Friday, 28 October 2011

Ducklings

Our first ducklings. Isn't this one a cutie.

We decided we would do a bit of an experiment with this broody duck. Since we have chooks who do not go broody and we have ducks who are broody all the time. We popped some chook eggs under the mummy duck then a couple of duck eggs later on. All went well till right at the when every baby chick died in shell. They were fully formed and grown but something went wrong. After a bit of research we think that since the mummy duck got wet then sat on the eggs a bacteria got in and eventually killed the little chicks.

We did though get two very cute ducklings from her. She was not a vey good mum though. Wouldn't call the babies in at night or get them out of the rain. Will try an avoid brooding with her again.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

We have sheep


Our journey to self sufficiency continues we have sheep. I am so crazy excited. This may sound cruel and heartless but I cannot wait to eat our first lamb. We have 4 ewes, 1 ram and 1 lamb.

We decided on getting dorpers so we will not have to shear them. Well that is the plan as two of the four ewes are only 1st cross and are likely to need some shearing. They are all pregnant which is very exciting. They run with the ram and come into heat regularly. It is anyones guess as to when we will get our first lamb.

They are already playing reasonably friendly and will come relatively close to us to get some special feed treats.

So far the names we have are Dee and Jean for the ewes, Becca lamb and Bone the ram.


Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The winter prune




Over winter we had around 200 fruit trees to try and prune. Needless to say we FAILED. We had 2 weeks over the winter school holidays to try and get it done. And it rained the first week. But we did succeed in getting the apples and pears completed. It was by far a huge learning curve. Neither of us have pruned fruit trees before so we were out there with the book trying to check we were cutting the right bits off.

After about 5 trees we just started hacking randomly. It was going to be far too much work being so precise. the picture above is just one row of our espaliered apples. Below is the end result of our work. I did most of this with Immali wrapped to me all snuggled and warm and sleeping. I so wish I had a photo pruning with her but I don't.

we left the other half till Spring holidays. But again it rained and we could not find the motivation to get it done.

Next year we need a new plan and a system to get the whole orchard pruned ready for fruiting.



Monday, 3 October 2011

Face paint


Turns out my precious boys are allergic to face paint. Awesome :(.

They are sensitive to many/most/all artificial chemicals so I really should not be surprised. I really in hindsight should not have let them do it. But I thought the sensory experience would be wonderful for Igloo, and just plain all round fun for all of us. Facepainting is super fun right?

Well it is not for us. It turns them into feral little ferals. Unable to control their emotions, unable to control their fists. No they were not exposed to any other unsual food or chemicals. It was the facepaint. I gave them headaches, it messed with the connections in their brain causing malfunction. Like a computer with a virus nothing works right until the foreign being is gone.

I am feeling so incredibly upset for them. Just one more thing to the list of activities and foods they cannot participate in. I know they have a great life and there are alternatives for most things. A life without facepaint really is nothing massive in the scheme of life, but for now it feels massive and tragic.