Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Abraham, a little better now.

Here is Abraham this morning. I just gave him Red cell. No wormer. He still looks puffy here.

And here he is just now this evening. He looks much better. I hope he makes it. He's such a good ram. Very laid back and nice for a ram. But he's still young, so who knows. But I like the boy. And he's had one sweet little ewe lamb so far. And I hope he has lots more to come.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Watermelon eating chickens

There is some watermelon under all these chickens. Their first watermelon and they loved it!

They had it all eaten in just a few minutes. Good stuff! These are the Freedom Rangers.

I also gave the laying hens some. They don't want anything to do with it. Strange chickens.

So I got theirs and took it to the FR and they had a watermelon eating contest. See the ref in the middle?

Monday, July 29, 2013


This is my poor ram, Abraham. About 4 days ago, I noticed him laying by himself. So I checked him and found his jaw so huge. I knew right away it was bottle jaw. Those darn Barber Pole worms were back and with a vengeance.

So I ran in the house and got my RX kit. I gave hime some Dectomaz wormer, Red cell, a shot each of Thiamin and B complex. Did that the next day too. Yesterday, gave him Cydectin with the shots and Red Cell. Yesterday afternoon, gave him 6 cc of Valbazen. This morning, more Dectomax. And some LA200 antibiotic. I guess I should have given him that the past few days too.

This is him this afternoon. Not much difference at all from 4 days ago. He lays in this corner sometimes and eats dirt. I give them all a loose organic mineral and Thorvin kelp. Last spring I lost my favorite ewe Lucinda, to this same thing. I thought I had a handle on it this time. I have been rotating pastures and cutting the grass a few days later. Until this, they have all been just fine.

But he is a Finn ram. And this dark color. Lucinda looked exactly like him. I have more worm problems with the Finn sheep than the hair sheep. I don't know if it's this particular breed or the color. But all the white sheep are fine. I just hope he makes it.

Any thoughts or advice for me? What else should I be doing? I am doing what the vet told me to do last year. So no, I haven't called him.And Dectomax is what he said will kill these Barber Pole worms.

Grapes and jelly

I picked a bucket of grapes yesterday. And got 2 eggs from those lazy hens. But I am grateful for them!

Then made jelly this morning. It's so pretty. I got 9 jars. I'll make more when I get more grapes. These grapes are so good too. The color is amazing.

Bees are gone

The bees are all gone now. It's so strange to go out there and not see or hear them. It's so darn sad too. I was not going to put them where they are. I had a spot out back up on the hill in the corner all ready for them to go. But my friend said this would be a better place. It was easier to get them there too. Totally under the tree all day.

When I get more bees, I'll move this hive, after it's been all cleaned out, to that better spot. I will have more bees here. But now have to wait til next spring.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Kombucha tutorial

 I had some people buy kombucha scoby from me yesterday at market. So I decided to do a tutorial for them. I've been making mine this way for about 6 years now, so it may not be the same way others do theirs. It works for me, so I keep doing it this way.
I start with the scoby and either one cup or two cups of starter. I have a gallon and a half gallon going at all times. So I am doing these 2 pots.

Then for a gallon, 4 large tea bags and 2 cups sugar. For half gallon, 2 large tea bags and 1 cup sugar. You can use organic sugar or succanot as well. The scoby lives on the sugar. It absorbs the sugar so you are not getting all this sugar. (You can use any brand of tea. This is just what I had. BUT do not use organic, because of the oils.)

Add this to you pot of water. I use my biggest stainless steel pot for the gallon jug. Just bring it to a boil, then simmer a few minutes. Cover the pot and let it COOL completely.

These are my 2 jugs. I use glass and a wooden spoon. And a glass measuring cup.

This is the scoby I took out of the gallon jug. Looks like it's been awhile since I've separated the mother from her babes. There are 3 here. I will take the one on top to use in this new batch.

I was going to say here that you can eat this scoby. It can be dried or eaten just like this. It's so full of goodness. I cut mine up when I have a  lot of extra, and give it to my chickens. They love it.

I put the top scoby along with 2 cups of the tea into this measuring cup. I drink about this much of the tea each morning. (in the cup.) The gallon jug that's nearly full is the tea that I'll be drinking. I like a little fizz, so I'll just leave it out on the counter. Sometimes I'll get little babies growing in the jug. Kind of slimy. So if you don't think you can handle that, just put it in the fridge. BUT NEVER PUT YOUR SCOBY IN THE FRIDGE!!! It will kill it!

So when tea is cool, add to jugs slowly.

I usually have to add more water to the tea bags to fill up the gallon jug.

Then, just cover with either a paper coffee filter, or paper towel or cheesecloth and a rubber band. Put under your sink and let sit for about a week. You can check on it to see how it's doing. And smell it.

If you want a sweeter drink, go about a week. If you want it more fermented, leave it longer. But not more than a few weeks. Then you just start all over again.

When you get your tea ready for drinking, at this point, you can add fruit juice, bits of fruit, herbs. Just experiment and have fun with it. You can also use the bottles with the caps like a beer bottle, and ferment it a day or so. But if you do this, BE CAREFUL! It can explode and your kitchen will be a MESS!

It's really easy and hardly takes any time at all. Just making the tea. If you have any questions, just ask. And research on the internet about all the wonderful benefits of kombucha. It's amazing!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The bees

Well, there aren't very many bees now. I am hoping they're all out doing what bees are supposed to be doing right now. I don't know though. It's just so sad.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A little bee hive update.

I hope no one is eating dinner right now. This is gross. This is the 2nd box that sits on top of the brooder box. It was full of honey last week. Now the whole hive is full of was moths and larva and cocoons. It's just awful There are still bees though. So maybe I caught it in time to save them?

I took as many frames out as I could and cleaned them and gave all the larva to the chickens. They snatched them up and ate every one of them! But there are still lots more. The brooder box is FULL of them.

Here are some bees on some frames. They are trying their hardest to survive.

But see how black this is? I did read that the wax moths like older frames. Mine are. They also like shaded areas. My hive is under a shade tree all day. I am going out to cut some limbs. I took one box off. So now there are just 3.

I went to the bee store in town and got a mesh bag of menthol to put on the bottom board. Did that as soon as I got home. The bees will still not go in the hive through the front entrance. They are buzzing around the hive like crazy. So I opened the back just a pinch, enough for the bees to go in that way. I hope that's ok. I want them to make it. I love these bees. The whole time I worked out there yesterday, I only wore my regular clothes. I was talking to them and they never stung me once. I think they knew I was trying to help them. I hope this menthol works.

I am also freezing the one box of frames I took off. I also bought more was frames to replace some I took completely out of the frame. I just need to clean them up some more. I hope something works here.

Kristin, I hope your hive is ok. Let me know what happened, ok? I'll be thinking of you as I'm working out in my hive.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

So depressing

I was all loaded up to go to market earlier today. Went out to check on the bees for some reason. I lifted the lid and saw long wormy things all over. I looked and they are all through the whole hive.There are bees but not too many. They were all through the hive. I took off the top box and cleaned it all out. Gave it to the chickens. They loved all those good gooey larva.

I kept looking through the whole hive. The bottom one is the worst. Full of moths and stringy webbing and loads of the larva. I am SO upset. Went in here and looked it up on Google. Saw several videos on the moth and what it does. Several said to burn the frames. Some said to freeze them. I just want to go get another clean new hive and start all over again. The poor bees are fighting and trying to save their home.

I don't know if  the moths got in because when I checked them a few weeks ago, I kind of didn't get the 4th box on good enough and there was a little gap at the back of the hive. That's where all the bees were going in and out. Not the front at the entrance. I found out why later. That bottom box is FULL of the darn things.

I just don;t know what to do now. Should I go get another hive and put it next to this hive? One of the guys said these moths and larva like the shade. The sun will dry them out and kill them. My hive is under a maple tree. Shaded all day. Should I move it out into the sun now? But I heard it's not a good thing to move a hive.

It also said the moths like the darker comb or frames. Well, every single frame has been BLACK since I got it. That and the shade. Not good. I so want the remaining bees to be ok. But are they doomed? What should I do????

I was so bummed about this whole thing, I didn't go to market. Plus it started raining here. I am just depressed now.

Good Wednesday morning from Outback Farm!

 Sun rise and

moon set?

First egg!!!!!

NOW I am excited! And I almost smooshed it. It was on the ground so I thought it was an egg shell I had given them in the scraps. I always try to smoosh them all. It was hard. So I picked it up and it was a cute little tiny egg! The first one!!!!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

No eggs yet

No eggs today. I know that moving animals from one home to a new home messes with them. Like goats in milk will really slow down in production. Cows will too. But then they pick back up when they get back into a routine. And hens do the same thing.

These hens (or pullets, since some are not laying yet and some have just started laying, and they are less than 5 months old?) are still young. And just starting out their laying careers. And the guy I got them from had fed them a 16% layer pellet. I don't feed mine layer feed. They will be getting the fermented grains with expeller pressed sunflower pellets and kelp. Plus clabbered raw milk and scraps. So it might take them a few weeks to get into a routine here. Plus they can go outside in their yard for sun and grass and bugs and stuff.

I cleaned out the nest boxes and put fresh older hay in them. And put an egg in one nest. I hope that will get them going soon. I'll look for a few wooden eggs.

I was so excited to come home and go check for eggs and find a few. Then nothing there. Oh well. It will happen. I have to just hang in there.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The new girls at Outback Farm

 My new chickens! I went tonight to Sand Mt. to get them. 8 Red Star and 6 White Leghorns. They are just starting to lay! Am I crazy for paying $15 each for the RS and $12 each for the Leghorns??? I hope they are worth it. But I had to have my own fresh eggs. I have missed them SO much.

I had to keep them in the cage til I got the run up for them. I had bought a 100" roll of 6" welded wire fence a few weeks ago to make a yard for the Barred Rock pullets I got last month. So I thought I better go ahead and get it up before I let the bigger new hens in with the little ones. That way, the littles can get away if they need to. And they did! Their first time out since I've had them here.

They did ok at first, but then the bigger hens started bullying the littles. Poor girls. But I'm sure they'll all be getting along fine in a few days. There's always that "getting to know each other" stage. I clipped the new girl
s wings before I let them all out.

This is their new yard. There is a little space between the boards on the side of the coop for them to jump in and out into the yard. It's pretty big. But will be all brown in about a month. I hope to be able to let them out some in the evenings soon.

And I butchered 21 more CC meat birds this morning. 12 left to do. I'll get them in the next few days. I am so tired of chickens right now! I just got done putting them all in the freezer.

Also made 14 half pint jars of peppermint jelly for market. So have had another busy productive Monday.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

At market

Yesterday at the farmer's market, these wonderful kids played for us! It was so nice to hear. The weather was nice. The people were out shopping and buying all the goodies at the market. And we had music! The guy in the green shirt is the leader. He has a few kids. Then some neighborhood kids were there too. They just live up the road from the market. Bill, in the blue jeans, is a fellow farmer, joining in with his guitar. It was fun. Music and good food. What could be better than that?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Flowers and cats

 This is Cosmo on the left with her son Alex, on the chair with the pot of bee balm. I love this picture. I had to run back in the house for my camera, thinking they'd not be there when I came back out. But they were. I got several shots of them before they got tired of all the flashes, I guess.

Then Sybil had to come see what was going on. And eat some grass. Silly cats!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Clouds today

 I went to the Main St. farmer's market this afternoon. It was really hot today. I started seeing these awesome clouds rolling in from the North heading South. They were so beautiful.

                     I have never seen a cloud like this before. Look at the top. It's smooth. So cool.


                                                  I had to get a closer view if this cloud.

And this one. They were changing so fast. I just love clouds. Then as I was leaving, I could see lightening in some of them. On the way home, there were a few sprinkles. But that was all. So amazing, these big huge clouds.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Fermented grains

I haven't talked about the fermented grain in a long time. So thought I'd do a post about how I do it.

I am using cracked corn, or 3 way chicken scratch, which is what I have now, whole wheat, whole oats and steamed barley. I use the big coffee can and take 1 1/2 half of each grain and dump into a 5 gallon bucket til it'a almost 3/4 full.

Then take some good apple cider vinegar with the mother and I pour maybe 1-2 cups in.

Then fill it up with HOT water. I find hot water makes it plump up faster. Then give it a stir and put a lid on loosely. In the morning, the grain will be to the top of the bucket. I usually make a bucket every other day.

I always drain 2 colanders full every morning and night since the goats don't like theirs wet. For the goats, the milk does get a few qts. mixed with alfalfa pellets, sunflower seeds and kelp during milking.

The chickens get 2 colanders plus 2 big coffee cans full of grower-finisher feed mixed together with kelp too. The chickens get this twice a day. I have 26 Freedom Rangers and about 40 Cornish Cross left. So when all these birds are butchered, I'll just be feeding goats and some laying hens.

I don't know if it's the  fermented grains mixed with the kelp, but my goats are looking great. Nice shiny coats and very healthy.

I did leave a coffee can half full of grains and forgot about it. One day I saw the can and looked in and the grains had sprouted. Lots of sprouts in there. I gave it to the Barred Rock chicks and they loved it. So I may start doing this for them, since they are in the coop right now til I get their run done.

Freedom Rangers at 2 months old

Yesterday, I put the Premier electric net fence around the Freedom Rangers. I thought that might help them to grow, since they are still so darn little. And they are almost 2 months old now.

                  Some of them don't mind getting electrocuted. Then they go back in again. Silly birds.

                                                       I hope this will make them happy!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Some John Henry (If you go to Open Group at Bedlam Farm on FB, you can see these. For some reason, I can't get links on here..)

I posted all these on FB this morning. He's such a ham, this buck!

Y'all have a great weekend. I'm going to the farmer's market in the morning. Haven't been in a few weeks.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

I mowed today!

 Me and 1, 578 other people. The sun came out and it didn't rain here all day! So on the mowers we all went. Gotta mow while the sun shines, right? And man, was it ever hot too. And humid, with all this moisture in the air. And I slid all over this place on that mower. I was afraid to mow up by the road because it's too close to the pond we get when it rains a lot. And I did not want to get stuck like I saw someone else did. So I'll get it later. And I'll have to trim everywhere tomorrow too. It looks so much better. It was beginning to become quite the jungle out here.

I like this picture of the house, with the sun behind it. It sure was nice to see it today. A welcome sight, indeed. And I feel better with all the high grass mowed now. It was getting to where I was afraid to walk through it. There are nasty creepy scary snakes out there!

And the bees were really active today. I was worried they had all left the hive. It's been too rainy and cloudy to check on them. When I did get close, I could hear bees inside the hive. And I am really smelling honey! I'll go tomorrow and get another super and frames so when I do check inside, I can put new frames in and take the frames with honey. I am really not sure what I'm doing. But I smell honey!

I love the clouds when they're like this. I have seen bunnies, baby pigs, all kinds of cute little animals. Love them!

Monday, July 8, 2013

More fire wood, chickens, blueberries apples and some sunshine

My husband is home for a few days, so we went today and got a truckload of the oak tree wood this morning. This is the bigger heavier pieces. It took both of us to get each piece into the truck. It'll be fall before it can be split. He tried a few of the bigger pieces and the maul just bounced right back off. Plus all the rain we've had made the wood heavier.  But our pile is growing fast!

The old oak tree is going to have to come down. It's 88 years old. Mrs. T was about 8 when her family planted that tree. And she'll be 96 on Thursday this week. I called her tree man who's been working n that tree for 30 years now. he came Friday to look at it and to talk to Mrs. T. She'll listen to him. And he said it needed to come down. It's old and falling and next time it falls, it will fall on her house and her bedroom would be first hit. This tree is huge. It's got to be at least 25 feet around at the base. But I'd rather see it come down than to destroy her house or even kill her.

So we will be getting lots of the wood. About this size. Plus they have a chipper and will bring me all the shredded brush. So it will go to a good use. Keeping us warm this winter. It already is. Loading and unloading wood is a really hot job! I am very thankful for this tree.

My friend up the road called me yesterday and said I needed to come down and pick blueberries at his neighbors house. She has lots of bushes and just couldn't get them all. So I went and we picked til we filled our buckets up. I got a gallon. I put them in qt. size baggies today and got 8. Also put 4 more bags of apples in the freezer.

Then this evening another friend came with their egg eating hen. I was going to be butchering some more of my CC meat birds and he wanted a lesson on butchering. I was glad to show him how. I had caught 7 this morning, but pardoned one because she needed another week. So did 6 more. And his 1.

So another busy Monday for me. I have had my shower and am nice and clean for a little while. It feels good!

Oh, the sun was out a lot today!! And the sky was partly blue too. It rained here and there. And while we were butchering, it came a downpour. But we were under some cedar trees and barely got wet. It was good to see the sun again, if only for a little while.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Rain, rain, go away!

It is STILL raining! This is the 5th straight day of rain. I cannot remember what a blue sky looks like, so I put this picture back up.

It has looked like this since Monday afternoon. Just rain, rain and more rain. Not really heavy rain, but a steady drizzly rain that sometimes goes to a downpour. Everything is soaked. Including my poor chickens. Goats will not come out of the barn at all. The sheep are all huddled under the shed over next door. It's just miserable weather.

I know I should not complain. I know the garden is loving this. I know in a few weeks, I will be praying for rain. And I know we are not the only ones flooding right now. I know God is in control. But it's DEPRESSING to say the least.

I hope someone out there has seen the sun and it's not really missing.