Thursday, January 28, 2010

Birth of a chicken coop, fishing, and rambling on....

Well it is 25 degrees this am with a light dusting of snow, I am sure glad that we did not get the 1-3 inches that they were predicting. No wind yet to speak of. All our snow has been gone for awhile now, since the last 12 inches of snow we received some 21 days ago. There is something truly spiritual about doing chores on a cold, cloudy winter day. I can hear the earth crackle with each step I take, I can see the breath of the animals as they talk to me and chew their cud happily. And not to forget the barnyard smells, and sweet smell of hay! The goats and Bear are standing in line waiting for a good scratching from me, which is our way of greeting. You could almost hear a pin drop it is such a dead calm, then I hear the chip, chip, chip of Dennis chipping the 1/4 inch of ice that formed on the water buckets last night. Speaking of ice and water, ruminants need a lot of water for digestion, health etc. It got me to thinking, what on earth did our ancestors do in the winter for their livestock. I asked my Mom about that as she grew up on a farm way up north in Minnesota. Her family had draft horses for plowing and then later beef cattle. She emailed me that they had a trough out in the barn, and that when it froze, they had to haul water from the house to the livestock. It is kind of like what we are doing now, but my little animals consume no where near what a draft breed horse would. They were strong sturdy folks those Scandinavians which I came from!

Dennis and Ryan went ice fishing on Tuesday, they caught their limit in 2 1/2 hours
of rainbow and brown trout. Dennis said that before he even had his hole drilled, Ryan had caught a fish! Ryan our son is a natural when it comes to fishing. He is so good he probably could have made a living at it. He loved fishing even when he was a wee little boy.My brother Mike is like that also, too bad he can't go fishing with us but he lives in Minnesota, that is where we are from.This is a picture of Dennis and I at Creedmore Lake, It was one of the first places where Ryan took us fishing.He said it was a short walk from the car to the lake, well, Dennis and I were so short of breath by the time we got there! A short walk to a 30 year old is definitely different when you are 50+.It was worth the walk, as it just beautiful and we were the only ones on that lake. These are book trout that were caught earlier.
I had a migraine that day when they came home so was unable to take pictures of the days catch. Trout are very good tasting mild flavored fish, but have little bones. I always try to have mashed potatoes or bread with the meal, so the bones get washed down in case they get stuck in the throat. These are pictures of Brook trout so you can see how pretty these fish are.
Ryan and Dennis started putting our chicken coop together yesterday, this has been their progress, it always helps to have a dog or two to help out with the whole procedure. We did not get too far after Ryan had to leave, so will post pictures of the finished coop when done

We hope to be more self supporting in the food area, want to have our own egg layers and some meat breeds. We don't feed medicated feeds. Would like to get a few heritage breeds if we can find any. Also included in our little flock will be guineas. We had these in Minnesota, all free ranging. The guineas used to wander the neighborhood,in their cute little helmets walking in cadence, raiding gardens no doubt. In my guinea book it says, don't ever let a guinea eat a tomato, they just love them and will search them out. Well too late. they eat a lot of bugs however, are noisy but are good watch dogs.
Gardening will also be big with us, the quilt gals told me that it is hard to garden in this area, we shall see, Dennis had a big beautiful garden in Arizona, had the best tomatoes ever, we had no guineas there, were too worried about the coyotes.

Go Vikings! The playoffs were last week and the Vikings were beat by the Saints. I here tell that the Vikings have not been to the Super Bowl for 30 years. The Saints won, my dad could not sleep for 2 nights. And little ole me was just about ready to jump on that band wagon!!!!

More later.

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