Showing posts with label animals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label animals. Show all posts

18 Jun 2017


We often let the hens out in the front yard, particularly on a weekend. They love it.
Weeding and fertilising
Watch dog so adventurous hens don't trespass in back yard where the veges are growing.
 Mumma hen also had a residential relocation.....and we supplied a bodyguard for her and her offspring. She keeps him a wingspan away at the moment but I think he'll be more than a bodyguard soon. After playing second in charge to Figjam since he was a "teenager" he's very pleased to be allowed to flap his wings and crow without receiving a physical chastisement! I'm considering which breed of hens to add to his flock as I'd like some meat producers without purchasing commercial meat hens.
He also needs renaming as "Junior" doesn't sound dignified enough now he has a missus and kids!

The perfect end to a lovely Winter's day.

Robyn Louise XO

12 May 2017

Preserving and Bulk Buying

We've been busy stocking up lately.
We were gifted a couple of kilos of tomatoes recently so I found a nice, easy recipe and made some tomato relish in the slow cooker. The recipe, and my alterations, on the recipes page. I'll be giving a jar to the donor of the tomatoes as a thank you.

I have a habit of skimming through the local Facebook buy, swap and sell page and discovered some wheat and barley at around half the price we usually pay for it, but, it was in the bulk buy form of a 200 litre, or 44 gallon drum, purchase for each type. After discussion we decided that it was worth it, as 2 drums of each will last us at least 6 months, and there is already a mouse plague on it's way over from the west so prices could rise. The sealable metal drums will protect the grain and we can refill them from the same supplier each time. Good for us and good for a local farmer who sells direct from his farm :).

Shifting the heavy drums from the trailer, after we had them home, was a bit of a challenge and meant some interesting manoeuvering to avoid back strains at one time.

With the forklift, and some blocks for support at strategic moments, the drums were set up under cover until the contents are required.

So now the chickens and herbivores have their pantry filled until Spring!
Robyn Louise XO

2 Apr 2017


You may have noticed the assistant/supervisor/observer in many of my photos, over the years, as she was born a couple of months before I started this blog. This is a bit of a tribute to one of my best mates, even though most of the time she is voicing her opinion or asleep, and the best little rodent catcher I've "owned"! She always knows the best places to sleep but still be aware of all the current events.

Apologies if I've duplicated a photo or 2 that have been posted previously.

Gardening is so physical that it's nice to have somewhere warm and comfortable to have a rest.
 Can everyone see the photo crasher in the background at the top left?

House chores
It's always difficult to decide where to begin house cleaning. From top left to bottom right in a clockwise direction - kitchen, bedroom, office or living room.

After "driving" the forklift all afternoon all one wants to do is curl up on a favourite chair, in the company of a friend, and have a snooze.

RobynLouise and the Mad Cat (aka Maddy) XO

28 Mar 2017

A bit of this and a bit of that....

MrHM made a request to know what's happening on the 'farm'. To this end I'll be doing a daily update for the last few days of March. It also gives me an excuse to play with the photo arranging :).

After the rain last week these began popping up. The huge ones on the left are some kind of toadstool I think as they are completely enclosed. The centre is a regular mushroom and on right is the underside. Shame the rain was so heavy it impregnated them with sandy/clayey dirt as there were enough to fill a 2 litre ice cream tub.

The dwarf beans also benefitted from the rain by shooting up about 15cm and flowering. The difference in sizes is due to staggered planting times....and an ant bean seed eating invasion...grrrr.

My worms are breeding up nicely and making lots of fertiliser. The bottom tray (left) is worm cast and some adventurous worms, Middle tray (centre) is filled with shredded paper to 'catch' those who venture down from the top tray. The shreddings are also damp from worm wee so they can be used as compost for the garden. Right picture is some bedding from the top tray and the, hopefully, worm free bedding/cast from the top feeding tray separated into the box to be used to either make worm tea or as compost or a potting mix addition.

I had begun to remove these  a few weeks ago as we had no idea what bulbs they were. Now that they have flowered I think I'll keep some and plant clumps of them in various places as they are so cheering to look at. I will research what they are as well. Anyone care to help by naming them for me?

The end of the day today and my two "assistants" are having a rest. They are good mates to each other as well as to us.

RobynLouise XO

23 Jan 2017

Cooking, cleaning and chickens

On the weekend, I tried my hand at baking in this. The second-hand oven should be installed soon but I needed a dose of home baking.

These are caramelised onion and cheese rolls. They need tweaking as there is too much butter in the recipe but I always make new recipes, as written, and adjust them when I make them again.

Here is the custard slice. A problem here was cooking this a shelf position too high.
I have noted both corrections and neither problem prevented each of these being edible J.

The last week or so has been decluttering and cleaning, both inside and out.

PC made me another shelf so I would have more storage space.

The box of crockery/glassware to be taken to the op-shop (charity store).

PC also cleared a rock or two from the peach tree garden so we can begin readying it for Autumn planting. Haha…I must research the removal of the rocks the previous owners left here, preferably to our profit! Anyone want some nice sandstone rocks, some come with attached moss and those with fairly level topsides are pre-tested by the resident moggy as resting areas?

The one with the red "hat" here is Biddy. The word "Biddy" has more than one meaning in Australia and it's not complimentary...

Yesterday the hens’ egg production dropped to 4 eggs again. Saturday was when I returned Biddy to the chook yard after ascertaining that she was laying eggs, however, in the week she was absent from the yard production rose from 4 to 6 eggs a day. Therefore, production was down by a third for the first month we owned them. So, from today, Biddy will be confined to the small chook pen and be company for the young rooster, as her overbearing attitude is preventing the two youngest hens from laying. We will need to sort out another housing alternative for them soon. As she lays 3 x 60g (avg) eggs a week she's not going to be chicken soup yet! :P

RobynLouise xo

1 Jan 2017

So long 2016, Hello 2017

It's been a quiet few days since last post and the end of 2016. Partially because my camera lead to the computer developed a problem and I couldn't download photos. There were some hot days in which flowers glorified in the sun....

.....some one decided this was the coolest place in the yard, complete with cold beverages.

I noticed the cherry tomatoes had set fruit after the first rainfall...

and  the end of the thunderstorms gave us a lovely light display!

2017 came in with mid to high 20 Celcius temperatures and a lovely partially cloudy morning that developed into some nice rain and cleared to a beautiful sunset in the evening as evidenced by my new blog header photo and the photos below.

Wishing everyone a New Year that is enjoyable, peaceful, filled with family and friends and is everything you make it become.


RobynLouise xo

28 Dec 2016

Do you name your hens?

PC and I were chatting about the hens this morning and he mostly ends up laughing when we do this. He’s amused as he inadvertently named our rooster a day or two after we acquired our Silver Wyandotte flock because of its behaviour.

The rooster's name is FIGJAM. 

When you go into the hen house or yard FIGJAM struts around with his head up and his chest out and if you talk he “talks” back like he’s answering you. Also, when you pick him up, and then put him back on the ground, he doesn’t run off but steps away in a dignified manner and shakes himself – all the while chastising you in various tones. I think he’s still indignant that I clipped his flight feathers, on one wing, the day we brought him here to ensure he stayed and didn’t try the option of flying over the 5 foot high gate.

RobynLouise xo

26 Dec 2016

It happens but.....

it still isn't easy.

My little feathered friend of 12 years died this evening. Seems like she had a heart attack in the short time between when I saw her from the kitchen window and when PC went out to bring their cage in for the night and discovered her dead in the bottom. 

Her little mate, Spice, seems subdued and I hope he's OK and doesn't pine for her. I thought she'd outlast him as he has some health issues that existed before I obtained him.

It won't be the same without my cheeky little mate.

Robyn Louise 

22 Dec 2016

Another RE...


Discovered a hen house with 5 hens on a local Facebook Buy, Sell and swap last week. Had to do some pen dismantling and 3 of the hens are older than I would have liked but they are good weed scratchers so they can have a chance at reducing our labours in return for board and feed.

Need to re-erect the main hen house in the corner behind the sheds soon. It looks a bit sad stacked in the trailer.

I also discovered a local farmer a couple of days ago on same BSS who is selling Silver Wyandottes so I bought 5 of those as they are my favourite. The pullets won’t lay for around another 10 weeks. Mr Rooster needs a name but it has to suit his nature :).

Three eggs collected so far and as half of them have only been here 3 days I’m pleased with that.

Robyn Louise xo.

4 Feb 2015

Country, Cucurbitaceae and a Mad Cat

I finally put the strings on the guitar last weekend and have started relearning my chords and decided to learn how to play Little Bitty, performed by Alan Jackson as I like it and it has easy chords. Lol, more about that in the future!

My Cucurbitaceae, or pumpkins, are growing really well and starting to form flower buds.

I'm already hoping for a bumper crop and thinking soup, scones, fruit cake, open face pies, roast pumpkin, pumpkin/roquette/lentil salad.....I'd best stop as I'm making myself hungry!

The dog, Flash, and I went for a walk Monday evening. We didn't anticipate having another attendee but our fool cat decided she was coming and wouldn't be chased home. Miss Mad Cat decided that we were walking too fast so yowled loudly and continuously every time she thought we were too far ahead of her. I called her and slowed up a little but she had to run to catch up with us each time as I knew if I stopped she would just collapse and want her head or belly rubbed *roll eyes*. I'm really hoping this doesn't become a habit as it means I can't go far or fast and walking is my means of exercise and helping to keep fit and control my weight. A busy main road crosses one end of our street and our street is also the main entryway to the village so I can't really leave her and hope she returns home of her own accord.

Robyn xo

14 Jan 2015

Beyond the Black Stump

Just catching up from a post I made back in September, which is actually only 5 posts back, where I mentioned photos of my new digs. My header photo is taken out at SO's which is the other side of this black stump area. Here's a few photos that I took last year of my new digs, that I posted on facebook, but couldn't figure out till now how to put them on here.

A couple of views of the front entrance.

The cat and dog relaxing in the back yard. Lol, I'll have to update this one as the pot now has strawberry plants in it and the rock edged garden is going back to lawn for ease of mowing and care. Maybe after I mow the overgrown lawn again as then they can be compared!

This is the sign you see as you enter the area.

Stay tuned for updates in the future as I have cleaned up the gardens at the front and have some vegetables growing out the back near the fruit trees.

Robyn xo

13 Aug 2014

Cows and Deere’s….hahahaha…

I started a new job on Monday at a commercial dairy farm. I learnt how to ride a quad bike Monday, attach 2 different trailers to it and tow them - one with the 1 and 2 day old calves in it - and was passenger in the 3 different John Deere tractors observing how to operate them. I also learnt how to put teat cups on cows for the automated milking, how to clean and store them afterwards and used huge hoses like fire hoses to spray the milking shed clean. The 2 “new” calves weren't very co-operative with their first hand feeding session, even though it was their mother’s milk they were being offered  out of a big feeding bottle. Rubber teats aren't quite the same as “mum’s”.

Yesterday I drove the smallest tractor, supervised, and took a bale of hay about the same size as my Nissan Pulsar sedan down to the dry cows. There are 4 steps into the cab of this tractor and it’s about 2 times the length of my car. If I'm allowed to take pics and post them, I will, as I can’t seem to find an online pic as the smallest (and also oldest) tractor is apparently 14 years old. I also shovelled pellets into the quad trailer and spread them in the feeding troughs in the dry cow paddock unsupervised. I’ll need to be a bit quicker unloading though as the cows heard/saw me coming and bolted over! Very difficult to shovel feed when there’s half a dozen fuzzy heads in the trailer and the rest are standing in/beside the ground level troughs. At least they aren't pushy or irritable in the paddock like Brahmans can be and even the biggest Friesian is only 2/3 the size of a Brahman. I haven’t found any kickers yet if you give them a poke to move them.

Spent part of yesterday afternoon helping replace old teat cups by cutting them out then wriggling the new ones into place. Milking was quicker this afternoon as I'm acquiring the knack of sorting out the odd problems that sets of teat cups have and keeping clear of cows with dancing feet. Some of them just rock from hoof to hoof when they hear their set of cups started, before you put them on, but then there are the ticklish ones, or the few heifers that aren't used to it yet, that will kick and swish their tails. Swishy tails makes it difficult to see where the cows teats are so you can put the cups on quickly and have your hands out of kicking range. Lol, I'm learning not to cup heifers but leave it to the 2 more experienced hands to do until I'm more used to it, and quicker, as I scored a bruised finger on Monday.

One thing this job is ensuring is that I have a good night’s sleep! My head hits the pillow and that’s it.

Danni, if having a job you love is indulging yourself - and also has the added bonuses of being with animals you like, earning you money, making you happy and keeping your mind occupied so you can’t dwell on depressing stuff – then I think I am spoiling myself. I also won’t become bored with it as it is seasonal work and will be finished in a couple of months.

Thinking a nomadic lifestyle of farm work might be the go for a few years but I’ll have to trade my “rice burner” for a vehicle I can sleep in if necessary. 

One has to have dreams.

Rob XO

P.S. Before anyone goes politically correct on MY  blog - “rice burner” is not an insult to the car, the makers or their nationality. It is a compliment to the fact that my current vehicle is cheap, economical and easy to use, reliable and therefore very frugal - just like rice!

18 Aug 2013

Neglected Blogging

I was just flitting around catching up on some blogs yesterday and today and I realised that I've been neglecting my blog followers as I've been spending more time than I should on facebook and also posting pics on facebook instead of here.
My new resolution is to post here FIRST from now on and link to fb as I can do that and just link relevant posts to fb, not the whole blog. It's wonderful how much freedom you can have with the internet if you just do some research on the privacy settings.....and have family or friends check to make sure you've set them properly! I'm not an IT whiz but I do my best :).

So here's a roundup of photos I've taken since my last blog post as photos say more than words can. I won't do captions as the photos themselves will give viewers their own thoughts/feelings about what they see.......and it's Sunday and I'm feeling too relaxed to do the "journalist" thing today. They are roughly in date order from 6 August to yesterday (17Aug).


Small comment on the horse and rider - she broke this thoroughbred in herself - it has taken her a few months as she is her Dad's apprentice. He was given to her as a registered yearling that the owner did not want to keep, he's just turned 5, and she's done a magnificent job making him into a quiet riding horse. Her next job - making him a stock horse.

Robyn xo