Thursday, August 19, 2010

Is it spring again?

There seems to be a re spring happening at my house.

We just got an order of Welsh Harlequin ducks eggs for hatching. These are an endangered livestock ducks that I am very proud to be hatching and , look forward to meat and eggs from them. I am wanting to start with two hens and a drake. Really hoping that they are quiet and will not disturb the neighbors.

I also received 10 Rhode Island Red chicken eggs. The last of our chickens have been eaten and I wanted to start fresh with a new flock so that everyone was the same age and would get along in the pen. We really only have room for 4 hens but that will give us more than enough eggs to feed my family. I am of course disappointed that I cannot raise a roster to keep the eggs fertile but will have to be happy with the quail and ducks for continuous source of meat.

Speaking of quail I put 10 quail eggs into the incubator as well. These will be for eating since i get more than enough quail eggs from them.

Just yesterday my daughter and I drove well past Stockton to pick up our new Nigerian Dwarf Goats. They are just adorable. Both over 4 years old but smaller than my lab puppy. I love driving with my daughter. We have the most interesting conversations and thinking about the changes that I have seen in her over the years just makes me smile. At one point she said "Mom, life is good" Yes baby life is good. There is nothing better than picking up two more animals fro our little farm. The Doe is in milk and I have started to milk her but have not gotten much out of her today. I will keep trying and hope that she will produce more as she gets use to the daily routine.

We also have quite a collection of baby rabbits. our Lilac (another heritage breed) gave birth to 4 healthy babies. We also have 16 American whites that are about 4 weeks old now. They are doing very well. I hope to sell them at the next rabbit show in September.

Finally some personally exciting news. We have been going through the process for adoption of our own children. We have finally finished the home study and will be meeting 3 little girls on Monday for potential placement. I am very excited and scared and a little overwhelmed. please keep us in your thoughts as we add more children to our ever changing house hold.

From the Blue Rivers


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Fall garden planning

It is August and for me in the bay area that means another planting of crops. I love living in zone 9 for gardening. We have a lot of planting that can happen in August and September. My first frost is not until December and my last frost is in January giving me lots of time to plant. I did miss my spring window this year. We had purchased new cages for all of the rabbits and I had spent to much time and money on the animals and not enough on a garden. But I get a second chance now.
We caught another raccoon. That makes 6 for the summer. The animal control cop was a little upset with us because the raccoons are going to be put down and she said that they will just keep coming. I understand that this is prime raccoon habitat but the trap is set right next to my quail cage. If they are in the trap it is because they were planning on eating my quail. I am not putting the trap in the waterway or even on the fence line of my home. The trap sit almost in the middle of my yard. I feel terrible too but I feel worse when I have a baby bunny with half it's leg missing because the raccoon pulled it through the cage and bit it off. I just think that people who do not raise animals and gardens do not understand how hard it is. Not only do you fight your own financial and time constraints to do everything but you must build a relationship with one of the most moody women I have ever met. Mother Nature.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I think that we have finally got control of our raccoon problem. It has been a war this year and now that we have the trap we are winning. It has taken some time though. They have won most of the battles killing chickens, rabbits and quail.

The trap is a humane live trap, I don't want to cause any animal pain, even though they have tortured most of my animals. Once they are caught we call animal control to come and take it. They tell me that they euthanize the animals but I am very suspicious of that. For some reason the same number of raccoons keep showing up. A mom and 2 babies and a male. We have caught 5 raccoons and they do all look alike. I am sure that the markings are different for each animal but I am not interested in getting that close. They are very angry little beasts.

One night we heard an incredible amount of noise. Rushing out to the back yard in our night clothes we found the mother in the trap and three babies in the tree. The babies were calling to their momma and it was very heart breaking moment. My husband was able to climb into the tree and catch one of the babies with a gloved hand. Of course I stood at a distance giving directions. "Just treat it like a cat and scruff it honey!" My poor husband will do any thing for me.

We know that there is at least one more raccoon that we have seen but not caught yet. The difficult part is that once those raccoons are caught more will move into the empty space. We hope that we have secured our cages well enough that the new ones will not learn that our yard is an all you can eat buffet.