A Rainbow, A Fall over Chicken and a Kamakaze Calf

Yesterday at dawn the promise of longed for rain came with a rainbow then the sun burnt it off...

Little Picken the Chicken is a fall over chicken. Every now and then my favourite little red hen has a flop over moment then has trouble getting up again. Thoughts of horrible diseases and other causes came to mind but a search of the net on poultry diseases came up with a big zilch there. The kids of course were nagging at me to take the chicken to the vet - not at $65 plus just for the after hours consultation fee I wasn't. I already have very expensive chicken and that's Maggie but another one to add to the collection - no way. So wilting in the summer heat I went off to think about the other possible cause of the little chicken's problem.

In the meantime the meantime a Kamakaze Fresian calf came through one of our gates jumped in with the cows and the bull and all hell broke lose. The Terrorist got out of her paddock bellowing for the other calf to come visiting. Micah the bull of course suddently took and unwanted interest in this new heifer and the kids were yelling at the top of their lungs. They might make good opera singers the way those two were carrying on. Muttering unpleasant things about crazy kids, nutty calves and fall over chickens I had to go up there to the top of the hill and sort out the chaos. Micah was not pleased he had missed out on yet another heifer.
Meanwhile the Terrorist had found herself a giant weed to eat (thank goodness) so I was able to shift the older cattle into another paddock and leave the Kamakaze behind. She's bellowed all night ....growl. The Terrorist was caught and taken back down the hill and tied up somewhere else away from the trouble maker. Peace and quiet there for the moment at least

And on top of everything else Emerald decided to bring in a little wax eye she had caught and leave it briefly on the kitchen table - that was until Dream made a move to nab it. I had a cat war ground in the kitchen and a dead bird which I tossed outside and the cats with it. Then finally the lightbulb came on. Only one other cause for the little red chicken's balance problem. A Vitamin E deficiency. Sure enough a check on a couple of websites matched the symptoms. I've thrown some Vitamin E and A into the chicken's water. In a few days she will be right again.

And today is going to be another very very hot day... Hope everyone has been having a great New Year. With this heat I think I'll go and climb into the freezer for the day. Ice blocks anyone?


More Holiday reading on the Blogosphere and on the Web

Mama and Babe
Acrylic on canvas by Sarah Irani, 1995

Donated by the artist to the Museum of Bad Art
Review and link below

Now New Year has come and by tomorrow maybe the hangovers might have passed over or perhaps another day and dark sunglasses might be needed here's some more blogs and websites for you to check out.

  • Ryan Photography. Florida Based Dr Paddy Ryan has a website full of stunning images that will blow your mind. Coral Reefs, Birds, Mammals, Country life. Gotta to see it. This one has been bookmarked. Awesome.
  • The Museum of Bad Art - The World's only Museum dedicated to the collection and preservation of Bad Art. Believe me some of the art is really bad and I thought some of my efforts were lousy but.....Yeah well the portrait above is well...original I guess. Mine in truth would be way worse if I painted people that is which I don't. Come to think on it I have one I could send to them and it's.......really bad.......
  • By Danny Gregory Danny Gregory just has to be one of the coolest artists around. Great illustrations and from what I've seen and read this guy is just number one in his field. I want his latest book 'An Illustrated Life' and by hook or by crook I will be getting my maulers on a copy.......Thanks Kathleen!!!!
  • Ugly Overload If you have ugly animals then send them the photo. These guys are actually really cool with great photos except for may be the parasitic worm ones. If you have a weak stomach avoid looking at that particular post. This is a very cool blog.
  • My Chutney Garden Trinidad based Sharon Millar writes about her life and her stunning garden. A blog of note some time back this is one well worth its title. Great blog. Great photos and great writing.

Now this is what I call great advertising- Cowan's Cocoa Advert 1919

Classic Print Advertising: 1919 Cowan's Coco
Publish at Scribd or explore others: Business marketing business

I love this advert. A classic piece of social history brilliantly illustrated with that same old message. Buy it and you will be socially popular. Not much has changed in the advertising world as far as that message goes. Happy 2009 to everyone!!!


On the farm today............

It's been hot and muggy today. I took the kids for a drive to photograph an old Oak tree at the local primary school since it's due for the chop very shortly to make way for a new classroom. Our community is up in arms about the poor old tree. In a way I don't blame them. Some said it didn't have a history to it at all. But yes in a way it has got a history. It was one of the trees that was planted on Arbour Day 1926 by a caring youngster who cared for that tree every week and watched it grow. It's one of the few trees left from that special day. My girls are angry about it. Me I can't really form an opinion since I edit the local rag here. Someone though, has organised a petition to try and save the old Oak tree. From what I saw there were a lot of names and signatures on it. Good on them.

We got the horses down to mow the back lawn, since a lawnmower would die from all the ruts, and the hard to cut Kikuyu grass some bright spark brought over and it ended up taking over Northland pastures. I hate the stuff. Great in summer - useless in winter. Our thoroughbred mare Sasha had a very bad winter and had got an abcess in her wither. It's taken her a while to regain her condition but she has improved a lot since August. Ed the old man at 28 years old is as fat as a pig and I have to guard Sasha while she has her special feed we give her. Sasha is 22 yrs old. Sadly Thoroughbreds don't do as well as cross-bred horses like the old man. His sire was a quarter horse so he's big solid and strong. Maggie and Feather made the most out of cleaning up the leftovers before the others had a chance to get a look in.

The Terrorist did nothing but bellow all day, deciding it wasn't good enough being ignored way up there on the hill. We have the bull running with the other cattle at the moment so we don't want a five month old calf being jumped by Micah thank you very much. And he will if he gets a chance She's been put to bed now with her night night bottle (spoilt toad) and will be watching over Inaya and Michelle who are sleeping out in their new tent their Auntie gave them for Christmas. I have a feeling Mr Screech will make his presence known to them at around 4 am tomorrow morning. He's decided to show up again minus Mrs Screech. I bet Mrs Screech has found a new Mr Screech somewhere. So we'll be hearing all about that no doubt until a new Mrs Screech pays a visit and makes a new nest by the dam.

The sign is now finished and hopefully it will be picked up in the next day or two and out of my way. It's been a great day and tomorrow should be even better. And the Terrorist is still staring at me..........

Very Red Hot off the Press - Federated Farmers Media Release ' New Zealand meat exports at risk due to ill-informed comments'

30 December 2008

New Zealand meat exports at risk due to ill-informed comments

“New Zealand's superb on farm verification standards means we are streets ahead of Australia in terms of sheep meat and other exports into the European Union," said Lachlan McKenzie, Federated Farmers board spokesperson.

Following news that all Australian sheep destined for the EU must be compulsorily tagged from 1 January 2009, Silver Fern Farms' CEO, Keith Cooper, has claimed New Zealand is missing the boat by not having a comparable tagging system; implying Australian standards are much higher than New Zealand’s. This has alarmed Federated Farmers. The comments could potentially undermine market confidence in New Zealand’s food assurance standards, when in fact, they are of the highest order. The EU’s decision on Australian sheep imports also came after that country failed a periodic EU audit.

"Keith Cooper’s comments could do harm to our multi-billion dollar meat export trade. I hope overseas media do not pick up on his comments as it could damage our international reputation. New Zealand possesses superb independent and audited assurance systems run by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) with the Animal Health Board," Mr McKenzie added.

“I would have thought Mr Cooper understood the role the NZFSA plays in market assurance for sheep meat. By hopping on this Aussie bandwagon he clearly doesn’t. Mr Cooper is scoring an own goal at the expense of farmers and the wider economy.

"Frankly, I am astounded proponents of the proposed National Animal Identification and Tracing scheme (NAIT) have leapt on the Australian tagging requirement. First, the proposed NAIT scheme isn’t meant to include sheep from the get-go and secondly, as I understand it, the Australian tag requirement is for bog standard visual tags and not RFID.

“New Zealand’s systems for on farm verification and animal status are truly world class. The NZFSA and Animal Health Board are major assets in providing verification and market assurance about the food we export to the world. This is data that our trading partners audit and accept. This is data which provides the vital element of assurance that our food is wholesome and above all, safe.

“NAIT discounts NZFSA and Animal Health Board resources when clearly the EU, with its exacting standards, doesn't. That tells us they are the foundation to build upon and not NAIT.

"Why spend tens of millions of dollars New Zealand doesn't have just to reinvent the wheel with NAIT? NAIT seems to be a solution looking for a problem and Mr Cooper’s comments reinforce that view.

"The EUs comprehensive audit scope for New Zealand going forward includes animal identification, origin, treatments (including withholding periods), feed (including the ruminant to ruminant feed ban), welfare and the use of hormone growth promotants.

"Following New Zealand's most recent audit by the EU in 2008, the NZFSA's on-farm verification audits of beef, sheep and deer farms were increased to 600 from 250. New Zealand has a robust and audited on-farm programme verification system which works. Just ask the EU," Mr McKenzie concluded.

Red Hot off the Press - Federated Farmers Media Release 'Fonterra warning on payout not unexpected'

30 December 2008

Fonterra warning on payout not unexpected

"Fonterra’s warning of a likely revision downwards in the current milksolids forecast payout is not unexpected," says Lachlan McKenzie, Federated Farmers Dairy chairman.

“The thing critical to Federated Farmers and to supplier-shareholders is for Fonterra to be realistic with its next forecast.

“While we don’t expect Fonterra’s next revision to be as bad as some smaller companies have forecasted, dairy farmers need better certainty to undertake financial budgeting. These constant revisions are making this difficult. It’s time for Fonterra to under promise and over deliver.

“Around $12 million from on-farm incomes is cut every time a cent is shaved off the milksolids payout. This impacts the entire economy.

“While global commodities are still showing negative sentiment the medium term picture for dairy remains bright. At least the New Zealand economy is based on exporting goods the world needs, food," Mr McKenzie concluded.

See I told you one was a Minion! Next time buy direct from the factory


Artstuff - Two Fat Cats

Ages ago I was given a stamping magazine. Trouble was I'm miles from the shops and the stamps I did like were a fortune to buy. I like to make cards once in a blue moon since until now I haven't had any time to do much more than come home make dinner, feed the animals and go to bed from straight out exhaustion. With time on my rather grubby paint covered hands from painting a cafe road side sign I decided to revisit that magazine. In it they had a fat cat..he was cool. So I did my own version of him and came up with two. Fun to do and really really easy. Yes I have made up some easy pezy instructions complete with my scribbled out mistakes if anyone wants to give it a try as well.

Hot off the Press - NZ Dairy Trust Media Release 'NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION TO ENTER AWARDS'

29 December 2008


Organisers of the 2009 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards suggest sharemilkers, farm managers and dairy trainees should make it their New Year’s resolution to enter the awards and progress their dairying career.

Awards convenor Chris Keeping says entries in the awards, comprising the Sharemilker of the Year, Farm Manager of the Year and Dairy Trainee of the Year, close on January 9.

“The dairy industry is suffering the effects of the global credit crunch that has forced Fonterra and Westland Dairies to slash milk payout forecasts.

“It’ll be quite a worrying time for dairy farmers as costs have increased considerably in the past few years and many have borrowed heavily to expand.

“Now they’ll be looking at where they can cut costs and make their operation more efficient as well as increasing productivity. They’ll need good staff in order to do this and that’s why entering and then working hard to do well in the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards is a good strategy to employ right now.”

Ms Keeping says entering the awards is a positive move and an achievable New Year’s resolution for dairy farmers to make.

The Dairy Industry Awards are supported by national sponsors Westpac, Honda, DairyNZ, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, LIC, Meridian Energy, Ravensdown and RD1, along with industry partner Agriculture ITO.

She says entries are invited for the three awards within the 12 regional competitions that cover the entire country.

The regional competitions can offer prize pools in excess of $50,000, with the three regional winners all progressing to the national finals and the opportunity to be named New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year, New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year or New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year.

Entry forms are available from regional convenors or sponsors and can be downloaded from the awards website, www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz.

Photos from our year - Winter 08 The Mini Hurricane 26th July 08

I had to go to work in this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!YUK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!