Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Good fences make good Neighbors and bands make good wethers

The last 24 hours has been a fairly productive time on the farm.

I finished planting seeds to start in the kitchen - photos will follow

in another blog since my memory card is acting up in the card reader.

We've started:

2 varieties of Squash
2 varieties of peppers
Green Beans
Broccoli and

I'm likely forgetting something or other, but I tried to pick
things I know we will cook!

Now, let us all how and pray the seeds grow! This gardening thing
is very new to me, and I have no idea what I'm doing.

Moving on, we walked over the property today and did some much needed fence repair.
I must get better about taking the camera along since photos are what MAKE a blog interesting.
Seems every time I go out with the camera, I forget the battery or memory card inside or find the battery is dead!

50% of farming is finding out ways to successfully contain animals and keep those containments in working order. Our electric fence quirky and comes and goes. It has not been working for months, but luckily, only the goats know this - - - the cow and horses have no idea.

The repairs from today, the removing of many trees on the lines than I can count and such, should put it back in working order. The goats should appreciate more freedom and the neighbor will find us to be better neighbors since he will not come home to goats in the yard.

In theory. . .

We currently have 60 plus eggs in the incubators - most seem viable, though the temps in the Little Giant are all over the place. I would not recommend a LG!

Lastly, all of the readers know I am squeamish - 

The darn goats keep challenging my desire to not do the undesirable chores of farm life.

Tonight, in order to be 100% sure the job was as a gentle as possible and done are carefully as possible, I banded our buckling, now wether, so he can go to his new home with his sister!
I cannot take all of the credit for creating our 1st wether. . . my farming husband gave the banamine and tetanus shots prior to all of this! I do not give injections ;)

Oh! I created us a new farm logo for our farm T-shirts. I'm placing an order soon. If you're interested, please email me.

They are just $15 ea.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Crazy Chicken Gal

The house smells like a Poultry farm. I admit, this is gross, but it failed to stop me from setting 65 more eggs in the past 3 days!
They have grown a lot in the week since this photo was taken and 
been moved into a large tub. 

I am always happy to get started chicks out of the house, but those from the last hatch will not be able to be moved out for a few weeks and more will be following in their tracks. . . such is the life of spring on the farm.

I placed a craiglist ad for the Blue Laced Red Wyandottes we had a friend hatch out in October of 2010.
I have had a great time getting inquires on them. No buyers yet, but I've talked to so many nice older folks who are fairly chicken crazed, that is it quite alright!

It is funny how addictive chickens are, and you either get it or you do not.

The farmer husband can't lie - he is almost as bad as I

They come in such a variety of sizes, colors, breeders and as luck would have it, are easy to keep in large quantities!

Our new Blue Laced Red Splash  Hen

Our new Blue Laced Red Splash and Black Hens

Our new Blue Laced Red Splash Roo

 I am behind in taking photos on the goings on here, but we put 40 eggs in the cheap Little Giant incubator, and those were mostly mixed breeds. I'll candle in a few days to see how many are viable.

I placed 25 in the Brinsea Octo 20, which I have been thrilled with. They are the BLRW eggs from the Foley birds and the Copper Marans, Delawares, Barnevelders and Welsummer eggs I'd gotten from a local breeder. I must get a photo of these Copper Maran eggs - they are as dark as a Hershey Bar, folks! The Wels eggs are also beautiful butterscotch and chocolate speckled!

I highly recommend paying the extra money and buying a Brinsea if you're looking at incubators. I've only had a few days of dealing with the Little Giant and already it has driven me up the wall and back down! The temps fluctuate so much! Also, when you need to open them, you loose your temp quickly and it takes a long time to gain it back. I HOPE for a decent hatch in it, but I wouldn't risk expensive eggs in it at all.

And to think, it all start with only a handful of chicks from the local fleamarket:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chickens, Chickens, everywhere

It is amazing how addictive poultry can be.

You all out there who have a flock, you know what I mean, right?

So many breeds, so few around here! Darn!

So we, the whole farming crew, drove out past Lexington, Kentucky with
gas prices sky high, doing something very unfrugal, to buy Blue Laced Red Wyandotte Exhibition/Breed Quality stock.

This gives us quality
Blue Laced Red Wyandottes in blue, black and splash
Black Copper Marans
Ameraucanas in Wheaten and Blue Wheaten
Welsummers and

Stay tuned for upcoming blogs on:

My new volunteer position as Weston A. Price's 
area chapter leader

On Organics "Government Hype?"

Goat kid care and milking, etc

Goat Milk Soap Making 

and more!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Real Milk

Read the Above Article

and then check out the
movement that made change in one Maine town:

RAW Milk West Virginia Dairy Farm WV SB30 RAW MILK BILL Herd Share

T-shirts for RESCUES

We are Considering doing T-SHIRTS for the farm and rescue as a fundraiser and way to spread the word about the farm tours, local food movement and rescue work we do and so forth 
- Pricing would likely be around $15 ea - I think we would need a minimum of 20 to order. 
If anyone can spread the word, a portion of the sale will benefit the rescues here and the rest will cover cost to have the shirts made!
 If you would be interested in donating and receiving a T-shirt, please email me to be put on a contact list once I have a final price from the local company!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

More important to me than all else

I cannot always talk about farming, animals birth, gardening, local foods and so worth.

Being that this is my blog, I feel compelled to share a collection of some of the best sound bites of preaching that I've heard put together in my life.

We are Christians here at the Farm, and as much as I want to share our adventures, my beliefs on local food, humane treatment of animals and vegetarian trials and tribulations, I would be sorely remiss if I did not share these videos, which are so much more important than all of the above.

If you've read through my blog, you will realize, I am a radical in my beliefs, and you will find me the same in all areas, including my belief in Jesus and the Christian faith.


Friday, March 11, 2011

His Eye watches even the sparrow, does it Not?

On day 10 of the hatch, our electric went out. Farming husband rushed the eggs promptly at 8 am to my suburban mother's house, still pumped full of electricity,
and plugged the incubator in. They had been in house temps in the 50s for 3 hours.

I was worried about the eggs already because the post office had delayed their delivery several days, and our delivery guy is anything but gentle with packages.

Then loosing electricity meant they were yet again compromised. Even if the packages were handled perfectly, a shipped hatching egg is a compromised egg.
These eggs already had two strikes against them.

 Then the unthinkable happened. . .

My very suburban mother forgot and unplugged the "bator" for over 12 hours
on day 16 in house temps in the high 60's!!!

I was beyond upset. I was so looking forward to this hatch, had candled the eggs on day 11 and found all but 2 of 29 eggs to appear viable, and now it was all lost.

If you're visited my site, follow my facebook page or even read all of the posts on this blog, you'll find we are devout Christians and believe God cares about the large and small things of life:

"Look to the fowls of the heaven, for they do not sow, nor reap, nor gather into storehouses, and your heavenly Father doth nourish them [. . .]"
Matthew 6:26

My mother, oldest son and sister, who is but 6, were fairly distraught over the whole fiasco, and they prayed quite earnestly that the eggs would have a great hatch.

I had my doubts. Such a small thing in the grand scheme of things. Sometimes when you've lived through greater tragedy than most people could fathom, as I have, you feel silly to pray for small things; however, those small things can make life quite grand in their own little way.

So we all prayed the little chicks would make it against all odds. Three strikes should have put them out. .  .however, the chicks and/or the Lord had other plans.
I candled 2 of them on day 18 and found movement inside the eggs. I was astounded. I thought if two lived, it would be an amazing miracle.

But. . .

By the end of day 20, we had 6 chicks!

I truly could not believe it! 

By 10 am the next morning when I called my mother,
there were 11 chicks!

That evening, I brought home 15 chicks and left
6 more hatching in the bator.

At the end of day 22, 22 chicks hatched successfully.
I did have to help one out that was stuck inside
due to the contents of the eggs hardening and
one chick failed to make it out before I could help
and died in the egg, which means 23 were viable and
attempted to hatch out of the 27 eggs I'd thought
to be developing. I check the last 4 and found that
only one of those actually had a chick in it
that developed, so all but 2 eggs that were viable
ended up hatching. 

Amazing, really!

All 22 chicks are here at the house now:

We hatched out:

7 Black Cooper Marans
9 Blue Wheaten Ameraucanas
7 Blue Laced Red Wyandottes,
of which, 4 appear blue and the others
appear splash

Thursday, March 3, 2011

On the Bright side

Anytime farm babies are bought or born, there is still a cause for
celebration. We had an adorable new Nubian buckling born (and who is for sale) Tuesday, March 1st, on his due date. He is out of Candy / By Ace.

Then a friend picked up a Buttin Heads Nigerians Buckling for
us on Wednesday!  He was an amazing price if picked up before
1 week of age and his genetics are hard to beat.

He is ADGA Registered
Dam has dry leg

Our kids already on the ground are growing well and
doing great! All of those are Miniature Nubians.
They are F1 and registerable.

Doelings are $300 ea or a discount can be offered on both. They are
out of different dams. Mini Buckling offered asa wether for $125 or
as a buck for $300.

Beyond the goats, the garden is coming along, soap making
is on the horizon, and we are still hopeful some chicks
will live through the 'Bater disaster!

A Dismal Chronicle by and large

I have put off this blog as long as I can.

The events of this past week have been nothing to envy,
I must confess.

The list has been so long and terrible,
I have not had the fortitude to write them until now.

There have been personal problems this week,
 but there have been farmore farm related problems,
and this is a chronicle of those and those alone.

We lost our electric and had to run our incubated eggs
(mentioned here) to my non-farming mother's house.
I explained they had to stay plugged in and unopened.

They were there from Friday to Tuesday evening, and then
she unplugged them. She needed to plug something in where they
were and gave the eggs no thought. Forgot totally about them
from 6:30pm until 11:30am the next day!!!

Needless to say, I was livid and sad. I had candled them 3 days
before and was thrilled all but 2 had moving chicks inside.
That was almost impossible considering they were
shipped 800 miles and were a delayed delivery.

We plugged them back in, said some sincere
prayers and have started the "Will They
Hatch" wait. I will know around the 9th!

That was a lot of money, time and potential profit
lost, if none hatch, and regardless, short of a
miracle, all that would have hatched will not
do so now.

Then we found homes for two goats that were CAE positive
from another farm and they rehomed 3 hours away,
and we drew blood to be sure they were
not pregnant, and one came back positive. That rectified
 as a huge worry for CAE positive kids being born when I had
Biotracking lab test the sample for CAE from that doe, and
she was actually negative, unlike her sister.

We had to assist in another goat birth. My farming husband was gone
helping on a horse rescue I'd arranged between an owner
on this untrained and hard to handle Arab stallion.
And while he spent 4-6 hours when counting the
drive out and back and the catching and loading of
the horse, which was a nightmare, our last
doe due to kid went into labor.

It was not too bad, but I did have to leave my oldest son watching
the small farming kids while they napped below
and go up to the barn to help. I waited about 15 minutes after
feet presented and no birth before going in and moving the
kid around some. The doe screamed, rolled and so forth, but
I was able to help her deliver a good sized FB Nubian buckling.

I am through pulling out GOAT KIDS until 2012, I believe!
Thank God! Well, some Nigerians should kid much later this
year, but they are typically good, hardy kidders.

Of course, dairy animal breeders NEVER want
male offspring. They are hard to sell for
anything but meat.  . .so although his birth
isn't ideal, he is a darling little guy and
should make a nice herdsire for someone!

The next day, we - namely farming husband -
noticed that the rescue mare was not the only
horse coughing, and not only was she
and another horse coughing, but they had
the "SNOTS" - through a process of
elimination and other horses coming
up with symptoms, we were afraid we were seeing signs of strangles. . .

The vet was out of town until Tuesday, but
we finally realized it was shipping fever. A pain but not nearly
as awful a mess as strangles! 

The next blog does highlight some NICE things going
on here at the farm, however, so stay turned!



Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens

- Proverbs 27:23-27

"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares."

- George Washington