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Category: Farm Life Blog
Foggy Morning

Saturday  morning.  Fog on the pasture.  My sister’s husband, Joe, took these pictures of our cows. 

Featured faces are “Flossie”,  “Baby” and “Norma”

norma in fog 2011baby in fog 2011

Meet Esmerelda!

She’s the newest addition to May Tree Farm.  I’m putting the name I want “Esmerelda” on here but I might be outvoted, there is a strong lobby for “Penny the Peahen”.  We’ll see…

Esmerelda was  caught eating with stray cats behind an old grocery store in Monroe.  Keith’s sister, Karen, runs a non-profit animal guild (Walton Animal Guild, check them out on Facebook if you’re looking for a pet) and they posted Esmerelda hoping to find her a home.  We were the first to reply so we were able to adopt her. 

When we got home, one of the hens jumped up to check her out.  She is currently living in the barn until she becomes acclamated and gets her bearings so she won’t wander off.

We hope to let her out next week.  I’ll try to get a video.  More later….esmerelda

You might be a redneck if....

…you wreck your truck while hauling chickens and fix the airbag with bungie straps!

This week was our spring break (and I use the word “break” lightly) and so we had scheduled to take our chickens in for processing. 

Monday morning Keith’s alarm rang at 3:30 a.m. and he headed out to the barn in the pouring rain.  He got up early to give himself plenty of time to load the chickens gently.  There’s no need to stress them or be rough with them.  They are very docile when it is dark and can be loaded without too much trouble.  As he loaded each crate, he carried them to the cattle trailer and stacked them securely inside.  The cattle trailer has solid walls so the wind doesn’t blow on the chickens (they don’t like that) and they can have a comfortable ride.

By 5:30 a.m. everything was ready.  I was driving the chickens to processing (Keith loads, I drive).  It poured on us all the way.  When we were within 5 miles of the processor, approaching a red light, the car in front of me slammed on his brakes and so, therefore, did I but the combination of rain and the weight of a cattle trailer full of chickens pushing against me………I could not stop. truckwreck

Praise the Lord, the man in front of me was not injured (his car was:( but he wasn’t:), the chickens were not injured, and I was not injured. 

Now, I wouldn’t want y’all to think that I just go zooming around all over the place slinging cattle trailers into little old men in tiny little cars…the person behind me even stopped to tell the police officer that it wasn’t my fault, that the man in front had just locked it down when he saw the light turn yellow.  It didn’t help though, I got a ticket.  But the officer admitted that he could tell I wasn’t speeding or breaking any traffic laws (except for that bogus law about following too close that they use if you hit someone even if you were far away and just happen to hydroplane into them) but he said he had to give me the ticket and two points.  By that time I was bawling my head off and I told him I didn’t know what 2 points means.  He never did answer me so if anybody knows…?

Sorry, I got sidetracked.  So after I checked on the other guy, I pulled over to check my chickens and the truck.  My truck was still running fine except the front bumper was bent and the airbag had gone off (i was wearing my seatbelt but that thing hurt!) …remember I wasn’t going very fast… 

I needed to get home and the airbag was hanging out so I fixed it with some bungie straps that were in the truck.

I don’t like to think of myself as a redneck, but, if the bungie fits……..

Here’s a picture after Keith repaired it.truckfixed

Here Kitty, Kitty!

   Join me now in a collective “awwwwwwwwww”.  Fluffy, one of the barn cats, had these kittens about two weeks ago.  Is there anything cuter than a kitten?    More pictures below.  Don’t envy me because I have kittens:)  I didn’t post these pictures to make you jealous; I just wanted to share the joy :) ))

fluffy's kittens

(Yes, she is laying in a litter box.  It was an extra one we cleaned and sat out on the porch and she decided to use it as a bed.   It is clean and we gave her an old sheet too.)

New batch of baby piglets running amuck in the pasture.  Jean’s babies, only 2 weeks old, keep finding little spots where they can squeeze out.  Just like Judy’s babies did, they run, en masse through the pasture like a little pink cloud. 

It occurred to me that y’all might think it strange to say they look like a cloud so I thought I should explain.  We are in the foothills of the mountains and our property has a very steep hill in the back pasture.  During this time of year, especially, small clouds of fog cling to the hill in the morning and sort of float around up there.  When the piglets get out, they look like one of those clouds……..except, PINK.

The Circle of Life

This has been an emotional week for us.  Our darling cat “Baby” passed away on Wednesday morning.  We were all so grieved.  He was older than our oldest child and so our kids have known him all their lives.  We always joked that he was their “big brother”.  It was hard to say goodbye to him and we miss him.

Wednesday evening we were ready to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves when one of the kids ran inside and said “Jean’s having her babies!”  We all went to the hog pen and actually got to watch the birth.  She has 7 beautiful healthy piglets.  It was around dusk when she was delivering so I didn’t get very good pictures but I thought it was cute the way this one looked like he was giving his mom a kiss.                    jean and babies 2 feb 2011

After about the fourth one popped out, our oldest daughter said “Gross, I’m never having a baby.” 

Maybe the schools should show hogs in labor as part of the abstinence program?

check out the recipe box

See the chicks come out of their coop for the first time!   These are the laying chicks that we got back in November.  They are now fully feathered so they can come outside.  They are really funny when we open the door for the first time and they see the strange new world behind the coop door. 

click here for the video

Yertle the chicken?

Does everyone know Dr. Seuss?  “I’m Yertle the Turtle, oh marvelous me,  I am the king of all that I see!”

Here’s the chicken version……….


She wasn’t up there very long before someone came to dethrone her.yertle the chicken5

Is that Santa?

Is that Santa with his sleigh?   No,  it’s Keith with a snow sled full of pig food.

Now on day 3 of snow covered ground, Keith was getting a little worried about hog food on the hill.  We put a 5 day supply up there on Sunday but now it’s over half gone and the ground is still frozen (when has the snow stayed this long is Georgia?)  

Keith decided it would be easier to pull it up there in the snow than to get it up there in the mush that will be left when the snow does melt. 

So he loaded the kid’s sled with 100 pounds of food and strapped it to his shoulders and took off.  He actually made 3 trips today (pictures of one of the trips). 

He got a great workout and the pigs were happy. (See Judy and one of the babies below:)

2011 snow keith pulling feed up hill22011 snow keith pulling feed up hill32011 snow keith pulling feed up hill42011 snow keith pulling feed up hill52011 snow keith pulling feed up hill62011 snow keith pulling feed up hill72011 snow keith pulling feed up hill82011 snow judy and baby eating22011 snow judy and baby eating