This week has been chock full of interesting, gross and enlightening farm adventures so I thought I would just share some "Tales from the Farm" in this post.
It all started out with chicken mites. Isn't that how your average week starts? I was having one of those days that never seemed to want to end. And per my usual I had started a project way too late in the day and by 8pm was regretting my decision. I was hot, I was tired, and my chicken have mites. De-lousing chickens when you are tired always goes well. Ha! We moved them into their old smaller coop this past weekend in an effort to get them to a bug free space while we cleaned. Chickens naturally go back to their coop every night, but when you change their sleeping arrangements, it gets dicey for a couple days. Mitch is working on the farm until dark these days so chicken wrestling was all me. One by one I pulled them from the coop and doused them with an anti-bug powder (mainly on their bums) in an attempt to rid them of their pesky little biting friends. After a struggle and 12 very pissed off chickens, the powder was applied, they were landed back on their nighttime perch and I had a very well deserved beer. This must be repeated again to kill any hatching bugs, but I'll be more rested next time! In case you were wondering the chickens likely picked up the mites from mice and wild birds which we have plenty of this year.
If you've been watching our stories on Instagram you may have spotted the crane who has taken up partial residence in our alpaca pasture. What a sight! It sits in the pasture and just calmly waits for the mice. If you time it right you can see it grab one off the ground and then take flight with its latest snack in hand. It is actually pretty cool although the alpaca, chickens and Cuddlebug the goat seem to keep a nice distance from their new pasture mate. It lives in the creek that runs our property so if its not in the pasture we can often here it talking out back towards the water.
Ok so I know we've all been waiting for the owl delicacy right? Well here is how this story goes. It's a little gross but pretty representative of life here on the farm. A couple days ago I called out to ElsieMae to see what she was chewing on. I thought it was a bone, but as I approached I realized it was... a cute little bunny butt, tail and back feet. That was all there was of the bunny. Basically torso down. A little weird but I just figured Elsie had been working on the bunny for awhile. I scooped it up and tossed it away. I kid you not, I turned around and Elsie was in a totally different part of the property chewing on something. You guessed it, the lower half of a cute little bunny. What the hell is going on around here I though, Elsie is not the best at catching things. I mentioned this to Mitch and after a bit of googling we discovered that owls consider baby bunnies a delicacy. But not all the bunny, really just the eye balls and head. Remember how many owls we have in our barn?!!! Turns out the pasture is littered with the lower half of a lot of cute little bunny remains. We are pretty inundated with rabbits around here so honestly it is a nice natural form of population control. I would just love it if they would leave the leftovers away from the dogs.
Last and final farm tale for this post. Our smallest dog Velma is all of 12 lbs and just about the best mouser there is. She is a dachsund mix and her little nose can shoot right down a mouse hole and yank them out faster than all three of our other dogs can even seem to react to a mouse. So of course I was hanging laundry this week and up walks Velma with her latest catch. She hasn't been on her A game this year so it was about time. The thing is, she was so proud she just followed me around with her prize. Where I went, she and the mouse went. After lots of praise I finally went and got a cookie for her. Once she saw the cookie she dropped the mouse, I scooped it up and over the fence it went. Later in the week here she came with a bird. I'm pretty sure the bird was already dead when she found it, but she got a cookie anyway. Scoop and over the fence it went. In case you are wondering, our "over the fence" is questionable.
Well I think that is it for "Tales from the Farm." I did also manage to make some yarn, work on some client fiber and even sit, spin, knit and read in the sunshine.
Until next time... Stay healthy, wear a mask, craft on and listen and learn from all different voices.
I am Kim Biegler, the owner and operator of Ewethful Fiber Farm & Mill. I create hand spinning fibers from locally sourced wool and teach others online how to hand spin their own yarn.