Today has been a great day on the farm. Very productive and lots of good exercise for us and the animals. Bonnie is very tired.
As we have begun a new year, it is time for the census:
Horses: 1 (Haflinger)
Ponies: 1 (Shetland)
Guinea Hens: 5
Heifers : 1 (Dexter)
Sheep : 1 (Kathadin)
Goats : 8 (3 Boer Crosses, 2 Nigerians, 1 Nubian, 1 Nubian-Sanaan, 1 Pygora)
Dogs : 4 (1 Australian Shepherd, 2 Silky Terriers, 1 Silky-Poo)
Hopefully most of the females are pregnant and we will have a much larger census count come the end of March.
Rain came last night. A very miniscule amount, I might add. However, beggars cannot be choosers and one must not look a gift horse in the mouth, so I won’t complain. All of the animals are surviving through this, even if production of eggs is reduced and the goats are not very ‘hoppy-skippy’ at the moment.
Last night (4/24/2012) my 8 week old baby chickens had to move out of the house because there was a sick duck that needed to be in their sleeping quarters. Thankfully, I had already planned their coop so the family started building. Now for a backstory of the chickies lives before this dramatic event.
The chicks were purchased in a little group of 9 from Tractor Supply Company at 1 day old and brought home in a box. Unfortunately one was sick and died bringing down the count down to 8, leaving me with 3 white silkies, 3 buff silkies, and 2 black silkies. Later they moved into a stock tank (which make great brooders) and stayed there until eight weeks old.
Back to last night. So the parents went off to buy lumber while the kids stayed home and worked on building the base. First four pallets had to have edges taken off of them, and then be nailed together. Instead of nailing the pallets together by the house they would be nailed up at the goat pen, where the structure was to be placed. It didn’t take long to level the pallets but putting them together was a mess. My drill wasn’t powerful enough, so I went back to the house to find my dad’s drill, only to find it wasn’t there! A few text messages later, I discovered it was in the truck, which my parents drove to Home Depot to buy the wood. However, all hope was not lost, I just had to drag the 30 pound air compressor all the way up to the goat pen so I could use the nail gun. With the nail gun, the boards that needed to be nailed together only took 5 minutes and we were done.
Finally the parents came home with the two boards of OSB, and lots of 2x4x7′s. First we cut up some the 2x4s. we needed 2 4 footers with a slanton top, 2 3footers with a slant on top, and 4 3′ 9″ boards for around the base. once those were cut we cut the OSB into three 4 foot sections and one 3foot by 4foot section. Then we brought all the materials up to the top and assembled them. After a nice meal of hot dogs and veggie straws, it was time to put the babies in their new home.
Today on the farm something amazing happened. Our first mammal was born. Kitty (one of our goats) had her first kid. She is a beautiful kid, and is mostly white except for an area around her head that is a very light brownish off-white color. We decided to name her Meringue, but you never know, our animals names have been apt to change occasionally.
Today is February 22, 2012.
A few days ago, we had a few chicks hatch. They were underneath Cloves when they hatched, and she has been parading around like the proudest mother in the world. It is also Ash Wednesday, so although we skipped a meal the animals didn’t think that they needed to, too. Thankfully the pigs had their normal vegetable rations this morning becuase there were scraps from Dad’s work Yesterday, unlike the day before. The goats aren’t really getting any closer to kidding, at least as far as I can tell, but hopefully they will kid in March when itis warm. Little Miss Moo-Moo (a.k.a. Sunset) is fine and Mom is doing pasture maintinance because our little heifer does not like any sort of mess in her pens. Bonnie is still learning to follow people but she isn’t doing any better at her poo-eating problem, I would not let her lick you.