Thursday, July 12, 2018

Echo and Misty

Echo has been a little lonely lately. I wish she would have her calf soon. It's due on July 14, but since we had such trouble getting her to breed last year, my dates may be off.

She found a new friend in Misty, our retired milk goat. They really like each other!

It's been warm here, very warm. The animals are drinking a lot of water. I fill up the barrels twice a day.

The new chicks are growing. I'll post some pictures of them in the next few days.

I hope you're having a great summer!

Friday, June 1, 2018

You're Welcome!

I received a lot of thank you notes earlier this week from many of the First Graders that enjoyed Farm Friday this year.

You're so very welcome! I love sharing Welcome Home Farm with you. I'm glad you learned so much, and that you liked the videos and the photos.

Here are a few updated photos from the new chicks this year.

The chicks are about a month old.
Some people think they are still cute.

I think they look a little funny because they have some feathers
and some fluff.

They love to jump around on top of their waterer.

And they love to jump out of their new brooder box!
I have to put a lid on top of the big tub they are in now
so they will stay safely inside.

It will be at least another month before we can let them run around the yard. They are at Quin and Xander's house now. Quin and Xander like to hold them and pet them. That makes the chicks more friendly for visitors. I really appreciate it when Quin and Xander play with the chicks and take care of them.

*     *     *     *     *    

Here are a few of the many, many thank you notes I received.
You must have wonderful teachers because they taught you how to say, "Thank you!"

I'll be posting throughout the summer so you can see the new calf in July, how the chicks are growing, and how our little garden is growing.

I hope you all have a wonderful summer!

Friday, May 18, 2018

New Chicks 2018

We got new chicks a few weeks ago.

Did you know you can order chicks and they come in the mail? Isn't that fun?

I ordered my chicks from Murray McMurray hatchery.

Two of my neighbors and I ordered chicks together and they came in the mail. I had to pick them up at the post office early in the morning. Chicks are really loud and the postal workers don't want to carry them in their trucks.

The chicks were born on May 7th. I picked them up from the post office on May 9th. Chicks don't need to eat and drink for a few days after they are born so it doesn't bother them to be shipped.

This is what the chicks looked like when I took them out of the box.

I sorted out the chicks that belonged to the neighbors, and I put ours in a big, plastic tub.

That blue goo you see is a special chick food that gives them some needed nutrients after they are shipped. It's called "Grow Gel" They eat all of it in about 24 hours. Then I give them chick starter.

Chick starter is a special food for baby chicks. I also put something called "Quick Chick" into their water. It's full of good vitamins that help the chicks stay healthy.

This is what the chicks look like today! They are growing feathers on their wings and they can jump and flutter around. I put a screen over the top of their box so they don't jump out and get lost in the room.

Do you see the yellow box inside the red tub? It's a special heater for the chicks. I don't like to use a heat lamp. A few years ago the heat lamp fell down inside the container and almost started a fire! This special heater never starts a fire, and it doesn't shine on the chicks so they are quiet at night.

These chicks won't start laying eggs for about 7 months.

What month will they start laying eggs? What do you think you'll be doing in 7 months?

We're looking forward to summer on the farm. We planted a little garden this year with pumpkins, squash, cabbages, beans, tomatoes, and watermelons. I'll post some photos of the garden next week and show you how the plants and chicks are growing.

Have a great week! Keep doing something nice for someone else every day! I know I've really liked being able to do that this year.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Chuck and Side Kick

We got a new animal this week. His name is Side Kick.

Chuck needed a friend because cows, goats, and sheep do better when they are in a herd. A herd is a group of animals that live together. You have probably 'heard' of a 'herd' of deer, or buffalo, or horses.

This is a herd of buffalo on Antelope Island in Utah.

Side Kick, our new animal, is a lamb. He's 5 months old.

Chuck and Side Kick like to hang out together.
They keep each other company.
Side Kick is never far away from Chuck.
They are both about the same age.

Side Kick was scared of us at first.
He stayed close to Chuck, but ran away from us.

Yesterday Side Kick decided to have a treat from my hand.
He decided that since Chuck would come over for a treat,
I must be safe.

It's fun to have a lamb again!

*     *     *     *     *     *
It's fun to have baby goats, too!
I let them run around and play in the barn when I'm working.

They love to lick out the rest of the grain in the feed buckets.
They are 20 days old today.

I love watching them run and play!

*     *     *     *     *     *

Echo is out on the back pasture during the day.
There is more grass for her to eat in the back.
She loves to come visit me when I'm feeding the chickens.

It's been a fun week with a new sheep and baby goats running around. It's been nice to have good weather to work outside, too.

Do you have questions? I really like it when you ask questions. I like to know what you're interested in on the farm.

I hope you enjoy the weather this week. I hope you do something kind for someone else every day, too!

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.


*     *     *     *     *     *

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!