Living in the wild one must expect losses from wildlife looking for a fast meal, right? WRONG. Now to get this through the wild critters heads may take a bit of encouraging or is it discouraging? Either way the latest task is to get my chickens off the menu of a weasel or mink or whatever the nasty little creature is that has been raiding my-MY henhouse! The nerve!
This all began a few days ago when I found 2 of my pullets dead and blamed my sweet little (well not so little hen for pecking them). As some of you may recall I also had a chick with a severe injury to the neck that required stitching the skin back in place but more on that in a bit. I really did believe that it was the hen so I removed her and the rooster to other living quarters and thought the problem was resolved as nothing happened to any of the sweet young birds over the course of the next 2 hours. Our friends Robin and Dan came out and we were discussing life on the farm and Robin pointed out that now is the time the wild critters will be looking to feed on my not so wild critters. Oh the possibility is there I thought but noooooo not MY precious and cute chickens. That night something DID strike again this time getting 6 of them! Mad as an old wet hen I drug the carcasses out one by one and examined them and sure enough some wily creature had sucked the blood right out of them! This means war! So doing what any rational person would do I immediately apologized to my hen Henny for accusing her of such an awful thing and called Robin. After teasing her about her wild critters getting my not so wild critters (those who know me will understand I deal with anything tragic by way of humor) she became as mad as I was and said we’re gonna trap that little sucker-or something along those lines and said I will call my son, get some traps and Dan and I will come out this afternoon! Now you have to understand Robin is a spitfire of a woman all 5 foot 2 or so and a big gust of wind would blow her away but she has gumption. She is as crazy as I am about the outdoors and is very well versed in everything Alaska. I am so fortunate to have her as my friend and mentor. Robin and Dan arrive and I am up to my elbows in cheese-yep more of that story to follow but lets not get sidetracked. They have traps, bait and more importantly the knowledge we are lacking to catch the beast or beasts that dared trespass and dine on my fowl. After getting Mike educated on the ins and outs of trapping they joined us for coffee and Robin brought us some blueberries and strawberries she had picked and froze last summer and some canned salmon I have already earmarked for salmon patties on Friday. Robin came in and immediately got acquainted with my little chick Stitch so named because it took 6 stitches to put the poor thing back together.
After 6 tiny stitches he or she (not sure which) is as good as new and is making itself quite at home in the cabin. I do believe it thinks it may be a dog as it follows us around and insists on being the center of attention.
Well, Robin and Stitch found mutual friends in each other and stitch even sang to her. Yes the silly chick coos and sings-not Robin! It was Stitch singing!
This week has been one of those weeks. Our 4 wheeler blew the water pump and we are looking for parts, the chicken ordeal rattled me and it seems as if I am constantly moving yet getting nowhere. It is times like this I reflect upon a quote from Mother Theresa which goes something like this “I know God will not give me anymore than I can handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much”. This too shall pass but I am thankful during these times for my faith to carry me through.
It is the time of year that I everything is moving forward and I of course with an already overloaded schedule have to begin my crafting. In the last 2 weeks I have made soap, Instant cocoa mix with goats milk powder, Lip Balm and with the goats producing milk it is cheese making time once again. Yay!!! I do love making cheese but since I use old recipes and do things the old ways it is very time consuming.
The soap must cure for another 3-4 weeks and then it will be available for purchase.
All of our products are made with natural ingredients and we use organic materials whenever possible.
If interested in soap, lip balm or goat milk hot cocoa mix message me for more details.
I will leave you all this evening with pics of my goat milk cheddar fresh from the press it is almost perfect except my new oak pressing plates I burnished to seal and it left a couple of charcoal colored spots on the wheels but that shouldn’t effect the taste. to finish drying, then waxing and finally the aging. I will let you know how it tastes in 2 months after it has aged properly.
l pray you are all safe, warm and blessed beyond measure.