Glory Downs Farm

Glory Downs Farm

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New.



So whats new at Glory Downs?

a sweet baby girl for one:) <3


Some quick updates while our little one sleeps......(which hasn't been much since entering the world- she is living up to her name that Mommy and Daddy gave her!)

Chickens and chicks-

     No chicks yet- They were "due," today but we have since learned that due dates are questionable.  We started off with seventeen  fertilized eggs and have now got five missing....yikes.
Even though I had drew lines on the eggs- the broody blonde kicked them out of her hen box, or moved to another box.  It was tough keeping up with her antics and while doing so- she smudge the markings off her eggs.   It is now a guessing game every time we crack one open.

     Not only did the one broody hen inspire birth in the hen house- but she also inspired another blonde to go broody!!! Oh Whoopee!  And who else joined the activities? A sweet little RI Red!  So yes folks, three broody hens.  It wasn't until this week that I got to see them for myself.  Normally a smart farmer would tell you to break up the brood party and only allow one or two to sit on some eggs. But with caring for the brood of our own, and recovering from surgery, I said "let em brood."

So far all is well- except for the missing five eggs....


The Bee's:

     Boomin.

All three hives are looking good with the exception of one of them being a bit "weaker."  They are still doing good work but in comparison of the other two hives, they are just a bit quieter when it comes to work.  One hive though is our gem.....we have 80 pounds of honey already sitting in stores waiting until harvest time:)


Ash:
   
     Still foxy:)

He's looking little and littler as his winter coat sheds.  He's taken on a more of a brown color, with grey specks. But his face is still full of sweet inquisitive looks, and expressions that make us laugh. Just the other night he was laying down in the driveway waiting for his handout.   

     The one thing that had us a bit concerned is that he showed up with a wound on his hindquarters last Thursday.  It was a fresh open abrasion that looks like he licked and licked until the fur fell off and it was left bloody and sore looking.  He wasn't limping or favoring it, but knowing how animals act when it comes to cleaning their wounds (incessant licking until its fully open down to the bone and infected) we thought about what to do.

     Awhile ago Indie had a spot on her leg that she had licked open.  The medicine that the vet gave us was Bactine. Simple yet effective. Spray it on a couple times a day, and walllah! No more gross skin thingy infection. Why and How you ask? - Cause when doggy goes to lick, they get a mouthful of "taste bad," and by the law of Pavlov.... They stop licking.

So, when Ash showed up to get his hotdogs, David was geared with the Bactine spray. Ash grabbed his food and David sprayed the wound with the medicine.

As of Monday night, his wound was scabbing up!



Parenthood has been (as Rev's great grandparents said) "exhausting, scary and absolutely wonderful."  We are up all night, and sleeping during the day. We are left hungry, tired, gross looking, sore, and at a loss at how to soothe a sweet infant who is having a hard time falling asleep.  And while we feel all those things we marvel at the little beauty whose job is ten times harder than ours.  What a world she has to learn! From eating, to sleeping, to expressing her "concerns," she is amazingly smart and utterly impressive.  We prayed for a strong and healthy baby and we got her. 

We are in love.

She grows more beautiful to us by the second.

Her cries, at times that seem inconsolable,  is the most beautiful noise we could ask for.

He sweet hands that hold onto my finger while she eats can make me cry.  I pray that she never lets go of my hand.

To see her with David is a sight I never thought, or could have imagined, happening six years ago (yesterday) when I first met David.

The nine months of waiting for this beauty was so long ago, and just yesterday at the same time.

She is a gift from God, and watching her dream is to see her conversate with the Father above.

Thank you for her.....

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Whats in a Name?

"Reveille" is a bugle call, trumpet call or pipes call most often associated with the military or summer camp; it is chiefly used to wake military personnel at sunrise. The name comes from "réveillé" (or "réveil"), the French word for "wake up".








When we first found out that we were going to have a baby, David had a name for a boy, and I had a name for a girl.  We both agreed on them, and decided to not look any further. The names were set in stone..(literally)

I come from a military family. Both my Mother's side and Father's side are all Navy.  With the exception of my Pepere who encouraged his six sons to join the Navy instead of the Army Air Force like himself. Not only do I have uncles, cousins, a sister and brother in laws, currently serving, both my grandfather's, and all their brothers rich history in WWII, but my Step Mother also served in the military herself.  She served during the first Gulf War.  In honor of my family- I chose Reveille.

If you are familiar with what Reveille is- how good and Patriotic you are!  If you are unfamiliar, it the military wake up call used prominently at 6am.  Its sounded off with a bugle, and its the start of the day. Its used here in America- and Ireland. David is Irish:)

But before the term Reveille is used in the military sense, its used in the French language, which simply means- "to awaken."

My family is French:)

But even beyond that, I have a special connection to a Bible verse, that I feel, was spoken to me.  Its Mark 5:41, where Jesus enters a house of a man whose daughter is suspected to have passed. He whispers in her ear "Talitha, Cumi," which means "awaken daughter."  When I gave my life to the Lord six years ago, I heard those words whispered to me as well. "Awaken Daughter," Arise from the land of the dead, walk in the light, and have eternal life thru Me.

They meant so much to me I had those words tattooed on my wrist in Jesus' language to be a gentle reminder of what He did for me.

So- we named our daughter in honor of our families rich history, their ethnic backgrounds, and because of Jesus' sweet words.

Her middle name (chosen by Daddy) means God's ray of sunshine......she has been nothing but His ray of sunshine since the day we found out we were having her.

Reveille Elle Farr was born at 6:16 a.m. (appropriately) via c-section, with a headful of hair and a smile on her face.

Daddy and Mommy, couldn't be more smitten, in love, and completely melted by her little, but big presence.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Who Put the Peacock in our Yard?



Yes, you read that correctly!

Sunday morning, David yelled to me to come see the peacock that's roaming around our yard.

what?

we ran outside to see this magnificent bird just loafing around. Not sure where it came from, and not sure where it went. But sure as s*&t there was a peacock in our yard.


I called animal control, assuming that SOMEONE was missing this bird.

But animal control never called back.

Apparently they don't deal with non native birds?


Haven't seen it since.

But here is something cool- a peacock omen represents birth<3

38 week baby bump!


We can't wait to be parents!!!




A little photo booth fun.



No folks, labor did not ensue in the photo booth session....but a few good laughs did.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

"If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried. "

Well this morning we woke up to an interesting site.


Our porch is gated,  so we thought nothing of it to leave a bag of garbage on it for tomorrows pick up.  Our trash bin was full so, like we have before, we will leave it on the porch until we take it to the roadside in the morning.

We do this so no animals are tempted to rip it to pieces in the middle of the night and risk getting hit.

Once again- our porch is gated.


SO who on earth climbed up onto the porch and tore the trash to pieces? Little teeth print on pieces of plastic....

There was really nothing to get into in the garbage bag. No left over foods-just rubbish.

Could it have been a raccoon?  Possibly, but why haven't they gotten into the trash before? Why haven't we've seen them?



Maybe it was the crows?  Yes, I'll believe that! They are smart- smart enough to rip open a trash bag and pick out stuff and things.....

but wait- I've been up since five am. I didn't see the crows on the porch. I didn't hear them. And the dogs didn't go crazy like they do if they see a squirrel in the vicinity of the porch.

So who could it have been?


Maybe the trail of hotdog packages gave it all away.

The trial of hotdog packages leading off to Ash's hangout.

hmmmmm.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

When Your Good to Momma, Mommas Good to You...

The Babies.

The Mamma.  Now known as Big Mamma Frenchenzi.



Tonight I will slip the marked eggs under her while she is sleeping, and pray that all 17(!) of these babies make it!   For sure I will keep the blog updated with their status!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQ_AZkzGhJg

9-5.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Tale of the Broody Blonde

I guess I'm not the only broody one up in this house!


We've been having alot of chicken dram lately.

Easter is still pacing around with her swollen cyclops eye, but seemingly happy as can be.  I tried (block your eyes for a sec) "dismissing the infection out of her eye by applying pressure (put nicely) with no such luck.  She eats like a champ.  Wanders the yard picking at bugs. And goes back to her crate at night.

I'm leaving her be.

As for the the other dram, sadly we lost a chicken.

She was one of our older hens, who on Saturday morning seemed pretty lethargic, with her tail down and uninterested in food.  She remained in the coop and ventured outside for only a short time.  I came home from work Saturday afternoon and checked on her- she was still the same.  So giving her a once over to see what was up- I saw nothing outwardly wrong with her. She was nice and weighty, her eyes were bright, no loss of feathers, skin was of good color....so I was a bit confused- and disgruntled that this Snow White couldn't really do anything for her feathered friend.

The next morning, I walked out to the coop kinda already knowing what I might find. And sure enough she had passed in the night.  She almost looked catlike (if that's possible) curled up in a comfortable ball, with her eyes closed.

She had done us well with her time, but its sad to lose a good worker.

So I was in the coop most of Sunday. Cleaning it out, and throwing lime everywhere to take care of any "sicky," things that might be lurking, when I noticed one of the blondes sitting on her favorite hen box.  This didn't seem to strange but I noticed that she was constantly clucking and not leaving HER box.

Checking back on her later in the afternoon- and she was still there.  I got a little nervous.  I was hoping that she wasn't egg bound (which there is nothing I could do for) and was hoping for her to get off the box.

But checking back later at night she was still there- clucking away and not moving.

I put my hand in there to give her a little move, and what did she do- she bit me...

I was appalled.

This meant war.

In the coop I went- pj's and all to get her off her box and see what the crap her deal was. I thought I was the only female allotted terrible mood swings at this point of the game.

I grabbed her out of the box and realized that my hand had grabbed a chicken who was completely bald underneath?!

Oh did I feel bad....

Was she attacked? Were the other chickens picking on her?  Was she injured?

Turning her upside down (which no chicken likes) I saw just how bald she was.......and just how beautifully clean her skin was?

Now I was confused.

My mind went back to a couple of weeks ago when I went out to the yard to see so many feathers everywhere.  I remember thinking that another chicken had "got it," from a hawk- but no- they were all there!

So did this chicken just start plucking herself?


Yup.

She did.

So why?

Googled it up and saw that we had a broody hen!

Ahha~!

I've been waiting for one of these!

So what does it all mean Basil?

Well it means that this one hen went bitchy, I mean broody on us. That's when she feels the need to sit on eggs until they hatch. She will not let anyone near her, and she will own the hen box she is on.  The thing is, is that we have no rooster so we have no fertile eggs. She will basically sit on those eggs until she hard boils them herself, unless we do something about it.

So a phone call to a dear friend (who knows ALOT more about chickens than me) was made. And the wheels were set in motion:)

Tomorrow a.m. we are getting a delivery of one dozen fertilized eggs for Ms. Broody to sit on until they hatch.  And in 21 days we will have a new little flock added to the now 39 hens we got.

This might mean that 10 of them are roosters, or all twelve are hens, or a nice mix of both- but only time will tell for that!

What kind of eggs are we getting too-?  I don't know- That's gonna be a nice surprise.  Our now RI Red and Orpington mix is about to get more eclectic!

As for what I need to be doing for these little eggs, soon to be chicks, nothing- that's all up to Mamma Hen. She's about to guard them from the other hens with her life!

And what about her bald belly?  She plucked those feathers herself to better feels the eggs beneath her.

Talk about nesting:)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Nuc Addition!

The nuc hives at Highland Honey Company awaiting their new charmers! There are five wooden frames full of comb, brood, honey, and of course bees. About 15, 000 bees on average!

We got word that our nuc hives were ready yesterday!  We had ordered two to bring our hive total up to three, with the hopes of splitting one or two of them this summer to total them up to five. (But time and health of the hives will tell if we will be able to)

We got them around seven thirty last night to be able to install them at dusk. Some bee keepers would say that this is a terrible thing to do and it is only nice to install hives in the morning or late afternoon, but NEVER at dusk. Working with bees at dusk is a great time especially in the heat of the summer when bees are just in a bad mood due to boredom and the heat. Opening them up when the evening is cooler, is in my opinion, more polite. The bees are quiet. They have filled their bellies. And its not hot. Most beekeepers who are in disagreeance with this don't really have a good reason to say why one shouldn't work with bees at dusk. I've said it before and I'll say it again- bee keepers are weird people. And typically the most opinionated. Any beekeeper not willing to admit this is an even weirder one.

One hive was not "chock full," of bees but it was full of brood and honey. I saw the queen roaming around, with her pretty little yellow dot marking her for easy site. The bees were completely calm, and very much sedated. I was able to take their five frames and put it into their hive box within ten minutes. No need to shake out any excess bees because they had all camped out on the frames.

The second nuc WAS chock full of bees. The box was heavy and buzzing. The bees, having been screened in to prevent them from leaving, were now anxious to get out.  It took a bit more work and David was there to help. The frames were just heavy with bees, brood and honey. The smell was heavenly.  (I have mentioned before that bees smell like shortbread cookies and cinnamon) I was downwind of them so when the wind blew you could smell the honey, and sweet bee scent.  Good smelling bees is a sign of good health.   After getting the five frames into their new hive box, David scraped the rest of the bees still in the nuc into the hive.  It was awesome to see clumps of bees just falling into the hive and then quickly dissipating into the frames. Their buzz getting louder and louder as the other bees stuck their beehinds in the air and fanned their wings to give off the "this is home scent."

This morning, all three hives were very busy. Its a site I have to get used to again when I look out our kitchen window- three hives full of busy bees. But a site that will never get old.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Nesting.

While Andy Dufrense manages to escape on a daily basis to vacation in the big open yard, she doesn't stop working.  I keep seeing her coming from the woods, so I decided to further investigate.   I wasn't shocked to see that this smart gal happened to make herself a nesting box and get down to business.



I've been getting asked the question of "are you nesting?" alot lately.  My response is that I felt like I have been nesting since day one of finding out we were having a cub........up until today.


While there still feels like there is much to be done before our sweet girl arrives, I think I happened to do alot off that to do list today. It was a complete whirlwind of humidity dried hair, moomoo, and waddle enhanced flip flops today.

I have:

Washed and folded 4 loads of laundry which included sheets for all of the beds in our house.
Wash 31 dozen eggs. (no eggaxeragtion)
Clean the chicken coop
Clean, and move Easters chicken coop
Take out the trash (the ability to remember to do that is a feat unto itself)
Clean out our upstairs closet (now you can actually open the door to it)
Wash baby girls clothes and sheets
Shower
Pack hospital bags
Write out a list for feeding instructions for our chickens to whomever decides to undertake that task
Vacuum entire house
Clean bedroom
Hang up clothes ( one thing that NEVER seems to get done)
Swept stairs
Clean kitchen
Did dishes
Clean windowsills (?!)
Clean bathroom


Is this what nesting means, or could it be because I slept till 10 am this morning.....something I haven't done in.....well I don't remember the last time I woke up that late.

We find out tomorrow what the "official,"due date will be for our baby girl.  One of the dates given was actually yesterday. With contractions becoming more of a routine thing, and weird mood changes (first time entire pregnancy) and now this "nesting," extravaganza ....I'm praying that this sweet cub comes soon<3