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Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

Spring Babies

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These two cuties are the newest addition to the flock. The chick was born yesterday, and the duckling today. These two ducks are sitting on another few dozen eggs, so we are hoping for  several more in the next few days.

Aside from the two new mommas, there are another 4 ducks and 1 chicken sitting on eggs.

So far this season the hatching rate has been very low. We have 4 juvenile ducks and 7 juvenile chickens. We had 5 ducks and 1 chicken sitting a few months ago, but a rat snake and possum got into the coop and ate the majority of the eggs.

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The juvenile ducks are currently in their awkward stage. This one’s wings are a bit too big for his body.

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Here are a two of the seven juvenile chickens. We currently have 3 Bielefelders, 3 Maran/Bielefelder mixes, and 1 White.

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It looks like our new Bielfelder rooster is doing his job.

 

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Here is our new rescue kitty, Maddie. We’ve had her for over a month. The 3 cats are not best friends yet, but they’re getting better. One reason for the conflict is that Maddie won’t back down from anything. She showed that today, as she stalked a deer, taking her chase all the way across the street!

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Memorial Day weekend seems to be the typical time for fawns to appear in the neighborhood. This year, we’ve seen an abundance of twins. I spotted one set in the front yard this morning and had to grab my camera.

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Momma wasn’t far off, and it turns out I’m not the only one who noticed.

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Maddie Cat was fascinated, and not at all intimidated by the massive size difference.

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Quietly stalking

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Unsuspecting Deer

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Off she goes across the street

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Uh-oh. Caught it, now what do I do?

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Deer took off, guess it is time to head home

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Catching some air

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Back home safe and sound, and still fearless.

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Hank is a mini Alpine and Larry is a mini Nubian. These two are permanent additions to help keep the weeds in check.

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One of our ducks, Priscilla, is super friendly but a notoriously terrible mother, hatched 3 guineas but then quickly abandoned them. We had 3 tiny guineas running around the chicken yard. We weren’t sure how they were going to make it, until our lone chick, just 3 weeks old, took over momma duties.

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Not only did she show them how to eat, but lets all 3 climb under her for sleeping and protection.

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Elsewhere in the chicken yard, we have a chicken and duck raising 7 ducklings together. They sat together on the nest for 28 long days and once they hatched, they are sharing duties.

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Here’s another momma with ducklings. Wait a duck raising ducklings? Something’s wrong around here …

We currently have 15 ducklings, 1 chick, and 3 guinea keets

*Sorry — all pics with iPhone this time

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All Bees Welcome

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After a very long winter (by Texas standards), Spring has finally arrived!

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The bulbs … Tulips, Narcissus and Hyacinths

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Irises

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Front bed — Betony and Lantana. Nestled up against the house, this lantana bloomed all winter

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Bluebonnets — mine are a little late, but coming along

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Wisteria

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My first Mountain Laurel bloom ever!

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Yucca Bloom

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The veggies — tomatoes and peppers are planted. A few winter veggies are still going, and I’m letting things bolt for the bees

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Citrus

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Even the chickens know it is spring. Here are two sitting on eggs. One is using an old rabbit nesting box. We’ll have to keep an eye on her, as she’s about ¬†feet up in the air.

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Guinea Keets

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We have babies!

A few months ago one of our 3 guinea hens decided that she liked our neighbors much better and took off, leaving us with only 2 guineas. Then a little over a month ago, another one disappeared. We heard her, so knew she couldn’t be too far away, but she stopped coming around for food in the morning. We finally found her sitting on eggs. Normally we wouldn’t mind, but in this case we only have guinea hens, which means no fertilized eggs.

Being the resourceful person that he is, Eric went on craiglist and found fertilized guinea eggs. We put them under our hen and 28 days later, woohoo!

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We have 6 keets. The two females are raising them together, what a cute little family.

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Shearing Day

Although my daughter has been shearing lambs for a few years, this was our first go at it.

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Her 2 lambs were already at the farm, and they have shearing stands and shears, so we loaded up our other 2 lambs and headed up to the farm.

Me, drying a lamb

Me, drying a lamb

The first step is washing and drying the lambs. The dirt in their wool, will dull the sheers, so they’ve gotta be clean.

"Wrangler"

“Wrangler”

It’s quite a task getting the lambs up on the stand, but once you have them hooked in, they are fairly content. You have to watch them closely though, as they tend to slip off every now and then.

Aspen, shearing one of our girls

Aspen, shearing one of our girls

Eric, shearing Wrangler

Eric, shearing Wrangler

Of course, Aspen was great at shearing, but who knew Eric would be such a natural? He was such a perfectionist, we had to pretty much pry the shears out of his hands.

Look how fluffy and white!

Look how fluffy and white!

Exhausted from a busy day

Exhausted from a busy day

Overall, we did pretty well. We washed, dryed, sheared, and cleaned up in under 3 hours. We definitely got a better appreciation of what my daughter has been doing the last couple years.

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