Thursday, September 22, 2016

Lots of Milk!

Welcome back!

I hope you had a wonderful week! We did a lot of work around here. We always work hard, but it seems that when fall is on the way we do more work. We try to get the stalls cleaned, the chicken pen cleaned, and garbage picked up out of the pasture and other areas. We get new animals, and sell the ones we don't want anymore. We make sure all the animals have good shelter for the winter, and that the fences are in good repair.

Today I thought I would show you a little bit more about Echo and what the milker looks like when it's milking her.

Often I'm the only one out in the barn milking. Bryon and Matt are out and about doing other chores so I'm the one that has to get the milker on all by myself.
There are four inflations (those are the silver tubes) that need to be put on all four of Echo's teats.

This is what it looks like when the pulsator is going.
That's a lot of milk that's being sucked into the tank!

While the milk machine is milking Echo I hand milk the goats. The milker milks out four gallons of milk from Echo a little bit faster than I can milk one gallon of milk from Matt's goat, Annie.

When I'm done I filter the milk and put it in gallon jugs, cool it a little bit in ice water, and then put it in the refrigerator.

How many gallons of milk are in the refrigerator today? 
Are they all from one day? 

Somedays I don't put the milk in the refrigerator. Either Bryon or I separate the cream from the milk. 

The milk goes into the big container in the sink.
The cream goes into the jar.
I love to watch the milk and cream in the two plastic pieces
near the middle of the milker.

I got almost 2 quarts of cream from 4 1/2 gallons of milk.
The jar in the middle is a quart jar.
The jars on either side are pint jars.
Two pint jars hold the same amount as one quart jar.
That may not seem like a lot of cream but our cream is
so thick that you have to scoop it out with a spoon or a knife!
It doesn't pour out of a container like the cream from the store.

Last week I showed you the squeaky cheese that Quin and I made. Your teacher said you read a poem last week about Little Miss Muffet. I thought you would like to see what curds and whey look like together.

The curds are in the spoon.
The whey is the liquid in the pan.
I give some of the whey to the chickens.
Most of the whey goes on the garden.
Whey makes good fertilizer and helps the garden grow!

Quin loves curds! Whenever we make cheese he always
wants a little bowl filled with soft curds to eat.

We got a new animal this week! His name is Sully.

Sully is 8 years old.
That's older than most First Graders!
He's a good cat.
He loves living on a farm.

Can you tell this is his favorite chair?
He doesn't like the dogs very much so he finds a spot in the house
where he can sit and relax with out the dogs bothering him.

Maybe you are wondering why we didn't get a kitten. We love kittens, but there are so many older cats that need a home. Sully's old owner was moving to another place that doesn't allow cats so he wanted to find a new home for his furry friend. He thought Sully would love living on a farm instead of living in an apartment. 

Do you think Sully looks happy?

If you have to write a story, maybe you can write a story about Sully! Or about any of the other animals on the farm! 

If you write a story about the farm I would love to read it!

Have a great week filled with learning!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Hay Shelter Is Up!

Welcome back!

I hope you had a wonderful week and learned a lot of new things.

We've been busy getting ready for winter on the farm. That means we need to get a lot of hay! We needed a new place to keep the hay dry.

The frame has been up since last fall, but we haven't had time to get the rest of it finished.

We used clips to hold the back of the shelter on.

Matt is finishing the 'earth anchors.'
Earth anchors are a way to hold the metal frame from blowing away.
The white tarp at the bottom of the photo is the roof and sides of the shelter.

We got the tarp on. It took all four of us to pull it over the top of the frame.
After we got the tarp over we clipped both ends
and used straps to hold the sides to the frame.

Here comes the hay!
We use a tractor to lift those big bales and put them where we store them.

We have four big bales inside the barn.

Two bales are in. You can see how long the shelter is.

There are 14 bales of hay in the shelter.
We covered the end with a tarp so they hay stays dry.
How many bales of hay did we get for the animals?

•     •     •     •     •     •     •     •     

We made cheese this week, too!

Quin is cutting the curd for me. It's one of his favorite jobs.

We made Squeaky Cheese!

•     •     •     •     •     •     •     •     

We have turkeys on our farm, too!
The big, brown one on the left is a Tom Turkey.
A Tom is a boy turkey.
The two turkeys on the right are hens.
Girl turkeys are called hens, just like girl chickens.
Do you see the chicken in the photo?
That chicken thinks she's a turkey because one of the hen turkeys 
sat on some chicken eggs.
That chicken is the one that hatched! 

Do you see the small chickens on the left?
They were hatched out of their eggs on August 11. They are about 5 weeks old.

The chicks still sleep with their mother hens to stay safe and warm at night.

Sometimes the chicks are hard to see when the mother hen is keeping them warm!

This his our crazy hen. She likes people.
She came to visit me while I was sitting on the patio.

We also have one duck.
She lays a lot of eggs in the spring.
Chickens lay eggs almost all year.
Most ducks only lay eggs in the spring.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you have a wonderful week!

If you have any questions, please write me a note or leave your question in the comments below.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Welcome, First Graders!

Hello! I hope you are enjoying your new school year.

There is lots to learn this year, for you and for me!

I love to learn new things even when it's hard work. We learn often learn new things on the farm and when we are working at our other jobs.

Today is your first visit if you are in First Grade. Some of you may be back from last year, too! Welcome!

You are always welcome to ask questions by writing me notes, or by leaving a question in the comment section after the post. I do my best to answer them.

The name of our farm is Welcome Home Farm because we love to welcome new animals and new visitors. We hope everyone who visits is happy while they are here.

The first thing I do when I go out to the barn in the morning to start my chores is to let out the chickens.

How many chickens did you count?

I say hi to Echo, our milk cow.

Next I give the goats some vitamins. Clover loves hers! When Clover is happy her tongue sticks out! Clover is the brown goat.

I get the milker hooked up and I start milking Echo. I'll show you more about that another day.

Do you see the chicken? She comes in every morning to clean up the bits of grain that Echo drops while she's eating her breakfast.

Then I milk the goats.

This is what Annie looks like before I milk her.

This is what Annie looks like after I milk her.
She gives about 1 gallon of milk each morning.

I give the cat a little drink of goat milk.
She waits patiently under the milk stand for her treat every morning!

These are two baby goats. They have grown so much this summer! They were born in the spring.
Serenity is the goat on the left. River is the goat on the right.
They stay with Echo now so they don't drink milk from their mothers anymore.
I hope you enjoyed your first visit today. I'll introduce you to more animals next week.

Have a week full of learning and adventure!