Neighbor grabbed him around the neck, calf drug neighbor up the hill and neighbor let go...They gave chase again..Calf headed back to FIL and FIL blocked his way...Calf headed back to neighbor and our neighbor tackled him, pinned him, and screamed, "I got him!"

They worked the rope into a halter and lead and brought him home. He's now safely in our barn. Oh I was so relieved and I just thanked God over and over!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sebastopol Geese at Evening Star Farms

OMIgosh I'm so excited! We acquired Sebbies!

I'm totally thrilled with the new additions to our farm, and even my hubby, who wasn't that thrilled at first, commented on how beautiful they are.

Of course, I had to give him "selling points" to convince him that these Sebbies were a good idea. I showed him egg sales on eBay and showed him how much goslings sell for on average. So, with his "blessing" and strict orders to "sell the eggs" I went and with the help of my dear friend, brought home this beautiful breeding quad of Sebastopols!

Quad of Sebastopols

The one white goose was treated with blue kote because the lady's great pyr pup (who at 7 months old is the size of a pony!) was plucking the feathers out and "flossing" his teeth. That's why she chose to sell the Sebbies. She said she'd rather have sold the pup, but her husband refused to let the pup go, so she chose to let the Sebbies go when she saw that the pup had plucked that gal bald at the shoulders.

Which works out great for me! Here's the blue goose - she's my favorite, and was friend's favorite, too...almost had to pry her out of her arms!

Blue Sebastopol Goose

What was funny, when we got home, I asked my friend, "So, are you going to move out your Embdens to make room for Sebbies?"

She replied, "I dunno, because I have Pomeranians coming in April..."

To which I replied, "Yea, and I have Pilgrims coming in April..."

And you should have seen how fast my husband's head whipped around! He looked at me and exclaimed, "You have Pilgrims coming?! Then you didn't need these geese!"

I said, "Now just wait a minute, you knew I ordered Pilgrims! You were right there!"

He started laughing, so that tells me he was mostly just teasing, but after my friend left he did admit he had forgot I'd ordered Pilgrims.

So, we're discussing setting up hoop houses as geese shelters with pastured runs, so that I can have my geese separated and on grass and I'm planning on kiddie pools for their "ponds".

One of the Sebbies laid an egg yesterday before we picked them up, but so far, no egg yet today. I cannot wait to hatch some babies from these!

Oh and, just for fun, I took this shot of my pair of Blue Swedish. Just couldn't help it. They were standing so nicely, just asking me to.

Blue Swedish Pair