Wednesday, 27 February 2013

We have ducklings

Well my prediction was right and I am amazed as Billy has hatched his eggs, on the date that I thought they would come. This means that we have been organised waiting for the arrival, and although he only hatched 4 out of the fourteen eggs he was sat on, panic soon set in when we saw them. Unfortunately. Jessica is determined not to make things easy, and we spent the day worried, rushing around capturing jessica and locking her away.

The ducklings are cute, very small and incredibly independent  which is causing amusement. They follow Billy everywhere, and are even in the pond, which they shouldn't be. Ducklings are not waterproof, which means they can drown, so panic set in when they leapt in the pond. However, they didn't care and were bobbing around carefree.

A restless night was had as every noise I leapt out of bed to check on Billy, I'm sure by this morning, he was sick of the torch being shone in his face! What made matters worse was I could hear chirping this morning, so I leapt out of bed, ran down stairs, but could find nothing...wild goose chase, or loose duckling chase...

Monday, 25 February 2013

Top things no one ever tells you about owning a farm

The closest many people come to being on a farm is the Saturday afternoon trip to the perfectly kept petting farm down the road, where the animals are perfect, there is no poop, and nothing smells. The reality is so different, and these are my top things that no one ever tells you:

1. Animals are gross by nature, and love being gross, they will wait until the perfect opportunity to increase this grossness. Every animal appears to produce a huge amount of poop, and they do not care where they go, which typically includes over their water feeders, food containers, and sleeping area. My chickens are so athletic that they manage to poop over the top as well as the sides. This means they must perform a flying leap, with perfect bowel movement timing as they fly over.

2. Animals are violent, we may think that they are cute, but you only have to watch them for a period of time to realise that they are incredibly violent. The animals that you encounter at the petting zoo's have had their spirit broken by the thousands of little hands rubbing their heads. The inbuilt DNA of animals is to hurt everything in its path. Watch Jack for a while and you will see what I mean, the moment you break eye contact he is there head bent, ready to charge!

3. Holidays simply do not exist, you will not be able to leave for longer than two hours without chaos descending rapidly. Asking your friends to pop over and feed the cat and water the plants is a thing of the past, no one could cope with your madness. Every part of the place is waiting for you to leave, to plot its revenge. The only way out is to breed workers, who you can leave in the future before you go completely insane.

4. Everyone that lives near you is insane, inbred or waiting to kill you and bury the body. The popular shouts of "get off my land" can be heard for miles, and often the Spanish farmers will carry guns, and never be afraid to use them on anyone that ventures too close. You have to drive through the neighbourhood windows closed, and only wave when they wave first, or it will be seen as a sign of weakness.


Sunday, 24 February 2013

Bunny Shock

Yesterday begun like every other day, shouting, screaming, chaos, and no one doing much, however  my son went to clean out the bunnies, which is one of his "jobs" This is usually a task which is done correctly, without too much stress, or problems. However, five minutes into the cleaning, I heard "Mummmmmmmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" which is usually the calll of panic.

As I ran down to the bunnies, I was expecting a dead bunny, but not what I saw...In the middle of hoppities pen was a tiny newborn bunny, i thought it was dead, but when I picked it up it was breathing. As I stood there wondering where the hell it came from, how it had got there, Miss Thunderpussy fussed around my feet.

Cleaning continued, and I asked my daughter to clean out hoppities box, so I could could the bunny in there and hope for the best. As she stuck her hand into the box to grab the straw she fell back in shock, as in his box were 6 other bunnies. slowly we pulled back the straw, and there were tiny, newborn bunnies.

So, now I have the issue of getting rid of more!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Making Money

When we started all of this on Casa Chaos I was determined that it had to make  a profit, or what was the point. My Dad laughed, as he has been in the farming industry all his life, and told me to always remember that if I wanted to make a million, I would have to invest two million. Farming in any scale is tough, and very few make a huge profit, however, I only wanted small.

There are many days when I feel that this place is a money pit, with a black hole in the centre of the drive absorbing all our money. Yet we carry on, which is the strange thing, as if it was any other business, you would walk away. I often spend hours writing lists of things that need fixing, building, or feeding, and do wonder where the money is coming from in the future.

You may question why we do it, but I feel that Casa Chaos had become part of my identity, and as with everything that you love, you will fight for it, and defend it until the bitter end. We are not a large Finca, but a small place that tries to make a success of the chaos. I am doing what I believe in, which is producing natural, organic produce, and meeting like minded, crazy people.

Another saying that my Dad enjoys is " Do what you love in life, and the money and rewards will follow" There are only two men in my life that I ever listen to and respect, my Dad and ,my husband, both very wise, and very sensible.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Cock Conversation

Men have a strange ability to talk about the weirdest things and keep a straight face, where as women tend to snigger like little school girls. Well I did the other day when my husband was complemented on his "cock" by a Spanish guy. It started as a routine trip to the ferreterias, (hardware store), which in itself is a highly male environment.

As we were stood in the queue waiting to be served the guy behind the counter acknowledged my husband with the usual "hola" after a few minuted he looked up again and in broken Spanish said " you live near me now, yes" my husband replied "yes, next village over" he forgot to add "yes you are the idiot that drives to fast down the road, and gets shouted at by everyone"...but he left that bit off.

The guy stopped serving the man who was waiting for his random screws or something, and begun a conversation along the lines of this....

"the place with the chickens"
"ahhhh, you have a large cock, I see it every morning, very impressive"
"errrrr do you?"
"yes, I like your cock, he stands up proudly"
"I didnt think everyone could see it"
"yes, yes, everyone comments on your cock, the whole village think it is good"

Well, at this point the whole shop had stopped to listen, and even the guys who obviously didn't do English understood what was going on, I was sniggering like a schoolgirl, yet hubby kept composed and carried on, as the Spanish guy was being genuine.

The cock compliments continued for some time, finally we got served, and handshakes and pats on backs were given. Sometimes I really do not get the male race, as they all remained straight faced, and thought a mid morning conversation about "cocks" was normal. Or maybe it was just me, and my mind that was obviously elsewhere....

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Sexing rabbits

The baby bunnies are ready to go, but, unfortunately  we have been let down on their destination  which has left me with four bunnies! There is no point in ranting about why this idiot has let me down, but simply I need to think of a plan B, oh and C and D. Plan B is in motion, and someone is interested in the bunnies, but of course they asked the question of what sex they were...oh shit, I havnt even bothered to look.

So, rapidly onto Google, whilst giving daughter instructions to go and blow on bunnies nether regions, yes it helps trust me I'm  a bunny expert!  and look at what they are. Now anyone will tell you sexing rabbits is never easy until they are older, but undeterred off she went armed with the knowledge of what baby bunnies willies look like.

After some time, she returned full of confidence, and announced "yes we defiantly have one boy and three girls" By the time I had turned in my chair that became 2 boys and 2 girls, and before I could speak she admitted she had no idea! Now my opinion is unless you aim to take two rabbits does it really matter, as there are no breeding issues.

So, I either admit we have no idea, or lie, which could be another option and admit nothing in the future, it worked for the duck guy, yeah thanks mate we are still dealing with mixed personalities. However, for the moment I have begun to Google rabbit recipes, and am deciding if rosemary is better than sage with roast bunny!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Goat wrestling

Sunday was a productive day, hubby decided it was time to tidy and renovate the terrace, which is good as it really needed doing. Throughout the whole event Jack stood watch, and ensured that everything wa sup to his critical eye. The gate was closed so he had to perch on the mountain, watching as everything happened below him.

Then the mistake happened, the gate was opened, and like a fat kid chasing cake, Jack was on the terrace being nosey and a pain. Now Jack is rather large now, which results in him having to be man handled quite a bit. Asking a goat to leave never really works, which means that he has to be wrestled into position.

However, before he was removed, he decided he would take a trip indoors, to have a look around. I must admit the last thing i expected to see in my kitchen was Jack, but hey a goat in the kitchen is not that strange I suppose. After he had inspected and decided there was nothing of interest, he returned to the terrace.

This was when goat wrestling occurred, as hubby attempted to remove Jack, with everyone watching.
With a lot of shoving, swearing, fighting and puffing Jack was slowly pushed back behind the gate, and the moral of the story is do not open the gate...EVER!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Ducks don't quack they chirp

Everything you are ever taught as a child proves to be wrong as you grow up including the noise that a duck makes. For years we have been told that ducks quack, they even made up songs, however, this is not correct they chirp. Well my ducks do, usually when they want something, apart from Jessica/Justin who hisses like a goose.

Both Billy and Lucy are sat on eggs and when they come back for their daily feed and swim they chirp very loudly, which is odd to hear. They are attempting to talk to us, unfortunately  I didn't learn duck at school, so, I have to guess what they want. Google, states that ducks chirp when they are happy, scared, hungry, thirsty or tired. Helpful as ever, and ensures that it covers every possibility, but we think Billy chirps for food, and Lucy because she is happy.

The other night Billy chirped louder than normal, and paced up and down the drive looking fretful and concerned. Whilst he was eating, I popped over to have a nose at his nest and was shocked, as I couldn't see any eggs. Thinking the worst I moved in closer, to discover that Billy had plucked most of his breast feathers and made a 3" layer on top of the eggs for warmth.

Good old Billy, he will make a good mum, well we hope so, as I'm not hand raising ducks. If my calculations are right, I think he has about another 2 weeks, but hey what do I know, as usual I am probably wrong, and they will appear when we least expect them.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Disappearing feed mystery

I have a lot of animals, therefore, my feed bill every week is high, and steadily increasing, which means that when he spikes there is a concern. For weeks we have been blaming our daughter for overfeeding the animals, as like her, they all love their food and would happily eat all day. I am all for ensuring that animals get enough to eat, however, there is a limit.

So, with heavy heart I drive to the feedstore more than once a week, actually that is a lie, hubby drives to the feedstore, as that is considered a daddy job. However, the feed continues to vanish, and with claims she is not overfeeding it is going somewhere! Maybe the orange thief wants some corn to go with his oranges, anything is possible in GC.

However, mystery was solved the other morning, when I went down after my daughter had left for school, and once again left the feedroom door wide open. I could see the culprit, there was no mistaking who was in there, and I was prepared. As I approached the thief stood his ground and did not move, he was on a mission, and enjoying every minute.

Standing in the doorway, I knew this was my only chance of capturing the thief once and for all, but he did not care, there was no shame that he was happily consuming his own bodyweight in animal feed. The thief was of course JACK, who had discovered that not only was the door wide open, but the lids were also off the bins.

It was an open invitation to eat as much as he wanted, and this was obviously not the first time this had happened. Pissed off, I shouted at Jack, who simply turned his head, as if to say "go away, Can't you see Im eating" I finally got him out, put the lids back on the bins, and closed the door. Another expensive lesson learnt, do not trust the daughter to secure the feed!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Orange Thief

Our oranges appear to be vanishing, and not in a good way, which has started to aggravate me now, as I work hard and don't think that the thieving A**hole across the road should get away with it. In his defence I have no solid proof that he is stealing my fruit, just a huge suspicion, and like an itch it will continue to annoy me until I sort it out.

We had trees and trees of oranges, and then slowly they begun to vanish, some we used, some we picked and sold, but other trees simply were stripped bare. These trees were the ones from the back of the orchard, hear the back gates. Now, since the mango's begun to vanish in the summer we padlocked the gate, and this I thought would stop the light fingered person.

However, it appears not, as I went to pick oranges yesterday I noticed that the gate had been bent at the bottom, just big enough to get a human being through the gap. Whoever is stealing the fruit is local, and obviously hates us more than others in the area. Now I appreciate we are not Canarian, but some on, give us a chance! There are some people in the area that find us amusing, and others simply hate us, for whatever reason.

Now the problem is I have to catch the thief, and then decide what to do with them, someone said to denounce them (report them) I want to chop their hands off with a rusty knife, but this could be seen as a bit harsh. For the meantime I need to think about how to catch them, and am considering using Jack as a guard goat, similar to the photo :)

Sunday, 10 February 2013

I want my bed back

Years ago before the chaos, and the mini zoo I had a normal life with just one dog, who was never allowed to sleep on the bed. However, now it seems that everything joins me, whether I want them to or not! When we had just one cat it wasn't so bad, but now there are four, it is a scramble for space. There is the added factor that our small dog seems to be content on there as well, and the foster pup often ends up there to add to the lack of space.

There are many nights when there simply is no room for people, and you have to perform a clever maneuver to get under the duvet. The strange thing is that during the day, nothing sleeps on there, but the moment night fall approaches, and I attempt to move closer to the bed, the animals descend.

Hubby has the biggest task as when he gets in from work everything is comfortable including me, which means that he has to disturb something to get into bed, typically he disturbs everyone. There are many nights when I seem to spend 30 minutes throwing animals off the bed, to find them back on it again a few minutes later. In the end I purely give up, and attempt to sleep in the tiny area that I have left.

Oh, to be normal, where I can star fish in bed, and only have the hubby to contend with, those were the days!

Saturday, 9 February 2013

When the chaos gets too much even for me!

There are days when I hold my hands up and think what the hell am I doing, why don't I live in a normal house, with one dog, one cat and a goldfish. Even I can be pushed to the limits of simply wanting to walk away from the chaos. I have a full time job, which at times is stressful, and puts a lot of pressure on me, which is when you can guarantee that the residents of casa chaos push it too far.

Yesterday was one of those days when I just wanted everything to be normal, but it was a hectic, stressful day that left me exhausted and doubting my abilities to make casa chaos work. From the moment I got back from the school run, everything went wrong. The cat brought me a chick, alive I will add, which alerted me to the fact that the stupid chicken in the fountain had hatched and was attempting to leave the fountain.

I rushed down to find the chicken on the stairs, the chicks on the wall, with four cats and a duck looming in to see what was going on. Relocating chickens and chicks is not a one person job, but I had no choice, and spent 20 minutes attempting to rescue chicks. One got lost in the wall, but I had to give up, as Jessica was attempting to kill Lucy, and smash her eggs!

Moving on to the next issue, Jessica got booted (sorry but patience now wearing thin) to turn and discover that Jack and Jill were still in their cave up the mountain and refusing to come down, if she gives birth in there, I am NOT climbing to go and get them. I then realised that Rico had followed them and was bleating loudly like a small baby in immense pain.

Now logic would say he is a goat, and will come down, however, Rico doesn't realise that he is a goat, therefore, wanted rescuing. Job for son me thinks, as I am NOT climbing up the mountain, I have already  rescued a chicken and a duck that was me done for the day. Hubby appeared found the chick, which was quite sweet, and it was reunited with mum.

To top it all Miss Thunderpussy has decided that her motherly duties are over, and is spending more time with the boys. This would be fine but the four bundles of fluff still need her, so I spent most of the day returning her to her side of the enclosure. I also discovered Lucky sat on eggs in the furrow, what is it with chickens and dumb places to lay eggs, and have far too many lemons even for me.

Sorry this blog is a jumble of rambling, but all in all it summed up my day, and why I feel into bed exhausted, and wanting normality.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Pregnant or not?

I was asked the other day if I had baby goats yet, which I don't, however  the amount of jiggy jiggy that was going on a few months back I will be amazed if Jill is not pregnant. The problem is unless you are a master goat herder, you simply cannot tell. During the conversation about the goat, and how to tell, this person calmly asked if she could not take a pregnancy test.

Now, have you ever seen a goat peeing on a little white stick before...No neither have I, and I am not chasing her around the orchard encouraging her to pee anywhere near me. I have Googled to see if there are other ways to tell, and it seems there are a few, but again not the most pleasant ways.

Well you can perform the good old classic vets trick of hand/arm up bum, which no way in hell am I doing. Another way to tell is to look at her "LaLa" (I'm trying to be polite, so I get no more complaints) which will apparently be puffy. Firstly I have no intention of looking at her LaLa, and secondly, I didn't look at it before, to know what is puffy and what is normal.

Some goat experts claim that you can just tell if your goat is pregnant due to the size of them, or Jill could just be fat! So, for the minute, who knows, she may be pregnant, she may be fat, whatever, she is she is spending a lot of time in a cave 80ft up the mountain....please god do not have babies up there as I am not climbing up there to get them!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Lucy is back on eggs

After the disaster of Lucy and her eggs the last time, I was really nervous to let it happen again, however, she begun to lay in the extension, and I realised that if we shut her in there every night away from Jessica the psycho duck the eggs would be safer and she would be calmer.

So, every night Lucy would be lifted back into the extension, where she has accumulated a nice pile of eggs. Once the batch was complete, she feathered the nest and the sitting begun, it is now a race to see who can hatch first, and produce ducklings. Billy is doing fine on his/her batch, and comes back every day to eat and swim in his beloved pond.

I am slightly nervous about having two batches of ducklings, as if they all hatch that will be over 30 ducklings to contend with. The duck extension may not be big enough I fear, and I may have to sweet talk hubby into building yet another one. Having an ever expanding family can be such a chore! For the moment though Lucy is happily in the extension, Billy is in his big pile of twigs, and poor Nellie has to share the house with Jessica.

Jessica seems to be growing again, and I am pretty sure that she is attempting to be the largest, fattest duck in history. Her neck is now the size of Mike Tyson's, and her legs would give Tina Turner a run for her money. There is something odd about Jessica apart from her ever expanding body, he/she loves hubby and will actually eat from his hand, this we all find strange.

However, as long as she stays away from the ducks and the new ducklings when they arrive he/she is safe, the moment it touches one, I will be preparing the orange sauce!

Jack hates Rico

As you will remember we have a new addition to Casa Choas in the shape of a goat, now Rico is cute, looks like a cow, makes a lot of noise, but is overall quite sweet. The problem is Jack hates him, and I mean really hates him. At first I thought it was simply because he had to settle in, but there are times when I really do fear for Rico's little life.

Jack is big, strong, and the leader and he likes to display this at all times, whether it be to us, Jill or little Rico. The head butting wars are a daily occurance, and Rico tries to give as good as he gets, but alas Jack has a far stronger head, and you can hear them banging furiously every day. I have concerns that Rico will end up brain damaged soon, as his little head cannot take anymore.

I have taken to shutting Rico in the house during the day so that Jack cannot get to him, but Jack has worked out that he can in fact open the door, steal the food, and torment Rico. Jack has become the school yard bully that everyone avoids. I have pondered whether the aggressive, possessiveness could be due to the fact that Jill is pregnant.

Who know why Jack is being a bully, maybe it is goat behaviour, and perfectly normal, only time will tell, if they get on, or kill each other trying.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Bunny Update

The bunnies are doing well, and have now opened their eyes which is fantastic and makes them look more like rabbits. They are in fact rather cute now, Miss Thunderpussy is a fantastic mum and checks on them throughout the day. The usual debates have started about what is happening to the bunnies, and how can they be destined for a saucepan when they are so cute!

The problem is people need to understand that everything here has to make money, and slowly it is beginning to, and my profit to expenditure is finally beginning to look better. Having a mini zoo was never my intention, and although I love all of these animals I do have to draw the line. I have had several people asking about the rabbits, for their dinner which surprises me.

The question then came up about how old do they need to be before they can be on your plate, and apparently 8-12 weeks id normal. So, not long after they are weaned too be honest, so only another 6 weeks to go before bunnies become casserole. Heartless maybe, business minded always, and that is life unfortunately.

Until that date we will continue to take cute pictures of the bunnies, make sure everyone falls in love with them, before sending them off!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Postal Service

There are many things that you have to get used to living on an island that has a slow pace of life, and an extremely laid back mentality. However, I also believe that it is 2013, and simple things like receiving my post is not rocket science. I appreciate that I will not have it brought to my door, as I have a long drive, however, getting it in the post box would be a start.

When we moved to Casa Chaos one of my first questions was where was the post box, and I was directed to a tree on the road, where there was a number of old post boxes hammered to the tree. On closer inspection none had numbers names or basic details, so I pondered how the hell the postman knew where to put the post. I also had no idea which post box was mine, which was confusing, so we asked one of the other houses.

They assured me that the post box I was ripping off the tree was in fact ours, but when we finally opened it I was concerned that it had no post for us, yet post for every other house within a 2 mile radius. But undeterred, I bought a nice new shiny box, and just in case the postman was a bit slow, I wrote in big letter the address on the box.

I was expecting post, so checked the box every few days, being out in the culo del mundo, I knew they wouldn't deliver every day, but after two weeks and nothing in the box, I was concerned. So, I visited the post office. This is an experience in itself, which I attempt to avoid at all costs, therefore, I was not in the best of moods when I entered the building.

The post lady informed me that she had no idea, and to phone the other post office, where the post delivery person was. I rang them, and after a long, argument, it appeared that my house, the big white building that we live in does not exist. Therefore, although they saw the box, read the address, could not put the post in the box, as the house wasn't there.

Frustration hit an all time high, I went to the town hall, got the deeds, printed off Google maps, returned to the post office, but no, according tot he inbred postman, our house was not there. His claim apparently was backed up by 17 generations of Canarians, who all agreed that our house was simply not there.

Numerous visits, much shouting, and several heated discussions, led to an agreement being made that involved the postman standing at the post boxes, seeing if our post was there, and pretending our house existed  All he had to do was put our bloody post in the box that corresponded with the address on the letter. A trained monkey could perform this task.....and he managed it for 6 weeks, until we got a new postman!!