Saturday, March 29, 2014

The rain arrived...

Thank goodness. We received about 150mm between Tuesday and Friday, which has provided a much needed lifeline to the property. Our dam which was bone dry with cracked parched earth only on Monday is now full.
There is green grass tinged across the property, and the ground has soaked up the rain with relish. Our tanks didn't get filled up this time, but they should both be about 3/4 full now...we are so grateful that we got some rain, we were dreading that we weren't going to get any decent rain until the end of the year. Hopefully we will get some more follow up rain to really give the grass a good boost before the winter cold sets in so that the cows have a good supply of winter feed, especially as we have a few more cows to still have bubs yet. I hope that lots of people got much needed rain out of this.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Our first calf!!

Buttercup the Jersey appeared this morning, looking noticeably thinner. I knew straight away she had had her calf, but it was nowhere to be seen. I know they can hide their calves, and this is the way I was thinking until Max our cattle dog dropped a piece of cattle hide about 6 inches in diameter and the colour of our bull with long calf like hair on it at my feet. My heart sunk, and I assumed the calf had been stillborn or attacked. However this afternoon I thought I would go looking and thought that wherever the mum was the calf was likely to be, either dead or alive. I was so happy when I saw Buttercup in the distance with a beautiful little calf in tow.
It's a little heifer calf, and she looks very healthy. Mum is very protective, and only let me get close once or twice before she let me know that I was now unwelcome! I had Mum up to the yards this morning feeding her up, so I need to make sure she comes up a couple of times a day for feed, to keep her milk supply up, and in a couple of weeks I will start to share the milk with the calf. Jersey's always look on the skinny side, but the lack of green feed around at the moment has not helped, and we bought a large amount of feed in last weekend. It is pretty well just over 9 months since we got our bull, so he obviously got straight to work! She looks more like a droughtmaster than a Jersey. Mumma cow did a great job, this is her first calf, and she is doing all the right things and is VERY protective of her bub, and she has 17 aunties all looking out for her as well.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Making sweet chilli sauce

Damian was given a bag of chillies a few weeks back, and today I had to use them up before they went bad. I ran out of sweet chilli sauce last night, so that seemed a good place to start. I used this recipe.

Not sure how it tasted yet, as it is still cooling, I hope it tastes nice. Kasey received a gold medal award for her Piano for last year from the Australian College of Music, best exam results in the state for her exam level. She was pretty stoked, and we are very proud of her efforts.

Another dry, hot day for us here. I am well and truly over it...where is the rain??  I can't grow anything because it is so hot and dry, everything is dusty and dirty, the cattle are now being bought food and water...I fear that we aren't going to get any decent rain until next summer...

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Eggs at last..

The chickens have all finally started to lay. All of the newbies have all grown up enough to start laying now, and my older girls have finally come back on the lay after months off, after I changed their feed to a higher protein feed, and I also separated out some of the roosters, as the ration was way too high of roosters to hens. The ration is still too high for my liking, so I will need to separate out some more. We will have to cull shortly and try our hand at processing our own roosters, as I really only want to have 1-2 roosters at the moment. So, 9 eggs today, and the mix of colours and sizes makes me happy.
The dark brown eggs are from my Maran girls, the light brown egg on the bottom left is a guinea fowl egg, and the green egg in the middle is the 2nd egg from the Aracauna girl. The large white one is either from the Ancona or sussex hen, and the smaller white ones, I'm not too sure of...could be the leghorn girl, could be a polish girl...not sure.
I am currently also making a loaf of bread in my new, secondhand, bread maker. I picked this up today from the 2nd hand store for $20, so I will see how it goes and whether it makes an alright loaf or not.
I also put a deposit down on another absolute bargain, but I am waiting for them to get a part in for that which they are supposed to be getting on the weekend, so I will see if that comes off first before saying too much about that, but I will be VERY happy if it works out.
***The breadmaker ended up having an electrical problem...when it goes in to bake mode it trips the power, and probably needs a new element, which will cost about $150 I returned it today for a refund...never mind, I will just keep using my old one...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A handmade gift

Toni turned 21 on Monday. We have this fabulous photo of her standing on the ledge of a mountain, which I thought would be inspirational for her to have as a print with a meaningful quote on it. So, Damian cut and sanded down a piece of Oregon we had here, and then I set about transferring the image to it. It has turned out really well, and Toni really loved it.
While at the time I was really cranky at her when she showed me this photo, as I was terrified that she had stood out on this ledge so high up, it has created an awesome photo for her to take through her life with her.
Happy 21st beautiful lady xx