Monday, April 29, 2013

Mrs. Potts' Surprise!!!!

Ahhhh!!  I am so excited!  I noticed the cats were acting rather odd and investigating the main chicken coop this morning.  So, I decided to have a look.  And LOOK!!!  BABY BANTAMS!!!

Mrs. Potts says, back off lady!!
Yes!!  Mrs. Potts has hatched her babies!  If you have followed her story, you know that I have been terribly worried about Mrs. Potts hiding her nest in the unsafe woods.  I worried also because I have not seen her for the past few days.  You'll never believe it, but she was right under my nose all the time!!  IN the chicken coop, safe and sound, and not out in the unprotected forest as I had feared.  She hid her nest here:
Right underneath this brooder box (which I should have had opened) is a lip that lifts off the ground on the left side.  Mrs. Potts is snuggled under there with her babies!  What a good mama she is!  
It's these moments when raising chickens teaches me quite a lesson that can be applied to the big picture of my life, and in this case, I have learned many lessons!  A few things that come to mind are...
  • Sometimes what you are looking for is right under your nose.
  • Death brings sorrow, but life goes on and brings joy again.
  • Have a little faith that things will work out the way they should.
  • I am always reminded of this when I watch a good mother hen - Luke 13:34 "...How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings..."
I hope you all have a most blessed, beautiful day!
"No one touches my babies!! Got that?"

Backyard Blog Hop Winners!

All righty!  We had a total of nine entries (not counting host entry of course).  I want to thank you all SO much from the bottom of my little bitty farmin' heart for participating!  This was my first ever blog hop and I am very happy with the turnout!  I said I would pick two winners, and here they are:

Most Clicked Winner:  There were actually three that tied so I wrote these three blogger's names down on pieces of paper and drew out the name - Joanna!  Click here to check out the post Joanna shared with us - Make It Yourself: Granola!  It looks so yummy!  Be sure to give her a follow, too.  :)
Blog Host Favorite Winner:  There were so many wonderful posts that this was quite difficult!!  However, Donna's entry from Our Forest Haven (click here) stood out to me the most because it is SO adorable...
 photo 014blog-6_zps12923c2d.jpg 
I mean, come on!  Who can resist a goat with lipstick on his little cheek?  PRECIOUS!  Be sure to visit Our Forest Haven as well and give her a follow!

Thank you all so much, again, for participating.  Hopefully at my next blog hop I will have a button that you can post on your wall if you are a winner!  Y'all have a marvelous day!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Backyard Blog Hop!

Okay, it is time for me to try something new!  I am hosting, once a month, the "Backyard Blog Hop" in an effort to connect with other backyard farmers, animals lovers, and pretty much anything country (crafts, cooking, etc.).  ANYONE can enter as long as the entries are clean and kind.  Please be patient with me as this is my first time.  :)  Here is the plan:

Entries are allowed until Sunday night at midnight.  I will pick two winners - the first will be the most clicked entry, and the second my favorite entry.  Then I will do a feature on each of those blogs on Monday for all of my followers to see!  (Please do not enter if you don't want your blog featured... but who wouldn'tHaha!)

The Rules:

- Follow the host's blog (the one you are reading right now, Little Bitty Life)
- If you want me to follow back, please leave a comment below!

Okay, let's get started!  Wee!!  Can't wait to meet tons of new folks involved in the world of backyard farming and pet lovers.  Oh ALSO - don't be shy!  If it is your first time, just jump in and go for it!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Trends and Truths

I am thinking about making Wednesdays "Trends and Truths" day, where I give you a glimpse of some of my trending favorite things and give you a fact about me.  Then you can share yours!!

I have been busy trying so hard to keep my Chico going that I need a minute to just relax and write.  So here goes!

I find so many fun things on Pinterest!  Do you Pinterest?  If so, follow me over there!

< I am in love with this dress!!!  If you click here you will find a tutorial from a fellow blogger detailing how to sew it yourself.  I am hoping to buy materials soon and have my Mom help me learn to make this!  It is so simple yet sweet.  LOVE!

Pinned Image I am loving > this barn found at Morton Buildings.  I know I am dreaming big here, but why not?!


<Next up is a a food idea... since the hubby has been doing lots of grilling lately, I would love to put this together for dinner one night!  (I could do his with chicken since he is allergic to meat!)     
Winter love for the horses
Random cuteness.
          comfy setting on porch 
^Excuse me, but I want this porch furnitureLooks so comfy!

I could go on forever this way, but I'd better rein it in.  Haha!  Now for a truth about me:  We bottle-raised two deer when I was a kid!  Talk about cool and oh so fun.  These two deer were discovered when a farmer was out cutting hay.  When they reached about a year old, we took them to a wildlife refuge where they lived out the rest of their days happily with many other deer. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Barnyard Update

Lots going on right now so I haven't been able to post much.  First, Mrs. Potts was sighted again today!  She left so quickly I wasn't able to grab the camera, but I was very glad to see even a small glimpse of her.  I had not seen her since the thunderstorm we had Saturday night!  But now I know she is well, and we should have chicks the next 5-7 days!!

This morning the clouds were rolling through, so I captured this shot from the window for you all.

Siri and Aura say hello!

Chico is very sick right now and we are afraid he may not make it.  I am doing everything I know to do to make him better.  I hope to give you a positive update on him in the next few days.  My fingers are crossed for him to get better SOON!  It is no fun having a sick animal, but it is part of life in the country with pets. 

Hope you all are having a marvelous Tuesday! 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Dogs and Balloons

We had a little fun today with the doggies!  Jake had a blast but Arwen just wasn't sure what to think.

And this is...?

I got it!!  (Then it popped!)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Restore Your Landscape For $150

Howdy Little Bitty Life followers!!

Here is our little revived abode:

There are a few improvements that we have made recently that I wanted to share with you all!  For my birthday I like to ask for something fun but practical, and for me that is my family helping revive our landscape each year.  This year we did the following:
  • Removed two unsightly, half dead holly bushes.
  • Put a rose bush in each of the empty spots where the holly bushes were removed.
  • Added a self-made fountain, tutorial here.
  • Remulched over the faded mulch from the prior year, being sure to cover thin areas with extra mulch.
All of the above was done for about $150!  Here is the cost breakdown:
  • Self made fountain:  Approximately $70
  • Mulch (Dad brought this in his truck so there was no hauling fee):  Approximately 60$
  • Two rosebushes:  Approximately 18$
  • All landscaping was done by ourselves, saving the cost of paying hundreds for someone else to do it.
As you can probably tell by the greener grass, I did wait a few weeks in between taking the before and after pics, so I had to tweak the landscape mulch a tad in the second picture to give you a more accurate example since it has faded just a little already.  Take note of the tiny little plant on each side of big row of bushes... those are the rose bushes!  They are growing fast and should have blooms before long.  They will get bigger and bigger with each year!
My beautiful new fountain!
Here are some pics of the work day we had for my birthday: 

Dad and Hubby unloading mulch.

Bro-In-Law workin' on my fountain.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

All About Owning Your Own Mini Horse

Have you always wanted a horse but simply lack the space?  Is feeding a large equine just out of reach in your monthly budget?  Are you looking for a great source of manure for your compost pile?  Are you looking to get involved and have fun with horses?  Here is an idea - try out miniature horses!  I thought you all might enjoy getting a little picture of why I own my own pony and what it is like to own mini horses.  I have interacted with and owned mini horses since I was a little kid, and have enjoyed them very much. 

(Me and Tux, a mini horse of my Mom's that I grew up with)
Some great things about owning your own mini horse or small pony:

1.  You don't need a lot of space.  Now, don't mistake me, you do need SOME space.  But just not near the space that a large equine needs.  I have a small pony/miniature that currently lives on about a 1/4 of an acre which is fenced into two parts.  He mainly lives on one side which is a "dry lot" - that is, there is very little grass growing on it.  I let him graze on green grass on the other side of the fence only for short periods of time each day - about 1-2 hours twice a day.  The rest of the day he gets a constant supply of hay in his hay feeder.  It is important that a small horse does not get too much green grass which is why Bill, our pony, gets only small amounts of it at a time.  We do not want him to get sick, and so far this has worked wonderfully for him!

2.  You can do so many things with mini horses.  Learn to drive a pony cart, enter your mini horse into shows, and connect with other people who are involved with mini horses! If you have really special, well mannered mini horses you can use them to interact with children and even elderly people who enjoy horses but can no longer ride.  You can hug them, love them, groom them, and take care of them!  Some mini horses and ponies can be taught to carry around very small children as well.

3.  They just don't cost near as much as full-sized horses.  On average, a horse or pony should get about 2% of his body weight in food per day.  So let's do some figuring based on that:

If you own a 1,000-pound horse:     20 pounds of hay, grass, and feed per day.
If you own a 750-pound horse:         15 pounds of hay, grass, and feed per day.
If you own a 400-pound mini horse:   8 pounds of hay, grass, and feed per day.

I currently do not feed Bill any special feed because he is not pulling a cart or doing any work at this point.  So all that I feed Bill is hay and grass.  I make sure to always have the 8 pounds of feed available in the form of hay for him to munch on throughout the day.  We are trying very hard to keep Bill eating all day long, which is how a horse eats in the wild and it is the most healthy for him.  Horses that go without eating for long periods (3 hours or longer) can develop severe stomach problems and other bad habits.  Keep your horses and ponies eating as much as possible!

Here is a chart breakdown on cost if feeding a horse their 2% from hay (assuming one flake of hay weighs 5 pounds, that there are about 14 flakes in a bale, and a bale of hay is 10$, which is fairly typical for out here):

If you own a 1,000-pound horse:     85$/month, or about 8 and a 1/2 bales per month.
If you own a 750-pound horse:         65$/month, or about 6 and a 1/2 bales per month.
If you own a 400-pound mini horse:   35$/month, or about 3 and 1/2 bales per month.

Now of course there is also the cost of getting your pony dewormed and his hooves trimmed twice a month.  But almost everything is cheaper if your horse is smaller!  You will use less dewormer, for example.  The only thing that is not cheaper for me is the farrier bill which is the same as for a big horse.  

4.  You can use their poo for compost!  Click here for my blog post on using Bill's manure to make his upkeep cheaper.

Some things to consider...

Before you buy any horse, large or small, it is important that you know what you are doing.  Horses have a special body language unique to their species and it is very beneficial if you know how to understand it!  I have known people who have owned a mini and had very bad experiences because they had no knowledge of horses.  Don't be fooled - just because a mini is much smaller than a big horse doesn't mean they are like the family dog or cat!  Do your research and be SURE to visit mini farms in your area to get more information on owning your own mini horse.  Often times, there are mini farms that are willing to give weekly or monthly lessons to educate you on how to handle a horse, how to care for him, or even how to show or drive a mini!  It will be worth your while to learn more about this incredible breed of horse in order to bring a healthy, happy, well-mannered animal into your family.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Create Your Escape

Buffalo Outdoor Center
Sometimes when living life on a strict budget, vacations and getaways can be hard to come by.  But you can always use your imagination and dream big for when you get a little extra cash!  Arkansas Women's Bloggers recently posted that is holding a drawing to "Create Your Own Escape".  Basically, you pick out what in Arkansas you would love to do and where you would love to go to enter, and then one lucky winner is picked to go on their dreamed-up vacation!  I thought it sounded like great fun, and here is what I came up with:

I would love most to stay at one of Buffalo Outdoor Center's secluded cabins.  Featured here are pictures of their "Cabin X".  It is a gorgeous cabin located near the Buffalo River, complete with a beautiful view, gas fire place and a hot tub - all of my favorite things when picking out a romantic place to stay with my hubby!  Just looking at pictures of it makes me want to relax and enjoy the sounds of nature and solitude.
Buffalo Outdoor Center
I also picked Buffalo Outdoor Center because you can go canoeing on the beautiful Buffalo... what a relaxing way to spend a day!  Just the outdoors and me.  They also offer a zip line canopy tour, hiking, plenty of swimmin' holes, and places to watch elk.  It is an outdoor lover's paradise!
Buffalo River Canoeing
Buffalo Outdoor Center
After a fun filled day outdoors, we could stop by Scenic Point Gift Shop to pick up some souvenirs to remember our wonderful trip!

Since the cabins are nice and secluded (just the way I like it), we have to would travel a few miles into the nearest city, which is Harrison, to eat at Devito's Italian Restaurant.  Devito's has wonderful reviews and they serve trout and various delicious Italian dishes.  Just looking at their menu makes my mouth water!  Their restaurant is also rated highly on the Urbanspoon, which I trust very much!
A few extras I decided to add on this post just for fun:  Since, hypothetically, we would already be in the Harrison area I would stop by Trenz Salon & Spa for a new hair-do, a facial, and a relaxing massage.  I picked Trenz because it looks like a very professional, well managed and comfortable spa.  During my relaxing spa time, hubby could explore Barrett's Hunting Supplies, an outdoor store in Harrison with plenty of guns, ammo, and other man-stuff that I know he would love!  Then after a fun day in town of shopping and relaxation at the spa, we would head back to a beautiful cabin on the Buffalo.  Boy, this sounds like a FUN time!!  

Arkansas is a beautiful place to visit and a wonderful place to live, and if you ever get a chance, come experience this wonderful state!

All photos obtained from their respective sites as mentioned and linked.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Mrs. Potts again...

Mrs. Potts came for dinner today, looking lovely, at about 11:15 a.m.  I always know when she has come up for some lunch because she makes a strange sound, different than the other chickens.  She also had a leaf stuck to her...ahem...backside.  Haha!  I hope all of her eggs are developing okay!  Drives me crazy that I can't check on them.

Click here to read the original post about Mrs. Potts!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Take a walk with me...

Just wanted to give you guys a little glimpse of my walk outside this evening.  All these photos taken just a few minutes ago!  It has been SUCH a beautiful day. 
Such a beautiful evening.

Chicky Bean stretching after a nice nap.
Best buds!

Aura napping on a fallen tree trunk.


Aura posing in the grass.


He is such a ham!

I love my pony!

Swizzle Dizzle

Bill getting in some grazing time.

The gorgeous Arwen.

Meat chickens lookin' good.

Bantams in the woods.

Simple sunshine.

Beauty in a crazy world.