Conker is having digestive issues again. Right when I was settling into him having a regular(ish) system it goes all whack on me again. This time though, he's not only got nastyass mucus shit, but there was blood in it. That is a first for Conker, and it worries me greatly to have seen that.
This is also new.
Conker walks (quickly) around with his head and tail low, back hunched, and will stop to lick his butt often and intensely. It's a bit inflamed looking, but I have not seen any signs of bites or parasites. Sometimes he will stand around with his tail low and looks quite uncomfortable. He occasionally whines. When he's resting, he does not look very happy, and will frequently lick his butt or get up and walk quickly around like he does in the video. He goes outside a lot and walks around.
Other than the bloody mucus shit, he is not having problems pooping.
I found this slug while weeding on the farm. I dubbed it the Ocelot Slug. Then I fed (the renamed) Sir Slugelot to the chickens.
(I do not know the slug's species. If you do, tell me!)
Now, some kombucha.
I have been "brewing" some kombucha for something like 2 - 3 weeks now (can't remember exactly). It was my first batch and I grew the scoby from scratch, hence why it took so long. I used oolong tea and raw (summer thistle) honey as a sweetener.
It's amazing! So much better than the storebought kombucha I used as a starter.
Kombucha is fermented tea that is made using a thing called a SCOBY which stands for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. Basically, you put a scoby into sweetened tea and the scoby will eat the sweets and ferment it into a vinegary tea-like drink. Sounds nasty but it tastes great!
So, how do you make kombucha? You either need an established scoby, or you need to grow one from "scratch".
How to grow a scoby and brew some kombucha.
Go to a healthfood store and buy some kombucha. Get a brand that is raw and unfiltered, preferably non flavored as well. If there is "sediment" in the bottom that is good, you want that.
Next, brew yourself a large (1/2 - 1 gallon) batch of (green or black) tea and sweeten it. Use real sugar (or honey) not that shitty artificial crap since the scoby can't eat that. Be generous with the sugar (but not overly generous), there is no set amount but it needs to be enough that the scoby can munch happily away.
After your tea has cooled (It needs to be cooler than something like 98 degrees cause if it's any
warmer the temperature might harm or kill the scoby that will try to
grow.) dump it into a glass (not metal or plastic) jar and leave a bit of room for the starter.
Add the storebought kombucha, including the sediment in the bottom.
Cover the jar with a tightly woven cloth or paper towel. Tie, rubber band, or use a mason lid to hold it in place. You don't want to seal it since it needs air, hence the cloth. But it needs to be covered to avoid contamination or fruit flies.
Put the jar in a warm and dark (not required to be dark but it's better at first) place and leave it alone for a while.
Check on it every now and then but don't disturb it. If you see some sediment collecting in the bottom, that is good! It you see a bizzarre whiteish thing beginning to grow on the top, that is even better! That strange opaqueish white shit is your scoby. The scoby can be anything from milky white to a darkish brown, but opaque white is most common.
(The scoby can be on top, on the bottom, in the middle, etc. The top is the most likely place for it to be, but it can be wherever the fuck it wants to.)
After a few weeks, your kombucha should be ready. Taste it every few days to be sure it is to your liking. Shorter for sweeter, longer for a more tart vinegaresque taste. Now it's time to bottle it!
Carefully scoop your new baby scoby out of the jar and onto a plate (after thoroughly sanitizing your hands and plate, you don't want to contaminate it!) then pour the kombucha into some bottles or jars.
Leave a little bit of kombucha leftover and cafrefully slide your scoby back into the jar. This will be your starter for the next batch.
Cap the bottles/jars and either refridgerate or store in a cool dark place for 1-3 days so it will carbonate. Fill it as full as possible and store for longer for a more fizzy drink. Be sure to "burp" it every once in a while or the jars may explode from carbonation buildup.
After you have carbonated your kombucha to your liking, store it in the fridge to stop the process.
Time to brew another batch! But instead of using storebought kombucha as a starter, you can put your new scoby in instead and it'll brew up a lot quicker. Once your scoby is mature, you can peel off a layer and make more than one batch at a time, or give one to someone else so they can make their own kombucha.
If you won't be brewing for a while, store your scoby in a warm dark place. Be sure to feed it some sweetened tea every week or so though, you don't want it to die!
Note: Occasionally the scoby can get infected with mold or whatever. If at any time you think it looks off, smells off, or has fuzz growing on it, GET RID OF IT! A moldy scoby or brew is no good and can harm or kill you if you drink it, so err on the side of caution and start anew if your scoby gets sick. (This is why it's a good idea to have more than one scoby.)
Brownish stringy stuff hanging off the bottom of the scoby is fine though, that's the yeast. Don't worry about that even though it looks disgusting.
Here's some dog related content.
Chicken boobs for the Girls, eggs, liver, minced veggies, and goat milk for everybody, turkey neck, gizzard, and heart for the dork.
Chicken legs and pork for the Girls, chicken neck and beef for Conker, eggs, minced veggies, goat milk, and liver for everybody.
One more thing...
My sister (and her friend) and I decided to go out into the woods and shoot some paper, boxes, and cans with an assortment of firearms yesterday. We had a lot of fun.
We took my youngest brother along. It was his first time ever shooting a gun, and he was a pro! The little lefty hit a cherry off a stick at 30 feet (with my scoped .22) which is pretty damned good for a kid who's never shot a gun before!
Big bowls: Chicken leg hunks, beef meat and liver, eggs, minced veggies, goat milk.
Little bowl: Turkey neck hunk, beef meat and liver, egg, minced veggies, goat milk.
Conker is eating whole foods again (again). I will keep the mince I made ready for when he decides to once again (again) not eat whole foods or be choosy with what he'll eat.
Here's some pictures of the dogs eating their meals.
This picture is cruddy but shows that, despite her coat being thin and dull right now, it's still real shiny.
I like how when Conker eats his eyes look kinda primal.
They wait patiently for their food to be delivered. After Conker goes into a hysteric barkfest, of course.
In other news...
I got a Bark Box from My Rotten Dogs the other day! They dogs each got a turn chewing on that roasted bone (I don't give these normally) and each got to try the vegan veggie and barbecue treats. Obviously they liked the grill treats better, but I left them outside last night and something (raccoon) got into them. Oops. The toy is an eggplant from Planet Dog. I got excited about this since I was thinking of ordering a few toys from them. Juneau loves it and has claimed it as her new favorite toy.
Today, all the dogs joined me on a hike. It's been warm lately, warm meaning 90+ but it didn't get above 86 while we were out on the trails. Still, the dogs thought it was pretty hot, but thoroughly enjoyed their hike.
Conker on his favorite log.
Since there were ocassionally horses present, Juneau had to be leashed a few times.
Conker is back on the mince. His stint on whole-foods was a good one compared to a few previous attempts, but he's decided he would like to be choosy with his food again, so he gets mince again. *sigh*
Today I mixed up some mince for him that consists of chicken Q's, pork, beef, liver, chicken hearts, a few turkey bits, oats and rice, and the usual mixins. I also added in some "greens".
Here we have the chicken. Some ground, some being ground, and some waiting to be ground.
This is all the meats. Chicken, beef, pork, liver...
The freshly cooked grains. A mix of a dash more oats than rice.
The greens were put through the mincer as well. I used a pound of "salad mix" from my farm that consists of some green and red lettuces. (Buttercrunch, Simpson, Red Romaine, Green Romaine, Red Oak, Red Merlot, etc.)
I added a few carrots and radishes to round out the greens mix. I only put a few handfuls into Conker's mix and will give the rest to the Girls.
Conker's completed mince.
Juneau and Sasha still get whole-foods. I do not need to mince their stuff. (That turkey neck is actually for Conker, he still likes and will eat those.)
This month, I will be adding in Juneau and Sasha expenses since I buy their stuff, so why not include it. Not like I spent a ton on them anyways...
I bought a large (20lb) bag of rice for $11. I like rice, and so do the dogs, so I bought a big bag. I also got some beef liver for about $2.
I got a refill on Sasha's Proin. Cost $31 for a 60 day supply. (I could get a perscription then order online, but i live in Oregon, and Proin is a controlled substance, so it's difficult to get it shipped here without paying extra. So, even if I did order it online for cheaper, the additional costs would make it the same, so I don't bother.)
I got a 3 pack of ChuckIt! balls "Fetch Medley". It came with a ReBounce, Whistler, and Max Glow ball. The glow ball is more powerful than I thought it would be. It's still glowing when I get up in the morning before the sun is actually out.
The dogs join me on the porch while I read after work, usually after they have been fed. They have to wait until I get back around 4:30, I'm not getting up any earlier than I already do to feed them before I go to work.
They watch the goings on of the neighborhood, and occasionally take off after a cat or squirrel...
This is about 10 days worth of food, just the boney and meaty bits (chicken, beef, and pork for this round). The grain-mix, liver, eggs, and extras are stored on top of the lid in their own containers.
Today's meal included a small serving of finely chopped organic greens. I want to see how well the dogs tolerate them, since there are a lot of leftovers after the farmer's markets and we don't try to re-sell two day old greens. (I'm gonna try squash after this.) We eat them, or they are given to the chickens.
Speaking of chickens...
You know it's feeding time when 200 some odd chickens (and a few roosters) gather around the fences or gates when you walk by.