Sunday, May 22, 2016

Mountain Sunday * 22 May 2016

South of the barn.
22 May 2016

East over the barn.
22 May 2016

North of the barn.
22 May 2016

Thursday, May 19, 2016

End of School and Rockets!

Welcome back for the last Farm Friday of the school year.

I hope you've had fun, and learned some interesting things about small farms, and the animals we have.

I'll be posting every Friday during the summer, too. If you want to check in once in a while you can leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you!

Hopefully we'll get the time to finish our greenhouse this summer!

You might think that all we do is work with animals, milk, make cheese, and work in the garden. It might surprise you to know that we have many hobbies!

Other things that I like to do are teach guitar (I usually have between 14 and 20 students), knit, spin wool on a spinning wheel, sew and quilt, help neighbors with their livestock (that's a big word that means farm animals), and volunteer in church.

Everyone in our family reads, that's why we have so many smart people in our family! Some of us read books, some of us listen to books, and one of us writes books and short stories. We learn many interesting things by reading.

Some people play piano, some people play guitar, some people play violin, and some people play mp3s. We all like music!

Many people in our family like to build with wood. Some people build small things like violins. Some people build medium sized projects, and some build big projects like houses!

We like to spend time together as a family. We go camping together in the summer, and we get together for barbecues at least once a month, even in the winter!

Sometimes we go to movies, but we don't have much time to watch TV. There are so many other interesting things to do that we don't waste much time checking out the newest TV shows.

We also like to shoot rockets! We don't get to do that as often as we used to. Last weekend we had the chance to build rockets and shoot them off. It was so much fun!

One person in our family loves taking pictures and videos! He let me post the videos he took of us shooting off rockets for you to see.

I hope you come visit the blog to see what we do during the summer. And I hope you have a wonderful summer vacation!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Mountain Sunday * 15 May 2016

15 May 2016
South of the barn.

15 May 2016
East over the barn.

15 May 2016
North of the barn.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

A Few Photos

Welcome back!

Sometimes things don't go the way I planned them. That probably happens to you, too.

This week I had some pictures for you, and I had a video of Stumpy learning how to follow on a lead rope. Somehow most of the pictures and videos were lost.

That means I only have a few for you this week!

This is my favorite photo this week.
Quin is petting River.
She is a sweet, friendly goat-kid because she still gets a bottle every day.

This is the chicken that is blind in one eye.
She thinks she is special so she lives in the barn most of the time.
She jumps in the grain bin when I open it to get out grain for Echo and the milk goats!

This week we were able to get some free tomato seedlings, and buy a few other seedlings.
We replanted them in yogurt cups and they are under special grow lights until they are big enough to put outside in the garden.

Wow! That's a lot of milk in the refrigerator!
This is what happens when the cow gives 4-5 gallons of milk a day.
If she gives 4 gallons every day for a week, how much milk do we get each week?

This is a picture of my Mother's Day present.
My children got me a new fountain for the front flower bed.
I teach guitar during the week and I love to hear the fountain going while I'm teaching.
I sit right near the window that's closest to the fountain.
I even put some goldfish in the fountain!

I'm sorry I didn't have very many pictures or good stories to tell this week! I will try to recover my photos and videos. If I can't recover them I'll take some new ones for you next week!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Stumpy is Getting Trained

Welcome back!

Sometimes we send dogs to a school to be trained for work. We send children to school so they can learn, too.

Often we train the animals on the farm to do things ourselves. We don't send them away to school.

We need to train Stumpy, Echo's calf, to lead. We've been working on it this week. I'm hoping to get a video of it for you next week. I can't take a video while I'm training so I tied Stumpy to the fence. He is learning to be well behaved on a lead.

A lead is just a farm word for leash.

He's so cute!
He has a halter on, and he has a blue and green lead rope.
The lead rope is a special one that goes over his nose and around his ears. It's the best way to train him. When he gets good at leading we'll just clip a lead rope to his halter.

If he pulls really hard the rope around his nose gets really tight. He doesn't like that! He would rather follow me than pull back and have his nose squished!

River and Serenity, the goat kids, love to play with Stumpy.

It's so much fun to watch them play. I'll try to get more videos of them this week.

Did you notice the dark spots on the top of Serenity's head?

Here is a better look at River's.

Goats are usually born with horns. We don't like our goats to have horns because horns are dangerous. Imagine what would happen if your mother let you play with your friends while you were holding knives or scissors! Ouch! Someone could get badly hurt!

Every year when goat kids are born we have to 'disbud' them. That means we get rid of their horns when the horns are very, very small. They don't grow back. If they don't have horns they can't get their heads caught in a fence as easily. They can't hurt each other when they play. And they can't hurt people or children when they are playing.

It only takes a minute. They are up and playing with their friends as soon as they are done! Annie, Misty, and Clover are all fine! They were disbudded when they were about 5 days old, just like River and Serenity.

Cows are often born with horns, too. We will take care of Stumpy's horns in a few weeks. He'll be fine, just like the goat kids.

Echo is a wonderful cow.
My friend called her a 'fairy tale cow' because
she does things that most other cows won't do.
She lets the baby goats have a snack!

The turkey hen didn't want to get off her nest, even when her eggs didn't hatch.
Silly turkey!
So I put a bunch of chicken eggs under her.
We'll see if she can hatch out chicken eggs!
She started sitting on them last Saturday.
They should hatch in 21 days.
*     *     *     *     *     *

Do you see the tape measure around Misty?
That's how we 'weigh' the goats.
But Misty and Annie are too big for the weight tape!

We have to use a regular tape measure to see how big they are around. Then we put the measurements into a special app on my phone and it tells us about how much the goat weighs.

These are the two places we measure on the goat.
These are Misty's measurements.

This is about how much Misty weighs.

These are Annie's measurements.

This is about how much Annie weighs.
An average First Grader weighs about 45 pounds.

Misty and Annie each weigh about the same as 6 First Graders!

The goat kids weigh much less. Serenity weighs about 20 pounds. River weighs about 18 pounds. They will grow for about two years and weigh about the same as their mothers. 

Goats and cows grow much faster than people do!

You might be wondering why we can't weigh a goat on a regular scale.

It's very hard for them to put all 4 hooves on a bathroom scale and stand still. We would have to get a large animal scale and they are very expensive and very big.

Most goat and sheep owners use a tape measure. It really does tell how much they weigh, which is often a surprise for people that don't live on a farm.

Someone did a lot of math and weighed a lot of animals on a big scale so they could figure out how to make a chart (or an app) that tells you how much a goat or sheep weighs.

*     *     *     *     *     *

One of the best things about living on a farm is that children love to visit.
Here are my grandsons heading out to the barn to do the chores with Papa one morning.
Sometimes they come early in the morning, or stay overnight.
They love to help with the chores.
Their favorite chore is finding eggs.
I hope you have a wonderful week!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Mountain Sunday * 1 May 2016

South of the barn.
1 May 2016

East over the barn.
1 May 2016

North of the barn.
1 May 2016