Friday, May 29, 2020

The Doeling Gets a Name

Thanks for coming on the virtual field trip last week! I hope you had fun and enjoyed seeing the animals. I'm so sorry you couldn't come in person.

The new goat kid has a name! Her name is Milly because it rhymes with Lilly, her mom.

Last week she had trouble with her right front hoof.
We put a splint on it on Saturday and took it off Wednesday.


It didn't take very long for her to get back to running and jumping and playing. Can you hear Lilly calling her?

The little boy that bought Mia and Tia loves them!
It looks like they love him, too.


They like their new home.
They got along with the lambs and the other goat kids right away.
We love it when our goats get to go to a place where people will take good care of them. We know they will have a good life on this farm.




Friday, May 15, 2020

New Goat Kid and Trimming Cow Hooves

So much happened this week! I'll have to save some of it for next week's post!

The best thing that happened is a new baby goat was born. That's always fun! Sometimes it's a lot of work, too.

She was born around 11:00 pm on Wednesday May 13th. I was out in the barn making sure she was warm and happy until about 1 AM. That's a long day for me.

She's so cute!

We haven't named her yet. I have a wonderful neighbor that comes and helps me every morning with chores in the barn. She's away for a few days. When she gets back, she'll get to name the new kid. 

Have you ever wondered what a kid looks like right after they are born?

They are kind of yucky looking.

Here's the picture right after she was born. Yuck!

That's ok. I clean most of the goop off with a towel. Then Lilly cleaned her off the rest of the way. 




I love listening to the mama goat and baby goat talk to each other. I think its so cute!

Once she is dried off, I put a sweater on her and put her under a heat lamp.

She'll stay warm all night. Our weather is warming up so she won't wear the sweater very long. She'll be fine in a few days. 

She has a crooked front hoof. I'll watch it for a few days. If it doesn't straighten out, I'll put a splint on it so that it grows correctly and gets strong enough for her to walk on.

Thursday morning she was up and moving around!

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Echo and Sadie needed their hooves trimmed this week. 
Such a cute face! I love seeing her every morning!


First we have to move Echo into the chute on the side of the truck. It might look scary to you, but it's the safest way to trim her hooves. It's safe for the man trimming, and it's safe for Echo because she can't move.

She really isn't sure what is going to happen, 
even though we do this every year.



Her body is in the chute, and her head gets locked in
but it doesn't hurt. It's not that tight.

Do you see the boy in the picture? He's helping his dad trim Echo's hooves. He's in 2nd grade, too. He went right out into the pasture, grabbed Echo's halter, and led her to the truck. He's strong and he's not afraid of working with big animals. I'm always glad when he comes with his dad because he is a good boy and does what his father asks him. That keeps him safe, and it helps him to learn how to do this job.


First he cleans the dirt out of her hooves. Her legs are all tied down so she can't kick and hurt herself, or the person cleaning and trimming.


He uses a special sander to trim her hooves. You trim your nails when they get too long. I trim the goat hooves every six weeks. Cows need their hooves trimmed once or twice a year.

When their hooves are trimmed it's much easier for them to walk. If their hooves get too long it can cause trouble with their legs. Horses and cows are so big that if their feet aren't trimmed they can be in pain.



I think it's interesting to watch how fast he is. I'm really lucky that I have so many people that help me with my animals. All the people I've come to know are wonderful. They are helpful and they are also kind. They are all willing to teach me more about my animals, too.

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Burger is growing and doing well.

He's finally big enough for a halter! He wasn't sure what to think about a halter on his face for the first day, but now he's used to it and it doesn't bother him.

I like to keep a halter on the cows so I can move them easily from one spot to another. 

These two women are so nice!
They work with a group of special needs people
in our school district.

They came last fall with a bunch of their students. The students are all at home because of the virus so the teachers came and had a virtual field trip!

They taped their phone to the pole and linked up using zoom. You might be using google hangout or something similar for your classroom.

They walked around and showed their students all the animals on the farm! Teachers are so smart and have figured out some great ways to teach even when they can't be with their students.

You figured out ways to write me notes, too! Thank you so much for your notes! You can ask questions by putting them in the comments below, or you can send your teacher a message with your questions.






I hope you make it a wonderful week! I know you can do it!



Friday, May 8, 2020

Chicken Curtains and Getting Grain

I was out in the North Pasture, that's the pasture area where SideKick and Sadie live. There is a lot of green grass right now! We haven't had to water much because the weather has been cool. Grass likes cool weather with a little bit of rain.

I love looking at the animals when they are grazing.
It's such a peaceful sight each morning.



Some days aren't as peaceful as others.
We were so sad that our new lamb died!

That was a sad day. She came to our farm because there was hurt by the other lambs and sheep on her other farm. My friend thought she would do better here. She did for a while, but she probably had been injured too many times on the other farm.

I had another sad morning when I discovered that a raccoon had gotten into the coop. The chickens are really good about going to bed inside the big coop that we have. I lock them in every night.

But one night a chicken was hiding outside the coop. I didn't see her or I would have picked her up and put her to bed with the other chickens. It was a bit of a mess, and no I didn't take a photo. 

We don't have raccoons or foxes or mink very often. One must have come through checking that night. I was sad to loose a hen!

Chicken Curtains

Chickens are funny animals! I love watching them run across the pasture. I love watching them peck at the grain on the ground, or scratching for bugs in the dirt.

We have a very nice set of nesting boxes that my son-in-law built. I couldn't figure out why the chickens wouldn't lay in them. They like to hide their eggs in other places. 

I even put fake eggs in the nesting boxes to see if that would encourage them to lay eggs inside.

A few years ago I read an article that mentioned curtains on nesting boxes. I have a bolt of muslin fabric in my sewing room. I washed a few yards and finished the edges. 


The curtains aren't very pretty, but they seem to give
the chickens more privacy.
I'm finding more eggs in the nesting boxes.


This black hen really likes laying eggs inside.
She really likes her little cozy spot!

Getting Grain

Every month or so we need grain from Leland Mills. Sometimes I like to get grain in feed bags because I use feedbags for other things. I like heading down to Leland Mills because it's less expensive to get grain and feed there, and I would rather not throw away bags I don't need.

Sometimes its fun to see a slow motion video, don't you think?


They load grain into big trucks. The trucks have a big pipe called a 'boom' that can be moved over the barrels. We don't have to take the barrels out of the back of the truck.

The barrels fill up really fast!

When we get home with the full barrels we use the tractor to unload them. Then we push the barrels into the feed room. Guess which barrels are the heaviest? Do you think the barrels with grain for the cows and goats is heavier than the barrels with chicken feed?

The chicken feed barrel is the heaviest! I can move the grain barrels easily, but I have to push really hard to slide the chicken feed barrel into the feed room! Usually Tim comes out to help!

Buster


This is Buster!
He lives next door.
He visits me through the pasture fence every morning.

Do you have a friend that lives next door?

The fun thing about Buster is that he is Mishka's brother. They were from the same liter of puppies. Mishka still goes over to play with Buster almost every day. 

I keep treats in my pocket when I'm out in the barnyard. It helps Mishka pay closer attention to where I am and what I'm doing so she doesn't get into mischief. Buster likes the treats, too. I give him a few when he comes to say hi every morning.

I'll give you some updates on the garden and Burger next week!

It's Mother's Day this weekend and that is often a good time to get a few more plants into the garden.

Have you planted your garden yet? What have you planted? What is your favorite garden plant? Quin likes watermelon. Xander likes the pumpkins.

I miss your questions! If you have questions you can write them in the comments. I would love to answer them!

I hope you have a wonderful week!





Friday, May 1, 2020

New Calf Comes Home

Last week I told you we were headed north to get a new bull calf. Everything worked out!

We brought up a cage in the back of the truck, but it was too big for him. We decided it would be better to bring him home in the back seat instead. He is only 2 weeks old when we brought him home. He was born on 10 April 2020.

We gave him some Calf Calm before we left. It's a special type of supplement that helps calves calm down so people can work with them more easily.

We lined the back with a big tarp. Calves don't wear diapers, and they don't know how to let people know they need to go to the bathroom. Better to be prepared and catch whatever mess they happen to drop.


He stood almost the whole way home!
I thought it was funny that a few times he wanted to look out the window like a puppy.

By the end of the trip he was sooooo tired that he finally lay down.

The Calf Calm definitely worked, but it took a little more than an hour
before he decided to lay down.

Echo, our milk cow, adopts every calf we bring home. She had to check him out, like every good mama does. She loves him, just like she loves all the babies.



It took Echo 2 days to teach him how to eat. He still takes a bottle, but we can let Echo feed him during the day so that takes less time for me.



We decided to name him Burger King, and call him Burger for short. He follows me around when I'm in the barnyard. When I'm not out there, he's good about following Echo. She looks out for him and makes sure he stays where she can keep an eye on him. He's learned to go into the stall when the weather is bad. He's still young so staying out of the hot sun, or out of the rain, is a good plan!

He is 3 weeks old today! Happy Birthday, Burger!

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Guess what is hiding in the dog house that we keep in the stall for the baby goats.

It's a broody hen!
She decided that she wants to hatch out some chicks this spring.

I tricked her.

I took away the chicken eggs......

and put turkey eggs underneath her!

They should hatch in 21 days. I'll keep you posted!

I will probably have another broody hen this spring. It seems like we always have two or three each spring that decide they want to hatch eggs. I'll let the next one hatch out a few eggs.

*     *     *     *      *      *


My seeds are growing!
Not all of them sprouted. It might have been too cold in the mud room.
The ones that are growing are doing well.
I'll probably plant some of them in the garden and cover them with
milk jugs to keep them warm at night.


We had a lot of old buckets from the food storage we got a few weeks ago.
Bryon cut the bottom off the buckets, and I tied the lid to the bucket.

Six buckets fit well in a raised bed.
I planted tomatoes inside.


The tomatoes are doing really well!
I put the lids on the buckets when I go out to do the evening chores.
I take the lid off when I go out to do the morning chores.

I also spent some time filling more of the raised beds.

Did you plant your garden yet? The old-timers in our area told us to never plant summer crops before the snow is off the Oquirrh Mountains. Often that is right around Mother's Day.

We can plant a little earlier if we're willing to make sure the plants are protected if the weather gets cold at night.

The weather has been wonderful for working outside! I'm excited to have raised beds this year, they will be so much easier to take care of! 

We went to Leland Mills to get grain yesterday. I'll have some videos of the big trucks filling our barrels. And I'll give you some updates on Burger and the rest of the animals.

I hope you have a great week and spend some fun time outdoors getting some sunshine!



Friday, April 24, 2020

New Lamb and a New Calf

My friend needed to find a home for a little lamb. She raises sheep and sometimes there are lambs that don't do well on her small farm. She is 7 weeks old and the other lambs bully her, and don't let her eat.

She is gentle and sweet and likes people.
She'll be perfect for the visitors that come to the farm.

She's so cute and little! Almost like a cute stuffed animal!

The little lamb doesn't have a name yet. I've got a contest going at facebook to see what names my friends can come up with. If you have a good idea put it in the comments below!


I haven't picked up this 2 week old bull calf yet.
This is his photo from KSL Classifieds.
He should fit in nicely with the rest of the animals. His owner said he's very friendly

I'll be picking him up tomorrow and letting you know more about him next week. I love spring when we have babies on the farm!

He should fit in well with the other animals. The owners said he is friendly and loves to drink a bottle. He plays with the goats on their farm, too.

SideKick, the sheep, decided that Sadie is his new best friend.
He follows Sadie into the stall every night. He likes spending time with Sadie
better than he likes spending time with Teancum, the buck.

The animals are all happy it's spring, too. The pasture is growing and that is so much tastier than dry hay.



The kid goats are still here. They will be going to their new home in a few weeks. A barn burned down, and the new family is helping care for the animals that were injured.

One thing I really appreciate about most hobby farmers and small livestock owners is that we help each other out whenever we can. It's like a big family. We take care of our own, but we are always willing to help when an emergency comes up.

The garden is coming along slowly.
The girl across the street is helping fill the beds with dirt.
I teach her guitar, and she works off her lessons.

We are using some car ramps for the wheelbarrow to run up.
We can dump the dirt right into the bed without damaging the sides of the raised beds.
Some of the seeds are sprouting.
They are a little slow this year because I have them out in the mud room
instead of the basement where it's warmer.


I bought a few tomato plants, too.
I usually buy bigger tomato plants, but this year I decided to see if the
smaller plants would adjust better after planting in the garden.

I'll be using old 5 gallon buckets as protection for the tomatoes this year. My friend likes them so much better than using the water filled garden tee pees that most people like to use. I don't like the water tee pees much because they are hard to keep filled, and if we have a wind storm they blow over on the plant.

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Warning: dog injury photos below!



















Mishka, the puppy who just turned 1 year old this month, likes to play.

She likes to play even when the other dogs are done playing.

She can get a little annoying, just like a little sister picks on a big sister or brother.

Then someone gets hurt.

We thought we had treated her wound, but we missed some of it. When we found the infection we had to trim all the fur away, drain the infection, and clean it with saline solution (the stuff people use for the contacts).

This is what it looked like right after we finished. 


Bryon and Heather have been working on a skin cream with CBD for pain for about 2 years. They are scientists so they had access to it before most people did.

We have found that it does a great job healing! They even have a patent pending on it. 

This is what it looked like 12 hours later.


And this is what it looks like 5 days later.
It looks a little gooby because we just put more cream on it.
She's healing really well, and the infection hasn't returned. If you're interested in supporting our small business, here is the link to The Doctors web page.

Why is it called The Doctors? Because both Bryon and Heather have PhD's. Bryon has a PhD in Organic Chemistry, and Heather has a PhD in Biochemistry.

They make a great team!

They are two people that really 'think they can' and they are right! They know it can be hard work, but they also know they can do whatever they put their mind to!


Friday, April 17, 2020

New Raised Beds and Trouble-making Goat Kids





It's spring and we're getting ready to plant the garden.

On the 'to do' list this year is a greenhouse in the garden area so we've had to move the garden for the summer.

New raised beds are a great option for the area we've chosen. We're putting up the raised beds in the 'buck pen.' We keep animals in here when we're breeding, and for the winter. It's close to the barn and we can keep an eye on the animals in the winter.

This is probably something your kids can help you do. I'm sure that if my grandsons were here this would have taken longer, but they would have been able to help hold the boards and use the screw gun.

I've had one garden box for about 8 years and it's doing great. No problems at all. These boxes are about $20 each to make.

The 8 year old box is in the back row on the left.
You'll need 5 cedar pickets and a 2" x 2" pine board. You may want a longer 2"x2" board if you're making more than one box. You'll also need some deck screws.

We bought enough wood for 8 boxes because they are fast to make.

Cut 2 of the boards in half. Cut four pieces of the 2"x2" pine board 11" long. It's ok if they are longer. Our first box has corner pieces that are longer.

We used the cedar pickets without trimming the 'dog ear' tops. Even with the dog ears, they covered the corner posts well enough that we didn't need to trim them off. Faster isn't always better, but in this case faster is better.

Deck Screws last longer when used outside.

Set the cedar picket onto the post, making sure the bottom of the post and the picket are even.


Secure with 2 screws.

Put one 2"x2" on the end of two different boards. These are the bottom of your long sides.


Have someone hold the board up while you screw in one of the pickets that was cut in half.
Screw one on each end.



We add one more row of pickets around the box because it's hot in Utah and a little more dirt helps the garden stay moist. You might not need a box that is two pickets high.
The 'dog ear' cuts on the top of the pickets are short so when they are attached to the 2"x2" no dirt leaks out.


Helpers....


There are always four-legged helpers.


I saved brown paper feedbags as liners for my garden.
You might want to save cardboard, or newspapers.
Those all work as weed barriers so we don't get grass or
weeds growing up through the good dirt we're adding to the garden boxes.





I had to cut off the ends of the paper bags. It doesn't take too long. That is a job that most kids who can use scissors can to. Kids are also great at opening up cardboard boxes.

Four-legged helpers....
The bags still smell a little bit like grain so Echo wanted a taste.


Line the bed with whatever weed barrier works best, or is easiest to get.




Then fill with dirt.
Our beds take about 2 wheelbarrows full of dirt.
My wheelbarrow hold a lot of dirt!





Our beds will be fairly close together, just enough room to get between beds and take care of them. I have to fill one bed at a time because I need to move one out of the way to get the wheelbarrow close enough to shovel the dirt into the bed.

I have some pots to hold tomatoes, too.
See the big tarp?
That will come off this weekend. It's the shelter for the animals that
stay in the pen during the winter.
It will be a great place for cucumbers and peas and beans
to grow during the summer.


I planted some seeds this week, too!
I use the handle of a plastic fork to twist open the top of the seed pot a little.
It makes it much easier to get a seed inside.



I use a permanent metallic marker to label the rows.
It's the easiest way for me to keep track of what seeds I planted in each row.
I've tried sticks with labels, but they usually fall out or get knocked out.
This is what I've been doing for the last few years, and it seems to be the best for me. 

Have you planted seeds this year? My grandkids usually help me plant the seeds, and help me pick what seeds to buy. This year is a little different while we are all trying to keep our germs to ourselves.

I also label the seed packages.
Row 2 seeds are squash, row 3 are watermelon (yay!) and row 4 are pumpkins.



It's not quite time to plant potatoes.
Last year I planted them in reusable shopping bags.
I got my idea here, but used some extra bags that I had on hand.
The crop was wonderful!
I'll be repurposing a few again this year.
I might also try growing potatoes in stacked tires.
We try new things in the garden every year. Just to experiment and see how things work.


We have the hoses and sprinklers all hooked up and ready to water the pasture.
We had to let the sprinklers run overnight when it froze again!
It looked so pretty on the fence!



Tia and Mia are growing well!
They are so friendly because they are still being bottle fed.
They love to follow me around on the farm.



One morning I forgot to hold the little bucket of goat milk.
Mia and Tia jumped into the wagon and their whole bucket of
milk was tipped over!
They were a little hungry that day because that's the milk I use in their bottles.


They love to get into other mischief, too!

Cute little trouble-makers!

I'm really glad I get to spend time outside this spring. The weather has been warm, then cold, then freezing, then warm again. But I love the sunshine and getting back to work on the farm.