Monday, March 16, 2009

Blue Monday

Monday Updates:

Buffy the Orpington gave up on hatching eggs on Friday. She decided quite suddenly that she wanted nothing more to do with motherhood; none of the eggs appeared to be viable. I think it may have been too cold for her to incubate them. We'll try again if she goes broody later this year.

This left me with thirteen eggs that had been sitting under a warm chicken for two weeks.

I did not want to throw them in the regular trash. Pick-up day is Thursday.

I did not want to put them into my compost heap.

I did not want to dispose of them in the woods where the dogs would sneak off for a special treat.

But I did find a new groundhog hole last week.

They rolled down very nicely and disappeared from view and out of dog reach. I put about half in the front door and half in the back door.

If anyone is living there now, he has been served with his eviction notice.

* * *
Moe did not make the cut for the Bissell contest. Based on exit links, large numbers of this blog's readers did vote for him. I'm still puzzled about how, between this blog's readership, the kind help of other bloggers, volunteers in Montana, private email contacts, and over 700 members of the general English shepherd email list (there are other ES lists, but membership largely overlaps), Moe did not make the final cut.

I have no pressing need to see Moe's handsome puss on corporate packaging, and I don't need a new vacuum cleaner, but I'd hoped to raise some money for the Montana dogs. It's frustrating being here now, and unable to do much of anything.

* * *
Last week my buddy Bill and I did a full service on tractor-san -- replaced all fluids I hadn't already done, grease points, new filters, full cleanout. Sharpened the mower blades, cleaned and greased the mower, and installed the deck for the season. Spiffy.

I am now diligent about cleaning all air filters and screens and sweeping/blowing/vacuuming all chaff from the mower and tractor after every use.

Friday I somehow lost the lower right arm of the three-point hitch while clipping the hayfield and the field that was once planted in corn. Cannot find it out there.

Today the little bitch started to overheat, and I cannot figure out why. It has lost radiator fluid but I can't find a leak. I'd hoped to finish the clean-up clipping this week, before things start to grow.

* * *

On a happier note, young Spike the free-range foster puppy continues to do well. I'll post more on some of his training later this week. Mostly he's just learning to emulate the big dogs, and to trust human beings to be reliable and not eat him.

The last couple days he's whined in his crate in the morning, even after being let out for the morning pee. Turns out he wants to join everyone up on the big bed -- I've never allowed him up, but he sees the other guys enjoying the Good Life With Eiderdown.

He's still skinny, but is now passing away from the age of roly-poly puppy and into the skinny kid phase. His coat is shining up really nicely. He will never grow into his ears.

He's a neat pup, and I would like to see him in a secure position as a farm dog and best buddy


  1. Moe! Get the Franken/Coleman lawyers on the case to dispute the vote. They should be available relatively soon...

  2. Dang! I voted for Moe...I really wanted the money to got to Montana...

  3. Maybe Buffy is awaiting the arrival of a certain red junglefowl cross rooster. (Yes, I am shameless in my attempts to get rid of my roosters- they're too nice to eat, really). I have a somewhat different problem with one of my hens- she gets all broody, hatches out chicks, and is a great mother for four weeks.

    Then she's off to par-tay with her buddies and wants NOTHING to do with her chicks. They still want something to do with her, but the feeling is no longer mutual. One of her abandoned chicks ended up foisting herself on our silkie rooster, who although reluctant at first ended up being quite a doting parent. Anyway, after doing this twice in one summer, she is no longer allowed to go broody, as she gets rather, uh, extra- feisty when the broodiness kicks in and the chicks hatch.

    New chicks arriving in two weeks- between them and the bouncing baby goats being born, I may find myself paralyzed by the cuteness.

  4. Bother the tractor -- from this week's ATTRA newsletter, it's Draft Horse Workshops!

    Get a horse -- Gina will be so jealous and it will provide more "treats" for the dogs! ;-)


  5. I'm thinking oxen.


    Two little long-legged horned-Dexter steer calves.

    Would that not be the balls?

  6. Is it cool enough where you are to work oxen? One of the CSAs around here (Valley Forge, PA) was looking into oxen, but they were told the summers are too hot and humid for them, so they went for horses instead.

    I was bummed as I wanted a Scottish Highland ox to help me around here so badly -- everyone who has one just raves about how gentle they are.



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