New Use for Coffee Cans

New Chick Feeders

New Chick Feeders

Today, coffee cans are plastic but are still very usable for many different purposes. Anyone who has a garage has coffee cans full of nuts, bolts, screws and other little things that we need around the house. For fishermen, a coffee can can be useful for storing worms. For camping, coffee cans are great for storing little things that tend to get lost on their own like salt and pepper shakers and for keeping things like box matches dry and secure.

At the Queen D, we have found another really good use for coffee cans and that is for chick feeders. They are really wonderful. We cut a Folger’s plastic can in half and use both the top (with the lid on) and the bottom as chick feeders. Even the little chicks can jump into the feeder but they can’t tip it over. The feeders can be easily cleaned and even disinfected if you need to do that. As the chicks eat the starter food down, their scratching and fussing around can’t get out of the feeder because of the higher walls.

And there is no way you can beat the price because they are free! A triple win.

Chicks Available

Chicks Available

Rhode Island Red Chicks

Rhode Island Red Chicks

As of Thursday, August 4, we have lots and lots of baby Rhode Island Red hens available at $5.00 each. We have about 250 hen chicks and only a few roosters, so if you want your rooster to grow up with the hens, you need to come early.

If you need us to do so, we will brood your chicks for three weeks until they have their feathers. This service will increase the price of each hen or rooster $1 which makes the hens $6 each and the roos $4 each. At three weeks and with nighttime temps around 75 deg., the chicks should be fine outside in a protected area. Even better, if you can bring them in during the night, they will be safe from preditors.

Our Rhode Island Reds are superb brown egg layers. In the United States, RI Reds were developed as production layers. The timing of that development was not very good because Leghorns (which are white egg layers) were introduced and took over the egg production business. The Leghorn is a smaller chicken, a white-egg layer and has slightly better egg production but over a shorter period of time than the Red.

Even though a chicken will usually begin laying at six months of age, a good laying Red hen will be very productive from about 1 year to about 2 years of age. After than their production reduces until at three years of age, they are only laying a few eggs a week. We have had groups of eight hens that lay ten eggs in one day three or four times a week.

Today, Reds are more commonly known as dual purpose birds for layers and broilers because hens mature at about five pounds and roosters at about 6.5 pounds. Leghorns mature about 4 pounds so their use as a broiler is pretty minimal. According to Henderson’s Handy Chicken Chart, the Red is by far the most productive brown egg layer that there is. That’s why we chose them in the first place and they have not disappointed.

Rhode Island Reds are very robust birds and quite friendly. We’ve never had a rooster with a bad attitude. We cannot say the same for the Delaware breed. The Delaware is considerably larger than the Red but we have found them to be a bit more aggressive than the Red.

The Rhode Island Red is a robust bird that deals with extremes in weather, heat and cold, very well. The birds, will, however, need housing if the temperature drops below freezing for very long. We provide incandescent lights in their pens during the winter to provide some heat and to prolong the daylight hours. A hen needs 14 hours of daylight to continue laying through the winter. Extra lighting kills two birds with one stone, so to speak.

One of the traits sacrificed to create such a superb laying hen was the instinct in Rhode Island Red hens to brood a clutch of eggs. Reds only rarely will brood their eggs. They will, however, guard the eggs laid with gusto. But after an hour or so, they are off the nest and onto new adventures in chickendom.

This batch of 300 chicks arrived last Thursday and there are still over 200 available but they are going fast. Since a hen needs to be about six months old to begin laying, these chicks should start to lay before winter sets in really well. Then starting in the spring, they should be ready to really produce.

When you buy your chicks from us, we are always available if you have any questions or problems. And we guarantee that you get hens. Sexing is about 95% successful so you may get the odd rooster. If you do, you can simply return the roo and we will replace with a hen of comparable age.

See you soon!





Barn Cats

We had an event yesterday that reminded us why we have our barn cats around. It started with the Golden Cross rooster than runs around loose contesting the ownership of a fairly good-sized garter snake with one of the adult cats.

Neither of them were ultimately the winner because a kitten decided that the pickings were just too good to pass up and stole the snake away from both of them.

Queen D Ranch Events

The rooster and the mama cat both eyeing up the snake.

Queen D Ranch Events

Mama cat drags the snake off and the kitten gets really excited.

Queen D Ranch Events

The kitten deicdes that action needs to be taken to get possession of the snake.

Queen D Ranch Events

In the end, mama’s hunting lessons paid off and the kitten gets the snake.

New! Produce Available



The garden is underway at the Queen D and we now have a few little things available for purchase.

This year, we are introducing the Produce Box. You select what you want from what we have available in the garden. At the bottom of the order form there is a space for special instructions. Just let us know when you want to pick up your order. We pick the produce right before you get here so it is as fresh as it can possibly be.

And you can order eggs, too!

Just go to the Produce Box and place your order today. Thank you!


Turkey Poults Available

Turkey Poults Available

Royal Palm Tom And Hen

Royal Palm Tom And Hen

We will have turkey poults available on Monday, May 16. David put 23 eggs into the hatching trays today so these should hatch on Monday. There will be Slates, Red Bronze and Royal Palms. There may also be some Blacks and Self Blues because the Slates can produce those colors, too. We’ll just have to see what hatches.

The poults will be $15 each straight run (unsexed). We are not able to tell what sex they are until they are about 4 months old. If we have them that long and can tell their sex, they will be $35 each. This is a heads up for those of you who follow our website because once we advertise the poults on CraigsList, they go really, really fast. We have been really fortunate with our turkeys to be able to raise really beautiful, healthy babies. You can see the parents here on the ranch at 6801 S Main St., Mesilla Park. If you want to come take a tour, you are certainly welcomed to do so between 9AM and 4 PM any day. It’s probably a good idea to call ahead to make sure we are not at Wally World or the feed store.

Slate Tom

Slate Tom

David does take reservations for birds if you want to put a deposit on future hatches. The next hatch should be on May 23rd. Come by or call David at 575-635-3209. Thank you.

Doctoring Baby Animals

Doctoring Baby Animals

doctoring baby animals

Yoli’s Ram Lamb

A friend of mine has two baby lambs that were sick when she brought them home and are doing better, but still need very careful attention to their health. Between encouraging them to eat, fighting scours and upper respiratory problems, the lambs have needed considerable intervention. And doctoring baby animals is difficult, especially when they weigh less than 10 pounds like these two do.

Using a medication like some formulation of penicillun (PenG is an example) has it’s challenges. The injected dosage is 10 mg per 100 lbs of body weight or CWT. But when we are dosing a 10 pound lamb, means trying to inject 0.1 cc which is very difficult to measure effectively and even more difficult to be sure what is being injected is accurate.

The solution is to expand the amounts being used. For example, to be sure to get 0.1 cc of PenG into a 10 pound lamb, add 45 cc of sterile water to 5 cc of PenG (total 50 cc). From that, measure out 1 cc of solution. That will give a 0.1 cc dose for a injection.

The formula is like this:

5cc PenG + 5 cc sterile water = 10 cc of solution that contains 5 cc of PenG. So 2 cc of this solution can be injected with greater accuracy than can 1 cc.

Also, when smaller dosages are needed, use smaller syringes. Using a 30cc syringe to deliver 2 cc of medication is a crap shoot. Lay in a supply of 10 cc and 3 cc syringes for dealing with babies. Those will be your most useful sizes. Of course, if you have adult horses, sheep and/or cattle, the 30cc syringes are an absolute necessity, too.

And if you want to be really accurate, measure out 10cc of the medication and dilute with 10cc of sterile solution. I would not keep this (in the refrigerator) for more than two days, but, as in the case of PenG, it is very inexpensive. If you don’t use the solution within the two days, just throw it out and mix a new solution.

The exact same calculations apply to oral medications. For whatever medication you need, look up the dosage online and then apply that to your situation. Most meds are dosed by 100 weight (cwt) or kilo (2.2 pounds) of body weight.

If the dosage is 10 mg (same as cc) per cwt (hundred weight), then a 900 pound horse should get 9 cc per day.

Here’s the math:

900 pounds / 100 (cwt) = 9 so the dosage would be 9 cc.

9 pounds / 100 (cwt) = 0.9 so the dosage would be 0.09 cc. (Round up to 0.10 cc)

20 pounds / 100 (cwt) = 0.2 so the dosage would be 0.2 cc.

But if the lamb is only 10 pounds, then the dosage would be 10 cc /cwt or 1 cc per 10 pounds.

If the dosage is in kilo (kilograms), just divide by 2.2.

If the horse weighs 900 pounds = 454 kilos, then the dosage would be 0.5 cc / kilo would be the same.

If you are having problems, just give me a call at 575-635-3209 or email at and we’ll get it figured out.




Spring Plant Management

Spring Plant Management

spring plant management

Fire Breather Iris

Late last year, we planted a small orchard of a couple of peach trees, a nectarine, a plum and two new pear trees. We have a Keiffer pear that we planted a few years ago, also. Then we added four pomengranites to bring our pomegranite population up to seven bushes. We also have one lonely pecan tree.

Besides the general pruning and clipping of suckers, we try to spray our treesĀ  several times during the growing season to give them a little extra boost. The two sprays we use are zinc sulfate and magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts). Get the Epsom salts at Walmart in the pharmacy section. 4 pounds is only $2.86. I get the zinc sulfate through Amazon for $8.49 (Prime) for 1 pound.

With either of these, use 1 tablespoon per gallon in your garden sprayer. They both dissolve very well so there is no reason to strain or anything. One pound will make 32 gallons of solution.

Neither of these sprays are organic because they are manufactured. However, the organic caveat is that if the plant needs it and it if it cannot be delivered any other way than through a manufactured product, then it’s okay.

Organically for the Epsom salts, the soil has to be tested and shown to be magnesium deficient to qualify as organic which is nonsensical. Plants don’t use much, if any of the magnesium when applied in the soil but take it up through foliar feeding. I use the Epsom salt foliar spray about once a month in the vegetable garden because bell peppers and a few other plants are quite heavy magnesium feeders. And we have a lot of magnesium in our water, too, which kind of proves the point that plants don’t take it up through their roots..

Other heavy magnesium feeders are my irises and the pear trees. In fact, my Keiffer pear has been really, really pale and only two days after the spraying, is now looking a nice, deep green. I will spray again tomorrow or the next day.

Pecans require zinc sulfate every three weeks until fruit sets and we bought the zinc sulfate specifically for the pecan tree. I got curious about zinc for other trees and found that virtually all other fruit and nut trees are pretty heavy zinc feeders, too. So I sprayed them all.

Our pecan tree is about ten years old and, although it is not yet a very large tree, it does produce about 15 pounds of pecans every year. Because our other trees just went in last year, we won’t get much, if any, fruit from them for another few years. The pomegranites, however, should produce well this year. In fact, with the previously existing two large bushes int he back yard, we should have a pretty good pomegranite crop this year.

By the way, if you don’t know about this technique for quickly opening a pomegranite, here it is.

Light Therapy: The Healing Power of Visible Light

Light Therapy: The Healing Power of Visible Light

Light Therapy: The Healing Power of Visible Light

We have a new book just published. It is Light Therapy: The Healing Power of Visible Light. We are mentioning it here on the Queen D Ranch site because more people need to be aware of the amazing benefits of visible light therapy. It is so simple to use, so incredibly safe and so inexpensive that everyone needs to be know about this kind of therapy.

It makes me so sad that I did not know about the red light treatment for mucositis when my mother was battling cancer. She went through three courses of chemotherapy and each time she suffered miserably with ulcers in her mouth and throat caused by the chemo.

Red light applied once a day relieves this condition. So simple. So easy. If I had an inkling of the power of red light, she might have been spared so much agony. Mucositis is like having one gigantic cold sore all over the entire inside of your mouth. Eating is a battle. Patients that have trouble eating have a lower survival rate.

So if only one person taking chemotherapy in their battle with cancer is relieved from mucositis from my little book, the hours of research and the hours of writing will have been very well worth the effort. The book is available on If you know someone taking chemo, this would be a very thoughtful gift.


New Lambs

Yoli And Babies 2016

Yoli And Babies 2016

Early Saturday morning, March 12, 2016, Yoli, our last American Blackbelly sheep, had TRIPLETS!!!

This is the first time, any of our sheep have had triplets and we are thrilled. Yoli had two little ewes and one ram lamb.

Yoli was one of the first lambs that were born on the Queen D. About half an hour after she was born, another one of the sheep stepped on her right foreleg right at the elbow and broke it so badly that the leg was almost severed.

We took her into the house, splinted the leg and bound it where the poor little lamb could not put any weight on it. The leg took about three weeks to heal the external wound. At that time, we re-did the splint and rebound the leg. She spent the first three months of her life in her little pen in the family room.

Yoli's Ram Lamb

Yoli’s Ram Lamb

When she was about three months old, we took the splint off but the leg was not functional. We knew, however, that Yoli needed to learn to be a sheep and that her days of sitting in our lap on the sofa watching TV had to come to an end. So every day, she spent the daylight hours outside with the other sheep.

She hobbled around but did well on only three legs.

When she was about six months old, we noticed that she would put a little weight on the “funny” leg, at least enough to help her balance when she was just standing or eating. Then, little by little, she put more and more weight on that leg.

By the time she was a year old, her crippled leg was not crippled anymore. She bounced, ran, jumped and was able to get up and down as well as any of the other sheep.

Yoli's triplets 2016

Yoli’s triplets 2016

That was almost six years ago. Since that time, Yoli has had five sets of lambs. Eleven in all.

But this is Yoli’s last lambing. For a sheep, she is getting up in years and we no longer have a ram, so the logistics gets a little complicated.

But we will enjoy these three babies until they are weaned and go to their new homes, wherever that may be.

Spring 2016

Keiffer Pear Flowers

Keiffer Pear Flowers

Golly, gee whiz!! It’s only March 7th and everything is sprouting and blooming already.

The peaches, pears, nectarines and plums are all in bloom. And they are so pretty!

Even the pomegranites that usually wait until much later are already sprouting new leaves. The fig trees in the garden are about equally sprounted out as the cuttings in the greenhouse.

I know what you are thinking — that we will get a late freeze and all our fruit crops will be destroyed. I don’t think that is going to happen because the soil temps are unbelievably high. 50 deg in shady spots and over 60 where the sunlight is warming the ground. Of course, we could always get the rare blue norther but that could happen in July, too.



Although we did experience temperatures in the teens at the coldest, the low temps didn’t last for many hours during those cold nights.

In the big garden, the parsley and the Swiss chard wintered over very well. Both species are now growing very actively.

And the lawn was a real shocker. About a month ago, we noticed quite a few new grass sprouts so David spread some fescue seed. We now have a greener, thicker lawn than we did last June. It’s just gorgeous.

So we are hoping for a great fruit crop this year. If I remember correctly, we have Barlett pear, Desert Gold peach, Elephant Heart plum, Keiffer pear, D’Anjou pear and a nectarine of some kind. We also have seven pomegranite bushes and a fruiting mulberry that I will net this year in hopes of stealing some fruit from the birds.

Forgot the figs. There is a Brown Turkey in the back yard and a Kadota in the front yard. also two Kadota cuttings in the greenhouse and a baby white fig. Don’t remember the variety. We got a little fruit from the Kadta in front last year and it was blow-me-away fabulous. Sweet and delicious.



The grapes in the front yard aren’t doing anything yet, but they do wait until the dirt is quite warm before getting busy. We have one Chardonnay and a Ruby so very excited to sample some grapes this year.

Come by if you’re close and see how pretty everything looks.

You can also pet the new puppy, Charley. She’s a sweety.


Left to right, Kiki, Lena and Sophie  Watching me Taking Pictures

The Girls Watching me Taking Pictures










David And Charley

David And Charley

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