Thursday, February 26, 2015

Clucks and meows!

So, with the passing of our dear Charlotte, I have had to employ a new shoulder chicken. Luckily, Lemay was more than ready to take over this very important job!

We adopted Lemay and four other chickens last year via the Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry OSPCA shelter in Cornwall. These little cluckers were seized from the same barn as our pig Ophelia. They are all quite lovely (Lemay, Bonnie, Debbie, Julie and Mr. Carol, all named after shelter staff. (Mr. Carol wasn't "Mr." until he crowed and we discovered he was not a hen!) But Lemay is especially friendly.

She loves shiny things. Like iPhones!

Charlotte was a bit of an ambassador for our shelter, even though she wasn't adopted from there. But Lemay is a true SD&G OSPCA hen! I figure I'll take her to get her photo taken with Santa at the shelter's annual Christmas fundraiser this year. Heck, she can get her photo taken with the Easter bunny, too.

Isn't she a lovely girl? 

She'll sit on your shoulder for ages.

I think she'll make a fine ambassador chicken!

Meanwhile, cats...

Some of the barn kids chowing down. Buttercup on the left, Missy on the right and ... er...  I think that's Daisy at top centre and Redford at bottom centre, but Emerson hangs around in the barn a lot these days so that could be him there and not Redford. It's hard for me to tell from this angle!

I have too many orange cats! (Seven!)

Speaking of ornj kitties...

Honey is quite pleased to be a house cat now instead of a barn cat! But she still likes to go to the barn to visit her sisters and have some fun.

I call her my liquid cat. She loves to be held and goes totally limp in your arms.

And she has very kissable paws!

And this morning it was -30C. Again. I wish I were still on this beach in Jamaica!!!

Sigh. Y'all ("y'all", did you catch that? I'm trying to warm myself up by talking like a southerner!) know I love winter but this has been the coldest one I can ever remember and is setting records. Even the plastic parts on cars are cracking! And I have developed a knack for spilling buckets of water on my legs, on my jacket and in my boots.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

New flockmates and an anniversary...this is #1,847!

Well,  I just missed the anniversary. February 7 marked TEN YEARS since I started this blog. A DECADE! That is more than a little mind-boggling, not to mention utterly terrifying. Where does the time go?! I remember starting this blog and it sure as hell doesn't feel like ten years ago. In that time I have written 1,847 posts (including this one!) It all started here.

And the flock... well, we received two new additions last weekend! Meet lovely Honey:

... and her beau, George!

Somewhere in heaven my father-in-law is laughing, because his name was George too! On the other hand, he believed in reincarnation, soooooo... ;)  

George has a lot to say! My father-in-law was a chatty, gregarious guy too. :)

Honey and George came to use because of that article about me and the pigs in the Cornwall Standard Freeholder. They were in a very loving home; so loving, in fact, that their family thought it would be best if they found the ducks a home with more space to run around in. So their human mom sent me a lovely email, asking if we'd consider taking these two in.

So we did, and they fit in like they always lived here...

Honey even has a bit of a thing for our blind duck Lenny!

Their integration was surprisingly harmonious.

The only thing is...

George isn't too sure about the cats. He climbed up on a flake of hay to keep an eye on Pip and Buttercup the other day. None of the barn cats bother the birds but George and Honey need a little time to get used to this pack of felines wandering around!

These two new beauties are Saxony ducks. They're both two years old. Their family used to take them camping! They are very sweet and tame and like to follow me around. They enjoy a treat of kitten kibble, and like the rest of the my flock, they seem very fond of black oil sunflower seeds.

Thank you Catherine and family for entrusting us with these two, and you know you can visit them whenever you like!

PS Thank you so much for all your kind words about our hen Charlotte. It's just not the same without her in the barn, but it's nice to know she touched other people's lives as well.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

We'll miss you, Charlotte...

I'm getting used to losing animals at the farm. It's part of life, and bound to happen when you have so many of them. But I knew this hen would break my heart one day...

...and she has. While we were in Jamaica last week, Charlotte quietly left this world for the big chicken coop in the sky! 

She was born on July 8, 2009 and had a wonderful life. We got her on the day she hatched, along with 12 other Sex-Links hens that predeceased her.

Charlotte was quite the social hen. She loved people, loved to be held and stroked, and was fearless!

She had her photo taken with Santa many times (a Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry OSPCA fundraiser)...

...not to mention the Easter bunny!

She always sought me out when I came down to the barn. She really enjoyed attention! 

She was a lap chicken too.

Last summer, we have a 5th birthday party for Charlotte...

My friend Ronna even made her a special cake!

Last summer, she also became a mama!

Sex-Links hens are bred for egg production and are not supposed to get broody. And for five years, Charlotte didn't! But last summer, something happened, and she took over four eggs from another hen.

She was a proud and excellent mother (seen her sharing some yogurt with her four chicks, all from eggs that did not come from Charlotte!) She was fiercely protective of them and very loving, and she brought them up to be a fine quartet of chickens. 

She loved to ride around on my shoulder while I did farm chores.

She had been doing great lately. In January, I took a selfie with her...

Just before we went away, Charlotte showed her feistiness in a hilarious way. When a rooster grabbed her and tried to mate with her, she turned around, knocked him off, grabbed him by the neck, then jumped on HIM for a hump!!!

Motherhood moved her WAY up the pecking order in the coop.

She was an extraordinary hen, full of character. We'll miss her so much!

Thanks for all the eggs and companionship, you beautiful girl. You will be missed! You were always our extra-special hen.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


We spent the past week not in frigid Ontario, but in....

...any guesses?


JAMAICA!! And we picked just about the coldest week of the year to get our butts down there. And we are being welcomed home tomorrow by a -40C windchill and yet another extreme cold warning. Which is why...


Thursday, February 12, 2015


Emerson finally has a friend!

It's Honey the failed barn cat (bottom!)

That's Emerson on the left.

The house cats tend to pick on poor Emerson, but in Honey he has found a true friend...

...and a dirty ear to wash.

VERY thoroughly!

 Ooooo, grabbing her with his paw! This means business.

Lick lick lick

And now it's a two-paw job!

Honey top, Emerson bottom.

Maybe they love each other because they look so much alike! What do you think?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Podcast of my interview is up!

The podcast of my interview with CBC Ontario Morning is up!! I spoke to Wei Chen at 6:40-ish this morning and it was a ton of fun. I'm the first segment on the podcast.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Please listen on Wednesday morning!

The pets are going to be faaaaamous! :) A producer from CBC radio saw the Cornwall Standard Freeholder article about me and the pigs, and asked if I would be on CBC Ontario Morning tomorrow! They didn't have to ask twice. I'm more than happy to talk about our wonderful rescue animals and the fantastic Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry OSPCA in Cornwall.

I should be on around 6:40 am (give or take; it's live radio) and later in the day, the interview should be up on their website as well. They already have a blurb about us up! When I read it and saw "almost 90 animals" I thought, "That's ridiculous!" but of course it's true. We currently sit at 87! But many of them are ducks and chickens, so it's not like we're entirely crazy. Or so I keep telling myself.

Finney the rescue pony is quite excited too! Time to brush that mane and forelock. Oh wait, it's radio. Nevermind!

Daisy the Greek rescue cat is also excited!

Speaking of cats, for my birthday last month, Gordon made me excellent blueberry pancakes...

Um, I did not hold back on the butter. It was my birthday, after all.

And look!

Honey the failed barn cat "helped" clean up the batter.

Speaking of Greek cats, we are still fundraising to bring the quartet of kitties over from my friend Joan's cat rescue in Greece. They are coming, one way or another, and I believe I've found homes for two of them already. If you would like to help out in any way, read about it here.

And here's one of our sweetest kitties...

Missy! It's really hard to get a picture of her, because she's always in motion. I find she will sit still if I take a selfie with her.

She's an adorable little cat. We took her in from our friends who had too many barn cats. She does a great job of patrolling the barn and is a very pretty little dilute calico.

It has been a long cold winter and it's not over yet. But we're getting some quality snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in. And I've developed a knack for spilling entire buckets of water on myself in the barn. Sigh...

Please listen in tomorrow and cross your fingers I don't make a fool of myself! :)