Jest Another Day in Pear-A-Dice - Higgins Rat Ranch Conservation Farm in Alberta

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by CanuckBock, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. MistyMountain

    MistyMountain Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Trimmed down a bit to the part I wanted to reply on...

    Thanks for the nice comments on the chickens. They are simply the result of a broody hen and some mixed fertile eggs. Kinda fun not knowing what you are going to get! I just like different colors, both in the flock and in their eggs. I am considering focusing on a heritage breed, though, and keeping this mixed group just for eggs.

    That said, I think I am busted! [​IMG].. I missed the link to your website!! Headed back to read some more. Might better toss a log on the fire first. Sometimes I get to reading or being creative and lose all sense of time.

    My Blackbeard EE mix roo has an awful comb, too. The leghorn mix girl I was talking about above has… just a weird one. I managed to get a few pics. Probably the weirdest and ugliest comb I have ever seen. I'll try to share them later.

    Headed back to do more reading!!
     
  2. CanuckBock

    CanuckBock THE Village Ijit

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    My Coop
    We have called it "tenplast." Not sure that is the correct name...I found what you call it here...comes in 4x8 and 4x12 sheets here.

    Glad my shots pleased yer eye. You would howl over the story on the Man Porch. You ever seen those building supply ads on TV...I think it was Rona (nfi) that did the series...the one that made me laugh the most was the dog scooting its butt across the carpet...well we do declare, that we had the full McCoy, the honest to goodness RONA porch before Rick had had enough and turned his attentions to the human's needs. Durn near put a whole leg thru the porch decking before we all manned up and built the Man Porch. It think its 40 by 16...big enough we could throw a dance in thar...my last entry on my Coop page is about the Man Porch...there is lots more photos on things like the hummingbird feeders hung from the rafters and other whatnots...

    The Man Porch is a huge thing...beauty thing....love it

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    2012...before we upgraded the furniture.

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    The lawn chairs moved on to be lawn chairs...

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    And because we love to be breathing fresh air and enjoying the warmer seasons for all they are worth...the porch was outfitted with more comfy furniture. Crappy Tire (nfi) had EasyBoy (nfi) on sale...so Rick did the old man butt thing...recall how Archie Bunker knew when Meathead had been sitting in HIS chair...yeh, that kinda thing. Rick told me he had finally found what HE wanted and away we went on a nice early spring trip and brought home the new stuff... two sets to fill the one half of the Man Porch.
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    May 18, 2014

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    We celebrated the new old person furniture with a feast... [​IMG]

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    Lotsa feasting happens on the Man Porch, eh! [​IMG]

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    and my most favourite food of all time...(can be burgers too)

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    Hot dogs...!!!

    Why hot dogs...because we BQ hotdogs on the porch and that means Rick and I, the kid, friends, family...we are having a wing ding of a good time...outside on the Man Porch. [​IMG]

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    And yes...Fixins...she is on the Porch too. Her and Dad spend alot of quality time thar. [​IMG]

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    Not sure she liked my answer to the few flies that had managed to sneak in the dog door...

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    She is SO not happy with my solution, eh?? [​IMG]

    Yes, Rick even designed in a dog door for them dogs...a true Man Porch fer sure!

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    There's a wood stove and hearth...

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    Note the old time wooden egg crates...and the rosy posy light...yeh, Rick chose that...too purdy for the likes of moi!

    A woodbox divided in two.

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    There's a REAL man sized BQ...big enough to cremate bodies on...be warned, we don't need to hide the bodies...just control the fat fires, eh! [​IMG]

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    Even some of the yard birds would find their way into the Man Porch before it was sealed up and completed... this is BQ, the MDF Booted

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    At first BQ perched on the barbecue at night, then a heated water bucket (bookta chicken?) and finally the garbage can...we figured he musta not been good for eating if he stayed thar, eh?


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    Lotsa antiquey things...bison skull...ornamental chooks and waterfowl...cream cans...old tins...

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    Various decoys...wooden egg crates of various eras...

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    Rick even refurbished one man sized butter churn...

    My son got married in the Man Porch...it was in October some years back...twas coldish, so why Rick put in the woodstove.

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    Rick plants some tomatoes and feasts upon their bounty!

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    Lotsa pretty plantings...


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    Geraniums, mini roses...

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    And last year, I asked for help on deciding what to plant in the big ol' dragon pot...this is what it looked like in August!

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    Occasional dog head in the way...

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    Self contained waterfall...

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    See dog sleeping to slooshy sounds...

    Yeh, tis a fun place that Man Porch.

    Well that be that for right now...I am off to go about making good use of the warmth here...will get back to address other posts...

    Later, eh...

    Doggone & Chicken UP!

    Tara Lee Higgins
    Higgins Rat Ranch Conservation Farm, Alberta, Canada
     
  3. Why not you ask? Because my back cannot take it. My barn though, is a curious thing that I'm trying to improve upon since I don't have the money to completely rebuild. So, I guess, the mice will be staying in the floor. I opened the link you provided for the 5 gal bucket mouse traps but I haven't read it yet.

    I was going to ask about your man porch too. Does the link provide pictures of the build? I'd love to see the construction. We are planning to make a large porch outside our back door but are still in the talking stage. This will take a lot of money. I like your skylights too but in this area, that might really be asking for it if we don't provide a way to block the sun during certain times of the year.
     
  4. lularat

    lularat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tara, I love your man porch....I love your whole ranch! I live in town on a small lot and keep hoping to move to the countryside. We keep talking about selling the house, but so far haven't taken that leap.
     
  5. I found this one on youtube and ordered one. I'll make sure it works first and then I think it will be pretty easy to use it as a prototype and I can make more of my own using kitty litter buckets. I'll let you know how it works.

    oops, it would probably help if I included the link...

     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
  6. scottcaddy

    scottcaddy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member


    http://fivegallonideas.com/bucket-mouse-trap/


    Heh heh heh...warning to Scott...be very careful...go to the above link only if'n you got an hour er three...tee hee...

    I am there for a few minutes..."oh a bee house, oh a bird house...air cannon...really...oops...need to go back to my BYC post there!!" ...heh heh heh... Evil site indeed! [​IMG]

    Thanks Tara!! [​IMG]

    I don't think that I need a link for a Bee house and a Air cannon in one shot right now, but I do thank you for thinking of me.

    Scott (I will go look later)
     
  7. CanuckBock

    CanuckBock THE Village Ijit

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    Alberta, Canada
    My Coop
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    I am indeed making my list and I have far too many choices which is ever such a good thing. Choices. I am thinking maybe some different coloured peppers to go in with the tomatoes in the greenhouse but I do have to stop and ponder...once you commit to a greenhouse planting...then there is a long commitment to the watering and cooling down of the greenhouse. It gets easily to 110F in there just in the early morning...so not sure, not sure I want to plug in the fans and commit myself (to the sanitarium, eh!). Maybe, maybe not. Those seed packets, such innocent looking little things...even the planting of them seeds, not so bad. Sorta like a hatching egg...I always marvel at the quietness...well past the whirl of Buster the Bator going.

    The quietness of an egg all 20 to 29 days...quietness before the STORM...ha ha ha. Marvel all I want because once set, once planted...

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    BEHOLD the MAYHEM I have cause by my own hands!
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    I have been organizing garden photos...trying to let go of Veg Garden 2014...learning off it and trying to go forward. Make improvements and such.

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    So this was Sept 6...veg garden is doing nuthun but growing...see Fixins on the far right, going in to harvest some of her sugar peas...only thing that keeps that princess warrior sugary sweetness, eh!

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    So the next day, Sep 7th, I am feverishly sewing up poly feed bags to cover me veg. You would never have believed the need for the blankies, eh...lookit how fine the weather appears...that calm before the storm again, perhaps?? [​IMG]

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    Helper Dog Fixins - Quality control!


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    So this was Sept 3, a few days prior, I was using old blankets and the poly bags I had already done up...more or less to keep the frosts we get at bay. Rick listens to the weather reports (you know, old men talk about the weather, eh!) and keeps me in the loop to know when I had better get back out there and make covering the garden my last outdoor chore of the evenings! I knew it was only a matter of time though...matter of time before the stuff that falls from the heavens would be white...

    Sept 8th saw the snows begin during the day...

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    It was more a mixed rain with snow kinda falling in.

    So here is the visual progression...

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    Sept 6, regular veggy garden growing...


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    Sept 8, rain snow mix falling...


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    Sept 9, heavier more Coast like Snows...Alberta Snow is this dry sandy like consistency...light and fluffy!
    Could not save the beans...they pretty much froze after this onslaught but so goes the battle. Do you plant and risk them getting to the point where they are flowering and just producing or do you plant and there is no killer frost or wet heavy killer snows and you harvest so many beans you hate them! [​IMG]

    You just never know and that is part of the game...you try, you win, fail, lose, draw! But living in the mountains, nestled in a river valley, you just never know. I guess the simple thing is you try and you can win, but if you never try, you never know how successful you mighta been!

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    Sep 8, 2014...Here it comes, bring it on!
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    So did I win here...I looked at the bedding out plants they had in Portulaca...they were cruddy...frozen, rotten...so I looked at a packette of seeds...way cheaper than the doomed started ones...so I sewed some seeds, thought, what the hay...the plants did grow, they did do that...takes an awful long time to start. But did I get flowers, heck no...did I win here or fail...did I draw? Guess you just gotta try and see.


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    Sep 9, 2014 - bye bye plants...
    Since we knew when the first snows were coming, I harvest all I thought would not make it thru. The birds feasted, we feasted...life was good! [​IMG]

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    September 5, 2014

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    September 8, 2014

    Tender romaine for us, bits and pieces for birds...

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    One patch of romaine harvested...still got spinach beds to cut, more beds of romaine...


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    There is a poly bag of bits and pieces of greens for the birds, stacks of heads of romaine and lots of spinach (SALAD bounty!)...onions, pulled peas (sorry Fixers...this makes it easier for you to get to and not eating frozen things to make you sick my princess sweety.


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    So this was a stack of produce I put in the Duck Barn in an empty pen...nice cool storage


    So when you live here, do you not grow things like these in fear...

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    My shade bed by the Heel Low Doggone Dog Kennel...hail damage is evident but look past that...see them flowers?? [​IMG]

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    Let's see...record snow fall last winter, so had to wait for snow to go (and stop falling). Looks like I got my first tilling in on May 13, did up the seed bed prep May 17 or so. My MIL says no way to planting anything outdoors until at least June first and she has pretty much been on the money there. We do have frosts in any month and snow fall too. Oh well, that is what living in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains does for one. No worries. [​IMG]

    We had several hail hits in August, so kinda pounded some of the leafed plants a bit. But after the haircuts, the plants went on in the veg garden to be decent enough. I consider the hail in August to have been a trimming...light trimming.

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    Sept 7, 2014

    Those look like pretty decent yet tender heads of romaine, eh? Post hail and all...

    So the real snows came...Nov 9 this year.

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    Nov 8, 2014

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    Nov 9, 2014


    The dramatic change from GREEN to WHITE...use to it by now.

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    The beauty display from all those flowers in June...turn to little crabapples in yellow and red in September and October...

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    Doesn't this just look magical...like fairies were out all night (or are those gremlins...I forget?) painting up the little dingles that hang there.

    And just as quickly as you have time to admire the pretty...BANG...


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    There is a whole other view of the scene to enjoy, eh!

    The fact that we grow something is good...the fact that we can harvest it even better. I love living here...you learn to appreciate things...suck it in, stop and smell the roses...admire the moths that visit them...

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    Spectacularly beautiful all year round here.

    I remember one real wet year where Rick and I were harvesting potatoes...and each time we grabbed something in the liquid mud, we pondered if it was a rock or a potato!?? This past season, I did my last harvest of potatoes here on Nov 1st...that was just amazing and something of a blessing to be thankful for. [​IMG]

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    Nov 1, 2014

    Ground has not really frozen all winter now and I am still able on warm weeks to get to the duck pens and clear them down to the sand in the runs which is remarkable---not good though...when you have funky weather, something always pays for the wonkiness! Usually we get cold enough the thought of being able to clean out a pen is impossible...so kinda nice for spring thoughts since I will not be removing the layers and layers because they were taken away already.
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    So in summary, till garden May, begin to plant garden early June, expect snows in September...kinda one shot things, serious snows are in end of October, this year was awesome...after first week in November. I figure at least three months, maybe four, five would be sinful. So tired, we all here look forward to winter...please, please, make it stop...me tired, eh!
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    Expect FROST and SNOW falls any time...always always the white can visit the green...two inches in August 2001...blizzard like, but never stays more than a day. Forget tomatoes or other tenders outside. Grow those in greenhouse or Man Porch. Corn is tricky...but can be done if you wanna. Carrots, peas, onions, potatoes, lettuce/spinach/chard/beets<--greens do well. Lilacs, wild rose types (not tea), caragana, spruce, pine, poplar, birch...grasses of all sorts...strawberries (wild and cultivated), raspberries, saskatoons, currants, seabuckthorn, crabapples, sour cherries, plums (sometimes pears, apples)

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    Currants, raspberries

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    The first things to flower here regarding fruit (past wild pasture strawberries which the dogs or the sheep go for) are the Russian Haskaps Honeyberry; May 21st and recall the snow fall we had in May, eh.

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    May 21, 2014

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    I expect to see fruit this year...a new plant, well OK...have had ONE out by the Duck Barn for years...never knew that it needed a cultivator...another type.

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    Haskaps Honeyberry in whisky barrel...


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    This year, I think I have had three types growing from purchases made in 2014...see the new addition beside the older one... [​IMG]

    So we shall see ... see if we have honey berries this coming year...fun times! [​IMG]


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    June 2, 2014 one of the many Dolgo crabs flowering


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    Saskatoons

    We have lots of different types of fruit that grow here. Even the Alberta wild roses offer up rose hips in the fall time...great source of Vit C.

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    When it goes green, it really puts on the shows

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    Spring time by the waterfall and pond


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    Caragana

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    Lots of displays of flowers, but never BLINK er you'll miss out!

    The thing about having winters is you can expect them and they kill parasites, only the strong survive...it may be rough, but it makes us all very tough and resilient. [​IMG]


    SAD...no way baby... <<OK...maybe just a tad S.A.D. [​IMG]>>

    How about this one...OCD...

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    I don't have this...yeh...I sure don't...<<isn't step one of the recovery process the admission there IS a problem>>...Not me...no way...never! [​IMG]

    I can relate...had the no hug parents too. [​IMG]

    Hugs are good, what the world needs is more hugs...yes! [​IMG]

    So you done reading yet?

    While it is nice to keep the heritage breeds going...I have come to the notion ANY birds are good ones...in this state of the world. Any realness with other living species is a bonus...to all of us! Keep on keeping, eh! [​IMG]

    I have been searching for build pics...not succeeding too well. The MY COOP link shows no build pics. Bamboo woven mats (hung inside under light) like in greenhouses may work for shade of skylights, maybe? I know in new fandangled ones...there are self built inside screens/blinds but have heard some complaint they might get loused up...in the track maybe?


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    Oct 2008
    Not got alot of photos of the actual build...was more click pic for photos back then. I have had a digital cameral video recorder since like 2001...but I was still in the process of hard copy pics over digital and these are not scanned but in albums. So many people back in 2008 did not have more than dial up for the most part...so digital was sorta over the top. We do alot more pics distribution these days. Oh my eyes! [​IMG]

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    Keep in mind, if you do not have access to decent economical glass, it can get costly very quickly. These end pieces of glass, I think Rick said we paid $1,600 for the four pieces... the longer ones down the front side, that was four hours driving in the truck and trailer to acquire from a childhood friend of his that was told to get rid of some glass... Not for free in the sense we have been tripping over various assortments of glass panels and Rick decided to build the Man Porch around the size of the four panes. He's a cabinet maker by trade and the porch was a fun distraction for him to take on. He knew how much fun we would have in the big old place...screened in, mostly no bugs...kinda out, but kinda in...nice.

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    March 2014, cleaned out the porch and washed the floor for the new furniture. Tongue and groove plywood, painted with floor and porch enamel (can you even buy enamel any more...so many regulations now).

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    Skylights in the roof are a special order. In retrospect...would we do this again...not sure. Covered over by snow in the winter, pounded to starry sparkles by hail here... We have other more proper sky lights I think Rick will use in the parking building...but on the roof of the porch...debateable. These panels were not cheap and did not stand up to hail strikes too well.


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    Pitch of the roof is too shallow...the porch was built to be moved...disassembled and the roof made higher when finally installed. This is some thickness of ice to build up and have that length of roof support. The more you have, the more you have to work to keep it, eh? [​IMG]

    Porch was built to be moved...temporary structure to be finalized on our home...when ever we get to that home. May be never, may happen, don't care....living now, enjoying the now. [​IMG]

    So each section of the glass and wood combos can be moved...four one side, two on the end. Portable.

    Thank you.

    It is a big step, going from a house to land. If it is meant to be, it will be.

    When I was a kid, I did what I was able to get ready for my "adult" life. I took babysitting money and bought an assortment of glass canisters...the ones with rubber seals and a bale type top. Big ones, little ones, mediums...I still have them and use them daily.

    Learn about what works too...educate yourself about things country in your area. You can volunteer at local country events when you live in a small town and are surrounded by countryside. Then you will make contacts and learn things without even feeling like you are trying. Rick and I like to research things before we take the plunge. I started to seriously look into acquiring sheep when we moved here in 1998 and never committed to woolled ones until like 2003. Joined a sheep club, got heavily involved in the meetings and laughed because I was on the executive too and some of the members were getting nervous because I did not own an animal...some threatened to come here and put up plywood ones in the pastures...never really bothered me because I was there to learn, not leap too quickly into it. Getting the beasties or birdies is the easy part...being READY for them is where all the time and resources go. LOL Funny thing about sheep clubs is once it starts up and the membership learns what they need to learn, usually the organizations fold up because of lack of interest because everyone is off taking care of their sheep. "Mary had a little lamb..."

    I don't do utube...but I do like that you will tell us how this works out for you! [​IMG]


    Go there for amusement...like one is not busy enough, eh...hee hee.

    A buck a bock bet you would make the canon BEFORE making anything else...you know, for the fun of it...hee hee... "Run children, RUN...SCOTT is armed for shooting BEARs!" [​IMG]



    So I think I have replied and am caught up with all you persons...maybe. [​IMG]

    Off we run today...got a ton on the go...gotta go...later, bye bye...whee hee... [​IMG]

    Doggone & Chicken UP!

    Tara Lee Higgins
    Higgins Rat Ranch Conservation Farm, Alberta, Canada
     
  8. bamadude

    bamadude Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 26, 2014
    skipperville
    Lmbo @ those cartoons
     
  9. Amberjem

    Amberjem Overrun With Chickens

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  10. lularat

    lularat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2013
    NC
    Thanks for all the vegetation pictures. Longing for spring and the green. Tara...you and Rick are two of the busiest folks. Do you ever rest? Don't see how with all you two have going on.
     

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