Keeping an eye on things!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Rain and new babies

Ok, I officially hate the rain. Not really, I mean I know that rain is incredibly beneficial to our local environment this time of year.  The farmers rely on it to get their crops jump started for the growing season, the rivers and streams are flowing anew with wildlife and plants, the lake levels are raising and the Tree Frogs are singing their lovely tune. Seriously though, enough is enough. I am a sunshine person and when the sun doesn't shine for days on end my crankiness level coincides with the amount of time the clouds have hung around.  Today I am roughly at level 6.5, if the clouds persist tomorrow I could be looking at a full fledged level 8.

So to counteract the clouds, I am making due with cute pictures of "new life" around the farm and searching the internet for homemade fly spray, herbal repellents and pest control in the hopes that I can use it one day soon. Wish me luck and pray for sunshine!

The 2 duck babies that are keepers this year.  All name suggestions welcome!

Rowdy is due with twins (maybe triplets!) in two weeks, and has been keeping the noxious weed growth down in the front yard as planned. Feed costs for this goat from March - October are nothing, except the occasional horse cookie or handful of mixed grains as a treat. Love that!

These two came to us courtesy of our local small animal auction. We have wanted a Cayuga (the black male) since Mady's duck died several years ago, and she has been asking for a Blue Swedish.  As fate would have it, they came as a pair! Still waiting on names that fit, but am leaning toward Esther for the Swedish girl.

These two are my pride and joy right now. They were also blessed upon us at the auction and wouldn't you know it, a mated pair!! Naked neck chickens are incredibly docile, curious creatures who are a misunderstood breed. More on them later.  Just know these are my favorite breed by far. So I am pleased to introduce Paco and Rosita to the farm.

Feeling a little better now, chicken pics tend to do that. :) 

Happy farming, friends.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Rainy day grooming

It's Spring in the Ozarks which means rain, more rain, then it rains a little. So chores are planned around the depth of the mud, the timing of the next storm, and which animals are on the schedule for t.l.c.  Today, it was the horses.

Lady Bug enjoying the day after her grooming, hoof trimming, de-worming, fly spray, mane trimming and tail de-tangling, and of course cookies. Only 3 more friends to go. (whew!) 

Flare and Mystery waiting their turn. Black Jack really doesn't care.

This little guy is not on the schedule today. Probably tomorrow after his latest mud bath.

His aloofness carries over to grooming time. Black Jack looks quite handsome sporting his Winter red highlights.

She may not be equine, but she still has hooves that need trimmed!

So after a full day of clipping and filing, brushing and combing, trimming and spraying, cleaning eyes and ears, and sealing hoof walls I am pretty well worn out. Somehow horses feet get exponentially heavier the more you lift them! 

Lady Bug says thanks for taking care of us with a big smooch! 

Happy Farming, friends. 

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Babies are hatchin'!

So the last few weeks have been spent either rotating eggs in the incubator, cleaning poop, moving hatchlings to their brooders, cleaning poop, building temporary outdoor pens, or cleaning poop! Duck babies are without a doubt the cutest fowl babies since they look like miniature ducks with really huge feet, unlike chickens who look like wet dinosaurs. Obviously they get cuter as they dry off and fluff up, but they are kind of homely in the beginning.  But no matter how cute ducks are they poop constantly, everywhere, on and in everything. They also throw water, spill water, and yes poop in their water.  Newspapers have become my favorite go to bedding option for tiny ducks. 

So cute!

Seriously, a wet dinosaur.

Love this one. "Hey, come on out! Let me help".

Not bad for a home made incubator. We generally get 85 - 90% hatch rate, not including the un-fertilized eggs.  There are always one or two that expire in the shell before they can hatch, but it usually happens early in the incubation cycle and those eggs are disposed of when we candle them for fertility.  Currently we have our 5th hatch incubating, and probably the last one for a few weeks. I would like to have my bathtub back again.

Check back soon! Lots more great pics to share.
Happy farming!