Livestock

Bringing Our Baby Goats Home

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After two frustrating delays, we were afraid to even believe we'd ever get our baby goats. But it's been a whirlwind week full of lots of bleating and, finally, first-hand experience. We had to drive 1 1/2 hours on the dreaded Interstate to meet the breeder in the parking lot of a farm and ranch [...]

Getting our Goat(s)

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Maybe it goes without saying that I was thrilled when the breeder reached out to me and said she thought she'd identified a doeling that would be good for our situation -- our situation being that we were looking for a "family milker," as it's called in the parlance. She sent pictures and we fell [...]

Embarking on a Goat-Raising Adventure

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The fight for legalizing chickens continues, though I've taken a bit of a campaign hiatus while summer activities caught me up in their clutches. I have to say I'm thrilled that -- here in Central Texas anyway -- school started this week. And as we get into the new school year routine, we're introducing another [...]

Fighting the Good Fight for Chickens

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I've mentioned our little flock of hens before, but have I mentioned that they are actually forbidden in our neighborhood? We only got ours when it appeared a vote to change the rules was a done deal, but we became renegade chicken-keepers when it failed to pass. I'm not all that proud of the decision, [...]

The Littlest Canine

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You may recall me writing sentimentally about a little lost Chihuahua that stayed with our family through Christmas last year. Well, we grew so fond of "Cookie" that it didn't take us too long to head back to Stray Acres Sanctuary and Animal Rescue and find ourselves a new furry friend: miniature variety. So, let me [...]

The Unkept Garden

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This year, I've been hemming and hawing about my spring garden, mostly lamenting that I didn't start seeds weeks and weeks ago. "Is it worth starting now?," I've been asking myself. "Maybe I'll just give spring gardening a miss this year." My cousin messaged me on Facebook on the 16th, saying he'd put out tomato plants that [...]

The Swedish Pancakes Of My Childhood [Recipe]

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The best recipes often come with a story behind them. This week, looking for a nice basic red sauce, I came across the much-lauded recipe by Marcella Hazan that's incredibly simple -- so simple it's surprised countless food bloggers with its deliciousness and depth. Food bloggers being who they are, this prompted them to tell their [...]

Better To Have Loved And Lost?

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It's a bit more lonely in my home office than in recent days. I didn't even know I was missing anything, but after my husband found a lost Chihuahua just before Christmas, I found -- and my whole family found -- surprising pleasure in its presence. We loved the sound of his little feet scurrying [...]

Our First Livestock Loss

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It was bound to happen, of course. We prepared ourselves by buying eight chicks, when we only wanted and expected six full-grown hens. Either they would die in chick-hood, we thought, or one of them would turn out to be a cockerel -- as sexing chickens at one day old is an inexact science. Or [...]

Ode To The Egg

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I wandered out to the chicken coop yesterday afternoon to make a cursory inspection of the shelter and its environs, and, when I opened up the top, I wasn't too surprised to see two eggs -- one in each of the top two nest boxes. We had put the pretend eggs into the nest boxes [...]

The Edge Of Autumn

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Yesterday, temps were in the 90s, but all afternoon, we heard the howling of the wind. It's probably the way our house is situated, or maybe the metal roof, but when the wind comes through, it sounds super intense and can be a little frightening. Considering how hot it's been lately, though, we welcomed the [...]

The Summertime Garden Update

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It's been a bit of a crazy time around the homestead, where we're just living from day to day and trying to get through our existing commitments, rather than taking on new and exciting things. I've been taking care of the garden as best I can (despite predation incidents); I'm still baking bread weekly or [...]

The Egg Update: Backyard Chickens at 10 Weeks

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We still have a few weeks until they begin gracing us with eggs, but watching them remains quite entertaining. They like watermelon and do an amazing job of cleaning up the rinds after our children have had their fill. But their favorite treat, by far, is black soldier fly larvae which, luckily for them, happen to [...]

Six Weeks With Chicks

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Our baby chicks are growing up. Once little fuzzballs, they are now looking like real hens... or roosters. Though we asked for pullets (females under a year old), it's hard to tell boys from girls when they're fresh out of the egg, so, more than occasionally a male slips through when people order females. So [...]

The Growing Sanctuary Population

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How could one resist this face? Well, we didn't. This is Cocoa, our eldest son's dog, who joined the family after our softhearted child saw one of those awful tear-jerking sad-animal commercials on TV, and came to us crying and determined to do something to help. Of course, help couldn't just be donating a few [...]