Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Spent a lot of time chasing my tail, much like Heimy does.  Almost every race I entered last season was cancelled, sigh, and then the financials hit with the impetus of a Mack truck.  This has truly convinced me I need to move to sledding country, so that even when I have big bills to pay I can still make some events. 

I was at last able to make Bristol!  It was amazing!  I loved it, though the drive there and back was a bit exhausting.

Electricity bills this year were enormous, more than double what they had been in the past.  I was still able to make it up to Michigan for at least one event, and had a total blast running the trails.  Thanks again to the MIDD crew!
At least staying home allowed me to work more on expanding our little farm, and I managed to get several fence panels at a reasonable price and a lot of hard work.  So now I'm working on expanding the amount of room our chickens have to roam around in.  The fence helps keep out foxes and coyotes as well as free-roaming dogs.  Our neighbors across the road's dogs are excellent and help also keep marauding canines at bay, so I sneak them chewies and biscuits once in a while.  Since Lucy and I came to an understanding that the chickens were mine, she has been great for keeping guard, and even helped save a chicken from another loose dog.  She cuddled it close to keep it warm, but it was too late for the hapless bird.  The hen had already been mauled fatally, but I will not forget Lucy's heroism.

Along the road to homesteading, we traded two of our laying hens for five what were supposed to be silkie hens.  Turns out they were immature birds, though thankfully old enough to make it through the bitter cold winter we had (which generally was colder than Anchorage Alaska, if you can imagine that) with the heated coops we provided them (one reason my electric bill was so high).  As they matured this spring, one of them grew much larger than the other four and began crowing.  Ok, four hens and a rooster.  Thankfully silkies are not very loud.  The four hens have started laying, adding to our laying birds, and perhaps in the future will add to the flock.  We also picked up 12 more chicks this year, all lively and healthy!  Looks like we might not have any loss of these cute little ones, and I'm very happy with them.  This new bunch are also very personable and try to climb on me as often as I have a hand or arm in their enclosure. 

I've built what I hope will be a good exercise area for them, and have only a few touches to add before it is ready for them to roam in the big yard with the other chickens without being picked on.  I plan on adding both sets of older birds to the larger yard, so hopefully they can all live in the same space.  Let's hope there won't be any vicious fights, but I'll keep a close eye on the introductions just in case.  What I plan on doing is creating a roosting area that can span between the two coops, and this area will be an enclosed and insulated coop for next winter. It will attach to both of the current hen houses, and I also plan on putting two openings to different yards so that I can seed one while they tear up the other.

Back to the dogs, Samantha and I went to Mt Orab Library in Ohio to do a meet and greet with some kids that have been studying the Iditarod segment in their schooling.  It was a fabulous time!  Thanks again for the invite!

Ghost and I will be headed off to the shows this spring.  Hopefully we can finally finish his championship.