Friday, April 13, 2018

New Kids 2018

We had an exciting Spring Break!

River kidded with two goat kids on April 7th. One is a buckling named Brayden. The second kid is a doeling named Kayla.

We named them Brayden and Kayla after the neighbor children who love the goats. We love them, too! Kayla had a special day on Saturday because she got baptized. We came home from the meeting and found River having a baby! What a fun day for us!

This is what Brayden looked like right after he was born.

Babies are always wet and sticky after they are born. It doesn't take very long before their mom cleans them off, and they try to stand up.

River is cleaning Kayla off.
The photo is looks red because we have a heat lamp on to keep the kids warm
until they are dried off.

Kayla is near the wall, Brayden is in the shavings.

We're not sure why Brayden doesn't like to eat from his mom like Kayla does. I don't mind, I just feed him a bottle.

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We're also really happy that Chuck is getting more friendly. He'll eat a treat out of my hand. He used to run away from everyone. It's taken a lot of time in the stall with him so he will get used to me. I hope he's really friendly by the time summer comes and we have a lot of visitors. Children and families always love to pet a calf!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Counting Eggs and Graphing

Every year we spend a few weeks counting how many eggs we get every day. We figure out how many eggs we get from the chickens, and how much money we spend on food. It gives us a good idea of how much our eggs cost. I make a graph to see which color eggs we get the most of, too.

Here is my egg count for this week.

  • Friday, March 23 I collected 10 brown eggs, 9 green eggs, and 1 duck eggs
  • Saturday, March 24 I collected 6 brown eggs, 5 green eggs, and 1 duck eggs.
The guys moved hay on Saturday and they found a nest on the hay trailer. It was full of turkey eggs and they were already rotten. Yuck! Smelly eggs!
  • Sunday, March 25  I collected 7 brown eggs, 2 green eggs, and 1 duck egg.
  •  Monday, March 26 I collected 7 brown egg, 8 green eggs, and 1 duck eggs.
  • Tuesday, March 27 I collected 5 brown eggs, 6 green eggs, and 1 duck eggs.
  • Wednesday, March 28 I collected 7 brown eggs, 6 green eggs, and 1 duck eggs.
  • Thursday, March 29 I collected 7 brown eggs, 4 green eggs, and 1 duck eggs.

I collected 96 eggs this week. The chickens, ducks, and turkeys ate about 3/4 bag of food.
Food costs $17 for a bag, that means it cost us $12.75 to feed them.

96 eggs divided by 12 = 8 dozen eggs.

$12.75 divided by 8 dozen eggs = about $1.60 for each dozen eggs.

Other things that we spend money on to raise the chickens includes electricity to keep their water from freezing in the winter, shelter, clean bedding for their pen, and gas to drive the truck that picks up the food.

It's important for us to do some math to figure out how much the chickens cost us, and how much we should charge for eggs.

We spend less money on food in the summer because the chickens eat a lot of bugs in the summer and don't eat as much food. We spend more money on food in the winter because there aren't any bugs or grass to eat.

This is what my graph looks like this week:

I like looking at a graph to see how many eggs I've collected, and I can see how many of each color eggs I get.

Here's an interesting egg! One of our chickens laid an egg with no shell.

If you soak an egg in vinegar you can take the shell off the egg so it looks the same as Quin's egg.

See how squishy it is?

Your teacher has a whole bunch of eggs for you to look at! Have you seen a turkey egg before? Or a duck egg in real life?

Be careful! The eggs don't have anything inside them so they are very easy to break!

Do you have any questions for me? I love answering your questions!

Only one more week until River has her baby. I hope everything goes well for her. You'll see more about her babies when you come back. I hope you have a wonderful Spring Break! 

Friday, March 23, 2018

Chuck, the New Steer

We're getting excited around the farm this spring! River is due with her kids in 15 days. We don't really know how many kids she will have. Last year she had 2 kids so we are hoping that she will have 2 or 3 kids this year.

We are hoping for girl kids! Girl kids are called, 'doelings.' There is nothing wrong with boy kids (they are called bucklings). We like doelings because they get sold for more money than bucklings.

Kids are a lot of fun whether they are doelings or bucklings. We love to watch them jump and run and play, just like human kids!

We are also excited because we have a new steer on the farm! A steer is a boy cow.

Meet Chuck!
Chuck is a 5 month old steer that has come to live on our farm.
He is still scared of us, but he isn't scared of Echo at all. She loves him just as much as he loves her. They share their food, and Echo makes sure she always knows where Chuck is.

We love that Echo is so sweet. We love that she is so kind to Chuck.

Chuck always wants to know where Echo is, too.

Chuck wants to be wherever Echo is. He wants to be in the barn and explore when I'm milking.

We are frustrated because Echo loves Chuck so much that she lets him snack on her milk! He is old enough he doesn't need any milk. He drinks so much milk from Echo that we only got a gallon of milk yesterday so we had to separate Echo and Chuck.

Chuck gets to live in the stall for a week or so until he decides to stop drinking Echo's milk. He's pretty mad right now. Echo isn't very happy about it either.

They can see each other through the stall door. They can touch noses, and they can visit with each other. They aren't lonely because there is only a stall door between them. Chuck is out of the bad weather, and he has plenty of food and water. But he's pretty mad right now! Even his voice is hoarse from mooing so much!

You might think that we're being mean to Chuck, but we aren't. He doesn't need milk anymore, he still gets to see Echo and be by her, and he has a warm, dry place to stay with plenty of room to move around. Sometimes we have to do what is best for the animals even if they don't like it right now. Parents and teachers also have to do what's best even when children don't like it.

One of the other good things about Chuck being in the stall is that we can get close to him easily so he can get used to us more quickly. That will be really good for both Chuck and us especially since Spring is right around the corner and people will want to come visit the farm.

It's much more fun to visit a calf who likes to be around people!

I hope you are still finding something kind to do for someone else every day!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Kids Coming Soon!

I hope you are having a great week!

I'm really enjoying the snow and rain we've been having. It means we may have enough water for the pasture to grow in the spring.

Sometimes people hurry from one thing to the next and never stop to look
at how beautiful our world is.
I love the snow on the mountains!

The snow on the fence sparkles in the morning sunshine.

All this water means a lot of mud and muck especially by Echo's stall.
I don't mind, that's why I have muck boots!

My snow boots were thrown away a few weeks ago because the holes were so big. Spring is here and I've put on my muck boots. They aren't as warm as snow boots, but they keep my feet dry even if I'm sinking in the mud.

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Do you remember River?
She is almost 2 years old.
Her birthday is April 9, 2016

She is getting ready to have her own babies in a few weeks. She should have her kids on April 7th. Sometimes babies come a day or two early, or a day or two late.

How many days until River will have her kids?

You'll be on Spring Break when River kids. We often have goat kids born during Spring Break.

River had a rough time when she was born. When you go home you can have your parents click on this link to read more about what happened when she was born. River

This is River's back.
Which side is bigger, the left side or the right side?

You might think that the babies are on the left side, but they aren't. The babies are on the right side. The left side is bigger because that's how big a goat's stomach is! She has plenty of food and water right now to make sure her babies finish growing properly and are born healthy.

We aren't milking River anymore. She has a break from milking for 4-6 weeks before her kids are born. We want to make sure that what she eats keeps her and her babies healthy and strong.

Sometimes we have to feed baby goats a bottle. We had to bottle feed River when she was little.

Here's a video of Quin and Xander feeding her almost 2 years ago.

We still have a few things to do to get ready for River's new babies. We have to clean the stall out so there is clean bedding. We need to make sure there is a little dog house inside the stall so they have a warm place to snuggle. I need to make sure their sweaters are clean and mended so they are ready to put on.

We're counting down to Spring Break and River's new baby goats! It's so exciting!

Have a great week!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Scout and JJ

We love our dogs! I also teach guitar so when my students come in, Scout and JJ love to come in and say hi. The students love to see Scout and JJ, too!

This is my favorite picture of Scout.
We took him camping this year and he is such a good dog in the car, and while we're camping.
Not many dogs will wear sunglasses so we can take a photo!
Do you know that some dogs are so special that people remember their birthdays? We remember Scout's birthday. So does the woman who owned us before we did. She always sends a birthday text for him.

I sent her this video so she could see that he is happy at our house.
Scout loves to herd any of the animals on our farm. Sometimes he helps us get animals from one area of the farm to another area of the farm. Even though he loves herding the goats and the cow, he doesn't mind watching over the chickens one bit! Scout's favorite thing in the world is to be with the livestock!

This is JJ.
Can you tell the difference between JJ and Scout?
They look alike, but not exactly the same.
They aren't even brother and sister!
JJ sits here every morning waiting for her treat.
She and Scout share the first few squirts of milk from Echo.

JJ's favorite thing in the world is to eat! She loves to eat so much that she gobbles her food down and then eats Scout's food. This is how we slow her down. She has to work for her food.

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Echo is like a big dog. She is so friendly and loves attention. She loves getting pet, and she knows her name, just like the dogs. 

As I walk out to milk in the morning I call Echo and she comes out of the barn, or gets up if she's laying down. I can call her from the backyard when I'm weeding and she comes over to eat the weeds that I've pulled. I can even call her from window and she starts looking around to see who is calling her, and where they are.

When we're done milking Echo in the morning she loves to get a hug. She is a sweet cow!

She loves being scratched under her neck, on the sides of her neck,
and on top of her head.

Have a great week! I hope you are still doing something kind for someone else every day!

Friday, February 23, 2018

A Little About Eggs

I think I need new boots. 

The hole is so big that snow and water get my feet wet and cold.
What do your boots look like when they wear out?

This is a question that I hear sometimes from people who visit the farm, too.

No, if you buy eggs from the grocery store they will not hatch. They can't hatch. In order for an egg to turn into a chick it has to have both a mother and a father, the egg needs to have a hen that lays it and a rooster in the barnyard.

Eggs that you buy from the grocery store come from big farms. They don't keep roosters. It doesn't make any sense for them to feed a rooster that won't give them eggs. That's a waste of money for them to feed an animal that doesn't give them anything in return.

Here's a fun video! I was able to see Scout and Carson, the neighbor's horse, playing along the fence. They had been playing and chasing each other up and down the fence for about 5 minutes before I could get out there and take a video.

Carson doesn't mind Scout because Scout doesn't bark at him. A lot of times Scout lays down and watches Carson from our side of the fence. Scout doesn't do anything to scare Carson because he's trained to work with animals.

I hope you have a wonderful time in the snow this weekend!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Animal Teeth

This article gets posted every year because February is Dental Health month in First Grade.

You learned a lot about teeth this month. Strong teeth are very, very important for people and animals. Keeping them clean is an important part of keeping them healthy. Eating properly is also an important part of keeping teeth healthy and strong.

Matt used to work at Timpanogos Animal Hospital in Pleasant Grove. He used to help the techs. One of the things he got to help with was cleaning dog's teeth.

Did you know that it's important to clean your dog's teeth? Most people don't like to brush their dog's teeth because dogs hate it! We use a special treat that cleans the dog's teeth called Dentastix.

People dentists like our dentist, Michelle Jorganson, like to clean people's teeth twice a year. Dogs should get their teeth cleaned once a year.

This dog has dirty teeth. Some of his teeth are infected and broken. Dogs don't take good care of their teeth. Do you see all the yellow stuff near the dog's gums? He also has a broken tooth on his top jaw near the red plastic tie.

Are you wondering what the tube is? It goes down his throat towards his lungs and carries a special gas that keeps the dog asleep. Dogs don't like getting their teeth cleaned. People can sit in a chair and have a hygienist clean their teeth, but a dog won't do that.

Here is the other side of his mouth. Can you see the teeth that are flat towards the back of his mouth? They shouldn't be flat. Sometimes dogs chew on rocks. If one tooth breaks other teeth wear down. All the brown and yellow need to be polished off his teeth.
All clean! Can you see the spot on the right side of the photo that is missing teeth? How many teeth are missing? Check the photo right before this one.
If you look closely you can see stitches where the teeth used to be.
Those teeth were infected and needed to come out.
All clean on this side, too!
The next thing that happens is that the tube comes out of his mouth and then the put the dog someplace comfortable while he wakes up.

These are Scout's teeth.
He is a good dog to let us hold his mouth open!

Here are JJ's teeth.
She's a good dog, too.

This is Misty.
She has all her adult teeth.
Misty's teeth look different from JJ and Scout's teeth.

This is Annie.
She has all her adult teeth, too.
Is there a difference between goat teeth and dog teeth?

Annie loves Matt!
She still gives goat hugs after Matt is done holding her mouth open for pictures.
Scout and JJ have pointy teeth because dogs eat meat and dog kibbles. He needs sharp teeth to chew. They have teeth on the top and bottom of his mouth so they can chew his food properly. If you want to learn more about what dog teeth look like you can click here.

Here are River's teeth.
Do you see how small they are?
She's getting ready to loose the two center front teeth in this photo.

Her mouth looks different now that she's two but I can't take a photo
at the same time I'm holding her mouth open.

Adult goats have 8 front teeth on the bottom. They don't have teeth on the top in the front.

Goats have 32 teeth total in their mouth. They have 8 in the front. How many back teeth do they have?

Goats use their back teeth for chewing, just like you. They don't need top teeth in the front because they use their front teeth for biting leaves, branches, and hay. 

Children have 'baby teeth' that fall out. Adult teeth take the place of baby teeth. You've probably already lost at least one tooth!

Baby goats have 'milk teeth' that fall out. Adult teeth take the place of baby teeth. 

If you want to learn more about goat teeth click here.

How many teeth do chickens have? Scroll down for the answer.

Chickens don't have any teeth!
They have a beak!
They need their beak to peck food into small enough pieces for them to eat.

You've learned a lot about teeth this month. Look at the animals you see this week and check out their teeth. Think about what shape and size their teeth are, and what type of food they eat. I'm sure you'll notice that their teeth are just right for the food they eat!