Friday, April 28, 2017

Goat Kids Love to Play

Welcome Back!

You know that baby goats are called kids. Do you know why human children are called kids?

Because you like to run and play just like goat kids!

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We have new babies on the farm! They aren't ducklings. These babies were a surprise!

There were 11 turkey chicks that hatched.

The mama hen turkey hid her nest under the truck.
We had no idea she was there!
We thought a dog or other animal had eaten her.

 I moved them all into the barn so they would be safe in the stall. Turkey chicks aren't very smart. They wander around everywhere. They don't know how to follow their mama hen around so she can keep them safe and warm.
Quin and Xander love to hold chicks!

This chick looks like he's yelling!
Xander was really gentle, there's no need for the little chick to worry.

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Here's an interesting egg! One of our chickens laid an egg with no shell.

If you soak an egg in vinegar you can take the shell off the egg so it looks the same as Quin's egg.

See how squishy it is?
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Here is my egg count for this week:

  • On Friday April 21 I collected 12 brown eggs, 9 green eggs, and 2 duck eggs.
  • On Saturday April 22 I collected 4 brown eggs, 7 green eggs, and no duck eggs.
  • On Sunday April 23 I collected 9 brown eggs, 6 green eggs, and no duck eggs.
  • On Monday April 24 I collected 7 brown eggs, 4 green eggs, and no duck eggs.
  • On Tuesday April 25 I collected 9 brown eggs, 5 green eggs, and no duck eggs.
  • On Wednesday April 26 I collected 8 brown eggs, 5 green eggs, and no duck eggs.
  • On Thursday April 27 I collected 7 brown eggs, 4 green eggs, and no duck eggs.

I think the ducks are done laying eggs.

Here is the way I keep track of how many eggs I collect each day.

Some years I collect for more weeks. Here's a link to a few years ago.

How many dozen chicken eggs did I collect over 2 weeks? I'll post the answer below.

Here's my graph, does it look different from yours?

The answer to my question about how many dozen chicken eggs I collected is:
17 1/2 dozen eggs.

It's important for us to keep track of how many eggs the chickens lay, and how much food they eat so we can see how much it costs us for eggs.

A bag of chicken feed is about $20 depending on where we buy it, and if it's on sale.

$20 ÷ by 17 1/2 dozen eggs = $1.14 per dozen.

We don't get many eggs in the winter, and we have to feed the chickens more. We get a lot of eggs in the summer and hardly have to feed the chickens much because they love to eat bugs and grass. We think it all evens out over the year. This year our eggs cost us about $1.14 a dozen.

Sometimes eggs in the store cost more, sometimes they cost less. Chicken farmers have to count things like their cost for electricity, repairs on the barn and coops, equipment like feeders and waterers, cost of new chicks and raising them, how much they have to pay workers, and how much they pay for feed and water. They also have to pay for egg cartons, and to truck their eggs to the store. They have more costs to count than I do.

Math is really important for farmers. We have a lot of costs to keep track of, we need to know how much it costs us to have all these animals! 
We need to know how much to feed them, and what to feed them. 
We need to be able to figure out how much milk a baby goat needs if we bottle feed them. (If we feed them too much then they die! If we don't feed them enough they die!)

I hope you are working hard on your math, too. I don't know any adults that don't use math. 

I'll answer lots of questions next Friday! 

Have a great week!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Let's Count Eggs!

Welcome Back!

Every year we spend a few weeks counting how many eggs we get every day. We figure out how many eggs we get from the chickens, and how much money we spend on food. It gives us a good idea of how much our eggs cost. I make a graph to see which color eggs we get the most of, too.

Here is my egg count for this week.

  • Friday, April 14 I collected 11 brown eggs, 23 green eggs, and 0 duck eggs
  • I found a nest in the hay shelter AND a hidden nest in the horse trailer!
  • Saturday, April 15 I collected 10 brown eggs, 6 green eggs, and 0 duck eggs
  • Sunday, April 16  I collected 10 brown eggs, 11 green eggs, and 3 duck egg.
    One of the ducks was hiding her eggs and I found her hiding spot today
  •  Monday, April 17 I collected 1 brown egg, 2 green eggs, and 0 duck eggs.
  • Tuesday, April 18 I collected 8 brown eggs, 4 green eggs, and 0 duck eggs.
  • Wednesday, April 19 I collected 6 brown eggs, 6 green eggs, and 0 duck eggs.
  • Thursday, April 20 I collected 7 brown eggs, 4 green eggs, and 0 duck eggs.

Quin's mama duck is sitting on a nest of eggs.

I'm not sure when she started sitting on her nest
so I'm not sure when the eggs will hatch.
She built her nest in a safe spot under an old fence. I'll keep you updated if I see ducklings!

We also have one grey hen who is sitting on eggs. I kept taking her eggs away, but she keeps sitting in the same spot. I decided that I would let her hatch out some eggs so I let her start sitting on them yesterday, April 20. Her eggs should hatch about May 4. If everything goes well I'll show you pictures of chicks in 3 weeks!

Did I answer your question, Ellie?

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There are lots of cats who like to drink running water. Our new cat, Bubbers, loves to get a drink of water from the bathroom sink.

Look closely and see how he drinks.
He scoops the water with the back of his tongue! 

Chickens scoop the water into their beak
then they have to lift their beak into the air so they can swallow the water.

Goats, cows, and sheep suck the water into their mouth
the same way you suck through a straw.

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We took the goat kids' sweaters off this week. It's warm enough and they are old enough to run and play with only their white fur coats.

We also had to 'disbud' the kids last Friday. That means we make sure they don't grow horns. They have black spots on their heads this week. It takes about 4 weeks for the marks to go away.

The kids are fine, but they look odd when their heads look like this!

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No, we don't have butterflies.
A few years ago Quin hatched butterflies at home.
It was a lot of fun and so exciting to see the butterflies come out of their cocoons.

No, we don't have fish right now.
I usually buy some goldfish for the little fountain in the flower bed.
I'll show you a picture when I get them.

We have 6 baby goats right now, and it seems like we should have lambs, too!
We only have one sheep, his name is Stew.
Sometimes we have bottle lambs in the spring, but we don't have one this spring.

Thank you for all your questions!

I'll answer more of your questions next week! Have a great week!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Goat Kid Update

Welcome back!

I hope you had a nice Spring Break. As promised, there were kids born.

Serenity had 3 kids.

River had 2 baby goats. Misty had one baby goat.

It's been busy around the farm because Misty's baby needs to have a bottle. Misty isn't making much milk so we use the extra milk from River to feed Misty's baby a bottle.

Misty wasn't feeling well so we had to give her some medication. The pill is in the end of the long, blue tube. There is a plunger so once the tube is far enough down Misty's throat Matt pushes the plunger, and the pill goes right down without much trouble.

It was snowy and cold!

I'm sure the little tree is very happy to have more water!

It was cold when the kids were born
so JJ made herself a little nest in the hay.

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We have a chicken that is blind in one eye. It's a little strange to have a chicken that is blind in one eye, and friendly.

We aren't sure how her eye got infected in the first place.
She still lays eggs, and she's friendly.
She doesn't mind people petting her.
This is what her good eye looks like.
She's a very pretty chicken. She still lays eggs, so she gets to stay on the farm!

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You'll be happy to know that Mr. Turkey is out of Time Out.
He hasn't wandered off the farm since we let him out.

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I don't have many pictures this week because of all the work with the new goat kids. We've also been cleaning the barn and the farmyard so we can be ready for lots and lots of visitors. We want to make sure everything is safe for the people that visit the farm. We also need to clean up after winter because winter always leaves a mess behind.

Friday, April 7, 2017

New Kids 2017

Welcome back!

I know there are quite a few people enjoying Spring Break right now. I hope you are having a wonderful time while you're on vacation.

We've been busy and so have our mama goats! We have 6 new goat kids. Serenity and River kidded at the same time. They both kidded on Monday evening.

We had a big surprise because Serenity had 3 kids. We've never had a first freshener have 3 kids. They usually have one or two. Smaller breed goats have more, but the big breeds don't always have a lot of babies in one litter.

We dry off all the kids and put sweaters on them so they stay warm.
This is Serenity and her 3 kids.
She had two bucklings and one doeling.

Serenity looks so happy to have her kids close by her!
We keep the kids and mamas in a stall for about 2 days so the little kids don't get lost. They can walk, but they can't walk very well or very far, so it's best for them to stay in a small area with their mamas.

We let the kids out when they start playing inside the stall. That's when we know they are strong enough to find their mama when they need food. 

Misty had one kid on Tuesday night.
It was a rough birth because the kid was stuck.
She had one hoof forward, and one hoof back.
I had to pull her out!
We aren't sure why Misty doesn't have much milk this time. We are bottle feeding the baby. Misty is such a good mama that she taught her kid how to nurse anyway.

I thought you might like to see what it looks like when a goat has a baby. This is Serenity having her second kid.

The baby is fine, I had to turn off the camera and clean him off. He's running around with all the other babies.

Annie hasn't had her baby yet. She is due in May. Echo is due May 19 so we're also looking forward to a new calf!

It's been a busy week!