Safety First

notsafenoprojects

Dear Mandy,

You came to the wrong place. They don’t have “projects on hold.” They don’t have projects at all.  They never finish anything, ever.

They aren’t “learning to homestead.”  They’ve been at this for years and have accomplished absolutely nothing except managing to squirt several more infants that they cannot afford into the world to live in a garden shed.

. . .we have a good food storage. . .

Really? You know, I call bullshit on that.  We had friends visit us for Thanksgiving, a mother with four teenagers.  We only had one child, so my experience cooking and storing food was always for a maximum of three except on rare occasions.

Feeding four teenagers for two days was interesting for me. I knew they’d eat.  I even guessed the amounts pretty close. It was just astonishing to watch, though.  Put food on the table. Doesn’t matter what it is. Doesn’t matter if it “goes together.”  They inhale it.

There is no space in that garden shed for “good food storage” for 13 people. There is no space for the thirteen people, much less the food.

Nicole’s idea of “a good food storage” is enough food to get through to Friday.

. . . lots of wood. . .

Sure. Lots and lots of wood.  Lots of wood, obtained. . . where?  Whose property?

We are not safe right now. . .

Oh, for pity’s sake.

Trump was just elected President. You know who is “not safe”?  Minorities.  LGBTQ folks.  Muslims.

Syria is in the midst of a civil war.  You know who is “not safe”? That little girl who has been tweeting from Aleppo.

Putin is probably going to invade Estonia.  You know who is “not safe”?  The nice peanut vendor who kept our backpack for us when we lost it in Tallinn.

The Nauglers are safe unless you count the danger of the shed burning down due to their ineptness or the whole crew getting frostbite or the risk they run by teaching their children to shoot first and ask questions later.  Whatever happens to them, rest assured, they bring on themselves.

Mandy, whatever you’ve done, however little you’ve done, means that you are miles ahead of the Naugler family.  They haven’t even arrived at the starting gate.

Cheesy

blhoriginalpost

Boy, what a repository of bullshit this is.  There’s too much here for one post, but that’s okay. We’ll take it in bits and pieces.

I am a farmer and it is sugested [sic]. . .

When you read “it is suggested” you should get out your red flags and start waving them around.  It is suggested by whom?  Leah is a “farmer” of what?

It is “suggested” that GMOs cause allergies by people who don’t like GMOs.

I got sucked into the whole “oh, my God, the sky is falling; GMOs will kill us all” thing a number of years ago. I didn’t really find out anything. I just believed the stuff I read and decided it wasn’t “natural,” and therefore it had to be bad.

I had gardened off and on for decades and knew the value of organic matter in soil, and had always tried to use as many “organic” methods as possible mostly because I’m cheap, but also because I thought that was better for Planet Earth.

And then we moved to Kentucky, eight and a half years ago, and I embarked on a journey that would change my mind entirely.

corn

The first thing I noticed were all the soybean and corn fields. There are two of them right up the road from our house.  They alternate growing each crop annually. And they are Roundup Ready.  Drive down the road in the other direction from my house and you’ll see more corn and soy, also Roundup Ready.

It seemed that all my neighbors were crazy people.

I decided to ask them about it.

The thing you don’t do when you move into an area from someplace else is run around telling all the locals how it is supposed to be done. Instead, you put on your humble cap and sincerely ask. That’s what I did.  I didn’t understand it and I asked, “Why do you grow Roundup Ready seed?”

And they told me.

They said that they do it because it’s better for their bottom line, for their farms, and for their soil.  Yes, the seed costs more, but the benefits far outweigh the added cost of the seed.  They use much less diesel fuel, spend way less time in the field cultivating, and their fields experience much less erosion.

In other words, the evil Monsanto is not bankrupting people. They are, in fact, saving farmers money.

cornkernels

But what about saving seed? They can’t save the seed. Isn’t that horrible?

Well, no, it’s not.  Saving seed isn’t as easy or convenient as many people think.  You don’t just run out to the field and grab a few earns of corn that happen to be at the exact stage that is optimal for storing as seed and there you are.  Well, actually, you could do that but it’s not a good idea.

That’s because to do it right, you would need to take an ear from a plant here and a plant there, all over the field, shell all of them, mix them together, and that would be your “saved seed” for next year.  That would give you maximum genetic diversity.  Take one ear and save it and plant it and it’s sort of like incest (I’m greatly simplifying this, I know, but I don’t want this post to be a book), with less genetic diversity than is desirable.

The seed has be at the exact right stage to make sure it germinates the following year. It has to be stored under the right conditions. You can’t just shuck the ears into a white bucket and stick it in the basement.

In addition, much of the seed used for modern agriculture is hybrid. You can’t save hybrid seeds and have them produce reliably.

In short, saving seed, even from something easy like corn and soy, is kind of labor-intensive.

The way it’s done commercially is that entire fields are grown specifically for seed. They are harvested at the right moment, cleaned the proper way, stored perfectly and then sold to the farmers.  And the vast majority of farmers know this and quit trying to save seed eons ago, long before there was ever GMO anything.  It’s cheaper to let the seedsman do it in bulk.

And that leads me to cheese.  Sort of. I know it doesn’t seem like a reasonable place to go, but just go with me here.

peachescheese2

Like this cheese, in the photo I shared the other day.  My cheese.

potofmilk

I start with a pot full of milk. This is my largest stock pot, which I use almost exclusively for cheese. It holds five gallons of milk.

I bring it slowly to a warm temperature, about 90 to 100 degrees F.

rennet

At that point I add the rennet. That’s the white powder in the little bag.  See those measuring spoons? They aren’t the standard type. They measure 1/8 tsp, 1/16 tsp and 1/32 tsp.  My five gallons of milk requires 1/16 tsp of rennet.

That’s not very much. See the measuring cup?  It has warm water in it, and in the bottom is the 1/16 tsp of rennet. I stir that until it dissolves and then stir that water/rennet solution into the milk.  I have to really stir it for quite a while (two or three minutes by the clock) to make sure it’s distributed well.

Then I cover the pot and leave it undisturbed for about 45 minutes.

When I come back, this is what I find.

milkafterrennet

It might look the same, but it’s not. The paddle is literally cutting the milk.  It coagulates into a mass, sort of like jello.

I cut it into squares with a long bread knife. As I do, a clear liquid starts to seep from the cut squares. The clear liquid is whey.

curds

The squares are called curds.

This is how all cheese is made. The only difference between one type of cheese (cheddar) and another (Parmesan) is in how long the curds and whey are kept at a particular temperature and how rapidly they are heated.

At this point, for my cheese, I start slowly heating the curds, and as I do, the curds become smaller and firmer and there is more and more whey.

When the curds get “done,” that is, they become a little squeaky and almost chewy, I drain the whey (the pig loves it) and salt the curds and they go into a mold and a cheese press.

cheesepress

Here’s mine. The weight on the end is an eight-pound weight, but that translates, because of leverage, to about 60 pounds. The red weight is only three pounds, and it is the one I use first, gradually increasing the pressure for about two hours.  Once it gets to the max, it stays there overnight. Whey is expressed further from the pressure.

The result is a wheel of cheese that weighs about five pounds.  One gallon of milk makes one pound of cheese.

The resultant wheel goes down to the basement to cure. The longer it cures, the sharper it gets.

But what I want to talk about here is rennet.

Remember the calves and their little pens that we built so they won’t die?

Calves are born with only one part of their stomach active. That part, the abomasum, secretes rennet.  When a calf drinks milk, it goes straight to the abomasum, bypassing all the other parts of the ruminant stomach.  Immediately rennet is secreted, curds form, and the resultant curds sit in the abomasum for a longer period of time than just plain milk would, and that’s how a calf digests milk.

If the calf overfeeds, the abomasum gets too full, and plain milk, not whey, gets pushed along into the intestinal tract, and plain milk is like a gourmet feast for bacteria.  The calf gets diarrhea, the bacteria get all out of balance and the calf can become very, very ill in a very short time. This is called “milk scours,” and I hate it.  Calves beg for seconds on their bottles. They act like they are dying of starvation. They are not, and giving them extra is cruel. It can kill them.

When a calf is about a month old, sometimes a bit sooner, sometimes a little later, he will start to nibble grain and hay. As he does so, the other parts of his stomach that digest those things begin to “wake up” and become functional. And the amount of rennet secreted begins to subside.  We bottle-feed our little guys until they are eating hay and grain well, and show no signs of scouring at all. This is generally at least eight weeks and sometimes as long as twelve.  Plenty of farmers wean them much sooner, but we are softies.

But back in the bad old days, there was only way to get rennet to make cheese.

rhonda

You had to take a young calf that had never eaten anything but milk and kill it and then harvest the abomasum and dry it and powder it.

Imagine Kraft cheese.  Think about all those calves.

As the demand for cheese increased in the USA, back when I was a child, people became a bit squeamish about killing all those calves for rennet.   The result was an uneven supply of rennet and resultant higher prices for cheese.

So food scientists began looking for another way.  They looked at vegetable sources for rennet. They found some. Vegetable rennet is available today, and you can find cheese in some health-stores made with vegetable rennet.  I will tell you right now it sucks.  It simply doesn’t do as good a job as the substance that evolved in cattle to make curds.

The scientists knew it sucked too, so they looked a bit more.

And in the late eighties, they figured out a way.

Wanna guess?  Got any idea?

They genetically modified bacteria with genes from calves to produce rennet.  They tested the hell out of it.  And in 1990, this genetically modified rennet was approved and has been used to make cheese in the United States ever since.  The vast majority of cheese made here is made with GMO rennet and has been for nearly 27 years.

dinnerslopcheese

You know, cheese.  Like this.

Funny how you never hear anything about this.  Nobody gripes or protests or marches against cheese. Nobody says, “Oh, gee, I have all these allergies, and I’m sure it’s because there are GMOs in cheese.”

But all those calves got to live.

Now, if I have piqued your interest in this subject because I am saying things you never heard before, you might find this interesting. This video gave me a whole lot to think about.

Dave and I had a lot of conversations about it. We did a great deal of reading. And then we went to the store and bought some Roundup.  Sure makes fences easier to maintain.

 

 

 

Yes, She Did

neverleftproperty

You know, I tried to be really nice about this, in part because the whole thing involves a young girl who will get the blame if something really negative happens, but Nicole has to be an ass.  She apparently cannot help it.

Believe me, or don’t believe me. I don’t really care. But there are some things that I just know, and this is one of them.  The Naugler horse was loose. The Naugler horse was running around all over the place, on at least two of the neighboring properties, having a super-good time.

I saw the video.

The reason that Nicole Naugler will never see the video is because she would spend endless amounts of time trying to identify the angle from which the video was shot and thus come up with the supposed identity of the videographer, and she would most likely be very wrong.  She would then accuse that person of “stalking” her.

Let me explain something about loose livestock.  Unless you are physically present when they get loose, like the day that Somebody left our gate open and a couple of calves got out, and you never lose sight of the animal for an instant, you have no idea where they went or where they’ve been and what in the hell they have been doing.

When that bull appeared in my backyard and scared the shit out of me, he bolted and was gone, completely out of sight, in less than 30 seconds. Within a minute, the neighbors were out hunting for him.  And they didn’t find him for two weeks.

Nobody knows where he was all that time or what he was doing.

And Nicole Naugler doesn’t have the slightest idea where their horse went while she was loose.  Unless she went home and tied herself back up, somebody in that family knows that the horse was loose.  Hell, I don’t know everywhere the horse went. I just know with absolute certainty that the horse was not on their property and was running about on two of their neighbors’ properties.

There are only two possibilities here.  Either Nicole is flat-out lying, or somebody lied to Nicole about this.

I don’t actually know why she has chosen to dig in on this one, frankly.  Like the beer-drinking in the road that night that she insisted didn’t happen, she is denying reality. There is nothing wrong with having your animal get loose.  Nobody is going to call some authority and complain unless it were to happen every single day.  It was just sort of funny, like the times our donkeys went walkabout.

And one other thing:  If the horse “has never left the property,” why do they have it?  I know they carry on about their “28 acres” as though that is a massive amount of land, but it’s not.  There isn’t a whole lot of space to ride there. Much of it is wooded. The short dirt “roads” on the Blessed Shithole aren’t much distance for riding. It would be pretty hard to even get up to a canter in that little bit of space.

Yet the road is dirt.  Perfect riding.  Why aren’t they taking the horse up and down the road?

Running Horse

There’s a picture of a horse that’s running
Hanging here right before my eyes
Always there to remind me
Of the best of old times

Running Horse, Poco

The Naugler’s horse got loose.

It was inevitable that the horse would get loose. She seemed to be enjoying herself immensely, running around the neighborhood happily.

I have a bit of sympathy with people whose animals get loose. We have two donkeys.

georgiacheney

Here they are. On the left is Georgia.  On the right is her mother, Cheney. (Cheney is much smaller and fatter than her daughter.)

They look so sweet, don’t they?

Do not be fooled. They are holy terrors. They are escape artists.  They love to get out and go walkabout.

The neighbor has mules. Georgia and Cheney like to go visit them, and pretend to be big.  They look ridiculous but they don’t know it.

The first time they got out (several years ago), Dave was out-of-state and my neighbor came over to tell me that they were out.  He helped me round them up and run them into another neighbor’s paddock.  I couldn’t bring them home because even though they wear halters, they do not lead.

Later that evening, the neighbor tied them behind his four-wheeler and dragged their sorry asses home.

oldfenceelectric

This is the fencing that was present when we bought this place. I think this photo was made during the fencing renovation and it looks like a couple of the strands of wire have been removed, but originally there were four strands of high tensile electric wire.  High tensile wire is strong and when it is spooled up, it’s very heavy.

It’s supposed to be great stuff.

I hate it.

I don’t like fiddling with the electric. I don’t like turning it off and then forgetting to turn it back on.  I just despise it.

After the donkeys managed the Great Escape a couple of times, we did this.

newfence

See the wooded area beyond the fenceline?  That’s the back of our property.  It’s basically a ravine. It covers maybe 2 or perhaps 3 of our acres. It’s useless except that it serves as a buffer between us and the neighbors behind us.

The previous owner here ran cattle in that pasture.  No way is a cow going to go down into that ravine willingly. So he didn’t worry about the fencing back in there. We didn’t realize that.

Donkeys love ravines. They have a grand time in them.  And that is where our donks were getting out. The “fencing” back there wasn’t high tensile wire, four strands, with nice fence poles.  It was some barbed wire strung between trees.  The donkeys saw it and laughed and said, “Let’s go visit the mules.”

We fixed one place. They found another. We gave up, confined them to the paddock (otherwise known as “prison”) and redid the fencing. They haven’t escaped since (three years).

When they got out, we got them back as rapidly as we could. Our neighbors helped.  I was horrified because they managed to get into one neighbor’s newly planted corn (garden, not field).  I tried to get them to let me come over and replant it, or pay them , or something. They laughed and refused, and told me later there was no damage that they could see.

A year or so later, the neighbor with the garden was at our door because he had two beef calves who escaped.  We went with him to help hunt them. I don’t think he ever found them.

And we’ve had our little Jersey bull calves escape a few times, mostly when somebody who shall not be named here left the gate open. Once they tore our garden to shreds before the next-door neighbor drove by, saw them, and put them up.  And once we were eating breakfast and saw them trot past the window.

So we know about having livestock escape. It happens to everyone who has animals. As one neighbor said, “If you haven’t had livestock escape, you haven’t had much livestock.”

About a year ago, I walked outside with Minnie to take her potty and came face-to-face with an Angus bull.  We do not raise Angus bulls. I didn’t know anyone who did.

I was so startled, and the bull seemed so big, that I screamed right in his face. I scared both me and him out of our collective wits.  He ran one way, and I ran the other.

I am used to bull calves. We’ve raised dozens and dozens of them. But little Jersey bull calves are one thing. A big Angus is another.

Anyway, the same neighbor who said that to me about having livestock escape came running up a few minutes later yelling “Where did he go?”  I pointed. And off he went.

It was a bull he had borrowed from a friend for breeding.

He was gone for about two weeks.  They finally found him in a guy’s field with his cows several miles away.  Nobody ever figured out how he got out in the first place, or how he got in with the cows (he obviously jumped both fences), but he was brought home and everything ended well.

However, the saying around the neighborhood now is that if you have an animal you don’t want, just bring to Sally and she will scream at it and you’ll never see it again.

So anyway, when I heard that the Naugler’s horse got loose, I admit that I laughed.  It’s actually a pretty dangerous situation, though.  If the horse gets out in the road and a car hits it, the Nauglers will be liable for the damages to the car.  And like Georgia and Cheney, the runaway donkeys, once they get out, they discover how much fun it is and then you’re in for trouble because they will try again.

There’s a huge difference between allowing your goats to run “free-range” because you think you live in the “wilderness” and it’s all homesteady, and having a horse that you actually are trying to keep contained escape. People tend to get pissed off royally at the first and are usually pretty sympathetic about the second.

That is, they are sympathetic provided you do something to correct the situation. In our case, we tried fixing the fence twice. It simply didn’t work because the terrain was terrible.  So we spent some bucks (quite a few of them) and fenced the property securely.

Sounds like the Naugs need to do a bit of upgrading.

 

 

 

 

 

Of Course

A horse is a horse of course of course.
And no one can talk to a horse of course.
That is of course unless the horse is the famous Mr. Ed.

Go right to the source and ask the horse
He’ll give you the answer that you endorse
He’s always on a steady course

Talk to Mr. Ed

Theme to the television program, Mr. Ed

When you’re so poor that you live on marginal, crap land that can’t even support a decent garden, with no cleared pasture land of any sort, and you have no water supply, but have to haul it all in using white buckets, you try your best to do something about your situation.  Don’t you?

And when you’re so poor that you don’t even have a house but jerry-rig a three-sided shack that would just barely be housing for a couple of goats, and it’s so bad that your children are removed by the state and you have to go online and beg money from strangers, and you buy a garden shed to live in but squander the rest of the money on heaven knows what, you try your best to do something about your situation.  Don’t you?

And when you’re so poor and stupid that you refuse to use any birth control for anyone including your pets, and you keep reproducing like you don’t know what causes it, having one baby after another without even being able to afford the original two or three or four, you try your best to do something about your situation.  Don’t you?

Don’t you?

No.  You don’t.

Instead, you get a horse.

Because that is exactly what you need.   An animal that does nothing at all but eat and shit and hang out.  A great big animal that does nothing at all and is quite capable of killing you without meaning to do it. That’s what you do.

When you have been to court already because you cannot keep your animals contained on your property, and you have no fencing at all, it makes sense to get a horse, doesn’t it?

Ever buy one of these?

printer
HP Envy 4520 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer

Maybe not this exact one (this is the same printer we have), but one similar?

You know how the printer really doesn’t cost very much (this particular one is $72, which is the most I’ve ever paid for a printer), but the ink will bankrupt you?

Horses are like that.

It’s October.  In the fall, horses are often sold for a fraction of their value because the owner is going into winter and knows exactly what it is going to cost to feed that horse, and doesn’t want that expense. So he sells it cheap. Or even gives it away.

You know, a brown horse.  They’re a dime a dozen in Kentucky.

And often, when people want to dump one of these animals in the fall, they don’t even check to see what sort of place they are putting it. They don’t necessarily care. They just know what hay and grain cost and they don’t want to have to buy them.

I could make a list of what it costs to keep a horse.  It’s like cartridges for the printer. You can buy the OEM cartridges that cost $30 each, or you can go online and get the cheap knockoffs that have half the ink and leak for $10.  Or you can get really cheap and try to refill them yourself and have ink leak out all inside your printer so that you end up having to buy a new one.

But of course the printer isn’t alive, and the brownish horse is, at least for now, until Nicole goes online and threatens to put it down unless somebody comes and gets it in a week.

I don’t know about Breckinridge County, but around here, you know, in the Russell Springs area (since Nicole is doxing me), square bales of decent hay run about $4/bale in winter.  The price goes up as winter progresses. And if you have no place to store hay, you have to buy it frequently.  It’s far cheaper to buy the big round bales, but you have to be able to handle those and the Nauglers can’t.  And you can’t feed a horse the kind of shit hay that you can get away with feeding to beef cattle.  You have to buy decent hay.

A typical horse will eat about 15-20 pounds of hay daily.  An average bale around here weighs about 40 pounds.  That means it costs, using square bales, about $2/day to feed a horse. And the price goes up, as I said, the longer the winter goes on.  And that’s just hay.  Grain is extra.  Hoof trimming is extra, and woe is you if you don’t have it done.  When you have zero pasture, that expense goes on year-round. A vet will charge you about $100 just to come out, and you can’t take the animal in if you don’t own a trailer.  But of course, they won’t get a vet. They’ll just forage around and come up with “herbal remedies off the land.”

These folks are gonna have to haul water for a horse. Just the thought of doing that makes me cringe.  In winter, it freezes and you have to bust the ice.  Often.

Horses don’t “free range.”  They need a place to live.  You can’t just tie one up to the side of your garden shed like in the movies.

shed sticks

Please tell me that this is a shower shed and not a horse shed.  Please.

If this is intended to house a horse, I am never going to stop laughing.  What is with all the sticks?  Does bamboo grow in abundance on that shitty land?  It must.

Anyway, the Nauglers now have a horse, or at least it appears that they do. Somebody saw it tied to their garden shed as they passed by.

You know, because that is exactly what they need.

Maybe it was just visiting.  One can always hope.

 

What Happened To Ranger?

NOTE: I am going to discuss the Blessed Little Grooming Company tangentially here. Nicole, the Blessed Little Dog Killer, has made that fair game. What we will not be discussing is whether or not the business is a viable concern, or whether or not Nicole is an adequate dog washer. Please keep comments about the business confined to their relationship to the threat to kill Ranger.

ranger placed

Ranger has been “placed.”  Placed where?  Underground?  In somebody’s home?

Doesn’t matter. What matters is that Nicole Naugler the Blessed Little Dog Killer feels better. That’s what matters.

I want to go back and tell this story again, because it deserves to be told.

If you’re new to this story, you can catch up by reading the preceding couple of pages.

We left the Blessed Little Dog Killer having made a threat on her Facebook page to kill her dog if somebody didn’t step up and fix the mess she created.  Make no mistake here.  Nicole and Joe Naugler created that mess.

notadogbreeder

And I’m not a dog breeder.

But yes, she is a dog breeder.  She owned a big white Great Pyr (male) and a white boxer (female). And she failed to get either one spayed or neutered and they had a litter of puppies.  She was basically fine with this because, in typical Naugler fashion, she thinks that not only her and Joe’s genes, but the genes of any creature under her control are things that demand being replicated again and again.

Besides, she could sell the puppies, she thought, and make some money.

I find this all sort of amazing because these are mutts. There is no reason to believe that either parent was purebred, and it’s for damn sure the pups weren’t.  Yet, they are valuable because they belong to the Nauglers.

So she advertised the damn dog, that puppy, Ranger, as having an “excellent guard dog personality” and sold him to some unsuspecting people who thought they were getting a guard dog. Instead, they got a chicken killer. They returned him.

She spent a year trying vainly to find him a home, she says.  Poor Nicole. She tried so hard.

adoption post 1

Oh, look. See how hard she’s trying?  Right on her business page where lots of doggy-type people will see it?

Oh, wait.

That’s not Ranger, is it?  That’s “Drill Bit.”  That’s a black dog, not a white dog. That’s last March.  You know, after she got the chicken-killing dog back, the one she knew had problems and the one she has spent a year trying to find a home.

adoption post 2

And lest you think that “Drill Bit” was an anomaly, the Blessed Little Dog Killer posts adoption stuff from time to time on her business page, so all the dog lovers can see what a kind, caring person she is.  From August, 2015, we have this one.

And the followup:

adoptionpost2a

Two days later.  The dog is adopted and the Blessed Little Dog Killer is so delighted.

So, she knows that she can post an adoption on her business page and get the dog seen by lots of people, and in some cases, facilitate an adoption.

Does she put up anything, a single word, about Ranger, her own dog that needs a home?

No, she does not.

Why not?

I haven’t a clue. The only thing I can figure is that she didn’t want her business clients to see what an abysmal failure she is at dog training and dog care.

animal advocacy

animaladvocacy2

In the first place, notice that the Blessed Little Dog Killer tells us that all the dogs that belonged to the hoarding woman were “well-mannered and healthy”?  Does this sound anything like “everyone who has ever met my children will tell you that they are happy and healthy”?  I nearly gagged reading it.

But then we get the rest.

We need to support responsible breeding and encourage adoption.

No, we don’t.  The only people on the planet who should be breeding dogs are those who are breeding working dogs (not bullshit mutt half-breeds in the back yard ) from working stock, and those who breed very highly prized show dogs and keep the various breeds intact.  “Working dogs” can mean livestock guardian animals, sheep-herding dogs, guard dogs of all kinds, seeing-eye dogs, etc.

Everyone else is simply contributing to the problem of too many dogs and not enough homes.  And that includes the Blessed Little Dog Killer.

If all these folks (except those special situations) quit breeding Fido, we’d cease having a problem.  If you don’t spay/neuter your dog, and if your dog does not have the title “Champion” or is not a world-class working dog, you’re part of the problem.

. . . helping others working through behavior problems.

She writes this like she has the slightest idea what the hell she is talking about.  Just like calling herself a “homesteader,”  the Blessed Little Dog Killer wants people to think that simply because she washes dog butts, and clips their coats, she is an animal behaviorist and/or dog trainer.  She is not.

Her dogs live their lives out on that godawful property, ignored for the most part (to the point that Maggie goes next door whenever she can get loose for food and attention), and since allowing them to just run all over met with unwanted notice from the court, they are chained all the time. There is no fenced yard.  There is no shelter for them.  Nothing.

And when she and Joe abandoned the property last summer as soon as the state took their children, they abandoned the dogs as well. This led directly to one dog being run over (yes, they chase cars) and Ranger’s mother being shot because she was starving and got aggressive with somebody’s dogs (and that person feared for children who were present).

And then she has the audacity to announce that she’s going to teach “pet parenting” classes.

This, like the promised “weekly thread,”  was another of those plans that never amount to anything, but still. . .

hot cars

See what I mean?  She would never, ever do such a thing. She’s so responsible and caring.

But leaving pets chained to a tree without shelter (and I bet without water or food) is fine.  Letting them breed indiscriminately is fine.

think haven't tried

Yeah, I think you didn’t try.  You didn’t try at all.

trying year

No you haven’t.

July 28

This, on July 28, is the first instance I know anything about of the Blessed Little Dog Killer saying a single word about Ranger the Chicken Killing Dog. And she put it on the BLH page, not on her business page.

But don’t message her unless you’re “seriously interested.”  For those who need a translation, that means she was wanting a “rehoming fee.” Betcha.  They can “meet an hour radius.”  Need for them to drive?  No problem.  You pay money, they meet you.

Obviously, nobody took her up on it.

One other thing.  Notice the date?  July 28.  Anything familiar about that date? That just happens to be the same date that she posted the pictures of the new little batch of chicks that the hen hatched out.

Ranger, of course, killed them.

Or Ranger got blamed for killing them.  Who knows? She sometimes says that a “fox” got them.

july292

All the rescues are full.   We don’t have the budget.

Sigh.

So, when nobody comes forward to take Ranger off her hands and pay for the privilege, we rock along until the hen, bereft of her chicks, begins laying again and hatches out another batch of chicks.

How much you wanna bet that they got killed too?

So, in a fury, the Blessed Little Dog Killer posts an ultimatum.  She basically says, “You people better step up and relieve me of this burden or I will put a bullet in his head.”  It was the online equivalent of holding people hostage at the bank.

Remember, she allowed this to happen. The whole thing. Ranger would never have been born if Nicole Naugler was not an irresponsible pet owner.  How many dogs have they been through?  I have no idea, but at least two have died needlessly, along with dozens of baby chicks, a whole batch of rabbits, and probably some goat kids.

All right there at the Blessed Little Pet Sematary (my apologies to Stephen King).

And lo and behold, this time she got everyone’s attention. She’s gonna kill the dog.  So people began sharing the post, calling folks, and the dog rescue people found out about this and responded. They did so within about two hours.

Remember, she put the time limit on it. Ranger had a week.  One week and then a bullet.

first contact rescue

So the process begins.  But rescue requires a bit of coordinating.  So other people got involved, trying to set up “legs” to arrange transport of Ranger to his new foster home.

And the Blessed Little Dog Killer was just too damned busy to bother answering these people.  These people, who came to her page without knowing a damn thing about her, but who simply wanted to save a dog’s life. These people, who didn’t want shit from her except some cooperation. She’s just too damned busy.

life didn't stop

She has a business to run. She has a family.  Her life didn’t stop.

No, but she was threatening to stop Ranger’s life.  She worked, I tell you. She ran errands.

She posted on Facebook. (Note: these are clipped, just to show the time stamp.)

dinner same night

Note: This is right about the time that the rescue responded. She’s just torn up about her poor dog.  So torn up about it that she takes a picture of corn chowder and posts it on the page.

next morning

And the next morning, she’s up bright and early and taking sunrise photos. And she has time to post it.

tearjerkystory

 

This is a tear-jerky story about a client who died.  She had time to write all about it.

oct14pm3

oct14pm2

oct14pm

So, a few posts on her pages that day. If she says she was busy working, that’s believable.

But what about yesterday?  Yesterday was the day when she blew up at the rescue people for messaging her too much.  She was busy all day long, don’t you know, and she didn’t have time to bother with them, even though they were trying to help her out (or rather, and more importantly, help out an innocent animal) when she caused the situation in the first place, and she put the gun to Ranger’s head and threatened to pull the damned trigger.

oct15am7

oct15am6

oct15am5

oct15am

You can see how busy she was.  She simply didn’t have time to respond to any messages about the dog she was threatening to kill. And all these posts, by the way, are meaningless crap.  They are her usual “I hate the cops,” and “I hate government,” and “breastfeeding makes you a superior human,” and “the election is shit even though I never vote.”  That sort of stuff.

photocollagebirthday9am

This one is a photo-collage that she had time to put together and post.  You know, while she was so busy.

oct15am4

oct15am3

That’s nice. I don’t.

oct15am2

That’s right. I forgot. She added the obligatory “Monsanto and GMOs are evil” post. We’ll get to that some day when I have time.

oct15midday4

Remember, this was so important that she simply could not answer any messages.  She has a life, don’t you know, and responsibilities. Work, children, errands.  Dog?  Not so much.

At this point, Nicole was so frazzled by all the hard work she’d done and all that reading and posting and commenting and worrying, that she cried.

crying

 

oct15midday3

oct15midday2

She doesn’t vote. She brags about not voting. We’re all glad she doesn’t vote.

oct15midday

And this is a long-ass post that she had time to read, copy and paste and ask questions about.  You know, about the election that she does not vote in.  It’s not that she doesn’t like either candidate and therefore won’t vote. She never votes.

But she can’t respond to messages about her damned dog that she asked people to help her with because she is too busy.

updatingblog

Nothing about “we have to see about our dog’s rescue.”  Just about her “updating the blog” and bullshit stuff like that.  But head over to her blog, and while you’re there, be sure to notice the nice big donate button.

oct15pm

Remember, in addition to all this posting, she was also commenting repeatedly on BLH under not only the original “I’m gonna shoot the dog” post, but also under others, getting more and more defensive with all the “I’ve been trying for a year” and “I’m nice because I haven’t shot him yet” stuff.

I am retired. I do not have eleven children. I do not work off this property. And I could not keep with it.

spamming

I absolutely call bullshit on this. She was not “busy as hell at work.”  If she had lots of dogs to groom, her children were doing the grooming, because she sure as hell wasn’t. She was busy writing stuff about the election and writing little essays about a client who died and posting “I hate the police” posts.

The upshot of all this is that these very nice people from this rescue stepped in to help this dog who was under a death sentence from this horrible woman who gives not one single damn about the animals that are in her care. There’s nothing in it for them.  They just wanted to help.  They were not judging her. I am doing that for them.

And she got pissed off almost immediately and banned them.

Why?

Why would she do that?

She asked for help. She threatened to kill the dog if nobody would help her. She got snarky with anyone who criticized her even slightly about the whole situation.  But when people who didn’t know her, and didn’t know anything about the Blessed Little Pet Sematary raised their hands collectively and volunteered to help out, she responded by banning them.

Why?

Let me make something really clear for the clueless leghumpers, if any of them make it over here.  I actually live in the country and I really do have farm animals (chickens, pig, calves, dairy cow, donkeys). I absolutely understand that a livestock-killing dog cannot remain on a real farm.

The Nauglers, of course, do not have such a thing as a real farm, but still, I get it.

What is egregious about this is not that the Blessed Little Dog Killer didn’t want to keep the dog.  What is bad is that she is lying about her attempts to find the dog a home. She did practically nothing, and she was trying to sell the dog.  And then when that didn’t work and the dog quite obviously pissed her off royally by killing something else (new chicks perhaps, exactly as I predicted?), she flipped out and threatened to kill him on social media. What actually happened to this dog?

She expected no repercussions from this threat. She thinks she can emotionally blackmail people and they will not respond negatively. She thinks that she can abuse well-meaning folks who simply wanted to help the dog live and were very afraid that she’d kill him at any moment, and reacted the way you would if she had been holding him out a window on the 18th floor and threatening to drop him.

ranger placed

Placed where, Nicole?  With who?  When?

Forgive me if I simply do not believe you.

 

Heartless

jeriandtommy

Meet Jeri (black and white female) and Tommy (yellow and white male).  They are our barn cats.  As you can see, they have a tough life.

Tommy and Jeri were dropped off on our porch when they were about six weeks old, not by some human being, but by their feral mother. There were three kittens, but for some reason, she took the third one with her.

We didn’t think we wanted any cats. We have never been cat people.  We had no idea what we were missing.  They refused to leave, and I couldn’t let two little kittens starve. So they basically adopted us, not the other way around.

But you know what?  We have taken care of them. They work for a living, of course. They are wonderful hunters.  Sometimes, unfortunately, in the course of their duties, they kill birds and even small rabbits, but mostly they kill mice.

However, we feed them.  We feed them well. Because Tommy has had a near-fatal episode with urinary crystals, they are on canned cat food. It runs us about $30/month, a bit less in summer (when they find more prey) and a bit more in winter (when they have more trouble hunting).

Furthermore, Tommy’s illness cost almost $450. In addition, he got hurt one night, which led to another visit to the vet costing over $100. (As a result of that incident, a infected bite on his leg from some assailant, they are shut up in the garage at night, but allowed out on their own during the day. They rarely leave our property.)

And way back when they were babies, now eight years ago, we had Jeri spayed and Tommy neutered.  That was another $150 or so.

This is how it is when you have pets.  They are helpless animals who cannot care for themselves (the cats come closer to being able to do that our dog would, of course), and the responsibility is ours.  In return for our investment of both money and time, we get something I didn’t know was possible until we actually did it – companionship. From two cats. I had no idea.

Tommy is the big friendly guy. He loves everyone and greets strangers.  He hangs out wherever we happen to be.  Jeri is our “fraidy cat.” Most people have never even seen her because she hides from strangers.  But she’s very fond of us.

airport Minnie

We have a dog.  We’ve always had a dog, a series of them. All of them have been our responsibility.  Our current dog, Minnie the Magnificent Muddle-headed Maltese, is an idiot.  There she is, in 2005, when she arrived at the airport in Anchorage.

She promptly became very ill with coccidiosis and we spent more than $1000 over about a two-week period keeping her alive. (The vet predicted that she’d be fine once her immune system matured and was absolutely correct.)  We then spent about $100 having her spayed once she was old enough.

She’s a total pain in the ass.  She has no job. She has no function whatever except to drive us crazy. She goes bananas when she meets people.  We thought she would grow out of it, but she’s now eleven years old, so I think that’s not going to happen.

The only positive thing I can say about Minnie is that she is really cheap to feed. (Well, and we love her. There’s that.) She is so small that she eats only about 1/4 cup of food a day, along with a small handful of liver treats (homemade).  It costs way more to feed the cats than it does to feed her.

But she’s our responsibility too. And even though she’s an idiot, and it’s often inconvenient to deal with her, she is our idiot.

And all that leads me here.

original post

As I documented in the article about the baby chicks, animals that come to live with the Nauglers tend to die young.  It happens over and over again.

And it didn’t start with poor Ranger.  Remember this from the above link?

2014 killing

They’ve had chicken-killing dogs all along.  They have almost no “livestock” now because they can’t care for poultry or goats or dogs properly.

But back to Ranger. Where did he come from?

puppy 2015

That’s where he came from. The Nauglers had a male Pyr and a female boxer.  And the Nauglers do not get any vet care for any animal, ever, just like they do not get medical care for children.  That means they do not spay or neuter anyone, and that includes not only dogs but Nicole and/or Joe.

They have dogs that are a dime a dozen. Nobody wants these dogs.  Nobody gives a shit about a big white mutt dog. The only type of dog that is less desirable is a big black mutt dog.

But the Nauglers just plow ahead. They have no money. They resort to living in a garden shed with no utilities because they have no money. Yet they have all these damn dogs, and they let them breed indiscriminately.

Furthermore, I am fairly certain that if you had contacted Nicole in January of 2015 about Ranger, you’d have discovered that obtaining that puppy involved an exchange of money.  Your money into Nicole’s hand.  They were selling these pups.

excellentguarddog

And Ranger was advertised as having an “excellent guard dog personality.”

[I cannot make this stuff up.]

Well, some sucker got Ranger. Maybe for money, maybe for free by that time.  Dunno, but it doesn’t matter.  Ranger found a home but then was returned.  Why?  We aren’t told. It “didn’t work out.”

So they have had Ranger back on the Blessed Little Killing Ground for about a year now and he’s been systematically destroying every small animal or bird he can find.

But before we go further, let’s look at advice from the Blessed Little Dog Grooming and Professional Dog Trainer.

advice

 

crate training

Puppies require training.

Who knew that?  And at the Blessed Little Killing Ground, you know who does the training?

childrentraining

Of course.  The children do fucking everything.  That comment, by the way, accompanied a video of the goats running about with the dogs running about and the children sort of watching all this. She thought it was funny.  I thought it was a school for predatory dogs, frankly. “Chase the goats! It’s fun.”

You know what?  The goats should have been fenced all the time.  All the time.  Not at night. All the time. But this predated Goatgate.  Furthermore, you can get goats (or calves or cats) to come when you want them.  It’s easy to teach them to do that.  Just feed them. Use the same bucket all the time. They will come.  You don’t need a dog to chase them.

everyonetrained

All the puppies were trained. . .

Only they obviously were not.  And here we learn why the dog, advertised as a fucking guard animal, was returned. He was returned because he killed livestock.

So, Nicole has had this dog for an entire year knowing that he kills livestock. She didn’t have to wait and find out the hard way. She knew. She’s known.

And she’s made one half-hearted attempt (that I know of) to find him a home without livestock.  In the meantime, he’s killed and killed and killed.

And now he’s apparently done it again. She doesn’t admit that, but I think he probably did.

So she’s had it.

goodtraining

The “experienced groomer” is also a dog trainer, it seems.  Only when she gets home. . . well, there’s Facebook.

Nicole Naugler would not know “well-trained” or “well-cared-for” if she was at the Westminster Dog Show.

Look, I understand that livestock-killing dogs get put down. If a dog comes on this property and starts chasing our calves, he’s in grave danger. We’ll try to simply run him off (and we’ve done that a time or two).  We keep two donkeys to deter dogs (and we care for the donkeys, including having their feet trimmed about every six weeks or so). We have good fencing.  But if a dog breaches the fencing and dares to defy the donkeys, he is going meet the business-end of a rifle.

This, of course, is almost certainly what happened to the Naugler dogs when the Naugler adults abandoned the Blessed Little Killing Ground (while the children were in state custody ) to avail themselves of the comfort of running water and a swimming pool and a clean bed with room service.

As it happens, I have met Ranger.  He came out to the road to greet us during my first visit to the Blessed Little Killing Ground. All we did that day was ride by the property. I was in the area and I wanted to see the place I was writing about. No humans were home.  We didn’t stop. Neither did Ranger.  He lunged at our truck, snarling.  I was afraid we’d hit him.  Had we done so, it wouldn’t have been our fault.

got loose

He got free, she says.  You understand that this means that this dog lives chained up.  He has on a leather collar and is chained to a tree (or that’s what it appears to be).

This is the life that the great Groomer Nicole, that person who gives advice about dog training, and even offers classes in pet care, and tells everyone how its done, provides for her own dog.

And when the dog doesn’t meet expectations and the situation doesn’t improve, after an entire year, she suddenly decides she’s had it and is going to put a bullet in his head.

And lest anyone be deceived by her words put to sleep, that’s what they mean.  She does not mean that they will take the dog to a vet and have him injected.  She also does not mean that she will take the dog back down in the woods and shoot him in the head.  And Joe is unlikely to be the chosen executioner.

The only people on that place that ever do anything are the kids.

euthanasia

Forcing a child to shoot a pet dog is a very different thing from taking a steer to the slaughterhouse.  For what it’s worth, we have slaughtered pigs right here on this property.  Me and Dave, all by ourselves.  And when we decided to take them instead to the Mennonites, who have a meat-processing place, Dave went over there and watched them kill because we are responsible for our animals and we want to know what happens to them.  And it is nothing at all, nothing, like a kid shooting a goat in the woods.

When Dave shot our pigs, he would stand there calmly, waiting for the exact right moment, to make sure he killed the pig with one shot instantly.  The slaughterhouse uses a stun gun.  Same thing. Instant.

Our animals have wonderful lives and then one bad moment. They are unaware of death and have no idea it’s coming.  The Naugler animals live with hunger and fear all the time (if you don’t believe that, what do you think the lives of those dozens of chickens and rabbits were like?)

What Nicole is telling us here is this.

They have been typical irresponsible animal owners. They do not take care of anything they have, not their children, not their property and in this case, not their animals.

They allowed two undesirable dogs to breed and produce a litter of undesirable puppies when by her own admission, the shelters are full. Then they advertised and sold this puppy as a “guard dog.” When that bounced back in their faces, they settled on inertia and assumed that like every other problem they’ve ever had, it would take care of itself.

And it hasn’t.

And so, now, she uses emotional blackmail to get her followers to solve her problem for her.

Do something about this dog, do something I’ve had a whole year to do but didn’t bother, or I will get my children to put a bullet in his head.  Oh, and while you’re at it, he’s cost us a fortune and please donate.

That’s what this is about.

This is not her first brush with animal cruelty.

animal cruelty

animal cruelty2

She wasn’t just being all innocent and she didn’t know and the dogs actually were indoor couch potatoes.  This occurred in the dead of winter, with terrible conditions outside, and her dogs were out there with no shelter of any sort for hours and hours.  And somebody quite rightly reported the situation.  It’s never the way she spins it.

inborn

And criticism of her irresponsibility is met with this.  See?  It’s all our fault. It’s everyone else’s fault.

killedpetrabbit

She’s “exhausted all resources.”  And she’s kind and loving and not an asshole who created this problem in the first place.

What “resources” has she exhausted?  Well, that’s a bit like the reporter asking Sarah Palin what she reads.  “Everything.  All of them.”

year

Okay, so we checked. The local shelters just don’t take a dog that kills chickens.  Right?  Nicole knows, because she has exhausted all resources.  And by the way, nobody was talking about solely no-kill shelters. At this point, any shelter is better than the death sentence she has pronounced on the dog.

askedaboutshelter

cowboy

Meet Cowboy.  Cowboy is a very lucky dog.  He’s lucky because Cowboy is not a Naugler dog.  Cowboy was taken in by the Meade County Animal Shelter.

Here’s Cowboy’s history.  He was adopted, then returned because he kills chickens. 

cowboy2

And what happened to Cowboy?  He was put down, of course, because no shelters will adopt out a livestock-killing dog.  Nicole says so.

cowboy3

See the date?  Original post about Cowboy on June 1.  By June 5, he was adopted.

cruelestanimal

And without any sense of shame or any self-awareness at all, Nicole posts this on her salon page at the same time that she’s threatening to kill the dog if somebody, somewhere, doesn’t take responsibility for her neglect.

neighborsfault

Nicole, you are a sorry piece of shit.  Seriously.  It’s the neighbor’s fault.  It’s always somebody else’s fault.

rescue

 

And her followers come to her aid, absolve her of responsibility and do the work she should have done herself.  She is to blame for this. Nobody else. That dog, like all the Naugler children and livestock, all the living beings who have to live under the control of those godawful people, is a victim.

This is not about Nicole the Blessed Little Dog Killer “trying to do the right thing.”  She has had two fucking years to do the right thing.  That dog is not neutered, has never been to a vet in his life, has had no vaccinations of any sort, has had no training, has been fed the cheapest dog food available, and has been chained to a tree almost continuously with no shelter.

But she’s tried everything.

al

Not Eggsactly

October chicks

Baby chicks.  Isn’t that sweet? One hundred ten people hit “like” on that one, which, of course, is what Nicole is after. If they hit “like,” that’s an interaction with the page and then Facebook runs more of Nicole’s crap through that person’s wall.  The ultimate goals are attention and donations, not necessarily in that order.

But they are cute. They appear to be about a week or so old. They are already starting to feather out a little.

And that’s the problem.

There is something wrong here.

To see what I mean, let’s rewind.

2014 killing

This is from June of 2014. I include it just to show that having chickens disappear, get killed, gone, whatever is not a new occurrence at the Blessed Little Property.  It’s actually the status quo.

On June 22 that year, Nicole took one of the kids to “pick up his baby chicks” and four days later, they were dead.

And it was the third time they’d lost all the chickens.  It would not, of course, be the last.  If you’re a baby chick  and you get purchased by the Nauglers or hatch out at the Blessed Little Killing Ground, your days are probably not going to be many.

laying hens

Yeah, let’s talk about chickens and eggs. To get eggs, first you have to successfully raise the damn chicks, something that has been a real challenge, it seems.

The first week in April (2016) they were “getting our first set of laying hens.”  She says that they only had one hen then (sometime prior to the “first week in April”) due to a dog with a taste for chicken.  This is two entire years after the third batch of chicks were all killed – by a dog.

You’d think they’d learn.

It will be nice to have fresh eggs again.

Yeah, it would, wouldn’t it?  If any of them lived long enough to lay an egg.

april 29

April 29.  One “peep.” It appears to be several weeks old.

May 21

By May 21 we’re hearing about the chicken coop that one of the kids is building, and told that the chicks will be big enough to go out there by the time it is finished. When Nicole says “we,” she actually means somebody else, not her.  She does not lift a hammer.  Joe does not lift a hammer. Kids lift hammers.

Anyway, the point here is that the laying hens they were going get in April either didn’t get got or got eaten. I’m not sure which. They were replaced quickly by a bunch of purchased day-old chicks, probably hatched out in early May.

These chicks were brooded in the garden shed. Nicole posted pictures and video of them. I almost gagged when I saw it.

chicks incubator

We have an incubator and from time to time, hatch out chicks as replacements for their parents, which seems sort of mean, but that’s the cold hard facts of life for chickens.  Anyway, the very first time we did this, we brooded them in a stock tank in our living room.  It seemed like the safest place.  We spread the bottom of the rubber tank with shavings and put the chicks in there with plenty of water and food.  It was lovely and cute and sweet.

And then they started to grow and they started to stink.

I can’t describe how they stank.

We couldn’t put them in the garage because of the cats, who live in the garage at night. We were stuck.  I was so glad when those chicks finally got big enough to leave the house and go out to their little tractor. The smell was gone and all I had to do was entirely vacuum the whole house to get rid of the dust and dander.

Never again.  Dave built a wooden-framed wire cover for the tank and they are brooded in the garage with the cats who have learned to ignore them since they cannot reach them.

And then when they feathered out enough, they went out to the tractor.

chicks

So, I include all that to illustrate that we have incubated chicks, raised them from the egg and grown them up and then repeated the same steps a couple of years later to grow their replacements. We keep the girls and butcher the little roosters. And I plan the timeline to do this so that they hatch when the weather is mild and grow nicely and then go out to the tractor while the weather is still mild and are pretty much grown before winter sets in.

May 31

On May 31 Nicole tells us that they have 21 chicks, plus two bantams. And one hen.  One hen. I would assume that is the same lone hen we saw in the photo above dated April 29.

June 24

And on June 24, here’s a photo of one of the kids holding one of the chicks.  This is most likely one of the Buff Orpingtons. That’s what our chickens are/have been for the last several years.  That chick is fully feathered out, so the age would be about right.

clutch July

But then on July 28, we are treated to a photo of some day old (or two day old) babies. Aren’t they cute?

chick dirty hands

Day old chick, I’d say. Kid who needs a bath, I’d say.

Anyway, July 28.  None of those May chicks hatched out those eggs. They came entirely from the only hen the Nauglers have, the one pictured above.

one hen

July 28

She hatched out ten.  Two eggs remain. That’s not unusual. Hens do a better job than incubators, but still there are eggs that don’t make it. Either they were never fertilized, or the chick dies early, or something goes wrong. And every now and then one will simply be late.

Here’s the deal, and this is important to understand. The Nauglers have one hen. That hen does not lay an egg every day.  No hen does. White Leghorns (the kind who lay the eggs you buy in the grocery store) are the super-duper layers of the chicken world, bred specifically to do that – lay eggs. And a White Leghorn can lay a bit more than 300 eggs annually. That’s still not an egg every day.

The Naugler hen looks like a Rhode Island Red or some mixture.  She would lay maybe 250 eggs per year if she was really doing well. That’s a scrawny-looking hen, so my guess is that she doesn’t lay that many eggs. I would guess an egg every other day would be about what she does.

To get 12 eggs to set, she has to lay one and then two days later lay another one and then two days after that lay another one.  In between, she does not set them. The heat from her body triggers the little embryo in the egg to begin growing, and as long as the temperature stays cool, the chick will not start to develop.

So, at our house, when we want to collect eggs for the incubator, we put them in egg cartons and store them in the cool basement until I have enough. In our case, that’s generally a few days. I prop one end of the cartons on something and flip it every day, so that the eggs don’t stay in the same position for days. The hen does the same thing.  She moves them but doesn’t set them.

When she thinks she has enough eggs (12 is pretty much the max she can set on), she’ll start sitting on them and from that point forward, she does not leave those eggs except to eat, drink and go potty.  She also ceases laying eggs.

She stays there for 21 days, when they begin to hatch. This is the reason that sometimes an egg or two simply fails to develop. In the case of the Naugler hen, she probably collected eggs for the better part of two weeks, maybe even three, before commencing to set them.  I don’t like to incubate an egg over a week old. If there were multiple hens, they simply set on each others’ eggs, so a broody hen can collect a clutch in a few days.

After the chicks are hatched, the hen becomes the stereotypical “mother hen” and takes care of her babies. She does not lay eggs during this period, and if you think about it, you’ll understand why.  If she laid eggs, she would have to pay those eggs some attention, and once she had enough, she would have to set them. Who is gonna take care of the already hatched babies if she does that? (It’s the same reason that once the majority of her eggs have hatched, she will abandon the ones that didn’t.  She sacrifices the not-yet born chicks to care for the ones who are already hatched out and trotting about.)

From the time that a hen begins to store eggs for hatching  until she ceases caring for the hatched-out babies, she is called a “broody hen.” Broody hens do not lay eggs.  It’s a hormonal thing. The exact time period varies from hen to hen, but generally lasts anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks.

Now then, if dogs kill and eat all her babies, she might well cease the broodiness and go back to laying, but still that would take a week or so.  Most hens, if allowed to set eggs and hatch them out, don’t do that again until the following spring.  (Actually most modern breeds of chickens don’t get broody in the first place. We bought Buffs on purpose because they do have a broody tendency.  Most people do not want their hens to go broody because they want eggs, not chicks, so broodiness has been bred out of them. )

July calendar

So, there we are. Our broody hen hatched out 10 chicks on July 28.

August calendar

She then spent the next five or so weeks being a mamma hen.  She was not laying any eggs during that period. I am being generous here. I am assuming that at the end of five weeks, she was done with her chicks and went immediately, like the next day, back to laying. This is all highly unlikely, but since it’s theoretically possible, we’ll give all the allowance we can.

September calendar

The pink days would then be two weeks for her to lay eggs and collect them to form a new clutch.  That’s also highly unlikely but theoretically possible, so that’s how we’ll assume it happened.

I count about nine chicks in the original photo. A minimum of nine days, but that’s nigh on impossible.

So let’s assume that she started setting those eggs on the 15th (blue).

October calendar

That would put the chicks hatching on October 6 (and they really do not vary much from exactly 21 days – you can almost set your watch by the timing).

So, you say, that photo was taken on October 5 – you’re off one day in your timeline.

There is a big problem, though.

Those are not day-old chicks.

Remember this?

chicks incubator

That’s a newly hatched chick.  Minutes old.

clutch July

These are day-old chicks.

The chicks in that photo above are probably a week old. They already appear to be feathering out.

The Naugler’s lone hen did not, simply did not, hatch out a clutch of eggs on July 28 and hatch out another by September 29.

I call bullshit.

I have no idea why she did this, or why she thinks it’s a good idea to lie about stuff like this.  Maybe she thinks this looks all homesteady.  Maybe they bought the chicks someplace. Maybe the hen did not actually set them and hatch them out, but she certainly implies that she did.

And while I’m on the subject of “What the Fuck?” there is this.

firewood

Here’s some firewood.  Great.

ricks

What?

Okay, a “rick” is a weird term. It’s imprecise and a word we’d never heard until we moved to Kentucky.  We’ve heated with wood (solely except in Alaska) for many years, in South Carolina and North Carolina and partially in Alaska, and never heard that word.

Firewood is measured in cords. A cord is 4′ X 4′ X 8′.  A “rick” is described sometimes as  a “face cord.”  It’s usually 4′ X whatever length you cut the wood X 8′.  In other words, it’s one row of a cord.  A cord would be whatever number of rows you need to get a four-foot depth.  If you cut 12″ logs, then you’d need four rows, each four feet high and eight feet long, to make a cord.  So a “rick” would be 1/4 cord.

If you cut the wood 16″, you’d only have three rows, so a “rick” would be 1/3 cord.

As I said, it’s imprecise.

Those logs look longer than 12″, so I am going to assume that Nicole’s “rick” is 1/3 cord.

If that is the case, then they burned through 10 cords of firewood last winter.

I’m going to repeat that. She is stating that they burned 10 cords of firewood last winter.

You guys, we live in a 1500 square foot house.  That’s about five times bigger than the Blessed Little Garden Shed.  And there are only two people in this house, so there is not a huge amount of body heat involved. Furthermore, we heat water with wood.  In winter, I cook with wood.

In short, we burn through some wood. Seriously.  We don’t go off this property to work, so we are here most of the time, day and night. During the cold weather, our fire never goes out. We like to be comfortable, so we keep the house pretty warm in the winter.

And we don’t use anywhere close to 10 cords of firewood.

my firewood

Here’s some of it. We get most of our firewood from a local business that makes pallets, so ours comes all square like that. We buy it in huge dump truck loads, and one of those will pretty much take us through a winter.

Anyway, I got curious, so I measured what we have.

We have approximately 6 cords of firewood. Six.  And that will last us at least two years, perhaps three.

Maybe Nicole just doesn’t have a clue how big a cord is.  Maybe she has no idea how much firewood they actually burn.  Maybe she just spits out stuff without thinking about what she’s saying.

ending

And we finish out with this. It’s intended to be a poke at me, because I compared her to my cow.

I think I’ve sort of shown that the hen, that one hen, has not exactly had her offspring “grow up to be productive members of their chicken society.”  Most of them didn’t grow up  but became either playthings for dogs or food for other predators.  In addition, apart from those few weeks after hatch, hens don’t “raise” chicks at all.

The Nauglers go through baby chicks like popcorn (according to my count, they have had 30 of them on the property just this year alone), and have ended up with one hen and maybe twelve roosters.

But that’s okay, Nicole. Aldi had eggs this week for $0.39 per dozen.  Live it up.

UPDATE:

Well, Nicole, who has trouble with comprehending stuff, took a video of the hen with her babies and said, “See? There they are.”

But then, she had to admit to what I was getting at in this entire post.

You see, broodiness in a hen (which means no eggs are laid) is something like the suppression of ovulation that occurs in a nursing mother.  It’s not precisely the same thing, but it’s similar.

While nursing is not a fool-proof birth control method, as many women have discovered the hard way, it does space babies a bit more than if the mother does not nurse the baby.

Same deal with a hen. If she hatches out babies, she’s broody by definition, and not laying eggs. She will continue to not lay any eggs as long as she has babies to take care of. The act of mothering those chicks releases hormones that suppress egg production.

Take away the babies, and you take away the broodiness. Instead of a normal 4-5 week post-hatching broody period, you have a one-week recovery (maybe two) and she’s back to laying.

Nicole admits that the other clutch of chicks met with the usual Naugler livestock tragedy and were eaten. She, of course, blames the neighbors for this, since it’s always everyone else’s fault for their failures and never their own, but they were eaten nonetheless.

So Mama Hen had no babies to raise. So Mama Hen went back to laying.

Now the scenario is realistic. And we’re back to “the overwhelming majority of baby chicks that arrive on that property are food for wildlife, or more likely, the Naugler dogs.”

Of course, I saw the video and those chicks and mom are running loose as usual and therefore they are not long for this world.

If you can’t even raise chickens successfully, you’re really not good at this. Chickens are far and away the easiest “livestock” to raise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Simple Life

faith questionOh gee, we can help with that.

cover

Here’s a chapter list.

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Chapter One Feeling Smug While Doing Fuckall

Chapter Two“Please, Sir, I Want Some More.”

Chapter ThreeDelegating: All Work Becomes Unschooling Leaving More Time For Facebook

Chapter Four – Managing the Hypocrisy: Asking Online Sources for More Online Sources Regarding How to Keep Your Children From Being Attached to Electronic Devices

Chapter Five– Baby-Making and Pyramid Schemes Are More Alike Than You Thought

Chapter Six – It’s All About The Image You Project

Chapter Seven– How To Hide In the Woods: When CPS Inevitably Comes Knocking

Chapter Eight – Zen and the Art of Baby Making  (Without the Hassle of Raising Them)

Chapter Nine – Boob for the Photo-Op, Sippy Cup All Other Times

Chapter Ten – It’s Not Slave Labor, It’s Family

Chapter Eleven -Mud for Christmas: How to Lower Your Children’s Expectations During the Holidays

Chapter Twelve – Use Pencils, Not Tablets

Chapter Thirteen – Who Needs Sports: Tote Those Buckets to the “Compost Heap”

Chapter Fourteen – Grifting: It’s An Art

Chapter FifteenHow to Raise Tech-Illiterate Kids When You Have an Internet Addiction

Chapter Sixteen – Rainy Days and Wednesdays Always Mean a Bath

Chapter Seventeen – Vaccines Aren’t Needed if You Eat at Hardees

Chapter Eighteen – Free-Range: Make Your Neighbors Love You

Chapter Nineteen – The Gentle Art of Scamming: How to Use People to Get Money and Things

Chapter Twenty – Con That Church

Chapter Twenty-One – You Don’t Have to Drag Them to the Library if They Can’t Read

Appendix Whatever You Do, Don’t Forget to Take Your “Me Time”

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So, Faith, get over to Amazon.com and follow our “affiliate link” so we can make money off your total gullibility and click away.

You’re welcome.