For the last month or so one of our ducks (Millie) has been sitting a nest in our barn. I’ve been watching her every day. Then one day last week I saw little yellow, downy fuzz sticking out from under her and could hear the faintest little chirping. The eggs had hatched! I knew she would stay on her nest for at least a day to let the ducklings gain strength before their big journey to the pond. I kept a close watch until I saw her making the first moves to leave the nest. Since we have barn cats that might think baby duck would be a yummy treat, I stayed close by until all our web-footed friends made it safely out. I snapped some pictures of their journey, I hope you enjoy them!
Hello all! Remember Larry the goat? Well, Larry has been in a temporary stall in my parents barn for the last few weeks (he was too small to put in with the bigger goats). But that’s about to change! My dad has been building some permanent stalls in their barn and one will be just for Larry. 🙂 Continue reading
We finally beat the heat wave! Cooler temps moved in over the weekend (finally!) and it’s been so nice. We actually turned the AC off and have been enjoying the fresh air with the windows open. Last night Samson woke me up at around 2:45 AM just barking his head off (that’s the downside to sleeping with the windows open). I tried to ignore it for a while but we’ve had a horrible time with raccoons and other small animals causing trouble so, finally, a little after 3 I went out to see what was going on. I took a big spotlight with me so I could see what he was barking at. Everything was quiet, except Samson. All the turkeys, chickens, goats, and barn cats were sound asleep so I went back inside. About 5 minutes later Samson started in again! Continue reading
It’s hot folks. Really hot. The kind of summer heat that is usually reserved for August. I just got back in from doing morning chores (the earlier we start the better!) and at 8 AM it’s 80 degrees with a heat index of 85, ugh. We’ll likely top 100 today with a heat index well above that. It would be nice if we could kick back in the shade (or air conditioning) and sip on lemonade all day BUT the heat means more work. Watering the gardens and fruit trees, making sure all the critters have plenty of water and monitoring all of them to make sure they aren’t getting overheated takes most of the day. Continue reading
Chicken coops & duck tractors? I know what you’re thinking… what’s a duck tractor?! It’s like a chicken tractor but for ducks! If that still doesn’t answer it, a tractor is a floorless coop that can be moved. Why is it called a tractor? I really have no idea. Some people say it’s because it’s moveable but I’m not sold on that answer. What it does though is it allows for the benefits of free-ranging your flock but provides shelter for them and keeps them safe. My dad built a tractor for his ducklings and baby turkeys. He plans to build a second one so that as the turkeys and ducks grow he can separate them into two tractors. Continue reading
Japanese beetles…. one of the most destructive and hated of all garden pests. If you don’t have to deal with them where you live count yourself very lucky but be warned, they’ll probably move in eventually. Just as their name implies, the Japanese beetle originated in Japan but they’ve been in the US for approximately 100 years. They gradually spread but many areas of the country weren’t infested with the little devil buggers until the last 10 or 15 years. We didn’t have them on the farm until the last 7 or 8 years and the area I lived in for the past 20 years (which is approximately 200 miles from the farm) doesn’t have them at all… yet. Continue reading
I can’t believe two weeks have gone by since I last posted. Things have been busy on the farm! We tend to work until sundown, which right now is nearly 9 o’clock. That’s a long day, folks! And this girl crashes hard at the end of that long day. 🙂 What have we been busy doing, you ask? Well… it’s hay season so a lot of our energy is going into putting up hay (whenever we have three or four days with no rain in the forecast). That meant I had to learn to drive a tractor and run a hay rake! It’s been an adventure! We also had to build a coop for my little chickens and guineas, they’re growing fast and have outgrown their brooder box. Then we had all the normal chores on top of those two big projects. It’s been a busy couple weeks and this girl is worn out.
I thought I’d give you guys updates on a few items I’ve mentioned in previous posts. Here we go: Continue reading
I love growing my own food, it’s something I learned from my parents when I was a child. One thing I love even more than growing my own food is foraging and picking goodies in the wild. This week the gooseberries were ready and this year’s crop was fantastic. Continue reading
There are always surprises on the farm, we hope for good surprises but it seems like we usually get not so good surprises. 🙂 On Tuesday Dad was driving one of the tractors (the big, four-wheel drive, work horse tractor) when the front end started going “ka-chunk, ka-chunk, ka-chunk” and the front wheels started locking up. That’s very bad and this would be one of those not so good surprises. Dad had to abandon the tractor in the field, yikes. Continue reading
Today was calf selling day! Well, technically the sale is tomorrow but we took them to the sale barn today. It was a busy and exhausting day! For the last month or so we’ve been feeding the weaned calves in the corral to get them used to going in there. Today was the day we closed the gate on them! It was the big day for the heifers, two loads of them! We had to sort off the bull calves because they aren’t ready to ship yet, they won’t be bulls when they go to the sale barn. 😉 Continue reading