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Tuesday, 29 October 2013

 

My aircard died before we went to the north ranch a couple of weeks ago and so I'd been living on my iphone for internet until yesterday, when my husband and the AT&T salesman dragged me further along the road to technology with a new - Hotspot!

I am now, back in 'bidness!'

So let's catch up on the latest at the ranch. One of my favorite parts of the ranch is best seen from a game camera. I love game cameras. They are a wonderful way to keep tabs of the wildlife on the ranch. (and your cows - I firmly believe that as soon as a deer feeder goes off, no matter where she is on the property, Dancing Cow races like Secretariat through the forest to scoop up deer corn.)

There is a good side and a bad side to game cameras. First of all, they give you a snapshot of your wildlife . . .

 I love turkeys. We have a lot of them and they leave feathers all over the ranch. I delight every time I find a feather. It's like finding a smile, just layin' there on the ground.

And deer, we have a 4-6 does that I see each morning or afternoon when I roll around on the 4wheeler. The game camera allows me to slow the action down and look at them more closely.

 (dates on camera are incorrect)

And bucks. They only come out at night and are almost always at the feeder with the rascally little raccoons. We have one little raccoon that is so obese that I call him Fat Albert. This coon isn't pregnant, it is OBESE. The coons are eating pretty well around here. This raccoon in the photo isn't Fat Albert. I don't have his/her pictures on this laptop. I saw Albert running one day when I was on the 4wheeler. Fat Albert was so fat that I thought he was bear cub when he climbed that tree!

 And naturally, the game cameras allow us to keep loose tabs on the hog population. Yes, they're still here. Yes, I still carry a gun when I walk. Yes, when I walk I take one of those evil assault rifles.  (for more on that read this:  Assault Rifles)

 

 Game cameras are nice, but . . . they also allow you to get to know the animals, and that isn't always a good thing for the men in the family who put up game cameras to monitor wildlife for hunting purposes. Depending upon the womenfolk in the family, this can work against them. For instance, we have a nice population of does, but we also have one  'grandma' doe. She is obviously older and the men took one look at her picture and proclaimed,

"Oh, she needs to be weeded out."

I took one look at her and announced,

"NO! She is a grandma! You can't shoot GRANDMA!"

Thus you see the problem with game cameras. Gentlemen, game cameras allow your spouse to get to know the little creatures under her care. And as such, she is inclined to make sweeping proclaimations such as,

"There will be NO killing of Grandma Deer!"

The men argue about the good of the deer population and such, but I hear them much like Charlie Brown's teacher - "waa waaa waaa waaaaaaaa."

And so, if one of these boys shoots Grandma, there will be hell to pay around here.

 "Such is the danger of cameras."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 10:07 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Tuesday, 15 October 2013

 

Certain members of this family have way too much time on their hands.

 

We kept a group of calves at the house and without their mothers around, there is no one around to keep this group of pre-schoolers out of trouble. Last week Other Half was out of town and I was juggling the farm and a full time job. Naturally the calves discovered the joys of playing in the water spigot.

Yes, one, or more, of the calves figured out how to turn on the faucet and flooded the arena - twice.  They got so bad that I had to turn the water off to the house to keep them from burning the well out.   At one point, I trotted out to the pasture, turned the spigot off, trekked back to the house, and twenty minutes later the calves had turned it on again.  WTF!!!

So I solved the problem by just turning the water off at the well and turning it back on when I needed to take a shower and fill the water tanks. After days spent screaming at Other Half on the telephone, and threats of steak and BBQ, the problem was finally solved when he returned home.

For a while at least.  Other Half returned home and made a little Fort Knox around the water faucet. This seems to have done the trick. We'll see. Kindergarteners with nothing to do but graze can be quite creative.

 

 

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 11:13 am   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Friday, 11 October 2013

 

Someone has clearly not read her contract! The document in question should read:

"kill coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, opossums, and anything else that threatens livestock."

Nowhere in this contract can I find the words, "kills baby squirrels," and YET . . .

a certain someone has murdered not one, but TWO young, (and probably stupid) squirrels in two days!  I am NOT amused. I have never seen a squirrel eat a lamb. It is probably my husband's fault. Other Half has probably slipped her a Scooby Snack because the squirrels have been eating his pecans.

  Mugshot of murder suspect

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 08:10 pm   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Monday, 07 October 2013

 


 

"There's no sense crying over spilled milk."

I saw it coming before it happened. I even considered stopping and pouring my precious nectar into another bucket, but no! I pressed onward. And even while I watched the storm brew, I considered the phrase "crying over spilled milk."

But with the arrogance of a typical busy human, I muttered to myself,

"She wouldn't dare . . . "

Oh, but she would.

And she did.

I have two good milking dairy goats. They are sisters, Clover & Crimson.

I bought Clover because her breeder hated her color. I loved it. She is also the most delightfully friendly, adorable, pettable, make you love goats, kind of creature you ever wanted to meet.  She is Glinda the Good Witch Of The North.

And then there's her sister . . .

 The Wicked Witch of the West

The breeder had planned on keeping Crimson.

I had Clover and she was the perfect first dairy goat. Clover was the kind of dairy goat that made you want to dance to the Sound Of Music with Julie Andrews. Then I got the call about Crimson.

"If you want her, come get her. If you don't, I'll sell her for meat."

Alrightie then. According to the breeder, one of her teats was bad but she still gave plenty of milk. Since she had so many goats, she didn't have time to fool with her.  I only had one, and didn't need a lot of milk, so I took her.

Right off the bat, I figured out that although she was a full sister to Clover, they were as alike as the witches in The Wizard Of Oz.

 

Glinda The Good Witch of the North

The Wicked Witch Of the West

Yeah....

She gives a lot of milk . . . if you are willing to rodeo for it.

Kicking the bucket is her forte. Kicking you is just icing on the cake. I developed a whole new milking style to deal with this bitch.

And it worked. But goats are clever. Today the Wicked Witch Of the West came up with a new trick.

"Just sit down in the bucket. Yes, just collapse your back legs and sprawl right into the bucket of milk. And yes, that will spill milk all over the milker, the milkee, the milking stand, and the grass underneath the milking stand."

(much to the delight of the Livestock Guardian Dog)

I wanted to shoot her. 

I really wanted to shoot her. I wanted to take her to the sale barn right then. I smacked her on the ass. I screamed.

I yelled. I threw a fit.

I swear she turned around and smiled at me.

 

With great effort, I finished milking her out and instead of turning her back in with the other goats, I hauled her hiney to a dog kennel where she could watch the other goats. Then I turned her sister into the milking area. Clover ran to the milking stand, climbed up, put her head into the stanchion, and started to Hoover up the feed her sister had left. Then she turned to me and smiled. Glinda The Good Witch.

I'm so glad she was my first dairy goat. If I'd started my experience with Crimson, I would have given up milking goats entirely. Milking Crimson is like playing a game of Chess. She is a worthy opponent. I've had the upper hand for a while, but I forgot this one little rule about board games . . .

. . .

 

"When you're losing, turn the board over!"

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 12:29 pm   |  Permalink   |  3 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, 02 October 2013

 

Dear Friend Kim had a rough morning, but not as rough as the night her turkeys had last night. She had two turkeys, Thanksgiving & Christmas. She had become quite fond of them. They were eating a steady diet of grasshoppers and making themselves quite at home on her ranch. (about 25 minutes from our ranch)  Last night a cougar made a visit. It had turkey dinner.

There is no doubt in my mind that it will be back tonight for the second turkey.

Dear Friend Kim posted a picture on Facebook of the cat's pawprint. BIG cat. Bigger than Briar.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, when the sun goes down around there, the Flying Monkeys come out. We just 'thought' we had a predator problem at my old farm. There I lost 11 turkeys in one night. I lost 10 chickens in a week. I lost a goat not 100 yards from the barn.  Farming ain't for sissies, Folks.  It's a dog-eat-dog world out there. Actually, it's an Everything-Eat-Bird world out there.

If you want to know what predators you have, get chickens. Or geese. Or turkeys. Damned near everything but an ostrich is on the menu in Texas.

And that's why if you keep birds in the country, you need one of these:

 No, not the sheep, the DOG!

A Big White Dawg!

 

Best $50 I ever spent.

  "awww.... shucks!"

 

Will she be able to protect all the stock when we move to the ranch? Nope. Hell, that cat is as big as she is! That's why the small stock needs to be in a pen surrounded by a MOAT of nasty dogs. We need to make it too much trouble for the predators to come to our birds. That's what ranch dogs are for.

 

Otherwise, it's Bye, Bye, Birdie . . .

 

 The Apple Dumpling Gang

 Geese are just little dogs with beaks. They are the most delightful of creatures and I will not have them again until I'm in a place where they can be surrounded by Big White Dogs. It is simply too heartbreaking to lose them.

 

 

 

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 10:09 am   |  Permalink   |  5 Comments  |  Email

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