Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hard Work and Results

Hi everybody. I hope you've had a good week.

I'm so hard work helping Gail's husband clean up a rental property that was in horrible shape is paying off. Instead of being paid for it, I asked Gail if I could work for merchandise from their garden center. I seem to be able to find money to pay for things I truly need or have to take care of, but not necessarily for those things that I just want.

Well, look what my first items are that I brought home yesterday - these two ginormous concrete pots to put on either side of my arbor. They're really going to make a statement when they're planted.

I have yellow jasimine growing over my arbor. And because my little herd of deer eat everything - even plants that are on the safe list - I want to plant some pretty purple cat mint for the filler plant. Gail suggested I plant the yellow creeping jenny to hang over the edges. Then I'd like to try planting some annual salvia for a bright splash of color.

I learned something new from Gail yesterday, who is a master gardener and expert at putting plants together. She said to remember "filler, spiller and thriller" as the rule for planting containers. Isn't that a neat way to remember? :)

So Laura and Alissa came down for a while this afternoon. Alissa is magical with animals and while I've been working slowly with the little goats to tame them down, take a look at what Alissa managed to do in a few short minutes! They were eating from her hands and they still won't do that for me. They've only seen Alissa twice and they see me every day!

Today I worked for the animals all day again. Lola and Lilly have been jumping over the fence into the small chicken pen that houses Big Rooster and his friend. Even though it's covered with chicken wire, they are getting in and then can't get out. Two times this week I've come home to them stuck in there. Then they knock off the chicken's pop door and go inside their section of the barn and upset Big Rooster (pictured below).

So...I had to move all the 10 foot posts I had out there from when I enlarged Big Rooster's pen last summer. I sunk them around the pen and attached yet another band of chicken wire all around the top. Now there is a wire barrier that stands 8 feet tall and if the goats jump over that...well, I just don't know what else to do. You can see the posts in the background here.

And the geese, Hansel and Gretel, now have the upper hand with the goats. Lilly and Lola gave into the geese's intimadation tactics and are now scared to death of them. The geese have been terrorizing the goats all day and then started in on the chickens. Usually the geese will go after the chickens but allow them to run away without a chase. Not today. Hansel and Gretel were angry and chasing everything. Even tried chasing me but I had a big stick and let them know I wouldn't tolerate that behavior. That only made them even more angry. Then when I saw Hansel actually grab onto Lilly's tail and hang on while she ran towards the barn, I got mad. It was either give the geese away (and they'd be eaten) or somehow separate them from all the other animals.

Well, I had to think and think of how I could move everybody around without having the expense and labor of building yet another pen. I finally figured it out and it took all day to achieve. I didn't realize Alissa had taken some pictures while I was working. At least you can get an idea of what I'm trying to explain.

The geese are now in the small pen where I was keeping two other roosters, Snow White and Beauty. You can see here that I moved the pool into the pen, but I didn't get the geese in there till just before evening. That's me walking toward the pen.

I have rigged up a makeshift pen to move the roosters into tomorrow morning before leaving for work. You can see it in the background here - it's on the outside of the pasture and has a dog house in it for the roosters to have shelter.

I also need to move Big Rooster and his friend into the main section of the barn and put Woodstock (my little bantam rooster) and my bantam hens and silkie in the section where Big Rooster has been.

It's a lot of work, but if the geese can stay cointained in the small pen then everybody but them will be happy. Soon I will enlarge their pen so that they don't feel like they're in such a tiny prison.

I was ready to call my neighbor to come down and take them but am not quite ready for that to happen yet. When I was trying to catch them, I felt sorry for them because they were so afraid.

Taking care of animals is hard when they all don't get along peaceably.