Thursday, October 29, 2015

Lost Horns!

Welcome Back!

Have you had a loose tooth fall out? 

Sometimes animal horns do the same thing!

Male deer loose their antlers in January and February. Their antlers are supposed to come off every year.

Cows and goats don't usually come off, but sometimes they do. 

Echo is 'polled.' That means her horns don't grow from her skull, they are just nubs that grow a little bit. This week one of her horns came off. I thought you might like to see it, so I sent it to school for you to look at.

When it was coming off it didn't bother her any more than a loose tooth bothers you. Once it was off, she didn't notice it any more.

Just like a tooth that falls out, Echo's horn bud bled just a little.
If a regular horn was knocked off a cow it would bleed a lot!

This is Curly's horn. During breeding season the bucks like to bang their heads against each other. They have hard heads! 

Curly's horn broke off when he was fighting with Zeek.
It didn't bother Curly very much because his horns are 'scurs.'
They aren't strong horns.
A 'scur' is what's left when we remove the horns from goats. We don't like horns on dairy goats, so we remove them when they are young. The horns on boy goats grow back a little, but not as big and strong as if they weren't removed.

When Curly and Zeek butted heads Curly's horn broke off. I sent Curly's horn to school, too.

How is the cow's horn different from the goat's horn?

*     *     *     *     *     *

Look at how the chicks are growing up!
They look like little chickens with all their feathers.
They still sound like chicks, they don't cluck like the mama hens do.
They still follow her around everywhere.
The mama hen still finds food for them, too.

*     *     *     *     *     *

Here is our tom turkey.
He still doesn't have a name!

One reader likes the name Chuck.

Can you think of a better name? Let your teacher know your ideas and I'll pick my 5 favorite names. The First Graders can vote on which name they like the best.

Have a Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Mountain Sunday * 25 October 2015

South of the barn.
25 October 2015

East over the barn.
25 October 2015

North of the barn.
25 October 2015

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Photos from the Farm * 22 October 2015

Welcome back from Fall Break!

I hope you had a nice vacation. I was out of town for Fall Break.

When we go out of town we have someone come take care of all the animals. It's a lot of work for one person to do by themselves. This time I was gone, but Matt was home to take care of the farm. He is used to the work so he did a great job and all the animals were well taken care of.

These bucks (daddy goats) are healthy and strong!
It's fall and they love to get dirty and smelly.
We don't give them a bath because it's not warm enough for them to dry off quickly.

Look how big the baby turkeys have gotten! 
Their wings have gotten so strong that they can fly over the stall door,
even though I cut their wing feathers.

They are big enough to be outside with all the other animals,
and they are smart enough to stay out of the big water barrels.
These turkeys have the same mother and the same father.
Do they look the same or different from each other?
Do they look like their parents?
*     *     *     *     *     *

Thank you for sending me questions. I like to answer questions about our farm and many of you had good questions.

We have one sheep, his name is Stew.
Sometimes Stew sneaks into the barn and hides.
He isn't very good at hiding, is he?
He isn't like most sheep, he's very friendly and loves to get attention.

No, our cows don't give milk.
Remi will never give milk because he is a boy cow, that's called a steer.
Echo will give milk when she has a calf (a baby cow) in March.

Remi is the dark cow, Echo is the light colored cow.
No, we don't have a horse. Our neighbor has a horse.
Horses are very expensive and they eat a lot of food.
I will take a picture of the neighbor's horse the next time I see her out grazing.

*     *     *     *     *     *

Do you remember Apple Day? I do!

One of your teachers took great photos! I don't have room to post all of them, but I have room to post four of them.

I hope you can find yourself in one of the pictures.

I had a wonderful time visiting you, and bringing a little bit of the farm to your school.

Remember to send my your ideas to name the turkey. I'll pick my 5 favorites and let the First Grade vote!

Have a great week and enjoy the beautiful fall weather. This is my favorite time of the year!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Mountain Monday * 11 October 2015

South of the barn.
11 October 2015

East over the barn.
11 October 2015

North of the barn.
11 October 2015

Friday, October 9, 2015

Photos from the Farm * 9 October * What a Mess!

Welcome back!

I hope you had a wonderful week.

Once in a while we go out to the barn and we have a surprise. That happened this week.

I went out to milk the goats and this is what I saw.....

This was not a fun surprise!

There was poop everywhere!

Hay had been torn down and trampled on.
There was poop mixed in with the hay, too.
Annie had pushed open the door and gotten into the barn.
Goats don't know that they shouldn't poop inside the barn. They don't know that they shouldn't walk all over the hay. They don't know that they should be careful with their hooves.

She made a big mess!

Matt and I had to clean it all up. It took us about 45 minutes. 

That looks much better!
No more poop, and no more big mess on the floor!
Have there been times when your teacher came back in the room and you weren't doing what she expected you to be doing? Have there been times when your mother or father came home and you had made a big mess that they didn't expect? 

There were things I wanted to do, but I had to clean up the barn instead. I have some sewing projects I'm working on and I couldn't because I was cleaning up a mess instead. I was a little bit frustrated.

Sometimes days don't go the way we planned. That will happen to you sometimes, too. I hope that instead of getting mad, that you get to work and do what needs to be done. 

Farmers like to say, "There's no use crying over spilled milk!" That means that the problem already happened, you might as well use your time to take care of it instead of complain about it! 

Why do you think farmers think it's better to take care of a problem than to complain about it?

I also hope that when your teacher is out of the room you do just what she expects you to do so that she doesn't come back to a bad surprise! You might have to miss out on some good things because the class has to take care of the problem instead.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Here's our Tom Turkey. A Tom Turkey is a boy turkey.
This is the father of the baby turkeys that I've shown you.
He doesn't have a name.
If you have a suggestion for his name, please write me a note and I'll look at them.
Matt and I will decide which name is best for him.
Here are the chicks that were born a few weeks ago.
Can you see how their feathers are growing?
They run very fast so it's very hard for me to catch them!

The brown chicks are the chicks that were born the first day of school.
The grey mama hen is a banty, that means she is a mini chicken.
Her babies are almost as big as she is!
They still chirp like chicks so they aren't ready to be on their own.
Once they start clucking like a hen they won't stay around their mother all the time.

There are three chickens in the photo. The one on the right with a comb on his head is our rooster. His name is Peetey. He's a good rooster, he doesn't attack people.
The white chicken is also a rooster. He was born earlier this summer, Peetey is his father.
We will find the new rooster another home because farms don't need two roosters.
We can tell he's a rooster because his tail is getting long!
Soon he'll grow a comb on his head like Peetey has.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *
I hope you have a wonderful Fall Break! 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Mountain Monday * 5 October 2015

South of the barn.
5 October 2015

East over the barn.
5 October 2015

North of the barn.
5 October 2015

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Photos from the Farm * 2 October 2015 * Meet and Greet the Animals

Welcome back!

It was so much fun to meet you all last week! I will post some photos of cider pressing next week. Your teacher did a great job taking a picture of each class so I'm sure you'll be able to find yourself in one of the photos next week.

This week I want to introduce you to a few of the other animals that live at Welcome Home Farm.

Here are the dairy goats waiting to come in for breakfast. The white ones get milked each morning, but the brown one is ‘dry’. Dry means that she isn’t giving milk right now. She still gets some grain and vitamins for breakfast, just like the other three.
Their names (from left to right) are Misty, Annie, Clover, and Sandy. Sandy is a goofball!
Here is Matt and his dog, Miles.
His name is Miles because he has 'miles of smiles.' 

He is always happy!

Miles reminds us of Dug from the movie, "Up!"
He loves everyone he meets, 

and he has a big, black nose.
Do you think they look alike?
Here are a few new pictures of the baby chicks, and the baby turkeys. It's fun to watch them grow up. Do you remember what they looked like a few weeks ago?

This chick was born on the first day of school. She has all her feathers now. She's still small, but she can keep herself warm and doesn't need her mama hen to keep her warm.
She is almost as big as her mama hen! Do you see the grey chicken in front? That's her mama hen!

Here are the chicks that were born on 15 September.
They are starting to get their wing feathers. How many chicks do you see?

Do you see the pile of feathers in the corner?
The mama turkey is molting. That means she is shedding her summer feathers and getting warmer winter feathers. The chickens are doing the same thing.

Look how big the turkey chicks are growing!
They aren't very smart so we have to keep them in the stall so they don't hurt themselves.
Last week one of the turkey chicks jumped into a bucket of water and drowned.

Can you see the hen inside this box? She is sitting on eggs and they are going to hatch soon!
More chicks!

One first grader asked if we have any sheep on our farm.
We have one, and his name is Stew. He's very friendly and loves to follow me around when I'm in the barnyard!
I hope you have a wonderful week!