Unfortunately, almost every local group I was in is gone now, shut down by Facebook for "violations to the Terms of Service" for having people listing animals for sale. As a direct result, I've opted to get back on MeWe. An alternative social media platform, I had an account a couple years ago, but nobody else I knew had an account, and social media without any friends or family seems to be a pretty bleak place, so I abandoned it.
But here I am, two years later, starting back up on MeWe. If anyone wants to send me a friend request, my direct link is HERE. I will be using the account largely for homestead announcements and animal sales.
Today was the last day of school for the kids. Tomorrow #1 goes off to grandpa's house to house-sit or three weeks. Good thing her other grandparents are just down the road a few minutes and can help her out or pick her up or bring her food or something if she needs anything.
This morning Tony caught the two puppies chewing on what was left of one of my little chickens I just released on Monday (one of my three California Whites). I told him I knew it was his pup (Arya, the Saint Bernard) but he insisted something else must have killed the bird and the puppies just got to it after the fact. This afternoon the kids let the dogs out while they were playing in the yard, and despite reminding them to keep an eye on the pups, I came out twenty minutes later to figure out what all the barking was about. I caught Arya with a second little chicken, devouring her kill. Nope. Done. I raised my voice, I yelled, and I held her collar while pointing to the torn apart corpse of my chicken and I repeatedly told her "THIS IS A NO! BAD DOG!" I didn't hit her, I didn't tie it to her neck like some of my old farm friends swear by, I didn't pick it up and hit her with it (eww, gross). I raised my voice and I was firm. Then I sat down on the ground, not sure what to do with the situation, and honestly ready to cry. Arya put her head in my lap and refused to look at the bird. She stayed like that until I stood up several minutes later. When I tossed the remains into the compost for the barn cats, she made no effort to go anywhere near it. Toby did, but a quick "no" was enough to get him to leave it alone.
This better be the end of it. I won't tolerate a chicken killing dog. If she gets one more of my birds Tony will have to invest in an overhead trolley system for Arya or fence in the yard around the side door to keep the dogs contained. I lost two birds today because someone else let the dogs out and didn't pay attention to what they were doing. I'm livid.
While out doing barn chores I found an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly. Gorgeous butterfly. It didn't stay still long enough for me to get more than a blurry out of focus photo of it; just enough to get an ID looking it up online and comparing.
I put an ad out in hopes of finding someone willing to barter with us for a canoe. I didn't realize they were quite so expensive. I was hoping maybe some bunnies, or chicks, or hatching eggs, or perhaps some crocheted dish cloths could entice someone who isn't using their canoe to swap with us. I'm a little discouraged after seeing the prices people are asking on Craigslist. I'm still hopeful someone out there might have one sitting in a garage or shed someplace who'd be generous and barter with us. Farm fresh eggs can only take us so far I suppose, but hey, you never know, right?
Today I added four tiny hatchling chicks to the barn brooder. This is really an experiment. I know it's warm in there. There's a light and a heat plate, and other chicks to have body heat too. The barn was almost up to 90-degrees today, despite the high temp being in the high 70's. It was even hotter in the brooder. Most of the bigger chicks were on the far side of the brooder to get away from the heat sources. I'm crossing my fingers that these four little experiment chicks do well. This is our first time going straight from the hatching incubator to the outside brooder. If it doesn't go well, I may have to set up an indoor brooder again for the guinea order coming at the end of this month. I don't think anyone will be pleased with that, but it's better than losing chicks to something as preventable as heat issues.
I found someone who raises turkeys in a nearby town and have inquired about buying a couple more Bourbon Red turkey poults. We originally ordered three in the hopes of getting a pair, but two died already. I'm hoping if I get two or three more, I'll have good odds. We ordered two broad breasted turkeys to eat at the end of the season. The hatchery sent three and we still have two. I just don't want the one remaining Bourbon Red to be lonely or have to wait an additional year for poults to grow up next season. Here's hoping they still have some available and our schedules match up to go and pick some up!
You may have noticed there are no photos in today's blog. I apologize for this. Yesterday Toby chewed up the cord that connects my phone to my computer, so I'm no longer able to get photos onto the blog from my phone until I get another cord. Good thing they're not terribly expensive.