Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Sunset and an old truck!

Early last month, we went fossicking for bits of metal around this old truck that's out in the paddock.
It's a lovely old truck, full of character. It would be fantastic if we could get someone to restore it, but I fear it is too far gone!

There's an old Pepper tree that makes a lovely silhouette.
My Camera.....

Daughter's shot on the old 400D camera! I worked on it a little in Lightroom, nice colours!

Daughter's shot.

Daughter's shot of the grass, I worked on this one too.

She has a very artistic eye!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Feral Pigs

We've never seen pigs on our place. 
Only a couple in the last 12 months. 
But now they've been slowly increasing and we've been inundated in the last week.
Three separate mobs in the last 4 days.
We got the majority of one mob on Friday night, leaving only 2 piglets who got away.

Then we found this mob on Sunday afternoon when we didn't have anything to dispatch them with.
I could only shoot with my camera.

The little piglets were pretty cute.
We gave chase,

and then tried to do I don't know what on foot.

Husband was charged by this old sow.
I was charged by her too and screamed and promptly ran and got back in the ute!
Henry was in the ute driving, squealing with laughter!
We felt a bit sorry for her as she seems to be missing her rear right trotter.
We wonder how she lost it, quite possibly another pig ate it off. yuk!

We went looking for them again this afternoon and only managed to find yet another new lot!
They were too far away to shoot. There was the most ginormous boar I've ever seen.
Good god I feel like I'm surrounded by the pigs from the book/movie Hannibal!
 I just hope there's no pig pit that I can fall into!!!!
They terrify me!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Calves 2014

It's that time of year.
We've got some babies arriving.
I went for a drive to take photos of an old truck and got a surprise at the calves being on the ground, we thought they might have been ready next month.

This girl looks like a balloon about to pop!

I spotted these 2 in the distance.

Their mummas weren't far away.

I think they were happy to keep their babies a bit hidden.

Others are getting huge big bags of milk.

With some blowing teats (look closely at the bag below)

They're constant feeders.

I've counted 6 now.

There may be more hidden in the long grass by their mummas.

They're pretty darn cute!

ps. I am now the parent of a p plater! eek!

Monday, 7 July 2014

I have a 17 year old!!

I now have a seventeen year old son!
My big boy had his birthday last week.
He's almost driving on his own.
Licence test is this Friday.
There's plenty of driving practise going on!

His beautiful sister wanted to make him a special cake.
So together we made the favourite chocolate cake. 
It uses chocolate topping in the batter. Yum. 

Then she separated the smarties into colours to decorate the top.

Then we made a big amount of ganache.
It would be used as glue.

We cut up 3 blocks of Kit Kats.
Worked out we didn't have enough.
4 would have been better.
So we spread them around the cake and then glued them on.

Then we poured the rest of the ganache on the top.
It filled the dip!
Then she started with arranging the smarties.
We contemplated just pouring them on the top, but decided on the circles.

It was a very time consuming and delicate process.
Keeping the recipient out of the kitchen was a big job!

The look on his face was priceless when he saw the finished product.
It certainly had the wow factor!


Sunday, 8 June 2014

The Pullet Palais (Penitentiary)

As requested by Sharon, The Pitman's Pullet Penitentiary Post.

Beware they are not glamorous, stylish images!
The girls are doing well with their incarceration and hard labour all in the production of these.

The chookyard is a large prison type arrangement.

There are large gates on either end.
The chookyard is within the electrified garden fence.
There's just enough width between the two for the big dog to have made a nice racetrack around the hens!
It's very funny to see him running around and around with the little ones chasing him, oblivious to what it is he is obsessed with!

I use this old gate to place on top of the burning rubbish bin
to stop the crows from pulling all the contents out.
The ash from the burning bin is really useful for the hens to roll about in, it keeps the lice at bay.
We also put our firebox ash in their little hollowed out dust baths.

Looking to the other end of the yard.
There's a stay wire across the middle that I will need to hang shade cloth from for the summer heat.
 It took them only about three weeks to have the yard completely eaten out and barren,
I tried to keep the grass growing, with the sprinklers, but with the cooler weather and the chooks scratching, it was a bit of an impossible task.

 Instead they have a bale of lucerne hay to peck at to get green pick.
It's undercover in their little coop.

Inside the coop it's pretty ugly. The corrugated iron is from the old shed.
I've used the fold up quad/car ramps as one of them was run over in the driveway and can't be used anymore.
 See the weird bend in it?? The chooks like it to get up to their perches.

The perches are from old oregon windmill rods.

They go inside to access their nesting boxes. 
The doggies love coming in here as there's always a whiff of mice.
They dug out underneath this bale and had a few mice.
We aren't doing too badly in the mice department.

Unless I dole out the seed each morning and afternoon I have to use this feeder,
the chooks just push it out with their beaks and have it spread everywhere.
I'm going to get the boys to devise an alternative in the holidays. 
I've seen big bits of upright white pipe with a U shape on the end that the hens can't really scratch it all out of.

There's a little man gate in the u part of the boomerang shaped yard. Some of the young hens run backwards and forwards at night time trying to get in this way- hence the star post to prop the door open.

Inside the laying box we've put plastic containers, then I put a shallow layer of diatomaceous earth/clay - otherwise known as kitty litter!!!! 
I have used it for many many years. You have to look for the clay one, in Australia it's the Chandlers brand. If the chook poops in the nest or breaks the egg, the earth 'soaks' it up.
 It's always really clean. They scratch it out and I usually replace it at least a couple of times a year.

This young hen we were given by a friend has been egg bound a couple of times. We've had to squeeze the egg out for her. The first time I though I was going to break the egg.
Luckily, she's had no further problems for a few days.

To get to the eggs you just lift the lid. We need to make a cover over this though as even though the boys tested it with a hose, I've found that with the light rain there has been leakage in.

We extended the garden pipes into the yard and set up a trough. I need to make the big hose shorter as it's a waste of a good long hose in here. the other hoses on the timer are for the wobbler hoses.
I have a timer that will turn them on and off every 30 mins or whatever I set it at. I'm seriously worried about the chooks not having enough shade in summer.

The dogs like to help themselves to the chook's water haha!
 To get some shade on the coop in summer we've also planted some bamboo.
Fingers crossed it'll grow.

They do love being free from their enclosure, especially at the moment to get all the clover coming up.

They also love pecking at the saltbush hedge. 
I've heard that it will make sheep very tasty.

Miss Jaller being the flock guard dog!
I wonder about chickens?? hahaha!

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