Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Pet Safe Weed Killer Experiment

I saw this posted by a friend on FB.
My yard is full of dandelions and I would like to get rid of them, safely.
So I went shopping for the mix and then applied it.

This is the first test area at 10 am.

At 2 pm. YAY!

Second area at 10 am.

At 2 pm.

The driveway gravel should be successful since I don't have to worry about over spray killing the grass, though I am not really sure it is effective on grass. The lawn will be a much harder project partially due to over spray concerns, but also because there are soooooo many weeds out there. They do make the yard "look" green, unless they blooming.

After a bit of research about "why" this works I have figured out that the salt could cause nothing to grow in the spot again. Also, there is a lot of debate about how dangerous RoundUp really is. I do know that a gallon of vinegar is a lot cheaper and less toxic to the overall environment than a gallon of RoundUp.

My determination is:
  1. I will pull any weeds that I can.
  2. I will continue to use this mix on the gravel since I do not want anything to ever grow there again. 
  3. I will make another mix with no salt for the lawn.
  4. I will use RoundUp, carefully, on the weeds that are not effected by the vinegar/soap mix.

I didn't get much more done than the above pictures show since we were expecting rain. I want to do the driveway area on a nice day when there is plenty of sun to cook those leaves. Oh, that reminds me. One of the "RoundUp" agenda believers said that the vinegar doesn't do anything to the roots of the plants. That might be true, but if the root doesn't have any leaves to feed it death will eventually come to the root.

There will be more results posted whenever I can get a sunny day.

Chickens on the Loose

Saturday morning the sun was shining so I let the chicks out for an adventure.
They liked grass in the sunshine.

Real dirt.

Lots of stuff to hide under.

Places to explore.

All of that made for some happy birds in the yard.
Today, Sunday, it is raining.
When it stops there could be a chance for some scratching in the dirt.

Over in the garage the chicken house was being built.
Most of the wood we have used around this farm has come from the sawmill.
We don't have that benefit this time, so Lowe's got a sale.

And the Farm man got to build.
At the end of the day two walls were done.

Little Bit and Lucy Go to School

One sunny day while Little Bit and Lucy were enjoying an afternoon in the pasture, the farm Man came and got them from the field and put them in another pet crate. They were a little worried because the last trip had been so long and had a crazy dog in the yard. This time it turned out to be a short trip in the open bed of the truck where they could watch the world go by during the ride. Then the farm Man and a friend of his came and got the little girls out of the truck. The farm Man  told them "Welcome to school girls!".

Little Bit and Lucy didn't know what school was, but there sure were lots of people around. The farm Man told them that those people were students and they they should not be scared at all. The students were look at the girls and called them cute. Some of the people were even taking pictures, so Lucy posed while Little Bit straightened her hair.

After the photos the girls didn't know what else to do, so they wandered away from all the students and tasted the grass. This was all very exciting for two little goat girls because at home they had to share the grass with all the big goats and the other kids, but here it was all for them since the school kids didn't seem to like grass at all.

Then the farm Man offered them a milk snack in case they were hungry or thirsty. Lucy decided that was a very good idea and showed everyone how she is a superior milk drinker. Little Bit didn't want anything to drink. She thought the grass was much tastier and kept eating.

After the snack a school Man came out onto the lawn where Little Bit and Lucy were eating. They thought he wanted to be their new friend so they started following him around. The students all thought that was great fun.

Then the school Man and the farm Man made a lot of noise talking to all the students standing around the circle. The little girls didn't pay much attention to them and kept on eating grass. 

When all the noise was over there were four other school people standing in a line. Some of them looked happy and some of them didn't seem too excited.

Then two of the school ladies left. That left another of the school ladies and another school Man waiting. They both looked very happy to be there. 

[This is kind of a long story so Little Bit and Lucy asked me to fill in some details while they took a nap.]
Why this is all happening is because there was a "Kiss the Goat" penny contest in the school. The students voted with pennies for which of the school staff should "Kiss the Goat". It is possible that some of the potential "winners" and family members also voted to either keep themselves from "winning" the vote or to help certain others toward becoming the Goat Kisser. The turn of events made it so that there was a tie where Ms. Curry and Mr. Lokay raised the most money.

This is Little Bit and Lucy's daddy, Tyson.
He was advertised as the goat to be kissed.
We don't think Tyson would have been to willing in that game.
Though with that hairdo and sly smile he is quite a hit in the pasture.

So when the time came for the event the girls got loaded up and Tyson stayed home.
The winners of the contest should be much relieved.

[Nap time is over, back to the girl's story.]
So after the winners of the contest were identified, the farm Man and another of his friends brought Little Bit and Lucy to stand on some big boxes in the field where the school Lady and Man were standing. Little Bit was not too sure about standing on that box, but look!! the school Lady has a bribe for Lucy! No wonder Lucy was so calm.

Then the school Lady kissed Lucy!

[Have to wonder if any of that lipstick got any goat hair stuck in it.]

Then the school Man kissed Little Bit!
Neither of them seemed to happy.

Then the school Lady gave Lucy a big hug and Little Bit wanted to know why she couldn't get in on that happiness. Everybody seemed to think that was a funny thing for the Lady to do, but Lucy loves to be hugged so she liked it.

After all the kissing was over the girls went back in the crate and were put under a window where they nibbled some grass and listened to Farm man teach the students all about stuff with big words in it. When that got boring they took a nap until it was time to go home to the farm.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Week 5 Growing Like... Chickens

Today is kind of chilly around here, but I spent some time outside watching Chick TV. That sounds kind of weird. So is this weather. The chicks are five weeks old now. Remember when we put them in their outdoor world and they escaped through the wire so I had to put up the plastic to slow them down?

They aren't doing that so much anymore. Look at these monsters!

Who are you calling a monster? We see you woman.
Yes, I see you too Roo. In my dinner.

Never mind.

Buff butt and the Crows staying in the sun out of the breeze.

A couple of days ago, because the chicks are living on a grass lot, I decided they needed a pile of dirt to dig in and take their baths. I found an old number 2 wash tub and got a bucket of dirt to dump in it. Originally, I had put it on the side of the enclosure that had the least chance of rain blowing in on it. But today  it is kind of chilly so I moved it over into the sun. I also added some weeds that had bugs and small worms in it. One of the grey birds jumped right in and started scratching around.

One of the more distinct Lakenvelder type roosters was the first that I saw to use the tub as a bath. One of the other white birds and a couple of the grey ones were using it when I went to get the camera. When I got back these three were in it. I really haven't seen the black birds use it at all. They might just be shy.

They do enjoy the sun though.

 Another remember when.
Skinny little baby birds.

Are all big kids now.
And they have weeks to go before being full grown.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Goats in the Yard

Friday afternoon I decided it was time to release the lawn mowers.
They are ambitious, but not very efficient.
All that wandering around doesn't do much more than fill their bellies.

Then thy found my shrubs. It took them a while longer than I thought.
First I planned on chasing them off.
Then they ganged up on me and I decided they could have them.
Pick your battles.
I decided if they ate as high as they could it might be easier to mow.
So it was a win win.
Until they decided that snowball and lilac bushes weren't that tasty.
Oh well.

Then it was nap time for the kids.
Frank took that idea seriously.

Jake stayed low and quiet.
Tyson did stop by to check him out one time and Jake didn't care for that too much.

Monthly update on the goat babies.
Rose and her bottle babies.
They spend their time with her just like the other kids who are getting fed.

Tulip and Fred.
This is also Sweet William's mother.
He just became a father of two kids over at another farm.
Congratulations to William and Maybelle.
Hey that makes Tyson and Tulip grandparents!

Sunny with Rhubarb and Apple.

Violet with Ace2.

Frank and Bishop would not stand by their mom Flower.

Last year's bottle babies Salvia and Daffodil standing behind Tulip.
Tulip is two years old and the babies are one.
I was noticing how they size up next to her.

In other news:
Tyson almost went to the market Saturday.
He has been a big pain lately.
Especially to me. I need to carry a Tyson repellent.
He stayed so I want to make sure the yearlings are bred.
Because what we need is some more baby goats this year. 
We might have a lot of them.

Month Old Chicks

Temporary chick house.
Originally the plastic sheeting around the bottom was not there.
They walked through the wire when stressed, so I fixed it.
It helped cut down on the wind at their level too.

Chicks everywhere.

They are a month old now.
They look like gawky teenagers don't they.

Our chicks are a bit of a mixed lot.
There were two roosters involved in the incubated egg production.
One a Lakenvelder and the other a Buff Orpington.
There were several types of  hens.
New Hampshire Red
Black Jersey Giant
Golden Laced Wyandotte
Buff Orpington
Black Australorp
Barred Rock

On the farm we got them from the Buff Orpingtons stick together pretty much.
So the two Buffs that hatched for us should be true bred.

The rest of them were probably all Lakenvelder babies.
That makes sense since the rest of the chicks are all black and white or just black.
But we don't know for sure.

There are two similar to this one, which looks the most like a Lakenvelder.
But what was the hen? Delaware?

There are two mostly white like this one.
Delaware hen?

There are six all black with grey fuzz like this one.
Black Australop hen? Black Jersey Giant hen?

There are four like this one that looks like this one.
Dominiker hen? Barred Rock hen? 

There is no red displayed in any of the chicks so that leaves out the other three types of hens that might have supplied us with eggs.

New Hampshire Red
Golden Lace Wyandotte

Next thing to figure out. 
Is it a rooster or a hen?
Time will tell.