Friday, March 24, 2017

Lots of Questions!

Welcome back!

I hope you had a nice week!

Thank you for all the questions. I have a few answers for you today. I also want to remind you that questions start with a capital letter and end with a question mark. It's close to the end of March and I think your teachers have taught you all how use capitals and question marks. From now on I'll only answer your question if you can use both! I think your teachers are wonderful and I want to make sure I help them when I can.


We have a few parties with friends every year.
We also have a lot of visitors in the spring because we have baby animals.
This is what our back yard looks like when we're ready for a party.

This is a picture from one of the pre-schools that visited last year.
We often have families that visit, as well as cub scout groups and Activity Day girls. This year we'll also have a field trip from a school that is close by.



No, our sheep doesn't have lambs.
Our sheep is a boy.
Stew is a boy, boys don't have babies.
When we visit schools we borrow lambs from our friend who has a herd of sheep and lots of lambs.


Yes, Ellie, we have bugs.
We don't have as many bugs as homes without chickens and ducks.
Our chickens, ducks, and turkeys eat most of the bugs in the pasture and in the yard.

That's a good question!
I think you must be wondering where we got all the apples when we made cider for Johnny Appleseed Day.

Our neighbor has apple trees.
She was very kind and shared her apples with us so we could make cider for you.


No, we don't have any ice cream sandwiches.
We like to make ice cream in the summer when Echo has a lot of milk!
We also make cheese and butter with all of Echo's milk.
This is what the milk refrigerator looks like during the summer.
That's why we make cheese, ice cream, and butter.

Payton, you'll have to be patient.
The baby animals won't be born until the end of next week.
Don't worry, I'll post lots of pictures of them when they are born!


Are you curious about the seeds we planted a few weeks ago?
These are the lettuce seeds we planted.

These are the other seeds we planted.
Some of the seeds sprouted, but some didn't.
We'll probably replant some of the little soil packets with new seeds to see if they sprout.


Are you curious about the chickens with no feathers?
This one has a lot of new feathers coming in.
One chicken has feathers all over so she looks like a healthy chicken.
One chicken still has bald spots, but she's got new feathers starting.


What are you planning on doing this weekend? We'll be getting more hay for the animals, and we'll be cleaning up the barn yard. It gets messy during the winter. We want to make sure everything is in great shape when our baby animals start getting born. We want to make sure the barn yard is safe for the animals and for all the visitors that will come this spring.

I hope you have a great week!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Stuck Under the Feeder

Welcome back!

Stuck!
Sometimes animals get themselves in a bad spot.

Thor pulled the feeder over on top of himself yesterday.

He looks like he's in jail.


He doesn't look very happy, does he.
I'm not sure how long he was there before Bryon found him. He was very happy when we let him out.

*     *     *     *     *

This hen is just starting to get a few new feathers along her back.
You can see a few little black stick-like feathers starting to come through her skin.

This chicken has a lot of new feathers coming in!
You can see all the little stick-like feathers.
It's a good thing she's growing feathers.
They will keep her from getting sun burned this spring!

*     *     *     *     *

We found a nest of eggs that the chickens had been hiding.
That's a lot of eggs! We weren't sure how long they had been there so we put them in a pail of water. None of the eggs floated so we are pretty sure they are ok to eat.

Heather put a "T" on every egg from the nest because I haven't had time to candle them all yet. If the eggs have a mark then we know we have to break them into a bowl to check them before we put them in dough or another recipe.


I use a special high powered flashlight with a small collar to 'candle' the eggs. 

The light is so bright that it lets you see what's inside the egg.
I can tell that this egg is good to eat.
There is a dark yellow area at the top,
the bottom of the egg looks clear.

This is a duck egg.
You can see the yolk at the top of the egg.
This one is good to use, too.
If an egg isn't good the yellow yolk is a dark color, and it fills at least half the egg. We bury them in the garden because if you crack them open they usually smell bad. They aren't good to eat, either.

*     *     *     *     *

River is on the left, Misty is on the right.

Serenity.
She has chubby cheeks because she's chewing her cud.
 These three goats are going to have their babies soon. They are due to kid any time after March 30.
We don't know how many babies they will have, and we aren't always sure of the exact date they will have their babies.

You can guess how many kids each goat will have! You can count how many days until March 30 to find out how long it will be before they are ready to kid.

*     *     *     *     *
All of these photos have something that I'm thankful for. Something that makes our life easier on the farm, and in the house. You use it every day, too.

Can you guess what it is?





It's plastic!

Plastic makes our life so much easier on the farm. We have plastic buckets to carry water in, or to hold feed. We have plastic dog houses that are sturdy and keep kid goats safe and warm. There is a plastic coating on electrical wires and extension cords to keep the electricity from hurting people or animals. Baling twine is made from plastic, it hold the bales of hay together so they are easy to store, and to move from the field to the barn. Wood shavings come in plastic bags so we can store them easily before we put them in the stalls for the goats and the cow to sleep on. We use plastic hoses on the milker when we milk Echo. We use rubber hoses on the milker, too. I buy flowers and other plants that are grown in plastic pots. We start our seeds in plastic containers, too. We use plastic barrels to store food in. We use a plastic cover the keep the water and snow off the connection between the heated water bucket and the extension cord.

Look around and see all the wonderful things made out of plastic that you use every day. I am very grateful for plastic!

Do you know when plastic was invented? There are many different types of plastic, but the first plastic was invented by a man named Alexander Parkes in 1862. That's a long time ago! Sometimes an invention takes a long time before it is used in our every day life.

Some people think that plastic is bad, but it has made our life much easier and much nicer. If you are interested in learning more about plastic, when it was invented, what types of plastic there are, and how plastic is used you can use this link.

https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-plastics-1992322

Have a great week!



Friday, March 10, 2017

New Hens

Welcome back!

Fern hopes you had a fun Dr. Seuss Day last Friday.
She is really a Polish chicken, not a Dr. Seuss chicken,
but she reminds me of the birds I see in Dr. Seuss books.



We got 5 new hens last week.
They looked terrible!
The family that gave them to us didn't have time to take care of them anymore. These chickens were always fed well, given plenty of food and water, and had a nice coop to live in.


You can see the new hens near some of our older hens.
Do you see only 4 new hens in the photos? One of the new black hens died because she was so sick.

Why were they so sick when they had good food, water, and shelter?

They were sick because there were too many chickens in such a small space. The family had over 20 chickens in a space that was only big enough for 10 chickens. Each chicken needs 2 - 3 square feet of room to live. 

If you look at the tile floor in your classroom you can find a spot that is 3 tiles tall by 3 tiles long. That's enough space for one chicken to live and be healthy.

Our chicken coop is almost big enough for all our chickens. Why do ours look healthy?

They are allowed out of their coop every day. They have a nice pasture and a barn to roam around. They have plenty of room. We only lock them in the coop at night to protect them from other animals that might hurt them or eat them while they are sleeping.

*     *     *     *     *


I don't see many birds besides chickens in the spring because my bird feeder blew out of a tree last fall and broke.
I tried to fix it, but it fell apart and I threw it away.

Sometimes I see sparrows, chickadees, and a lot of doves. We also have magpies. I don't have photos because they don't come close to the house.

We have a beautiful raven that comes by once in a while. There is a hawk that comes, too. While those birds are beautiful, I don't encourage them to stay around on the farm because they are predators and will eat the chickens.


We usually get two duck eggs a day.
Some days we only get one duck egg.

Today I found one duck egg in the corner of the stall.....

and one duck egg in with a few chicken eggs.
Can you tell which one is the duck egg?


We love to bring the animals to visit at the end of school.
If you are well-behaved then you also get to pet them.
If you aren't well-behaved then you only get to look at them.
I hope that you will learn how to be respectful and kind to the other children in your class, and to your teachers before the end of school. Last year the children got to pet a calf, a chicken, some goat kids, Clover, and a few baby lambs.

If I hear from your teachers that you don't know how to treat others kindly and with respect then I won't bring lambs at all. I'll bring a few other animals, but you won't be able to pet them because I won't be able to trust you around them.

*    *     *     *     *

Today I am planting more seeds.
I want to have some plants ready to go in the garden when the weather gets warm.
Quin and Xander are coming to help this afternoon.

See how big the herbs have grown!
Do you think it looks funny to have the light tilted? When seeds are started indoors the light should only be about 1" away from the seeds, or the top of the plants. The plants on the right are taller so the light has to be higher on that side. If the light is too far away the plants get 'leggy'. They get tall and scrawny and don't have enough strength in their stem to hold up the leaves very well.

*    *     *     *     *


Annie and Misty love to get pets in the morning.
I love petting them when I come out.


I hope you have a great week!










Friday, February 24, 2017

Animal Teeth

Welcome back!

Your teacher told me that 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.


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!