Every time you feel in God's creatures something pleasing and attractive, do not let your attention be arrested by them alone, but, passing them by, transfer your thought to God and say: "O my God, if Thy creations are so full of beauty, delight and joy, how infinitely more full of beauty, delight and joy art Thou Thyself, Creator of all!
- Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain

You can’t get to joy by making everything perfect. You can only get there by seeing in every imperfection all that’s joy.
-Ann Voscamp

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Critters at Tanglewoods

There's a lot going on here with the animals, too. We'll soon have full freezer and pantry shelves, and it feels good to finally have some pay back for all the spending money on feed and time on care. My husband is really excited about getting a "harvest" soon. So, here's what's going on now.

We weren't supposed to get any roosters with our last batch of chicks, other than the dozen white orpington's we got as meat birds...

...but this guy must have been sexed wrong. He's a picture of manliness, cockerel style. Only 8 weeks old, crowing and attempting to mate with the young ladies. Isn't he a beauty? I wish I could communicate to him that his very life depends on his being gentle with the humans here at Tanglewoods.

And then there's this chicken here. It was our rare breed chick, and is one of my favorites, though I suspect it's also a cockerel. I'm not positive yet about that, however. I'm really hoping it's a hen. We really can't keep three roosters with only a dozen hens. We definitely want to keep the rooster we have now (he's such a gentleman with his ladies, protective over them but never aggressive in any way), though he's about to loose all but one of his current hens. I hope he likes his replacements. I believe the old hens will be going into the canner and freezer on Sunday (I hope).

Our meat birds are growing really well. They'll be fryer size in five more weeks, so we'll be busy again then.

The bunnies are fryer size now, and ready to go in the freezer. That should happen later this week. They're weighing in at about 5#, so all dressed out we should end up with about 50 lbs. of rabbit. Someone get the BBQ sauce, and I'll start the grill! Mmmm, yummy!
We also have two more batches of bunnies due soon. Looking forward to a winter of rabbit stews!
Is this making food out of these cute furries difficult? You bet it is, but it's also going to be so good to have healthy, clean, ethically raised meat. There hasn't been a lot of meat around here lately, and every one of us is looking forward to eating well on this little homestead.

Dan surprised me with this awesome goat "balance beam". I was so thrilled when I saw it! I'm very thankful for so many things about this man. However, lately it seems like the already terrific guy has been quietly replaced with a super deluxe version. I was absolutely shocked yesterday when he said, "I think I'll come to town with you. I don't feel like working today." WHAT? Rather run errands with me in town than work? That's just too unbelievable. But, we had a real nice time running errands together. While I was shopping at the co-op he even took little Six on the kiddie rides (our town's most popular summer festival began on Thursday).

The goat jungle gym makes the perfect spot to sit in the shade and have a chat with a good friend.

As usual, Starlight would rather eat.


  1. I'm actually quite envious of your ability to eat what you raise. I'm a big honkin' hypocrite. I can't kill my own food....and I know what an idiot that makes me sound like. The whole time you're talking about the rabbit stew, I'm thinking-my god, she's not really, is she? Yes. I know. How far removed have I gotten from my food...........

  2. It's been so long since I've had rabbit that I don't even remember if I like it. Yes, it would be hard as they are so darn cute. But I think my chickens are cute too and fully intend to, well ya know...

    I think it's great, what you are doing.

  3. You've done such a wonderful job of building up your homestead in a relatively short time. Papa Pea asked me today if you have a goat in milk yet and I'm sorry to say I've forgotten what you've said about that. I'm thinking that happy occasion is yet to happen . . . ??

  4. I think it's fantastic that your kids are being raised with a knowledge of how to raise their own food and how important it is that they are raised with compassion and humanely harvested, such an important lesson that will enable them to truly appreciate every bite, good job Mama (and Dan!).

    How cool is that balance beam?! I want to be a goat and live there!

  5. My dad used to make rabbit stew a lot . Actually anything goes with 14 children [ nothing out of the ordinary tho] so I've had bear,dear,mouse,rabbit,squirrel,porcupine,pheasant,grouse and some were road kill.HERE'S TO PHEASANT UNDER GLASS [ MY DAD'S READING GLASSES ---LOL]

  6. did I say-mouse-OMG-YOU MUST THINK US GYPSY THERE GOES MY NOT LOOKING TYPING AND TO BAD SPELLING----grouse----grouse----no mouses

  7. Sue and APG- I can comprehend your sentiments. Those bunnies are darn cute! Right now, the chickens couldn't go soon enough! They're free ranging, and have quickly caught on to the idea that people = good food. They flock around our picnic table and patio of an evening, and we have to guard our food carefully. Having to wash chicken poo off the picnic table before using it is not something that thrills me, either. But they're still a pretty bunch.

    Mama Pea- No goat milk yet. I hope to have them bred in late November or December, and have kids in late April or early May. I have to have them tested for CL and Jones first, but I'm optimistic about that. Can't wait for those little ones! :)

    Erin- You would not believe how much they're looking forward to eating food now! They appreciate the garden veggies and the fresh meat so much. It's really fun to see!

    :) Judy- I was wondering! The only place I've seen that is Never Cry Wolf! Grouse, on the other hand, is perfectly wonderful!