Saturday, December 27, 2008

the count of monte cristo

the count of monte cristo is my favorite book. i like don quixote almost as much. i aspire to live life like alonso quixano but realize i am much closer to edmond dantes rather closer to sinbad the sailor. the count's professed alter ego.

it has been a long time since i've read either book. i think about edmond dantès whenever i get angry at someone. yeah i know let it go... but here i am trying to post and still feel violated.


the bees are all still alive.

we have had some very cold weather. our neighbor and trash collector guy had all of his bees die during the last cold spell. he came by and offered his sugar water that was now useless. i refused because i don't plan to feed them. each hive had plenty of honey this fall. my goal is to have the healthiest bees possible but under natural conditions. somehow i think that feeding them sugar is kinda like humans eating at mcdonalds everyday. a person can live on it but won't remain healthy.

after his bees died i began to question my logic. i was worried about the bees and today i feel better. when richard the trash guy came by i offered him a nuc of bees. i said these bees are local and are hardened to the conditions in the ozarks. so in the spring if all the hives survive i'll checkerboard them and slip some of the extra brood comb with a few bees in a box for him. it is not really any skin off my back. i'll need to do this to keep them from swarming anyway. i don't want to start-up any more hives for me to take care of either. if i manage these four hives they should produce more than enough honey for our needs. mead production may start in a few years but not right now.

the pigs are doing fabulously.

i have really enjoyed them even though their waterer froze and catastrophically failed.

here is the repaired version with a 50 watt birdbath heater installed in the bottom.

there is a specialized pig nipple threaded into this 4' pvc pipe. it almost holds three gallons of water. if we continue to raise pigs i'll upgrade to a larger diameter pipe and add another nipple.

i fed them an old pumpkin and they loved it. they eat hickory nuts and persimmons when we pick them off the field and toss them into their pen. it is amazing to watch them crunch a hickory nut with their molars.

kassi loves her little pony.

she's hugging it tight.

henry is getting so big.

huge in fact and still growing.

the chickens are finally starting to lay.

they have been giving up about six eggs per day for a week or so. yesterday i installed a light in their coop in an effort to extend their daytime hours. i might trick them into laying heavily throughout the winter. we have been without a reliable supply of eggs for far too long.

see it there in the back?

tabitha is finally really starting to heal up from the pneumonia.

going outside has not been an option without repercussions. luckily it is extremely warm today. rome likes it outside too.

toly loves to swing


jenny said...

That's one of my favorite books, too!

It's good to see you posting again, I hoped that you wouldn't be hesitant to post. I have learned a lot from some of the things you posted about your homestead and I do enjoy reading about yourself and your family. There's always one bad apple among lots of good ones.

Love the cheeks on Rome!

syncbox said...

It must be warm there... Toly is dressed for summer! The pigs look happy.

Don't let the trolls get you down...

Hope your holidays are the best ever - and that everyone is warm and well this year.

Ellen said...

Thank you for your post. I live very far away and enjoy seeing and hearing about your family's adventures. I understand your hesitancy to make your story available to who knows who. I just wanted to tell you that I have been reading for months and appreciate all you share. I hope to get a few acres of my own soon and I have learned a lot already from what you are doing. Thank you.

tansy said...

everyone is looking healthy and happy!

we get 1 egg a day right now if we are lucky. it is quite irritating considering we have around 60 hens.

Wendy said...

Our chickens seem to be taking a vacation. My husband and I actually had "the talk" yesterday about culling our flock. With only so much room for laying hens, we really need all of them to be producing - at least a couple of eggs a week, and there are a couple out there who aren't laying at all right now. Last year, this time, we were getting four eggs per day from six chickens. Now, it's one per day from seven chickens ... if we're lucky. Guess we'll be ordering baby chicks in the spring :), and May or June will be right about the time when we'll be running out of meat from the quarter of a cow we ordered. It'll be good timing.

karl said...

jenny, we like our babies to be really pudgy.

donna, thanx

ellen, remember reading several blogs before we moved and how inspired it made me feel. i hope that i can pass it along in a similar fashion.

tansy, yep we are crawling out from under the rock of sickness. oooh i'd be so mad at 60 chickens that it'd be like some chicken horror flick--chainsaw included;) we had 25 girls at one point that weren't laying (and should have been). we discovered they had mites. wood ashes in their dust bath areas will help. in the end, we had to bag them in a paper sack with some diatomaceous earth and shake each bird. that is a big task for 60 hens though.

wendy, lazy chickens... are they molting? 'tis the season..

Danielle said...

Can the pigs not just drink out of an open container? I know nothing about them, so this is probably an annoying question.

karl said...

danielle, sure they can but pigs mess up their water if left to an open container. this way the water they drink is always fresh--assuming i can keep it from freezing.

don't get me wrong people water their pigs from a trough all the time. the guy we get our pigs from gave the version 1.0. i up graded it to version 1.1b. now after the freeze it is version 2.0a. alpha testing should end by tomorrow morning then i'll build a cover for it and declare it version 2.1

ok, i know i'm a geek somtimes

Maria said...

I'm glad everyone is starting to feel better!

I feel the same about feeding bees. I really wanted ours to be 'au natural', but after the tremendous drought we had this summer (and thus no flowers), 2 of our hives died of hunger. So, I fed the other two some sugar syrup. So far so good this winter.

Farm Girl Cat said...

I really love reading yours and your Tabitha's blogs. Sorry that some idiot made you feel crappy. We have 32 chicken that are not laying anything right now :(

warren said...

I know you aren't looking for advice, but I feed bees sugar, only when necessary...better McDonald-ized than dead I guess. But, I definitely think you were right to pass on the other person's sugar water...if his bees died, you don't want anything that he used...who knows the cause! Anyhow, Merry Christmas!

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