Thursday, February 26, 2015

Photos from the Farm #23

Welcome back!

Your teacher brought me your questions! Thank you so much for measuring your papers so that I can scan them easily. I won't be answering questions this week, I'll pick some to answer next week.

This week I sent a frame for "Farm Friday Show and Tell."

It's not the kind of frame that holds a picture on a wall, it's the kind of frame that bees use to hold honey, pollen, and eggs.

This is the inside cover. It rests on top of the super that holds the frames.
A super is the box that holds all the frames.
There is a picture of the super later.

Do you see the dark stuff on the edge of the frame? That is called propolis. The bees gather a hard, sticky substance from some trees. They use it like glue! They fill any space or crack between frames with proplis. It is a strong glue!

If a spot is smaller than 1/4" the bees will fill it with propolis to close the space. If the space is bigger than 3/8" they will fill it with burr comb.

The yellow spots that look like wax on the lid is wax! We call it burr comb because the bees have build some honey comb in a spot that we don't want honey comb. They have filled the space between the top of the frames and the lid.

This is the top of the super after the lid is taken off. How many frames do you see in the super?
Do you see the burr comb on top of the frames?

This is what it looks like when we pull the frame from the hive. The frame is stuck in the super because the bees have glued it in with propolis.

Pollen is food for bees. Bryon said it is 'protein.' People eat protein when we eat meat and beans and eggs. Bees don't eat those types of food, they eat pollen and honey. 

Bees make honey for food. They store their food for the winter. They usually make more honey than they need for the winter. We take the extra honey for our family! 

This is what the frame looks like after it has been filled with honey.

The bees cover the honey with wax so it doesn't drip out of the hive. We say that they have 'capped' the honey because they put a wax cover on it.

This is what the super looks like when the frame is pulled out of the hive.
All of the frames are full of honey.
Each of the frames has about 3 pounds of honey and about 1 once of wax. The super above has about 24 pounds of honey in it.

If your mom buys flour in big bags, the super weighs about as much as a big bag of flour. It weighs a little less than a 2 year old child weighs.

Our super is full of honey but there are no bees. We don't know what happened to our bees this year. They didn't die because there are no dead bees around the hive. Bees don't usually leave the hive in the winter. Ours left sometime in January. We don't know where they went!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Mountain Monday * 23 February 2015

22 February 2015
South of the barn.

22 February 2015
East over the barn.

22 February 2015
North of the barn.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Photos from the Farm #22

Welcome back, First Graders!

Welcome to America, Tarcio! We are so glad you came! This post is especially for you. This post is for Tarcio because he is learning a new language, English!

I hope this post will help Tarcio learn to speak English, and I hope it will be a post that you can read without your teacher's help. I heard that you are all working hard learning to read!

Reading is like learning a secret code! All the funny, squiggly shapes on the page are like a secret code that you are figuring out this year! Once you learn to read you can learn anything you want to learn!

First, I wanted to answer a question that your teacher told me you had been asking.

Some of you are wondering why I haven't answered your questions. There are three reasons why I don't answer questions.

1. I couldn't read what you wrote.
2. Someone else asked the same question but their handwriting was neater.
3. I already answered the question in one of the other posts.

I also heard that you are measuring your paper to make sure I can fit it on my scanner! Great job! Thank you!

*     *     *     *     *

This is a goat.
She is brown and white.
Her ears hang down.

Her tongue sticks out.
Her name is Clover.

This is a goat.
She is brown and white.
Her ears stick out.
Her name is Penny.

This is a goat.
She is white.
Her ears stand up.
Her name is Annie.
These are ducks.
One duck is white.
One duck is black and white.
The small ducks are ducklings.
You can't see duck ears!
The ducks don't have names.
What names would you give the ducks?

This is a cow.
She is orange.
Her ears stick out.
Her name is Echo.

This is a cow.
He is brown.
His ears stick out.
He has a big nose.
His name is Remi.
This is a cat.
She is brown and black and white.
Her ears stand up.
She lives in the barn.
Her name is Midnight.
This is a cat.
She is grey and black and white.
Her ears stand up.
She lives in the house.
Her name is Stinky.
This is a dog.
He is yellow.
His ears hang down.
He has a big nose.
His name is Miles.

These are dogs.
They are black and white.
One dog has ears that stand up, one dog has ears that hang down.
Their names are JJ and Scout.

This is a chicken.
She is orange.
You can't see chicken ears.
She doesn't have a name.
What name would you give her?
This is a rooster.
He is orange.
You can't see rooster ears.
His name is Charlie.

These are mice.
They are grey.
They have small ears near their head.
They don't have names.
We don't like mice on our farm.
They eat the bags we store the food in.
They make a mess.
We hope they find another home.

*     *     *     *     *
I hope you could read all the words I wrote!

Your teacher told me you have been so nice to Tarcio. That is wonderful! I think Tarcio will love living in America because he has new friends in school.

Next week I'll send something to the classroom for you to see and smell and touch!

Have a nice week!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Mountain Monday * 16 February 2015

East and south of the barn
15 February 2015

East over the barn15 February 2015
Our new outbuilding was started on Saturday.

North of the barn
15 February 2015

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Photos from the Farm #21

Welcome back!

I hope you are still enjoying the warm weather! Are you having fun playing outside in the sunshine?

We are getting ready to build our new greenhouse! I'll be posting more about that in a few weeks.

 First we have a message for Sebastian:

Misty says, "Happy Birthday Sebastian!"

Stew says, "What? It's your birthday! Happy Birthday Sebastian!"
All the goats and animals wanted to say Happy Birthday, but they were very busy eating their breakfast this morning and didn't want to look at the camera. They think you must be a very lucky boy to have your birthday so close to Valentine's Day when everyone wants to show love to everyone else.

*     *     *     *     *     *
Here are the first two questions:

Question #1
Good Question!
The chickens need to stay warm for the same reason you need to stay warm. If you get too cold, you will get sick. Farm animals that get too cold will not only get sick, they might die. We don't want that to happen.

Question #2 was, "How hot is the light bulb for the chickens?"

That is a good question but it was written on a paper that was so long that I couldn't scan it! Now that you are learning about measuring and using a ruler, please measure the paper you are writing your question on. It is easiest for me if the paper is 8" or shorter.

The light bulb that we put out for the chickens is a 100 watt light bulb. It can get to be 477˚ Fahrenheit. That is hot enough to start a fire if it is near paper. We have a special lamp that makes sure that the light doesn't touch anything. We also turn off the light when the temperature is above 32˚ Fahrenheit (that's the temperature that water turns into ice). The light can't get very hot in the freezing weather, but it can get very hot if the weather is warm.

Luminar Work 67651 Clamp Light With Aluminum Reflector
This is what our light looks like. Do you see how the bulb can't get close to anything because of the metal shade?* The chickens won't get too close to it to get burned, but they stay close enough to it so that they stay warm.

Chickens stay warm in the winter by having extra feathers under their long feathers. The extra feathers are called 'down.' Chickens stay warm by staying dry and out of the wind. They stay warm by having food and water available all the time. If they don't have enough to eat or drink they will get cold. People need food and water to stay warm, too! That's why you eat lunch before your long recess.

*     *     *     *     *     *
I think you are asking if we take the animals for a walk like we take dogs for a walk. We don't take farm animals for a walk unless we are getting them ready for a show. We walk them around the barn yard, but we don't take them on a walk on the sidewalk.
We teach the animals how to follow us when we hold their halter or their collar.

We teach them where they need to go when they come in the barn, too. They all have their own spot for breakfast just like you have your own desk at school. You know right where to go, so do the goats and the cows.

*     *     *     *     *     * 

I wanted to show you more about a goat's mouth and teeth.

Did you know that goats have baby teeth just like people? A goat's baby teeth are called, 'milk teeth.'

This is Penny's mouth. The two teeth in the middle are her "1 year old" teeth. That's because she's almost one year old. The other teeth are her milk teeth.
The ones on either side of the center teeth will fall out next year and she will get her "two year old" teeth.
Then the next two will fall out and she will grow her "three year old" teeth.
The last two will fall out and she will get her "four year old" teeth. That's how we can tell the age of a goat that is under four years old, by looking at their teeth!
A goat has eight front teeth.

This is Misty. She has all her adult teeth because she is four years old. Yuck! Misty has her breakfast in her mouth!!!
Do you see her top teeth? No? That's because she doesn't have any! You have teeth on the top and bottom of your mouth. Goats, cows, llamas, sheep, camels, and other animals like that only have teeth on the bottom in the front.
Her mouth doesn't open very wide because she doesn't eat anything very big. She eats hay and grain. In the summer she 'grazes' in the pasture. That means she eats the grass and weeds that grow in the pasture. She doesn't need a big mouth for biting grass or picking up hay or grain.

Goats have top and bottom teeth in the back of their mouth. That is so they can chew their food, just like you. We can't see them because it's hard for them to open their mouth that wide.

Here is a picture of Miles' teeth. They are sharp and pointy. He has teeth on the top and bottom like people do. His teeth are dirty, we should take him to the veterinarian and have them cleaned.
People go to the dentist each year to get their teeth cleaned. Dogs should go to the veterinarian each year to get their teeth cleaned. They should have their teeth brushed every day like people do. We give our dogs a special treat that works the same as brushing their teeth. 

Did you know that both people and pets have an easier time staying healthy if they have clean teeth? We brush our teeth so we don't get cavities, but it also helps us stay healthy when we have clean teeth.

Next week Matt is going to bring some photos of a dog that is having his teeth cleaned. You can see what a pet's teeth look like before the vet cleans them, and after. Would you like that? 

 *     *     *     *     *     *
 There was another interesting question, but I didn't get to scan it. "When are you going to get a new animal?"

We will probably have new animals in April when the new kids are born. Do you remember which goats are going to have kids?

Have a great week!

*     *     *     *     *     *
*The photo for the Clamp Light was from Harbor Freight

Monday, February 9, 2015

Mountain Monday * 9 February 2015

East and south of the barn
9 February 2015

East over the barn
9 February 2015

North of the barn
9 February 2015
What's missing?

The dog!!! Miles didn't hear me open the door so he didn't follow me out.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Photos from the Farm #20

Welcome back!

Wow! This is the twentieth week of posts!

That is a good question!

People get on a scale to see how much they weigh. We weigh goats differently. We don't have a scale because scales for animals are very expensive. We have something called a 'weight tape.' It's a tape measure that we put around the goat's chest right behind their front legs. The spot behind their legs is called the 'heart girth.'

Here's what it looks like.
Penny weighs about 110 pounds. She will be a mommy in April!
She weighs a little more than two first graders.

We put her on the milk stand every morning. She doesn't give milk yet, but we want her to get used to being up here.
Penny is about 24" tall.
How tall are you?
We measure how tall a goat is by using a tape measure, just like your parents measure you. Your parents measure from the floor you are standing on to the top of your head. We measure the goats from the floor they are standing on to the top of their 'withers'. Goats can move their heads up and down so we can't get an accurate measurement if we measure to the top of their head.

Annie is a big goat! She weighs about 230 pounds. She is bigger than the tape measure so we have to make a good guess. She weighs about as much as 5 first graders!

Hi Annie! Annie will have her kids in April, too.
Annie is 31" tall.

Clover is very old for a goat. She isn't going to have kids this spring.

Clover weighs about 175 pounds. That is a little less than four first graders.

Clover is 27" tall.

This is Misty. She is about 4 years old.

She weighs almost as much as her mother, Annie. Misty weighs about 220 pounds. She weighs a little bit less than five first graders.

She is about 30" tall.

We don't really know how much Echo weighs. She is a mini Jersey so she probably weighs about 400 pounds. That is almost the same as nine first graders!

She is about 43" tall.

We don't know how much Remi weighs, either.

Remi is about 41" tall. He is almost as big as Echo. He will be full grown when he is about 2 years old. He will weigh about 800 pounds when he is done growing. That is more than 17 first graders!

We can't have a pig because it is against the law in our town to have pigs on our farm. No one in our town is allowed to have pigs.
I am 52 years old! That sounds old, but I can still work hard!
There are many animals on our farm. That question would take a long time to answer!
Annie is about 6 years old.
Clover is about 14 years old.
Misty is about 4 years old.
Penny will be 1 year old in April.
Yes, Daniel!
I like our farm!
I like to work hard, I like to spend time with the animals. I like working in the garden in the spring and summer. I like sharing our farm with other people, too!
Do you like our farm?
Thank you for all your questions!

Next week I'll answer more questions. I'll also show you a little bit more about goat's mouths. Do you want to see what goat teeth look like?

Have a great week!

For more information about mini-Jersey cows visit Jewell's Jerseys.