Fall Photos…

I love when we put down some fresh straw in the poultry yards.  Everyone goes nuts scratching and digging and pushing it all over, looking for goodies underneath.  I try and sprinkle a little cracked corn all over the yard for them, so that the crazy activity gets a little reward.  Chickens are so much fun to watch and mess with their little minds.  What is nice if the straw gets a little wet and yucky, then the bugs and worms come up into the wet layer and it’s chicken pickin’ feast time!  I think it’s important to give your animals a little brain candy as well as good basic care.  It makes them less likely to pick on each other or do bad things like try to escape and such.


Little Cody man is getting shaggy!  I didn’t really notice it until this photo and then I thought, oh my gosh!  Shaggy little wild man!  He is really darn cute in the winter when he gets his long wild stallion of the moors coat.  It makes him look like a little bear cub, all fuzzy and stout.  I especially like his little legs, they get all feathery and cute like a little gypsy horse.


The raking season is upon us…  and we have been trying a new plan this year.  Rather than let everything fall and then rake up giant huge piles of leaves, we have been working areas every few days.  It’s a whole lot easier to deal with smaller, lighter piles, than the big wet yucky piles!  Still, it’s a good deal of work.  Maybe someday we will consider one of those gas powered leaf blowers.  But not this year.  Actually, we are having some really serious wind today, up to 25 mph and those gusts are doing a really good job of blowing the leaves into little catch areas.  I like that!  Super easy that way.


This is our second successful broody hen… Miss Lizzy.  She is a cuckoo Marans from a trio of hens we call Izzy, Lizzy and Dizzy.  Well, Lizzy has tried unsuccessfully a few times to hatch some chicks.  Usually, she will sit for a week or ten days at the most and then abandons the nest.  So we have been taking eggs from her now, anytime she tries to brood a clutch.  But we felt bad for her and gave her another shot.  And she did it!!   She hatched out two sweet little chicks.

Sadly, one of them drowned yesterday, during a very wet stormy day.  Somehow the little fella fell into Gideon’s water trough.  I don’t have a clue how he even got up there, so little as he was, but he did and fell in.  We were so sad!!!  We are going to be on the lookout for a couple of big rocks to set into a few troughs, I have since learned that you can do this and it will give an animal a chance to at least get up on the rock, and wait to be rescued.  Every so often we find little mice that fall in, and die.  I’m so sorry for Lizzy, because she has been such a proud mom.  I guess her little last chick is going to be super spoiled!!!


This is Blue Louie.  He’s a roo that we hatched here at the farm, and then he went to live with some friends, as we thought he was a girl!  Well, turns out, he’s not.  And he’s huge.  We are pretty sure he’s a son of Miss Bionca, our splash Jersey Giant hen and Bucka ROo.  He’s super sweet and gentle, and since we really didn’t have a good spot for him in a coop collection, we decided to see how he would fit with Bucka and Copper, out in the free range group.   Well, he’s doing fantastic!  Because of his gentle demeanor, he stays far away from the head boys and doesn’t fight at all.  He likes to follow you around and is really pretty fun to have as a companion as you do chores and such.  He has a few of the ladies that swoon over his handsome and rugged good looks.  He is the largest chicken we have here!


Bucka has a stalker friend.   This little silver laced wyandotte is ALWAYS on his tail.  She always follows him everywhere and is just in love.  She is one of our friend’s little retirement chickens that came to live at the farm this spring.  Bucka doesn’t seem to mind and they are always found walking about the place.  She will follow him forever all over the yard and on his travels.


Pony feels left out because he doesn’t have an ITouch….


Still life with Momma sheep, Bionca hen and some evil nut balls.  Oh yeah and wood pile.


Carolyn and her peeps are doing so good!   She managed to get them grown up without any mishaps.  And in fact, she even kind of ignores them pretty much, though they follow her around a good deal still.  It’s not uncommon to see her hanging with Bucka and his peeps and the two babies are out on their own journey.  Pretty sure that at least one is a hen,  and probably the other is as well.  They are probably some Amerucana mix with a blue Marans hen.  Probably Bucka, or well, could be Copper too.  I’m glad we gave her a chance to raise them on her own.  It’s sad now, that Lizzy has lost a chick to accident, but well, I still think it’s probably better for the hens to raise their chicks if they manage to hatch some.


Mr. and Mrs. Chicken are doing very nicely in their courtyard coop.  It’s actually Parsley and Sage, my two little mille fluer banty chickens in this little coop.  I had two other porcelain hens, but I gave them to a young lady that was doing 4H with the mille fluers and just fell in love with them.  Her family came to buy some chicks and when she saw the procelain hens, she was so excited.  She had one that had died and had a few of the brown ones, like I love, but wanted to get a trio together to show…  they offered to buy them but I had gotten them as a gift and I wanted to keep that good thing going, so I gifted them to her.  It works out nicely because now I just have the pair and they are so cute and devoted to each other.  We call them Mr. and Mrs. Chicken because they are always together and are very bonded.   We let them out in the courtyard to wander a bit in the afternoon and they are so cute to watch as they waddle about.   Jessy took some cute pictures of them today, I will try and get them up here soon!


Ugh…. Evil Nut Balls.  Or ENBs as we call them.   From our black walnut.

I know some folks love black walnuts but these are just so evil.  They have bugs and they are hard and just are all over the place.   I would SO love to sell that tree.  Seems like all we’ve been doing is picking up ENBs….  We have been dumping them over the fence in the hedge and all because we have asked but no one wants them.  Around here, there are a lot of these black walnuts and people consider them a nuisance tree.  I am seeing why!

Now, our English walnut, we adore!   And we’ve been picking up those and saving them by the pound!   We have a whole 5 gallon pail full already and a bunch more to gather.  They have to cure for about a month and then we will be shelling them and freezing them!  Yum!   Can’t wait for banana bread and nut bread and blueberry nut bread and candied walnuts…. and salty walnuts…..  yum…..


Just a pretty picture…  so nice and green is our grass!  It’s finally starting to recover a bit from the drought this summer.


Thought this was funny…  been training the sheep to come when they are called.  And buddy, they have it down good.  In fact, they come when you call anything, really.  I call the chickens and they come running.  I started out by giving them treats whenever I called.  Every single time.   Then after they got that down good, I started to skip a time, call but no treats.  And then I made it every few times…  pretty soon, I really don’t have to treat much, and they will still always come on the off chance there is goodies to be had.  I think it’s really important…  if they are scattered about the farm and I want to check on them, I can just call from the screen porch, even in my jammies and they will come for a head count.  And if they ever get out, they will come when I call them instead of chasing them all over the place!  Very important!!!  Cody usually comes as well, but I think he was napping in the barn at the time!


The wood lot is looking so pretty…. it’s that time of the year when everything starts to turn so pretty.  I love this time, it’s a nice restful time and a chance to get your batteries charged for the cold winter to come.  I feel good that we have gotten a ton accomplished this year…  it’s gotten better and better every week!  Soon the pigs will be gone, and we will hunker down for some rest and relaxation…  and some indoor projects and crafts and of course, reading and some serious napping!!!   i think we’ve deserved a little down time.  It’s been a fantastic warm season and we’re thrilled at the progress on our little farmette!!!


The crab apples are all gone and the sheepies are sad.  It was one of their most favorite times of the day, the apple shower day!  If you go near those two trees, the flock will run over and wait anxiously for you to shake a limb and give them little sour pucker apples to munch on.  Isn’t Angus the fattest little boy around!   He looks pregnant… but he’s not.  He’s just rotund.  He gets a lot of treats because he’s so friendly!  We have to watch that he doesn’t get too many!  (He’s the one on the right hand side closest to Jessy.)

We are pretty much plum full up with pullets and hens at the moment.  These are a few of some lovely six hens that a friend brought to us.  She is going to be vacationing this winter and didn’t have a real good winter coop setup, so she asked if we would take in her hens.  They are beautiful girls, three are white and three are red.   But the white ones are very pretty, they have a blush of red faint feathering on their chests!  Very friendly birds, one lady escaped and she let me just pick her up and pop her back in the run!  I like hens that don’t mind being touched and picked up!  It’s so nice!

Our 50 pullet chicks we bought in the summer are doing well, they are getting to be young teenagers now.  They have moved to big girl flocks in the lil’ coop and the poultry barn, but once the hogs go on to their final destination, we will be converting half of the big barn over to a pullet teen center.  We think we might have a few too many birds in each coop group as they are not laying very well.  Too much competition I believe for roosting, feed and all that.  We will probably take about 15 birds from each coop and winter them in the big barn with the free range flock.  They won’t be laying until January or February at best, so it will be a good way to keep an eye on them and give the other areas a little break from too many chicks!  We really need to get our egg production up…  we have close to 100 hens now and are only getting about a dozen eggs a day!!!  I know that it’s a seasonal thing, and that well over half  of them are young still, ranging from 7 to 3 months in age.  We will be putting up some inside lights soon, to help give them a little more light which can occasionally help with egg production.  And a lot of the hens are molting…  so it’s like a triple whammy for egg deliveries!!!   Soon, though we should be back in the high egg production!  We can only hope!!!

All in all, just a nice time we’re having, this lovely fall weather is nice.  Everyone is getting ready for a nice winter and we hope this one will be much easier than the last.  Our nice warm furnace is keeping away the chills and that will be a huge relief!  And we are getting much better at our chores and how to manage the livestock, so that makes things even easier.  And we know what we are up against now and can prepare a little better.  I hope we have a lovely nice productive yet relaxing winter season to come!



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About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of BuckeyeBluegrass.com as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.


Fall Photos… — 3 Comments

  1. Walnuts should be hulled as soon as possible, when the hulls begin to crack / split. If they’re left too long the tannins can make the nutmeats taste bitter.

    Hull, rinse well, then air dry on a screen or hardware cloth – anything they won’t fall through.

    Cleaned nutmeats should be refrigerated or frozen for better keeping.

    The husks of black walnuts make a wonderful substantive natural dye, no mordant needed. Have you ever thought of selling them to spinners or weavers who might enjoy natural dyeing but don’t have nut trees of their own?

    • Thanks, yep, we have the hulled and curing in our mudroom. Read a bunch about them and all. Actually the English seem to fall out of the hulls to the ground, they are wonderful! I have asked all around if anyone wants the black walnuts and haven’t found anyone interested. I suppose if someone would want some, I’d be happy to mail them some for dying purposes. Or eating, but like I said, they seem to have these little white grub/worms… I’m not sure that I would eat them. Black walnut leaves and husks are poisonous to horses, but thankfully Cody doesn’t seem at all interested in them and we keep the area raked up so he doesn’t accidently eat any while grazing. I’d really like to find someone who would like to pay me to harvest the tree! (gg) That would be wonderful!!!

  2. I enjoyed your fall tour very much.
    I am so excited to tell you that my spring pullets are setting like crazy, it is so unusal I think for them to want to set this young. I have now had 3 pullets to hatch out 8, 8 and 10 babies. 2 more are due soon. I don’t know what in the world I am going to do with this many chickens. I sure wish you were closer I wuld love to give you some. I was told I must have some very happy contented chickens for this to be happening. I have also been told that most peoples chickens are either setting or molting right now, not much inbetween. My others are still laying great too. I am lucky this year I guess. I have ran a light on a timer in the past and got my chickens to lay good all winter long and then I gave them a short rest to recoop alittle bit. I think it has to mimic the sun and they need their eye pupil dialited by the light for like 14 or 16 hrs each day. It does work, we do it for the show horses all the time. The ones in the barn stay under lights all the time, even at night and they will not grow a winter coat but then you have a second part time job of dressinng and undressing them in stable blankets everyday when it is cold. I am letting my Zip man grow some fur this year and not doing the coat thing unless it is subzero. lol. That blakets stuff gets so old before spring arrives. Also I wanted to ask you if anyone in your area is a buyer of blk walnuts. We have a ton of those dang trees here and we have a temporary buyer set up at a gas station every year ad they pay 14 cents per pound. It takes alot of then to make anything, but hey it is easy enough work that even little kids annd do it and all the kiddos in the area make alittl cash each year. My son made $90 once picking up after school. He was thrilled. Just a thought. I have alot of them on my farm too and I hate them. Hardly no one will buy the trees here unless you have a whole forest full or it has to be super huge and then they rob you it seems. I usually just let them lay in the pastures and rot away. Nothing has ever been bothered by them but I have always heard not to ever plant tomatoe plats close to them or they cause some sort of fungus or diease to the tomatoe plants. Not sure about that. Could have been some wild hair salon fodder. Blessings to you and yours, Chanda