Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Life's a Party!

Beach Party is Riot's twin brother and man is this guy impressive!  He is growing so well, and is so long and level!  Party is one good-looking guy and would make someone a great junior herdsire!

Party is out of Spritz and Surfer.  Spritz is milking nicely, and Surfer is a fabulous buck from really really great lines.

We are asking $250 for Party.  He is disbudded, tattoo'd, had his first CDT, and is taking the bottle well.  He will have his ADGA registration application come with him to his new barn.


Sire: Camanna WR Moonlight Surfer
     Sire's Sire: AGS Sugar Pine FD Wave Runner
     Sire's Dam: CH Camanna CS Moonlight Sonata

Dam: RainySunday SS Veridian Spritz
     Dam's Sire: Rockstar Ranch Sunday Stroll
     Dam's Dam: AGS Mustang Creek Lindsay

What a Riot!

Riot is one of our December 2014 babies, and boy is she ever colorful!  Tricolor and blue eyes to boot!  Riot is a twin, and mama Spritz is milking nicely.  Spritz is easy to hand milk and will be on milk test this year.

This little girl is long, level, and growing nicely.  I expect great things out of her!

Riot is disbudded, tattoo'd and had received her first CDT.  Riot is ready to be registered with ADGA and will come with her application.  She is eating great from a  bottle, and ready for her new home.  If you are unable to commit to bottle-feeding, we can work something out if you'd like to add this pretty girl to your herd. $350


Sire: Camanna WR Moonlight Surfer
     Sire's Sire: AGS Sugar Pine FD Wave Runner
     Sire's Dam: CH Camanna CS Moonlight Sonata

Dam: RainySunday SS Veridian Spritz
     Dam's Sire: Rockstar Ranch Sunday Stroll
     Dam's Dam: AGS Mustang Creek Lindsay

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Big Changes at RainySunday!

I think we've established repeatedly that I suck at blogging (my teacher-by-profession husband would say, "No, you don't suck, you are working on being more consistent"), or at least at blogging consistently.  I would vow to change, but really, the proof would be in the pudding, so...How about, we're on an exciting path, that I am really excited to document and share, and hopefully that will be the motivation to blog more frequently?

So, BIG NEWS!!!  We've moved from our small starter farmette, where we were renting a small part of 2 1/3 acres (working maybe 3/4 acre) and had quite a few restrictions on what we could/couldn't do.  We are now on 10 acres, a bit more rural, on a property set up for homesteading!  There are lots of outbuildings (that need work, but have great potential), fencing (that will not be even sort of Nigerian Dwarf proof, yet), and lots and lots of open space/pasture/room for an amazing garden.  We are very excited, and all 3 kids LOVE it too!  We are so so grateful for this opportunity to further pursue our vision of raising our kids on a farm, raising healthy food for us, our loved ones, and our community, and to learn more about relying on God, each other, and the land to provide for our needs.

Lots of time has passed since my last post, and even more since the few posts before that.  I will probably do some summary updating, but plan to mostly post about our new and continuing adventures as we develop RainySunday Ranch further!

Pictures next time, promise!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Brooder Bonanza!

Chicken is delicious, and nothing quite beats the feeling of picking up a still-warm egg from a nest box.  We've been raising our egg-laying chickens for 3 years now, and processing the extras for meat.  On our homestead bucket list had been to try raising broilers for meat, and this season we are finally taking the plunge!  At the same time, we have a formerly broody hen raising black australorp chicks, and we have 4 lavender orpingtons (and a mutt wyandotte) in another brooder to be replacement egg hens.  All told we have 4 brooders running with 59 chicks...We're crazy, thank goodness it's summer and Mr. RainySunday is home!
 Mama Hen is a buff orpington who went broody a couple months ago.  We bought and placed under her a dozen lavender orpington eggs from a local breeder...and none hatched.  Not quite sure what happened, since Mama did her job...but no chicks.  The breeder offered us some lavender chicks as a replacement, but they wouldn't be ready for 2-3 weeks.  Our broody had already been on the nest 5 weeks (21 days is usual to hatch), and I didn't feel it would be humane to keep her sitting any longer.  Enter the black australorp chicks.  We bought 3 and put them under her, and she took to them really well.

We had Mama and her chicks in a dog X pen lined with bird netting.  That was great, they had lots of room, were on dirt, etc.  Then Mama taught them to scratch, and kept opening up holes under the fence.  One got out, never to be seen again (I assume thanks to local dogs, our nearby owl, or a barn cat).  The other two were determined to meet the same fate, so we built them a wood sided, and bottomed brooder/hutch.  

They are still outside, with Mama, they have a shovel of dirt in there, along with alfalfa stems, their food, and a hanging chicken nipple waterer.  The top is covered with bird netting, and an old patio table top at an angle to keep the rain out, but let air and light in.  Another couple weeks, and I think they will be big enough for one of the dirt pens again.  We'll see.

Last week, we picked up our replacement lavender chicks (4) and one mutt wyandotte.

They are in a wood brooder in the house (in our school/art room, actually).  We had them on paper towels at first, but have now switched to pine shavings.

They are eating a ground, fermented feed, and seem to enjoy it and be growing well.  They have also transitioned from little lids, to a feed "trough."

Their waterer is a funnel with a tube, connected to a chicken water nipple.

We mounted a 100W light in a shop hood to keep them warm.  Chicks raised by a hen do not need heat lights, mama keeps them warm.  These gals don't have mama, so they need supplemental heat.  As they grow, and get more feathers, we will raise the lamp, and reduce the wattage.

  The lavenders are very cute, and I am hoping that the amount of holding and attention they are getting by being in the house where the kids can reach them will help them to be friendly.

We ordered 50 broiler (cornish cross)chicks from a local hatchery, Rock Creek Farms.  

To prepare, we built two brooders (and will add a third early next week).  I found 3 sets of bi-fold closet doors from a family in our local buy-nothing project.  Those doors became the sides of the brooders.

My husband, and his helpers, added in a floor and ends from wood we had around for just such a diy project.  


One of the ends is a slider, to allow for easy clean out of the brooders.

We installed a long PVC pipe with 9 chicken nipples.  A PVC elbow connected to a vertical piece of PVC allows for easy filling.  Eventually, that will be connected to a 5 gallon bucket so there is more water available at a time.  

A piece of down spout cut in half length-wise makes a great feed trough for the chicks.  

Each brooder is quite long, so we have two 100W lights per brooder.  We also added on a "heat trap" on each end, to help hold the heat in.

26 chicks are in each brooder (they sent two extras!), and that works well.  As they grow, we will add one more brooder, and split them up.  Then, once they have enough feathers, they will move to outdoor pens.  At first we had these guys on paper towels, but man what a mess!  They would walk in their food, and make the water drip, and poop, then track all of it everywhere!  So they were quickly switched to pine shavings, and it is much cleaner, and they seems happier too.

Speaking of happy...the kids are loving having chicks!  They know the fate of the broilers, and enjoy them being cute, and are glad we raising egg chicks at the same time, to make the transition easier at harvest time.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Goats Having Fun, Photo Bomb

I love watching our goats on a pleasant day, they have so much fun!  Here are some pictures from Friday, we had no rain for awhile in the afternoon!

Smudge and Spritz, playing on their new tire


Cuddle huddle! (There are at least 6 goats in this picture)

Smudge (I love this little goat!)

Spritz, blurry, but smiling!

Dutch and Pilly, two peas in a pod, getting cuddles.  And Spritz, jumping in too!

Birdie, as Winnie the Pooh!  Trying to get into the baby goat's grain dish.  Spritz looking on.

Spritz, with mama Lindy behind her.  I just love how long this little gal is turning out to be!

Blitzen, such a sweet face

Ginger, also a cutie

Birdie says "hello"

Pretty Pluto

The three pregos...I mean, amigos...Eating of course!

Princess of the tire!



"Smile Pilly!"

Miss Double Dutch

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Barn Happenings

Between the next group of kiddings approaching, and my hubby being home for the week, we've gotten lots done and spent lots of time with the goats this week!

At the beginning of the week, our studly adult bucks got all prettied up...well, okay, they got brushed a bit and their hooves done, and their scurs tended to.  Here is Sunday, preening on the stand a bit:

Sunday is our coming 2 year old purebred Nigerian Dwarf buck, and he sure is turning out nicely!  This summer, both boys will be shaved down and bathed.  The sure do, uh, perfume, themselves heavily!

I completely forgot to get a current picture of Chai while he was on the stand, but here is a picture of him from last summer:

Vanilla Chai is a coming one year old purebred Nigerian Dwarf.  He is the father of the upcoming group of kids, so we are very excited to see what he produces next month, as these will be his first kids!

The next group of due dates begins next month, so the expectant mamas all got their CDT booster, BOSE supplement, and first pre-kidding hair cut this week as well.  All three does are in the process of being registered (got a little behind on paperwork last year, oops!) and will be all set by the time they kid.  Due dates fall between 3/8 and 4/8, based on when Chai was in the pen with them.

It was fun to shave them down a bit and find their little first freshening udders hiding under their winter coat! Please excuse their lack of posing, they were pretty done with being on the stand at this point :)  Here, in no particular order, are the expectant junior does:

Pilsner (Pilly), out of Amber and Sunday; bred to Vanilla Chai

Jail Bird (Birdie), out of Alibi and Sunday; bred to Vanilla Chai

Double Dutch (Dutch), out of Peekaboo and Sunday, bred to Vanilla Chai

Our other big job this week was to muck out the barn and replace the bedding in there and re-ground the pen as well.  So today, my awesome husband went and got a huge load of shavings form a local mill and we cleaned out the barn, and laid down shavings in the kidding/baby stall, the doe barn and pen, and the weaning pen.  It looks great and the goats love it!  We had recently put down fresh wood chips, but as they were already partially composted, they didn't hold up very long.  We were using horse bedding saw dust pellets in the barn, but since we were getting sawdust in our eyes, I was concerned it might irritate the goats as well.  So, now there are shavings both inside and out, and we will see how they hold up (we've liked using the baled shavings before; so this should be a more cost-effective solution, and supports a local business as well).  Sure looks nice and smells great out there!  It was getting dark as we were finishing up, so I will try for frolicking goat pictures tomorrow :)