Monday, March 29, 2010

Turkey barn roof

Today I got the rest of the turkey barn/shed roof done.  Now all I need is the siding and doors.  The boards you see on the sides in the picture are temporary.  This metal roofing is so much more fun to install than shingles. 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A day for ducks

Today was a cool rainy day.  A day to be inside..... that is, except for our ducks.  I let them out of their pen this morning and they've been out foraging ever since, rain rolling off their backs.  I took a video of them (yes, in the rain) but I won't post it because they kept walking away from me so I'd follow them which makes for a video that might give you motion sickness. 

Aside from videoing ducks and brief visits to the goats and chickens I stayed inside.  I had hoped to finish the turkey shed roof, which is halfway finished, but that will have to wait till tomorrow.  James and I got the rafters and purlins installed yesterday and half the metal roofing up (not all screwed down though). 

This morning's milking went much better than yesterday, netting only a little over 3/4ths of a gallon of milk but I got much more cooperation.  I had enough milk in the refrigerator to make 2 lbs of colby cheese and a quart of yogurt with some leftover for tomorrow's breakfast.  I made dough for 4 loaves of bread with the leftover whey and  I boiled tonight's noodles in some of the whey also, so we'll have ricotta cheese in our tuna noodle casserole.  Yes, days like today will make us fat.  We need at least 5 days of sunshine to burn off all the calories I cooked up today.

I have another use for our milk.  I want to make kefir.  Today I called a woman from the goat forum I follow.  I had posted that I want to make kefir from my milk and wanted to know if anyone on the forum made it.  A woman from Vermont, alias Crazygoatgal (real name Lynn), replied that she had some kefir grains she was willing to ship to me.  I called her and we talked for 45 minutes.  She refused to take any money for the shipping and grains even though I know she can't afford to do that.  How do I know that?  Well, that's kind of a long story I might save for another blog.  Anyway, I don't know why I'm continually amazed by the kindness of strangers because I encounter this kindness again and again.  You'd think I'd be immune to this kindness by now like ducks are to rain but I'm not.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Not what I thought (sorry, this is a long one)

Things aren't always what I think.

I've looked forward to milking all my goats at once.  How exciting it would be to have all this milk.  I also thought milking my big goats would be so much fun after milking tiny goats with tiny teats.  Ok, so things didn't go exactly as I planned.  Last night I separated those cute little babies from their moms so I could have all the milk in the morning.  After shutting the babies up in a stall without their moms I had to listen to the hollers of the upset moms until I reached the house and shut the door.  When I went out 2 hours later all was quiet.  Ahh, all was going as planned.  This morning when I awoke I could hear from our bedroom, which has 12 inch thick brick walls, screams of the moms and babies.  I moved a little quicker than usual to begin milking.  Just what I had waited for.  This was going to be great.  After sweeping up all the poop in the barn (which was an inch thick because all the moms slept in the barn to be close to their babies) I fixed the food for the first doe.  I opened the stall with the milking stand and all 5 goats piled in.  It took all I could muster to get 4 of them out.  I was sweating by the time I had just one of them in the stall.  The rest were screaming at the top of their lungs.  Luti was first.  Her udder was hard as a rock.  So hard that milk was leaking out the side of a teat like there was a pin hole in it.  The pan I usually milk into was too narrow to aim milk from both teats so I had to milk one into the pan and the other into a half gallon canning jar.  She was much harder to milk than I thought.  Just near the end she sidestepped and spilled about a quart of milk onto my jacket and pants.  I finally had to quit milking because she ran out of her 3 lbs of food.  Yes, that's 9 cups.  She still had plenty in her udder to feed her babies plus a few more.  So, one quart of milk for us from Luti.  Next was Pessa.  Pessa was a dream to milk when I got her.  She didn't have much milk but her udder was soft and she had large teats.  She has tons more milk this time and her udder was just as hard as Luti's and just as hard to milk.  I got another quart from her and left lots there for her babies because she went through way more food than she needed before I cold finish milking her. I was so relieved to milk Polly, Poppy and Flower who I'm used to milking.  Note, all this time I was milking there were moms and babies screaming.  After all the moms were milked and babies let out of the pens my blood pressure dropped back down to a reasonable number.  I got close to a gallon of milk not counting the quart that was spilled by Luti (and my slow reaction).  Maybe tomorrow will be easier.

We have one of those foot scraper brushes on our patio for us to wipe our feet on before we enter the house.  Very often we have manure on our shoes and we rub our boots through the brush which then leaves a small pile of manure there on the concrete by the handy little scraper.   I was thinking the pile disappeared because rain washed it away.......until today when I saw our dog, Rosie, eating the manure and cleaning things up very nicely, thank you very much.

Our ducks have been enclosed in a chain link dog kennel since we got them.  Once we get our fence put up around our garden they'll have lots of room to run.  Problem is the whole kennel had become a huge mud pen and there was no grass there for the ducks to root through or eat so I decided to take my chance and let them out to explore.  I had no idea if I'd ever see them again or if my dogs would attack them.  I didn't let them loose till the dogs were inside.  They didn't go far from their pen.  After 30 minutes they were back in again so I let the dogs out.  Again I opened the kennel door and they came out.  Both dogs looked at them then at me.  Nothing.  The rest of the day the ducks went in and out of their pen and they're still alive this evening.  A few times I saw Rosie standing about 10 yards from them watching intently.    I doubt I'll ever trust Rosie no matter how many times she proves she can be a good girl.

Here are 2 updates:

The paw paw wine I was making tastes just like paw paws only with alcohol.  Yes, it's pretty yucky.

I've candled the eggs in the incubator and can see no signs of life.  Nothing smells rotten yet so I'll leave them there for a while longer yet.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Everything in excess

It was pretty cool here today.  Even though the thermometer read 51 degrees it felt colder than that so I made soup for dinner tonight.  I didn't just make soup because I was chilly.  I made it because I also need to use up some of our canned vegetables.  Here are some pictures of our cupboards with last year's canned goods, along with some dating back to 2007. 

I should mention we also have a chest freezer that's half full.  Remember yesterday I told you James started his 11th garden?  One of these gardens is about 100' X 100'.   Nothing excessive there.  We may be eating lots of soup for the next month or two.

I can't really pick on James too much because I'm no better.  When I make soup I make enough for 10 people, not just 2.  The soup was made with leftover whey from the cottage cheese I made a few days ago and I had to use it all.

I had plans to build the turkey barn 8 feet by 16 feet, half the size of the goat's barn.  Once I started digging holes I figured well, now that I'm started what difference would it make to dig a few more holes and make it twice that size?  I think these 20 turkeys will be pretty comfortable.

This afternoon I decided to make chocolate chip cookies.  It was drizzly out.  What else was there to do?  I had a 24 oz bag of chocolate chips.  The recipe on the bag was for 12 oz of the chips.  Again, if you're going to do something, why not do it right?  When I asked James if I should double the recipe he said, "we could always put them in the downstair's freezer".  We both laughed because we know we'd just go get them out of the freezer anyway.  We love frozen chocolate chip cookies.

Tomorrow I'll begin milking Luti and Pessa, my 2 big goats.  They both have large udders.  Milking all 5 goats once a day I'm sure we'll be getting more than a gallon of milk a day.  What will we do with a gallon to a gallon and a half of milk a day?  Make cheese, butter, yogurt and ........I don't know, but it's fun to have more than we need.

Speaking of more than we need.  Today our chickens laid 10 eggs.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Growing news

Here's James building his new garden.  I think this makes his 11th garden but we still have lots more lawn to go yet.  I don't think he'll be happy until there's no more grass.  I actually helped him a little bit with this, mostly because I wanted to use the truck to go to Lowes to get lumber and because he helps me when I need it.  He's covering the newspaper with topsoil he gets from our field near the river.  He'll need a few more loads yet.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Scrabble ladies

Every other Tuesday a group of us gathers at the nearby Methodist church to play Scrabble.  There are 4 of us that are regulars but today we had 6.  One of the ladies (89 yrs old) calls us the Monday night before to remind us.  If we have something else to do she scolds us and tells us we can do it another time.  You'd better have a good excuse if you can't make it.  As you can see in the picture below I'm the only one under 50.  I think I'm also the only one who hasn't lived in VA her whole life.  Scrabble rules don't apply with this group.  Everyone looks at everyone else's letters and we use a dictionary to see if we can find a word that fits our letters.  The 89 year old likes to arrange where everyone sits and she places herself right after the person who will let her take their turn for them.  Amazingly it sets her up for a triple word score which she can use of course.  The lady whose turn she "helps" with always looks at me and winks.  After 2 games of Scrabble we eat.  We all bring something to share and the lively conversation continues.  Today I learned, "when you get away from the bean you done just got away from it all".  I think it means there's nothing better than the bean.  We had green beans and lima beans for lunch. I wish I could remember other expressions they use because they're full of them, but my memory isn't as sharp as theirs.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Turkey barn, day 2

It was another beautiful day today so I was hoping to get the whole barn framed except for the rafters.  That didn't happen but it was still a very good building day.  First I realized I forgot to put one post in the center rear of the barn so I dug a hole and filled and tamped the post in with the dirt and clay  instead of setting it in concrete. 

So far I've been able to use all recycled lumber except for 2  4X4s and 4  2X4s.  I may have to buy more boards for the rafters and we'll have to order siding from the local sawmill like we used for the goat barn.  I'll need some 2X4s for purlins too.   It's supposed to rain tomorrow which kind of bums me out because I feel like I'm on a roll now.  Maybe I can order the roofing and pick it up tomorrow.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The building has begun

I've been slow to get started building our turkey barn.  Maybe I was just procrastinating so James would help me.  I started digging holes earlier this week but I just couldn't get them square with the existing barn.  I've said before I'm not a perfectionist but I remember what it was like building the goat barn and the problems I encountered because it wasn't perfectly square.  This one won't be perfect either but hopefully we won't run into too many problems.  I knew that to make something square you need to measure side to side, front to back and corner to corner but no matter how many times I thought I had it right the final measurement was off too much for even my low standards.  James did the math for me using the pythagorean theorem so I could make my strings the right length in the shape of an X to find the corners.  I'm not sure I even knew the word pythagorean let-alone what it was.  So once I had my numbers I made my string into an X the length I was told.  I dug the holes and it worked.  We set the 4 posts in concrete and locked the goats up so they can't rub against them.  The barn will be attached to the back of the goat barn with the slope following the existing roofline.  The 20 turkeys will have a roomy 16' by 17' barn.  I still haven't worked out in my mind (I'm not one to draw plans) how the inside will look.  I need to do a little research on how turkeys like to nest, roost and figure out how to keep the goats from getting the turkey food.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Day one of incubation

The farmer who cuts our hay loaned me his incubator.  I thought my chickens would sit on their own eggs but that hasn't happened yet and I was getting impatient so I decided it might be fun to hatch them myself.  I added another 11 eggs since I took this picture so there are now 26 eggs, 3 of them are duck eggs.  I have never seen my ducks "doing it" so I don't know if the eggs are fertile or not.  I don't have high hopes that many, if any, of these will hatch because I have no idea what the humidity is in there or if my thermometer is accurate.  The hatching temperature for chickens is 101.5 for an incubator without a fan.  The humidity should be 60 to 65% for the first 18 days and 80 to 85% the last 3 days.  All I can say about the humidity is that I put water in there and it's humid.  The incubator is very old and wouldn't reach higher than 95 degrees so I put a heat lamp over it to bring up the temperature.  I have to turn the eggs over 3 times a day so they develop correctly that's why I have an X drawn on them so I know which ones I've flipped.  A few days before their hatch date I will stop flipping.   In a week I will candle all the eggs to see if something is growing inside.  I need to find a bright flashlight to hold them up to.  Chicks should hatch in 21 days and ducklings in 26 to 28 days. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Letter to the editor

I've never been inclined to write a letter to my senator or congressman let alone the editor of our local newspaper.  My husband, however, does this a few times a year.  I think he would do it more often if I didn't once say, "remember we share the same last name", meaning, my name and our son's is also associated with his letters and people will assume we feel the same way (which I usually do but don't really like to express because I'm a terrible debater when challenged).  James usually asks me to read his letters to the editor of our newspaper to get my approval before mailing, which is very thoughtful, and I asked him to do so.  I have a friend who writes letters to the editor much more often than James.  She doesn't care if people disagree or not.  When she feels strongly about something she states her case.  That's so not me.  Is this a type A personality thing or maybe just a thing people who feel more confident about their convictions do?  I hate to admit it but I'm a people pleaser which means I'm wishy washy and like to avoid conflict.

I'm kind of getting off subject here.  The reason I brought this up is because today James told me his letter to Time Magazine Inbox was published.  See,9171,1971440,00.html    Some of us have opinions and take action.  The rest of us read their opinions or just blog about them.  I thought it was pretty cool his letter was published in Time Magazine since they only publish about 10 a week. 

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Baby pictures

Adam and Shamus.

Fresca - Luti's little girl

Shasta - Luti's little boy and Fresca's brother.

Dodger - Pessa's very big boy.  He must weigh 10 or 12 lbs.

Clarice - Pessa's girl and Dodger's sister.  See how Dodger has floppy ears and Clarice has airplane ears.

Shamus checking out Shasta.

Shasta and Fresca napping.

James and Dodger.

Today we disbudded Shasta because he was born with little horn buds.  So was Dodger but we're going to give him a few more days.  Shasta was a real trooper.  It made me wonder if I did a good job since he didn't cry much.  One down 4 to go.  Shamus is 10 days old and just getting his horn buds.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A dozen goats

On April 4th, 2009 our first 2 goats came to live with us.  Today our 11th and 12th goats were born.  It all happened so fast.  In this time I have also parted with 5 goats.  Eventually I'm going to have to stop counting goats that come and go I guess.  I think the hard part of owning dairy goats is deciding who to keep and who to sell because you always want to know who is going to produce the most and best milk and babies.  It takes a few years to really find out each goat's potential.  I wonder how many goats I'll have in another year. 

Today Pessa delivered a little (well, not so little) boy and girl.  Their names are Dodger and Clarice.  This was Pessa's second time to kid and she's handling the mothering like a pro.  Even the kids seem to know what they're doing.  They were up walking and nursing in no time.  No one was here to witness the births except for me so I'm glad it all went smoothly.  As always, they're adorable. 

Here's a video of them right after the birth.

I love this picture of Shasta coming over to check out the new babies.

I'll try to get some better pictures or video of all the babies tomorrow. 

Friday, March 12, 2010

Spring is in the air

Today we're getting showers and it feels more like April.  Why is it spring puts a bounce in your step?  I get it, that's why it's called spring, it puts a spring in your step.  All these years and I'm just now getting it.  As I type I hear thunder rumbling which really reminds me of warmer weather.

No more babies arrived today (yet) but I did have another surprise waiting for me this morning.  One of my ducks laid an egg for me.  She left it where I could find it, right in the middle of the mud by their boat.  It's not a whole lot bigger than a chicken egg.  Maybe they'll get bigger as they mature but my ducks aren't very big so maybe not.  It's whitish but not pure white.  I cooked it up and did a taste comparison with a chicken egg.  I don't know if it was a texture thing or what but I liked the chicken egg best.  I'm going to do it again or let James do the next taste test.  Anyway, it was pretty exciting.  Here it is next to a chicken egg.
I've been watching Pessa closely today and she's definitely getting closer to kidding but I think it will be tomorrow and not tonight.  I'll probably check on her in the middle of the night anyway.  Today I touched her side and felt a very large body part of a baby.  I hope they're not too big.  I'm hoping for 3 girls.  I'll probably get 3 boys. 

Today I milked Luti a little because her udder is so huge and hard.  I wish the babies would nurse more.  She stood very still as long as she had food in front of her but she was hard to milk on one side since she was so tight.  I'm going to try it again tonight.  I'm freezing the colostrum I get just in case I need it for other babies.

This week James planted lots of stuff in his garden.  With these warmer temperatures and rain things should start sprouting in no time.  This is an exciting time for us, new babies, new growth.  I can't remember having this much fun.  I think I have spring fever.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I think this is a cool picture

James took lots of really cool pictures of these births.  I posted this one on Facebook but thought I'd put it here too for those of you who didn't see it.  Read below to see more about the new arrivals.

Shasta and Fresca

Shasta and Fresca were born around 8:45 this morning.  All in all it was a pretty easy birth.  "HA!" says Luti.  It looked easy anyway.  Luti hardly made any noise at all.  We expected only one baby because Luti wasn't very large and it was her first time.  We were cleaning and admiring Shasta, the boy, when I saw a foot sticking out of Luti.  Fresca, a girl (finally), slipped out very easily.  They're still pretty clumsy but they look like they should be running around like crazy because they're so big compared to any of the other goats that have been born here.  They're a mix of Alpine, Nubian and Saanen, all big goats.  I took a picture of Shamus next to Fresca to show you the difference.  Shamus is a week old and Fresca 1/2 a day old and Fresca is at least twice as big.  She probably weighs 3 times as much.

Believe it or not we don't drink much soda but I came up with the name Shasta first (like the daisy or the camper) and then James suggested Fresca and I loved that.

I'm not sure yet if Luti has taken to the nursing idea yet.  I may have to keep checking on them.  A few times now she wouldn't let them nurse and I had to hold her.

The link at the bottom is a video of Shasta and Fresca's first few steps.  The first 2 pictures are of Fresca and Shamus.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Just 6 days later

It's hard to believe that 6 short days ago I was stressing out about Poppy delivering her babies and Shamus was so tiny and weak.  Here they are today.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Video recording of concert

I figured out how to split the movie in 2 and put it on Youtube.  The sound and picture aren't great but it's still fun for me to watch.  If you make it full screen you can see James playing piano better but it's a blurrier picture.

I want to thank all of you who came to the concert to support James and also those of you who supported him from afar.  It really meant a lot to us. 

Here it is.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Still on a high

As I type this I'm listening to a recording of Saturday night's performance of the Rockbridge Community Symphony Orchestra.  Two nights ago many of our friends turned out to hear and watch James perform the first movement of Schumann's Piano Concerto In A Minor.  He's been practicing for 5 months for this and I don't think there was a person there who wasn't wowed.  As he walked out on stage the audience applauded.  I felt like I was going to have a heart attack.  I was so nervous and excited for him.  This was his first time ever to perform with an orchestra.  All I can say is he was awesome.  And I'm not just saying that so he'll let me buy more goats.  Truly, it was incredible.  When I finally got my camera recording (the batteries were dead so I missed the opening notes) the camera was shaking to the beat of my heart.  I also recorded it on a small recorder and have now burned it on CD.  I've already listened to it at least 4 times.  After the final notes rang out many in the audience stood, screamed and applauded enthusiastically.  James took his bows and my chest was about to burst with pride.  I hugged anyone close to me.  I'm sure I caught a few people off guard.  They're probably talking about me today.  The rest of the concert was a blur to me.  I just wanted to talk to James to see what he was feeling.  He was his humble self.  I think I wanted to talk about it more than he did.  He said to me, "I should do this more often.  You like me better".  I think he should.

I was hoping to post a link to Youtube with the performance but it's 4 minutes too long and I'm having a hard time figuring out how to work Window's Movie Maker to split the movie in 2.  Can anyone help?  Hopefully I'll have the clip on here soon.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

All ends well

I didn't sleep well the night after Shamus was born because I was worried I'd wake up to find him dead.  I don't remember worrying about this with the past babies but maybe I did.  He looked so tiny and sleepy that night and I was worried he wouldn't nurse.  I got to the barn quicker than usual the next morning to find him standing under his mom nursing away looking healthy and happy.  Poppy, though, still had the placenta hanging out of her.  It usually falls out of the mother within 4 hours after the birth.  I called my good friend Ed and he told me to tie it in a knot so it wouldn't drag on the ground and it would provide more weight.  I did that.  Four hours later it was still there.  By now it smelled bad too and the chickens were trying to get at it which was irritating Poppy.  I went on my goat forum and posted pictures of her back end.  She's very swollen too.  I got all kinds of responses some of which made me panicky, ie, rush her to the vet, she has a prolapsed uterus, if it gets tugged on she could bleed out, etc.   I had already called the vet but he was out for the day and supposed to call me back.  One person on the forum suggested I tie a small baggie of water to the placenta and within an hour it should fall out.  I was nervous about doing that but didn't know what else to do so I tried it.  I had to go to a friend's house for a while so I asked James to check on her and then call when/if it fell out.  He called in less than an hour.  I was so relieved.  Adam is home for Spring break so I asked him to go to the vet and pick up the pennicillin the vet prescribed before they closed.  I'm giving that to her for the next 2 days hoping to prevent infection.  James is going to help me give her a bath today and put some Preparation H on her swelling.  Kind of makes you all want to have goats doesn't it? 

I will video Shamus today.  He's already bouncing.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I still have much to learn about goats

My first 3 goat births would have happened whether I was there or not.  They all went smoothly and and by the book for the most part.  I knew the signs of when it would happen and about how much time I had till the babies would arrive.  Today taught me not to be too confident in what I think I know about goat pregnancies.  This morning Poppy gave birth to 2 little bucklings.  One was stillborn.  Yesterday she was bouncing around and looking like a kid herself.  By 8:30 last night her ligaments by her tail had disappeared which I know means kids will arrive in the next day or so.  I got up at 2 AM to check on her.  No babies, no goo or anything.  I hung around for a while then went back to bed.  I got up at 7:00 and she was still walking around, no mucus, just crying more than usual.  I came inside for about 15 minutes around 10:00 then went back out to hear her screaming and a hoof sticking out.  I quickly called my mother-in-law who is visiting so she could watch with me.  After about 10 pushes a cute little boy entered the world.  His name is Shamus and he's adorable.  I thought she might only have one because she's so young and this was her first time.  I carried her and the baby into the barn because she had him under the chicken coop and it was kind of hard to help her (or take pictures).  After 10 minutes or so she started having more contractions.  By now I had called James and Susan and told them they were missing the births.  James was practicing piano at the cabin and thought he had more time.  I had told Susan I'd call when I thought things were getting close.  I had no idea it would happen so fast.  When they both arrived Poppy was trying to get the next baby out.  It just wasn't happening.  I put on a plastic glove and very hesitantly felt inside her to see if I could feel a baby.  I had no idea what I was feeling.  I tried for a little while but gave up and waited some more.  After about an hour I asked Susan to try and see if she could figure out which way the baby was facing.  She could feel a soft body with fur but no hooves or a head like we were hoping for.  By now Poppy was very uncomfortable and trying her hardest and I was getting worried about her.  She was getting tired too.  Feeling a little bit desperate I put a glove on again and went in.  After finding something that felt like a hip or leg I grabbed it and pulled.  I didn't know what else to do.  After several pushes Poppy delivered the stillborn buckling.  I didn't feel all that disappointed that he was dead because I just wanted to relieve her pain and get him out.  He was folded in half and that's why she was laboring so hard with no success.  Shamus and Poppy are now resting and seem to be doing well.  I forgot how tiny baby goats can be.  Two more does are due next week.  I hope things go more smoothly.  

I love this picture.
One other thing I learned today.  Never underestimate how small a goat can make herself.  Flower (Poppy's sister) was missing today.  When I called her she stuck her head out of the chicken coop.  If you remember from way back, Witty got very sick when he got in the coop and ate their food.  I made the hole smaller so that wouldn't happen again.  Well, I guess I didn't make it small enough.  Today I made it even smaller.  The chickens have to duck their heads to get in.  I saw Flower trying to fit through the hole.  So far no luck.  I don't think she got much food and she seems to be fine.  Here's a picture of the hole now.  I don't know what I'll do to keep the goats out of the turkey food once they arrive. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Attitude adjustment

It's amazing what warmer weather can do to my attitude.  We got a load of free lumber on Sunday from the guy we got the boat from.  I'll be able to use much of it to build my turkey barn.  So now I have 2 projects waiting for me, fixing up the boat and building the barn.  Actually I have many more than that but those 2 are the fun ones.  Fun projects = a happier Karen.  I will keep you updated on the progress of our boat/cabin restoration and the barn.  The turkeys will arrive in a month but they'll be kept in the basement till they're big enough to put outdoors so it's not as big of a rush as I was first thinking.  James and I have some fencing to put up around our garden where the ducks will run around this summer and that might be higher on the list.  We'll see.  It's going to be fun seeing the ducks waddling in our yard.  Right now I'm feeling sorry for them all cramped up in their 16 X 10 foot dog kennel.  Today I was able to fill their boat with water again so they could swim.  Still no eggs from them unless they're hiding them. 

Even the animals seem happier now that the snow has melted.  They're much more active.  They're going to love helping build the turkey shelter.  I remember removing screws or nails from Witty's mouth when I built their barn.  He also liked untying my tool belt and stepping on and chewing all my tools.  I can't wait. 

17 days till Spring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!