Friday, November 18, 2016

Animal Feed

Welcome back!

Winter arrived yesterday. It was cold when I went out to milk Echo and the goats.

Look closely and you can see Echo's head
peeking out of the doorway.

You can see her better in this picture.
She's waiting in the barn out of the snow and wind.

Are you excited for Thanksgiving vacation next week?

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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.

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. We don't have a calf right now, but we are hoping to get one sometime this year.

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. That's 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 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. 

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).

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 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 and Echo.
Milk goats need protein and fat to make milk.

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, 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.
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Everyday we move Midnight's food because the chicken and the neighbor's kittens eat it.
Today we put it on the top of the hay stack.

Next week 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!

Friday, November 11, 2016


Welcome back!

One animal from the farm that you haven't met is Stew.

He's a Navajo Churro sheep. We bottle fed him when he was a lamb. He is so friendly that we kept him.
This is Stew!
He's the only sheep we have.
He loves people.
He comes right up to people so he can get pet and scratched on his cheeks.

He gets sheared every spring. His fleece grows long all year, but its too heavy and hot for him to have all summer. Imagine wearing your winter coat all summer long. That's what it's like if a sheep has his fleece all summer long.

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When we have a lot of milk we skim the cream and make butter.
This is what butter made from cow's milk looks like.

This is what butter made from goat's milk looks like.
I made cookies from this butter and they were some of the best cookies ever!

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Do you remember the chicken that was sitting on eggs last week? Did you figure out the date that the chicken eggs would hatch?

They should hatch out around 19 November. When will you get to see pictures of them?

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Quin and Xander had a sleepover last week.
Quin likes to stay in the house when we do chores,
but Xander loves to come help me milk Echo and the goats.
He sits on top of the hay stack until Echo is all hooked up. 

Morning chores are a lot of work!
Sometimes Xander needs a nap when we're done.
Sometimes I need a nap when I'm done!
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A few weeks ago I showed you some pictures of some sewing and embroidery projects I was working on. Here is the girl wearing her beautiful dress! I did the embroidery and her mother did all the sewing. She did all the dancing and won a ribbon!

She loves her dress!
We're all so proud of how well she danced and the ribbon she won!
She has been dancing and practicing and working hard so she could compete.
All her hard work payed off.
It was wonderful to be a small part of her team.

I hope you have a great week! Enjoy the beautiful weather!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Happy Birthday, Scout.

Welcome back!

Did you learn new things last week? Did you work hard? I hope so! Sometimes weeks are full of learning new things! That can be hard, but it can be enjoyable, too!

I hope you had a fun Halloween. We still have a lot of candy left over. Our street doesn't have street lights. We don't have sidewalks, and the houses are far apart so we don't get many trick or treaters.

This is my favorite picture of Scout.
We took him camping this year and he is such a good dog in the car, and while we're camping.
Not many dogs will wear sunglasses so we can take a photo!
Do you know that some dogs are so special that people remember their birthdays? We remember Scout's birthday. So does the woman who owned us before we did. She always sends a birthday text for him.

I sent her this video so she could see that he is happy at our house.

Scout loves to herd any of the animals on our farm. Sometimes he helps us get animals from one area of the farm to another area of the farm. Even though he loves herding the goats and the cow, he doesn't mind watching over the chickens one bit! Scout's favorite thing in the world is to be with the livestock!

This is JJ.
Can you tell the difference between JJ and Scout?
They look alike, but not exactly the same.
They aren't even brother and sister!
JJ sits here every morning waiting for her treat.
She and Scout share the first few squirts of milk from Echo.

JJ's favorite thing in the world is to eat! She loves to eat so much that she gobbles her food down and then eats Scout's food. This is how we slow her down. She has to work for her food.

When we're done milking Echo in the morning she loves to get a hug. She is a sweet cow!

She loves being scratched under her neck, on the sides of her neck, and on top of her head.

Do you remember the chicken who was riding Clover last week? She loves to ride the goats, and the goats don't seem to mind her sitting on their backs. I think she must be very, very careful with her claws. We decided to call her Dale, after a famous cowgirl named Dale Evans who loved to ride her horse named Buttermilk.

Dale the chicken loves to ride the goats!

This chicken decided it was a good time of year to hatch out eggs.
We'll see if the weather stays warm enough.
She started sitting on 5 eggs on October 30.
Chicken eggs take 21 days to hatch.
What date do you think they will hatch?