Friday, December 19, 2014

Photo Friday: Christmas Season

Here's what happened this week. A mix of Christmas, nature and poultry. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Iron Oak Farm 2014 Facebook Christmas Tour!

How I would love to have a Christmas Party and invite all of our readers. We could sing carols and drink hot cocoa... it would be marvelous. Since location makes that impossible, I would like to share our home with you via the internet. Visit the Iron Oak Farm Facebook Page to take a virtual holiday tour of our home. Welcome, and Merry Christmas! Iron Oak Farm 2014 Facebook Christmas Tour!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

KBB Post: DIY Dipped Beeswax Candles

Learn how to make beautiful beeswax candles in my latest Keeping Backyard Bees post DIY Dipped Beeswax Candles

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Saturday, December 6, 2014

KBB Post: How Build a Swarm Box

Check out my latest Keeping Backyard Bees post to learn step by step instructions on How to Build a Swarm Box to catch wild bees!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Oliver Training Update

We've been working with Oliver every night that the weather permits in his duck retrieving training. Lately, it's been cold, but a warm spell last week melted all our snow so the field is pretty easy to walk.

We gave him an early Christmas present to aid with his training. It's a very lifelike duck decoy meant for training retrievers. We found it at Cabella's along with a whole array of dog training items, how-to videos and scent aids.

There are many different species of waterfowl dummies available including a true-to-weight Canada Goose. I would be very interested to see how any dog would handle a bird that large. Which reiterates what I already know...dogs are amazing!

We chose the Mallard variety which was quite a bit heavier and larger in circumference than the denim dummy we've been using with his training.

We also purchased a waterfowl scent stick which looks like a stick of deodorant and smells don't even know what! Let's just's strong and sort of animal like. As the directions say you are supposed to rub it on the training dummy and it's supposed to be saliva and water resistant.

Oliver was thoroughly curious about this new smell, and buried his nose in the dummy for about 10 minutes.

He took to the new decoy very well, though the added weight took a little adjustment to carry it just right in his mouth. I love watching him problem solve, and he has such a gentle way about him.

I think the scent stick is really helping him locate the dummy on the field. Sometimes he falls about 5 feet short of where the duck landed. I noticed this time he would slow at that 5 foot mark, then put is nose to the ground and finish locating it that way.

According to the training manuals, the next step is for him to get used to the sensation of feathers being in his mouth, while suppressing the urge to chew and tear them off.

I honestly don't see this as a problem for Oliver. When he gets on the field, he's so focused on the retrieval that he doesn't really take the time to analyze the dummy.