The days after our new animals arrived were busy ones with lots of guests and company stopping in to see the new additions and share in drinks and conversation out in the sun. We spent a late night visiting and enjoying company on Saturday and to end of a wonderful long weekend a wiener roast by the camp fire complete with delicious smores.
Well I have been off work and away from most technology for over a week now and thought I would write a brief update on how things went after the arrival of all the new animals. I planned the week off so I could spend some time relaxing and soaking in the sun… I had the opportunity to do some of that but most of the time was spent taking care of the animals! With all the new additions there was lots to do!
We were able to get the new pigpen set up and now the pigs are roaming freely in the yard spending much needed time outside the barn. They are loving it and enjoying the space to run and root around as they please. The move from the barn to the new pen was a little nerve racking however in the end with four of us went very smoothly.
Mommy Hen spent my entire time off in the back room of the house recuperating and finally once her wounds appeared to have healed headed back out to the coop to join the rest of her flock. She is doing well back in the coop with everyone else. All of the chicks have moved out in to the big brooder in the barn and are enjoying the large amount of space they have. After the new ones hatch (in a week) and are ready to move outside these ones will be ready to move into the coop with the other birds.
The Guinea fowl did not fair so well. After they were settled in to the coop and felt at home they flew the run (which I might add was their purpose… to roost in trees and set off an alarm when intruders were near) one of the guineas made it to the grove of trees in the pasture however the other was stopped suddenly by Dia. He was injured and joined Mommy Hen in the recuperating room of our house. He healed quickly and was set free a couple of days later down where the guinea hen had made her new home. They spent time down there and we could hear them now and then until one day Dia decided to head out on a hunting expedition and brought the hen up to the house injured and needing reprieve. She spent the night in the barn and once again a guinea fowl was released in the trees. Finally Dia’s determination and perseverance paid off; I awoke one morning to a dead guinea fowl on the deck. We are still feeding the other one in the grove of trees, however we have decided to forgo acquiring any more free-range birds in the future. We hope that the surviving guinea makes it until winter and can spend the season in the coop with the chickens however I hesitate to be optimistic at this time with our monster dog on the prowl.
The goats continue to free range and seem to enjoy staying close to home… even made it past Dia one night on the Deck… knocking on the window to let us know where they were. Olive was not to sure about these new animals and sat inside on the windowsill watching intently as they tried to eat my freshly planted flowers! Soon enough though they headed off the deck and back out in to the barnyard. We chose to name the other goat LB for Little Black she is learning her name now and is sure to run away when I call her at milking time! She still has a tether rope on for quick catching but Vera who runs over to a quick shake of a bucket has a pretty purple collar on! We still think she will kid soon but aren’t sure of dates as the previous owner was a little confused about when this should happen!
Penelope has been enjoying herself and looks much more healthy too… her very excited owner has been out a few times to see her and spend some time brushing her and even riding her! Soon she will be able to move in with the horses!
I was able to get my garden planted and all my flowers in pots. I have planted a variety of fruits and vegetables that will provide us with delicious meals through the late summer and into the fall and winter. I still have more work to do on the secondary garden but just did not have the time to get that all set up before returning to work.
Next weekend my sister and I have a trip to the lake planned as well as some time to take in the Rodeo here. It should be another eventful weekend full of friends, family laughter and fun!
The saga begins! Friday after work I loaded up on supplies to get my weekend ready for some fun! Then I headed out to the airport to pick up a friend who was flying in for her own may long adventures! After leaving the airport we headed out to the farm for some wine and relaxation on the deck! We spent the evening with my husband (who was home working on the outdoor pig pen) visiting playing cards drinking wine and listening to old records! It was a late night but great to catch up! Early Saturday morning we got up filled our travel mugs with coffee and headed out to catch up a couple horses! Once they were saddled we jumped on and went for a beautiful and relaxing morning ride through the nearby fields! Soaking in the sun enjoying the quiet and each others company!
Once we returned home my husband had the animal crate all fixed up and loaded for the next part of our day! Traveling to a nearby town my friend had arranged a ride to her next adventure of mountain biking water skiing and boating! We said our good byes and off she went… My husband and I continued 2 more miles out of the neighbouring town to the exotic animal sale. There was some confusion about start times as advertising had been very vauge but by noon we had seen what was for sale in the stocks and found our seats with some of his work friends and the sale began! Many hours later we had purchased a pair of Guinea fowl, 2 goats, 6 chicks (likely only a week younger than the babies already at home) and a mini Donkey (a gift for a friend! – this was not an unwanted gift mind you and we will keep her until she has a space at home for her.)
She was lovingly named Penelope! One our way home after a few hang ups on how we were going to manage getting all the new animals home I spoke with my friend the new Donkey owner and she was headed out to the house to make supper and meet her new stead! She called back once she arrived quite worried about the health of mommy hen (one of my very broody and excellent laying buff ophington hens) she had flown the coop at some point and Dia dog managed to get her teeth in to her… She was in rough shape and I was worried we would lose her all together. As we were still about 1/2 hour from arriving home my friend wrapped mommy hen up ( who had been drug out to the front yard) and took her back to the barn for safety until I got home! Dia dog knew she was in trouble when we arrived home and slunk away from me as I headed out to the barn to retrieve her. I created a makeshift crate out of a box and headed in the house with her where she will stay to recover!
She was given some of the chick feed as it has some medication in it and some water with electro lights to help with her healing! She has a definite sore spot on her back but she must have fought back pretty good because she appears now that she will make it and be just fine! Once Mommy Hen was all settled in I headed back outside where my husband was unloading our new farm additions and my friend and the children were checking out the donkey! I must add that she too is not a farm girl anymore than I was when I moved out from town but she is embracing and loving the country life as much as I am!!! Once Penelope was safe and sound in her new pen out came the goats Vera and a mini black, to be named! We penned them up with some food, water, and shelter. Dia dog was most interested in them so she stayed back while we headed to the barn to introduce the Guinea fowl to the chickens! Everybody was a little worked up and the chickens flew high on their roosts to watch safely the new birds who arrived! After everything had settled in the coop we checked in on the pigs who were happy as could be and headed inside with the baby chicks to set up a second brooder… All the chicks (and hopefully Mommy hen too) will move out to the barn by the end of the weekend as it is more than warm enough and the brooder out there is much much bigger for them. We ate a magnificent supper and shared wine, stories and laughs from our day. The children were still very excited about Penelope and wanted to head out after we had eaten to see her and ride her (again)! So we headed back out to the barn yard to find Vera and little black goat had Houdinied out of the pen! They seemed to be sticking close by so decided rather than fighting them they could free range. I will have to build a gate system so they stay out if my garden once it is planted and starts to grow but for the time being they seem to be doing well! Once everything had settled down and the evening came to an end we too went to bed getting a good night sleep so we could spend the day with the animals on Sunday! Well Sunday has just begun and the goats survived their first night free ranging in the barnyard, Mommy hen has much more energy as well, all good signs! Ill be heading out shortly to do chores and check on all the other animals as well… So I can safely say the weekend has been an adventurous one so far!
Welcome to my Blog and Web page!
This is my First ever blog space so please bare with me while I figure this all out! It is my intention to update, as often as possible but with a busy farm life and work life there may be some breaks along the way… As spring is here now (well almost!!) I hope to get outside and doing more so will try to keep the pics and stories of our journey through our second summer on the farm! It’s exciting and every day presents a new adventure so I will fill you in on some of the adventures so far!
Pigs: We just recently acquired pigs as new additions to the farm. They have been so much fun! Quite the personalities! As it is relatively cool out still they have a home in the barn. Once the sun is shining and the weather warms up they will have a large outdoor area to live and play in! While living in the barn in the pen next to the chicken coop they sometimes think they would like to be chickens… rooting under the wall in an attempt to reach the chickens on the other side they have succeeded on three occasions! The Chickens who can get out to the run before the pigs block the exit by bumping in to and closing the make shift wind blocker generally end up spending the day outside and the others who were not quick enough are perched high on the roosts awaiting the pigs eventual exit! … Of Course Dia Dog is usually sitting patiently by the barn door hoping to help herding them back into their pen!
Incubating: About 3 weeks ago we acquired an incubator, immediately 9 eggs went in. To our amazement this past weekend 8 chicks hatched (on our first try)! They are now chirping away in their brooder in the spare room happy as can be! They will move outside to the bigger brooder in the barn in a couple of weeks when it is a little warmer out! Cute little fluff balls though! Olive cat is quite intrigued by these little moving noisy fluff balls although he sits on the chair above the brooder watching he has not yet tried to eat one of the little nuggets (knock on wood)!
Gardening: Through the winter I might add!
As the snow has started to melt this spring and the garden has now become visible and passable I headed out to see how the carrots faired through the cold months. Last fall it was not initially my intention to leave the carrots in over the winter however with the early and abundant snowfall I had no choice I couldn’t get to them for harvest and they had to stay put. I figured that it was no big deal… I would just work the rotted carrots into the garden in the spring before planting, count it as a loss and plan to harvest earlier next season… no need though I could see the tops of some of the carrots when the snow melted recently and I dug in to find full crisp tasty garden carrots ready for eating! Now I just need to get out and harvest the rest of the row before I have to get in and work up the garden for summer planting!
Well those are the most recent updates although so much has already happened since we moved out to the farm … more about that under my Livin’ the Country Life Tab.
Have a wonderful day all!