July 31, 2005

Our Guinea Fowl - Freedom at Last!

One of the birds that we have are Guinea Fowl (here). These live in a coop in the Orchard and will be used for bug patrol. They are not the most intelligent of God's creatures. With the Chickens and the Ducks, you kept them in the coop for about a week, they got to realizing that that was “home” and they always returned to the coop to bed down for the night.

With Guinea Fowl, it takes six weeks.

Jen and I are in their coop twice a day bringing in fresh water and feed and they still run in panic from us.

As I said, not that bright…

Well, today was the end of week six so we decided to set them loose and see what happens — here are the photos:

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We opened the window on the side of their coop to let them out and they just stayed inside. The window is up high to prevent predators from entering. Jen finally went inside to chase them out through the door.

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At last, they make a run for it…

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Only to stand around wondering what this place is and what to do. The eventually scattered — many of them flew into the woods, some of them are hanging out near the buildings. It will be interesting to see how many of them return this evening. As I said, they are not that smart but instinct is a powerful motivator. They have been living in the coop for six weeks and that is where their food and water are.

Posted by DaveH at 01:22 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 19, 2005

Chickens and Goats

We have three different kinds of birds at the Farm, Ducks, Guinea Fowl and Chickens. The Ducks are for garden slug patrol (after we sent a few excess Drakes to “Freezer Camp”), the Guineas will be flying around the Orchard dealing with bugs there (they are set to be released from their coop on August First). The Chickens are for eggs and meat and just plain enjoyment. They are fun to watch as they go about their daily routine.

Since they are kept in the same paddock that the Goats and Sheep are housed, the interactions can be a lot of fun. Here are some photographs:

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This is Kiwi hanging out with the Buff Orpingtons in the shade of the Chicken Coop.

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These last three are the goats interacting with the new Chicken Coop.
They are very curious (the best description is to consider the intelligence of a good German Shepherd with the personality of a Cat).

The first is our youngest (four months) goat - Esmeralda happily hanging out inside the coop.
Next, she is joined by her bestest buddy, Oreo.
Finally, Oreo is inside the coop and playing with Newgoat.

Newgoat's story is a bit sad but with a very happy ending.

Some people were hiking up a local logging road and found him. He was starving and very friendly. They didn't really have a way to keep him but they could not leave him there so they took him home and one of their neighbors is a friend of ours and knows that we keep goats. That next day, Daniel dropped Newgoat off.
I did some flyers and we posted them at all of the local restaurants, stores, feed-stores, veterinarians, taverns, etc…
This was a friendly little guy, obviously someone's dear pet.
A week of dead silence. No calls.
We noticed a few things that needed attention. Massive copper deficiency (you can tell from gross examination of the hair), his hooves had not been maintained, an ear tag had been improperly set and was seriously infected. Plus, you could count his ribs.

The one thing that kept returning to our minds is that someone dumped this poor animal on the logging road. A single goat is a very unhappy and neurotic goat. They are herd animals and need a friend to hang with. Newgoat was probably someone's pet but after a few months of obsessive behavior, the parents probably dumped him instead of trying to find a good home. He loves people and will be a good spokes-goat for our farm. He is now happy and healthy and playing with the other goats and sheep and chickens.

Posted by DaveH at 09:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

How to deal with a mossy roof...

Here is one solution:

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Heh…

Posted by DaveH at 09:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Chicken of Mystery

Anyone able to identify this breed?

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We got 25 Chickens — some Buff Orpingtons and some Wyandottes but this guy slipped into the mix and we cannot identify what he is.

Posted by DaveH at 09:07 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

A busy few weeks...

We have been having a few very busy weeks hence the dearth of new entries here…

Two weekends ago, we went to several of the seasonal fairs in our area. One Saturday, there were four that we visited. Here are some photographs:

First off was the Hills to Mills Festival — this is held at the same venue as the Deming Logging Show. This place also serves as a Logging Museum and has a number of artifacts of early logging technology such as this one:

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Chainsaw Carving was one of the featured exhibits and there was some excellent work. Lots of Bears but this Gryphon caught my eye:

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We then went to the town of Everson for their festival. Not much to photograph there — a bunch of booths with people selling things and a few concession stands. Lots of clusters of people talking so it was definitely a very close community. Small-town America — very cool!

We then drove to the Lumi Island Ferry dock and walked onto this delightful boat:

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After a 20 minute ride, we docked and the shuttle bus took us to this Lavender farm:

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You could pick bundles of Lavender for $5, there were some booths with other craftspeople selling their wares (generally garden stuff, soaps and herbals). A wonderful walk through the lavender fields and the view didn't hurt either…

We went into Bellingham for a bite to eat and then finished off our day with the Sumas Bull-o-Rama. This event raises money for the Sumas Rodeo later in the season. Well attended (several thousand people in the stands) and lots of fun to be had. Very much a family event:

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The main event was Bull Riding:

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The kids got into the act too with Mutton Busting:

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All in all, a wonderful day off.

Posted by DaveH at 08:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack