Archive for Farm Stuff

Week #18 Saturday Top Five Laughs

Saturdays Top Laughs dentistmelsbbutton-11

Slowly getting back on track with our Saturday Top Five Laughs and joining Mel over at The Mommyhood Chronicles for week #18 (for us) in the Saturday Top Five Laughs of the week.

6. This will probably sound really bad but here it goes….B and I were out grocery shopping and stopped to get gas. At the gas station there was a group of male bicyclists. Now I wasn’t being naughty or anything but happened to look at the behind of one of them as he stood up to cycle. I noticed something on his butt and couldn’t figure out what it was so I looked at the other bikers’ behinds as they all rode off. Then it dawned on me, “They have a padding on their butts!” I exclaimed to B. B said, “Shhh Mum the window is open!” I turned to her, her face is beet red and she was covering her face with her book. I said, “Why are you red?” You didn’t say anything, I did! Apparently, I had embarrassed her! I didn’t know you could buy shorts with padding! Yeah, I’m from the dark ages, can’t you tell?!

5. Jr. said, “Super Jr.!” (Proceeds to put underwear on his head! What is it with boys and underwear on their heads? Although, our girls did the same thing!?) Our six year old said the same thing about himself, minus the underwear on the head. I think he had a blanket around his shoulders.

4. Escapees. Annabeth is an escape artist and we had to finally put up cow panels around the rest of the goats pasture. Poor Hazel is just too pregnant to do much escaping! Thanks to the goats stellar example the sheep are becoming quite adept at escaping as well.

3. Selene one of our kittens was at the newspaper warehouse this morning when we came out to load up the car! We figure she must have been somewhere under the car or on something under the hood. Smart kitty to stay put for a 6 mile drive! B liked having her company on the route.

2. Last weekend I took six of the children to see Captain America (a certain birthday girl decided she wanted to see this movie over going to the mall ;) ). We were a few minutes late, nothing new there for our family, so we were in a hurry to find our theater and take our seats. We went in and sat down with the movie already in progress. I felt completely lost and the movie quality was awful. I ended up checking emails and Facebook on my phone wishing I had sent my husband! Soon my oldest was nudging me to look at the credits. It was over. 40 minutes into the show! Come to find out we had entered the 3D show! Argh. Thankfully it all worked out and we caught the later show. Not without my husband having to come pick up B so she could go home to milk and bring her back. She made it just as the movie started the opening scene. But talk about feeling like an idiot! lol!

1. This wasn’t as funny for us (it will be to you!) as it was annoying. Jr. somehow got the voice on our Kindle on for the visually impaired. It took us 2-3 weeks to finally get it off. I must not have used the right words in my search to turn it off because my husband found it by searching for “can’t get my Kindle to stop talking” on our Amazon account. Hubby said other people searched “Kindle won’t shut up” lol!

What funnies happened to you this week?

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Buying a Cow

Did you know that many of our animals we did not set out to buy? They sort of just happened at the right time and place (seller). Guess what? We bought another cow. Yes, another cow. Heifer actually since she has not yet had her first calf. It’s an investment really. You see, Eclipse (a.k.a.) Miss Moo is struggling to carry a calf. We are pretty sure she’s been successfully AI’d (artificially inseminate) twice now but has lost both calves early in pregnancy. We AI’d her again last Tuesday with a Dutch Belted cow (oreo cookie cows! :) ). Due to the trouble we’ve been having with her, I’ve been in touch with the farmer who had Miss Moo before the man we bought her from last spring. That farmer, farmer J, has been very helpful and resourceful in answering my questions and giving me more of Miss Moo’s history. When I reached out to farmer J a few weeks ago after Miss Moo’s most recent pregnancy loss, farmer J shared she was about to put Miss Moo’s daughter up for sale. This cow has the same calm temperament, is purebred Guernsey and is just going on three years old – due to calf in September with a Guernsey/Jersey cross! This cow wasn’t even been named yet so B got to name her Comet. Comet was delivered to our farm on Friday night.

FFR Comet 041214

Another reason to buying a cow (or another cow in this case) is because when you have more than one cow it is easier to document their heat cycles. Now B has been very good at noticing Miss Moo’s cycles but with our less than stellar success rate in getting her bred/carrying a calf, another cow could help us in that process. Plus, we’ve wanted a calf from Miss Moo and this guarantees we have one, in case we continue to fail in breeding Miss Moo. We have a nice retirement plan in place for Miss Moo if that happens.

Things we look for when buying a cow:

- Temperament is the most important to us. Yes, even more than production at this point. If our children are going to be the ones handling 1200 pound animals they’ve gotta have a calm disposition.

- Udder. We look at her udder. Though in Miss Moo’s daughter’s case, she hasn’t produced milk yet but B will want to check her teats etc. to see how she looks and will be like to milk. Otherwise we would try milking her to see how well she stands etc. We missed seeing Comet has a fifth teat, but that won’t affect her milking since it is behind all the rest. This would be important if she was being showed, but she won’t be.

FFR Buying a Cow 041314

- Body condition, though we didn’t know anything about this when buying Miss Moo, I didn’t suspect it would be a problem since she is coming from a good farm. But we are still learning about body condition for heifers so what do I really know?

- Halter and leading. We halter Miss Moo and lead her with a lead rope. Comet has not been led or haltered so we had an interesting time of it on Saturday the day after she was delivered. I was quickly reminded why I was so hesitant to buy a young heifer! Comet has not been handled much at all since birth as she was put out to pasture with the herd until she was bred and ready for sale. I am happy to say she is slowly getting better.

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Week #17 Saturday Top Five Laughs

Saturdays Top Laughs dentistmelsbbutton-11

Getting back on track with our Saturday Top Five Laughs and joining Mel over at The Mommyhood Chronicles for week #17 (for us) in the Saturday Top Five Laughs of the week. I’ve gone back to trying to keep track of little things that happen each day so I don’t forget so many of them. I lost a couple of pieces of paper over the last two months when I neglected to put them down right here on the blog!

5. Padfoot was gun shy of water in his inflatable pool. Go figure. Yet Pumpkin, one of our cats, was discovered in Padfoot’s pool one afternoon!

4. A couple Mondays ago, in the evening, our 30 year old horse showed off 2 year old antics!

The girls say he’s obsessed with Miss Moo. The girls took the cow in first and Blaze was whinning up a storm. So while one of the girls was in the hay loft getting hay, the other girl starts yelling get back here because…..guess what Blaze did? He took off running in a canter around the house, down our road, then turned west down at our crossroads, turned aroundd waited at the gate on that road, which is locked. The girls think he was showing off for the cow. He’s going on 30 but think he’s 2!

The cars drove on the opposite side of the road. One guy stopped to see if the girls needed help, laughing all the while.

Apparently he got past O when she was closing the gate to his pasture.

Thankfully he’s ok and we can all laugh about it now but sheesh! Certainly didn’t expect him to ever do that!

FFR The Ford Expedition

3. We bought a used Ford Expedition nearly a month ago and the children nicknamed it “Hulk” because it’s big and green. Our eight year old daughter calls it “Hunk”! ;)

2. The photo below speaks for itself. ;)

FFR Goofy three year old.jpg

1. For some reason my husband either threatened or took dessert away from our three year old last night…..what does Jr. do? He blackmails us with/about pull-ups . He stalked off and said he wasn’t using his potty he was going to put on a pull-up and he did! Hubby forgot to put the pull-ups out of reach this morning or last night! But our son is a little stinker! What he didn’t realize is his daddy still wouldn’t give him dessert.

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Oberhasli Goats – Wordless Wednesday

FFR Goats 032914

Goats like to climb. Our two Oberhasli goats are no different. They love to climb on a concrete pile the previous farmer left by the barn. It’s not a secure area so they have to be watched as they bounce and flit hither and yon.

FFR Oberhasli Goats 040914

We are working on getting their pasture fenced. While we tried working, the goats enjoyed spending time in their new pasture as we moved cow panels to outline where we want the fence lines. Right now the panels are just propped up against the old fencing, which is partially useable but far too low – the goats would jump over it. It was fun watching their antics but they definitely distracted from our work!

What did you do today?

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Cow Trouble – Wordless Wednesday

Loony Acres Miss Moo 032914

Yes, we’ve been having a bit of cow trouble. Some might thing our cow “honeymoon” is over but that’s not really the case. Though we have the following cow trouble, we still adore Miss Moo (a.k.a. Eclipse).

Cow Trouble

Head stuck in a gate/stall. Very serious but by the time the vet got here she was perfectly fine. Figures, right?

Mites or else she’s rubbing the hair off her neck when she puts her head through her gate.

Getting out of her stall.

Getting into cat food….eeeewww! Not exactly what I want to eat via her milk. :0

Getting out of her pasture through the little bungie gate. It’s electrified but she was getting out. We think it was being ground out somehow. She’s been good this week but we will be shoring up that gate to prevent her from getting out anymore.

She lost another calf two weeks ago. :(

Yet we love her.

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DIY Goat Stall from Wood Pallets

You all know we are on this farming journey. Well, it is not yet a profitable venture, so we try to conserve, save and reuse. Someone suggested a DIY goat stall from wood pallets. Usually wood pallets are easy enough to find and many times are even free. Gotta love free stuff! There’s a subdivision not far from us on a busy road, which we pass all the time. One house has had a pile of wood pallets there for what seems like years. My husband decided to drop buy and ask if he could have some….just a few days before the goats were due to arrive home! To our delight the man said yes and gave them to us for free! I don’t remember how many pallets my husband and son brought home but they’ve built two stalls so far and have a couple more yet to build. These photos are not the greatest since our barn is so dark but it gives you and idea of how hubby did it. It was our oldest son’s idea to have the goat stall gate swing two ways to save on building another gate.

DIY Goat Stall Gate with Wood Pallets

We just found another source for free wood pallets and we are hoping they still have some left! With the warmer weather coming this weekend (we hope!) it would be nice to get a little pasture fenced off for the goats, another stall done for the sheep and ?????

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White Chinese Geese

We were given a pair of White Chinese Geese on Friday. They came from the same farm as our goats. We wanted to try having geese as they are good watchdogs or sentinels. We thought they would announce anything on the west side of our barn, as well as help alert the hens to hawks. So we shall see.

The children call the geese Mr. Squak and Mrs. Squeek! :)

About White Chinese Geese

They are very loud, as you will note from the video above, which we took in January at our friend’s farm. They were announcing our arrival.

Like most geese they stay with the same mate for life.

Their eggs are edible. They can lay 40-100 eggs per year. Our female goose already laid an egg but due to the low temperatures the other night, it exploded. :(

This type of goose is good for weeding. When I found that out I tucked the information away in my mind to use once we have our garden done.

White Chinese Geese are on The Livestock Conservancy watch list so we will be helping increase their numbers if we allow our geese to raise some goslings.

Geese can be quite aggressive and have very strong wings. This is a bit of concern with young children so right now we have the geese in a stall until the ground thaws enough to put fencing up for them. As it was, over the weekend the male goose (gander) hissed at my husband when he was freeing Annabeth (goat) in the next stall from getting her head wedged in her stall gate.

Our geese upset our whole barn with their honking. Not sure if the other animals have got used to them or not.

Just another interesting animal addition to our farm!

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Cats Riding a Horse – Wordless Wednesday

FFR Cats on Blaze 031114

Om our third oldest daughter caught Freckles (left) on our horse Blaze yesterday. Badger (right) was ready to jump up so she put him and Selene (middle) up there too. Ever see cats riding a horse? Neither have we.

By the way, I was wrong on the kittens sex. Freckles and Badger are males! Aw well, what can I say, I haven’t had cats or kittens since I was a child! Ha! I’ve been told they are hard to sex when they are small so that made me feel less of a fool. So the battle of the cat sexes are even at three and three!

The children tried putting our Tom cat on Blaze too but he was too scared and jumped off! Or so they say. ;)

I thought Om captured this photo very well.

Do you see the straw hanging from Badger’s mouth? ;) He was having fun rolling in the hay!

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Monday Motivation or Lack Thereof

mondaybutton

I have actually lacked motivation lately, thus the infrequent posting, that and the fact I have been extremely tired. Nope not pregnant, just lacking sleep! My brain doesn’t function well with little sleep. The two paper routes are killing me but I said I would give it two months and I still have a couple weeks left. Plus, it has been a long winter making the driving time so much longer than it should be.

What’s Motivating Me?

This past weekend was extremely busy for us with Liberty Day (I was solo with the younger four) and a CSA (Consumer Supported Agriculture) Expo for our farm. I have follow up to do from the expo, plus our farm newsletter. We have to pick up 120 meat chicks and 150 young laying hens on Thursday or I should say my husband and son will be doing that task. Friday we are picking up a pair of White Chinese geese that were given to us, plus our children have piano here at our home. Saturday we have a green market for the farm….let’s just say it’s farm week!

In addition to the farm stuff, I have blogging stuff due and overdue, plus I want to start getting ahead on blog posts in preparation for spring planting, etc. I get tired and overwhelmed just thinking about it all. Ever feel that way?

What’s motivating you this week?

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Meet Juno Our Babydoll Lamb

Hill Bunker Farms _Juno 021514
Photo compliments of Hill Bunker Farms

Meet Juno our son’s new Babydoll lamb! Two weeks ago we received word from the breeder that she discovered black twin lambs. Apparently, a ram jumped the fence in September and helped make these cuties so she had early lambs. Since we were the first to reserve 2014 lambs, we were offered one of these black ones! For a bit more money we said yes! Our son is excited that Juno should be able to come home in six weeks, depending on if our other lamb is born or if there is a companion lamb available to keep Juno company until our second lamb is ready to come home.

Oh and she’s a ewe (female sheep). We thought we were going to get a ewe and a ram (male sheep) but are kind of leaning towards another ewe….we’ll wait and see what sex the next lamb is I guess. We need warmer weather to get more fencing up! Eeeks….so much snow to melt too.

Isn’t Juno adorable?

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