Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Monday, December 28, 2015

Mountain Sunday * 27 December 2015

27 December 2015
South of the barn.
27 December 2015
East over the barn.

27 December 2015
North of the barn.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

Every year we participate in the Alpine Living Nativity. It's a wonderful time for us to share with others our belief in the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World.

As the last visitors come through the little town of Bethlehem all the shopkeepers close up shop and follow them along the path to find the babe lying in a manger.

We have the privilege of watching as the wise men present their gifts to the Babe.

I don't know how I managed to get such a beautiful photo with my cell phone. I count it as a gift from Heavenly Father this year.

Yet I know that the greatest gift is the baby lying in the manger, His life, His sacrifice, His love for us all.

Mountain Sunday * 20 December 2015

20 December 2015
South of the barn.

20 December 2015
East over the barn.

20 December 2015
North of the barn.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Mountain Sunday * 13 December 2015

South of the barn.
13 December 2015

East over the barn.
13 December 2015

North of the barn.
13 December 2015

Thursday, December 10, 2015

New Cow Shelter

Welcome back!

Wow! That was a big wind storm we had last night! I hope everything is okay at your house and school. We didn't have any problems here because we have already prepared for winter.

This is the new cow shelter!
It faces south because during the winter the wind blows snow and cold from the north.
The door faces south so that wind and snow don't blow inside their shelter.
We're so excited that Echo has a nice place to have her baby in March.
*     *     *     *     *     *

Last week I promised to show you how we keep the water from freezing so the animals can drink it all winter.

We use electric water heaters and electric buckets for the water.

Do you see the round piece of metal at the bottom of the bucket?
That is a heater that keeps the water warm enough that it doesn't freeze.
The animals are a little sloppy and they've dropped hay into their water.

This bucket has an electrical chord that plugs in.
The bucket has a heater inside the bottom, you can't see it
because it's enclosed inside the plastic.

This is a special hose.
The hose has a heater in it!
It keeps the water from freezing inside the hose.
That's important because if there is ice in the hose we can't use it.
If we can't use the hose then we have to carry buckets of water to fill all the barrels.
That's a lot of work! We would have to carry 14 or more buckets of water every day
to fill up all the barrels. 

Water is important for healthy animals. If they have enough clean food and water they can stay warm and healthy during the winter, even when they live in a barn with no heaters.

There is also a heater in the water that the chickens drink, but the chickens don't mind eating snow if they aren't in the pen. The cows, sheep, and goats don't like to eat snow or peck at ice to get their water so we make sure they always have water, not ice, in their barrels and buckets.

Heating water takes a lot of electricity so this year we put solar panels on
the roof of the barn. That should help keep our costs down.
We have a great place for the solar panels.
Not everyone has as nice a place for the solar panels as we do!

*     *     *     *     *     *

Look how the chicks are growing! They are only a little
bit smaller than their mama hens.
*     *     *     *     *     *

Many of you have asked if we have horses. No, we don't have horses. The neighbors have horses, and I thought you would like some pictures of them.
Here is a photo of a horse that lives next door to us.

Here is a photo of the other horse that lives next door to us.
*     *     *     *     *     *

Last week someone asked your teacher for another video.
I hope this one is fun to watch. It's the cows eating their breakfast.
Who else is eating with the cows?

I know that you are going to have a fun party next week so you won't have Farm Friday at school. I'll post something anyway so if you want to see the farm while you are having Christmas Break you can show your parents.

I'll show you some of the other things I do when I'm not out working with the animals.

Have a wonderful Christmas or whatever holiday you celebrate the next few weeks!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Mountain Sunday * 6 December 2015

South of the barn.
6 December 2015

East over the barn.
6 December 2015

North of the barn.
6 December 2015

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Animal Feeders

Welcome back! 

I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving! We did. 

Just in case you are wondering, we did not eat our turkeys. They are all still living on the farm.

We also have a crazy chicken living on our farm!
She likes to sleep by the back door every night.
She doesn't like to sleep in the coop where it's warm.
Sometimes she pecks on the back door
because she wants us to let her sleep in the house!

Did you look at the different types of dishes and bowls your family used for Thanksgiving dinner? This week I want to show you what we use to hold the animal feed.

The first thing I do when I get out to the barn is let the chickens out of their coop. Then I fill their feeders.

This hanging feeder is for the mama turkey and her babies, and some of the chickens that like to hang out in front of the barn. It is protected from the weather because the snow or rain will ruin their food.

You've seen this hanging feeder in other pictures. It hangs from the ceiling in the chicken pen on the north side of the barn.

Next I get the food ready for the goats and the cows.
Each goat has her own bucket for grain.
The bucket on the left is for the cows. I dump that food in a bigger feeder outside.
The purple bucket is Clover's bucket.
The white bucket behind the purple bucket is Misty's bucket.
The blue bucket is Annie's bucket.
The green bucket is Sandy's bucket.

I fill everyone's bucket, then I put the buckets in the right spot. Do you have a spot at your kitchen counter? Does each person in your family have their own spot at the table for dinner? Do you have your own desk in the classroom?

The goats each have their own special spot, too!

After I put their buckets in the right spot, I open the stall door and the goats run in right to their special spot!

Do you get upset if someone sits in your spot?

The goats aren't happy when someone else starts to eat their food. They use their head to push the other goat out of the way. Do you get upset if someone starts eating your breakfast or your lunch?

This is where each of the goats eats their breakfast.
The brown one on the left is Clover.
Behind Clover's head is Annie. Annie is on a milk stand.
Sandy is standing to the right of Annie. She is on a milk stand, too.
Misty is the goat near the blue garbage pail.

After all the goats are in their places I take the other bucket of food out to the cows. Stew eats hay in the stall.

The cows line up for breakfast just like this every morning!
They each have their favorite spot at the feeder, too.

After I feed the cows I come back into the barn and milk the goats.

Sometimes I have helpers with me in the morning.
Do they look happy to be in the barn today?

I also fill up the bird feeders every day.
This is what I see from my back door.
Do you see that pretty red bird on the feeder?
I have a good friend who knows a lot about birds,
I'm going to ask him what kind of bird that is.
*     *     *     *     *
This is the new cow shed.
Cows make a mess so I don't want them in the barn. They are hard to clean up after!
They will have their own spot out of the weather where they can't bother the goats.
*     *     *     *     *
Next week I'll show you what we do to keep the animal's water from freezing. Animals need water to drink every day, just like you do. When the temperature drops below 32˚ F we have to do something to keep their water from turning to ice.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Mountain Sunday * 29 November 2015

South of the barn.
29 November 2015

East over the barn.
29 November 2015

North of the barn.
29 November 2015

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Mountain Sunday * 22 November 2015

South of the barn.
22 November 2015

East over the barn.
22 November 2015

North of the barn.
22 November 2015

Thursday, November 19, 2015

What Do the Animals Eat?

Welcome back!

Are you excited for Thanksgiving vacation next week?

Since you are thinking about all the yummy food you will be eating next week I thought it would be interesting for you to see what types of food the animals on our farm eat.

Your teacher has small baggies with the different kinds of food we feed the animals. You can see and smell the food as you look at the photos.

*     *     *     *     *     *

This is where the mama turkey and her babies sleep at night.
No, we aren't going to eat our turkey's for Thanksgiving.

*     *     *     *     *     *

Nutrition is a big word. It means the way animals, plants, and humans take nutrients from food and use them for energy and growth.

If animals, plants, and humans (that's you!) have food that is good for them they grow strong and are healthy. They are able to perform well. That means they are able to do what they were meant to do. 

A milk goat that is given the right nutrition (food, vitamins, and minerals) is healthy and strong. She can give 1/2 - 1 gallon of milk each time I milk her.

A calf that is given the right nutrition is healthy and can grow into a big, strong steer.

Chicks that are given the right nutrition are healthy and can grow into hens that will produce eggs. 

Chickens that are given the right nutrition are healthy and can produce eggs for our family.

Dogs that are healthy can run and play and learn new tricks. They have energy and can help us with the animals on the farm. 

Animals that have the right amount of food and water can stay warm in the winter.

Children that eat the right foods are usually healthy and grow properly. They can learn and do well in school. They can run and play at recess. Now you know why your mother tells you that you need to eat fruits and vegetables every day. You know why she tells you not to eat too many sweets.

People eat different foods to get proper nutrition and stay healthy. Animals need to eat the same things every day to get the proper nutrition and stay healthy. They don't need to eat different foods every day. Most animals will get sick if you change their food every day.

You will have many different types of food for Thanksgiving Dinner. The animals on our farm will have the same food they eat every day.

That may sound mean to you, but it is what is best for the animals. We like to do what will keep our animals healthy and strong!

This is cat food. 
You might know what cat food looks like if you have a cat. 
Cats need to have the same food every day or they may get sick.

This is dog food.
Some dogs eat too much food and get too fat! They are not healthy if they are fat.
Our dogs get fed about 1 cup of food for breakfast and 1 cup of food for dinner.
That is all they need to stay strong and healthy, so that is all they get.

This is called a 'grain blend.' 
If you look closely you can see different types of grain and some pellets in the food.
This is what we feed to the milk goats, Remi, and Echo.
We never feed this type of feed to the bucks (boy goats). It isn't good for them.
We can feed a little bit of this to the chickens, ducks, and turkeys.

This is wild bird food. 
We have bird feeders on our farm.
Do you remember counting the birds under the tree?
This is what they eat.

These are alfalfa pellets. 
They are made from alfalfa hay. We feed a little bit of this to the milk goats, Remi, and Echo. We don't feed them very much of this because we also feed them hay. 
We don't feed this to the bucks (boy goats) because it will cause problems for them.

These are Timothy hay pellets. 
This is what we feed to the bucks!
They don't get very much of this because we also give them hay.

This is called "Calf Manna."
If you guessed that we give this to the calves, you are right! We give it to any animal that needs more protein. You probably eat meat and beans for protein. Protein helps you grow properly. 
Our animals don't eat meat but they need protein just like you do.
We feed Calf Manna to the milk goats, Remi, and Echo. Milk goats need protein and fat to make milk. Remi and Echo need protein to grow.

These are called lay pellets.
We feed them to the chickens and the turkeys. Lay pellets have protein, too! Chickens need protein to stay warm and to make eggs. Some people like to feed chickens 'mash.' It is made up of the same things that pellets are made of, but it looks like corn meal. It looks like the chick starter in the next photo, too.
We like pellets because it doesn't get wasted like the mash does. Chickens can make a mess. If their food is small it can get lost in the dirt when they peck it out of their feeder. Then it's wasted!

This is oat hay and alfalfa hay.
We feed this to the milk goats, the bucks, Remi, and Echo. 
These animals also eat grass in the pasture. In the winter there isn't any good grass on the pasture so we make sure they have plenty of hay to eat.
Can you see the seeds in the hay? Those are oat seeds!

This is chick starter. 
It has the right nutrition for chicks to grow into chickens. It also is small enough for the chicks to eat. They can't eat pellets like adult chickens can because their beaks aren't big enough yet.
*     *     *     *     *     *

These chickens are hungry!
They are ready for breakfast!

These chickens didn't want to come out for breakfast yet.

Yum! Breakfast is served!

The chicks are growing well because they have good food to eat!

*     *     *     *     *     *
In an upcoming post I will show you what the animal feeders look like. We have a hanging feeder for the chickens. The chicks have a special feeder for their food. The goats eat their hay out of a special feeder, so do the cows.

When you eat Thanksgiving Dinner this week look at the different types of dishes and bowls that the food is served in. Each dish is made to hold a different type of food. Bowls hold soup and liquids. Different size plates hold different types of foods.

Animals have feeders that hold their food just like you have bowls and dishes to hold your food!

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!