Monthly Archives: January 2013
We are at the halfway mark for eggs!! The chicks get to run around outside on the afternoons children are available to watch over them. We still have active mongoose in the area and I don’t want to take chances. I really want to get a livestock guarding dog to rid of the mongoose- but it is complicated by legalities means we are a mission base with lots of people living here. In the meantime, children are our shepards and the chickens have limited outdoor time. Once they are full grown we will be a bit more brave. These girls (and boy) are chowing down the grain, but we are also daily feeding sow bugs (children collect them daily under plywood), comfrey, nasturtiums and dried sweet potatoe leaves and kale. They are also eating duck weed and azola the aquaponics team is growing in the fish ponds- a great source of protien and vitamins. Next week we are planting a few small areas of grain
. Along with experimenting with watering and planting techniques we will be growing food for the chickens. I also planted over 30 kombacha pumpkin plants-so in the near future the chickens will have pumpkin for carbs. And maybe a pumpkin pie for me:)
This week my chicks officially hit puberty! Yesterday when I was visiting one of them made a sound half “cheep” and half “bock”- that cracked me up:) They are looking grown up size but had still sounded like little chicks till now. Two days later they all appear to have new voices- no more cute little cheeps. They are still curious about people and will eat out of our hands, but they seem to appreciate getting held less and less. Children visit them everyday and torture them with affection- although I have to say that looking at these pictures I think they secretly like it:)
Pumpkin has made himself a home at the Farm. Kitty style, he naps most of the day, seeking sun or shade depending on the time of day in various garden beds or sometimes a wheelbarrow or cart. He is true to cathood and does not always come when you call him, but if he is hungry he is sure to follow you everywhere. We are contemplating putting a little bell on his collar due to his habit of trailing right behind and tripping us up. Due to his early weening and malnutrition I have decided not to use tradional drugs to treat his infection, worms, mites and fleas. He is a natural farm cat so we are using natural medicine and it’s working well so far. He gets a “bath” (careful not to breath the dust) of DE- diatomateous earth, twice a week to kill the fleas and we also put 1/2 a tsp of it in his food everyday to kill the worms. So far we have not seen evidence of either after a week of treatment. DE is really handy on a farm and with animals- I am learning many uses for it. I encourage you to look it up. I clean his ears daily with coconut oil mixed with a few drops of grapefruit seed extract. He really detests having his ears cleaned and for a couple of days punished me with the world famous, cat perfected, ignoring routine. Then one day he was hungry and decided he loved me again. As I am trying to write this he is mauling me and purring so loud he rumbles. I took a picture of his helpfulness. This is right after he drank out of my water glass and knocked my notebook off the table.
Little Pumpkin is a mess. In less than week of his adoption he developed what looked like an abcess on his lower spine- we were not sure what it was. He also had a belly swollen with worms, itchy ears from mites, and of course the fleas were having a circus. We don’t have the resources for this kind of vet bill-but God provided! The very day we realized the abcess had to be treated my new crew of DTS work duty students arrived and I was elated to discover that two of the young men were doctors- one even a surgeon!! I quickly gave him his first assignment. With his developing English and my complete lack of Korean we fumbled our way through the conversation, only for me to realize he thought I was asking him to work on my child- not a straggly kitty. I saw the surprise in his eyes when I handed him a purring, sickly kitten; but with no hesitation he performed impromptu surgery -farm style. The wound needed to be packed for several days- and he came everyday to do it himself! Pumpkin initially acted as if he could not walk with the dressing on- quite the drama scene. But he figured it out and was climbing trees within 4 hours!
My daughters came visiting the garden with a stray kitten- he appears too small to have been weaned already and very scrawny. Their request to keep the kitty reminded me of myself over 30 years ago when I found a similar flea infested, diarrhea stricken stray kitten in our neighborhood. Lucky for me it was my Dad’s birthday, so being the cleaver child that I was, I decorated a box and stuffed
the kitty in it and presented my Dad with his impromptu birthday present! He didn’t even like cats:) She became an integral part of our family for 18 years and moved several thousand miles with us. This scene flashed before my eyes and I realized I couldn’t be a hypocrite, so I bought cat food and a collar. He sleeps under a certain pumpkin plant and thus earned the name “Pumpkin”. My co-workers were even less enthusiastic about a farm cat- but he quickly went to work trying to charm everyone. I think it is working- they just don’t want to admit it:)