Showing posts with label Farm Happenings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Farm Happenings. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Old Dogs

I prefer sunrise to sunset.  To me, the beginning of the day seems filled with promise and energy.  The evening makes me feel like the day is ending. It's over. Done. There's nothing left of it.  A little sad really.

The sunrise makes me want to linger in the barn with all the animals and drink coffee, run my hands over my horses neck and breathe in their horsey smell.  I talk to the pigs, take a look at the bunnies,  feed the chickens...  They're all just waking up too you know. 

Sometimes I think it takes Louie a little longer to wake up than the rest of us.  When he accompanies me out to the barn in the morning he just sits and stares.  I can't imagine what goes through the old dog's mind...

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Keeping up Appearances...

Sometimes appearances are just that... appearances.  Here we are nearly mid April and still no sign of a baby goat for Chiba.  And since I sold the buck right before Thanksgiving, I don't really see how she could be pregnant.  

"I'm not pregnant"

A Boer Goats gestation is 148-152 days, with the gestation calculator using 150 as the average number of days.  I'm going to use November 10, 2014 as the date I'm pretty sure I sold him, because that was a Monday, and the small livestock sales only take place on Mondays, and because that was right before Thanksgiving.  Make sense? 

To clarify, if I calculate the number of days from November 10th, this would put her at 150 days as of today (April 8th).  I hope she proves me wrong and drops a kid this week, but it doesn't seem likely.  And if she isn't pregnant, well, then she is embarrassingly overweight and the shame is on me for letting her become that way.  Enough said. ~A

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


The little quail are growing and will soon need a new, bigger home (or roasting pan...).

The little pigs are growing. And I moved them into their new stall over the weekend.  They completely destroyed their heat lamp the other day.  I guess they no longer wanted it?  Thankfully they didn't manage to burn the barn down in the process.  My lesson:  always hang a heat lamp higher than a pig can stand.  You wouldn't believe what acrobats and tricksters these little pork chops are!

The little dog, "Saffy," is also growing.  How the big dog puts up with her endless playing is beyond me.  Good Louie is very patient.

And here's Dottie.  Dottie is not growing...that I know of.  But she is shedding, and needed a good thirty minute grooming.  Now she's fit for a little hack.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

2014 Recap


January.  The month of the infamous "Polar Vortex" and the weird, and rare "Snow Rollers", dotting the fields and frozen lakes all around the farm. January was a month spent dealing with weeks of temperatures dipping below zero (as low as -23degrees), chucking ice from frozen water buckets, collecting frozen chicken eggs that would crack the second they were brought into the house, and stringing heat lamps throughout the barn and praying the goat didn't give birth before the weather changed to "tolerable." 

"Snow Rollers"

Cold, cold, and more freezing cold.

The first of the baby chicks and bunnies were being born and growing lovely! Planted four new fruit trees - two apple, a cherry and a pear.

Still a lot of cold and crummy weather, it seems like nothing will start sprouting green this year and the cold will never go away!   Baby chicks are growing well, with no losses so far.


May brought on the long awaited arrival of Chiba's baby, only to have it "still born."  But the good side of it all is now there was a fresh supply of goat milk!


The garden was planted and ready to grow.  We had our own hay field cut and baled for the first time.  The first cutting produced 208 bales.  This saved the farm a ton of money, and was satisfying knowing it came from the farm.

The garden is in full swing and we were eagerly awaiting tomatoes.  Chickens are laying a good supply of eggs and we are selling them like crazy at the race track. We can't keep up with demand!

Chugging along in the summer heat, canning, canning and canning some more.  The tomatoes are ripening like mad and its a little hard to keep up with everything.  The racehorses are winning races and doing great.

The first "fall farm party" was held on the farm in honor of my niece's 21st birthday.  The weather was perfect the entire weekend and everyone enjoyed themselves.

Butchering chickens and rabbits and enjoying the fall.  The garden is still going strong with tomatoes, pumpkins, cilantro, parsley, radish and onions.

Butchered out first farm-raised turkey for Thanksgiving.  He was lovely, weighing in at 16.2 lbs dressed out.  Planted garlic for the summer 2015 harvest.

Hard to believe that December is already here.  Another end to another year. And also the end of the pig's life at Mon Abri Farm.  It will be a sad, but exciting day when he goes to the butcher on January 2nd.  I will miss giving him his daily back scratches and belly rubs, but it will also be rewarding to have a freezer full of pork that I raised myself from a pig that ate well and enjoyed a pampered life on the farm up until the end. 

And now, as we journey into the New Year,  let's be hopeful the months to come will be rewarding.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Winter on the Farm

No words today.  Just pictures of the cold, dark stillness of winter on the farm.  But at least the days are getting longer, right?


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Shades of Brown

The last of the green is fading and the many shades of brown are creeping in.  Winter is nearly here.  The only sign of life in the garden is the parsley, who seems to be unaffected by the frost or snow.  The cilantro is hanging on by a breath, but starting to turn brown as well.

We had a lot of rain recently.  The creek gushed and swelled, and over-filled the little pond.  The dog dared not go for his usual swim.  He learned a time before after getting swept away a few hundred feet down little rapids in the creek. 

I miss the eggs from my hens.  I haven't found an egg in the nest box since late November.  I've heard from other fellow farmers everyone is experiencing the same thing at the moment.  Even my young hens won't lay. Store bought, factory farmed eggs are an abomination... Really!


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What would you like to see more of?

I often wonder why I like to blog.  Is it that it helps me clear my head, or because I believe that if there's one tiny possibility that I can make some person's life better in some way, whether it be entertainment, or learning something new from my simple farmstead happenings, then it must be a good thing.  And if it is a good thing, then I should most certainly carry on. Right?

Winter is here... Snow is here... Ice is here...

This weather makes taking care of the animals a lot less fun. But still fun!  The chickens are not at all pleased with the snow.  The pig is growing restless and bored.  Yesterday, he ate all the feathers off a chicken that flew into his stall.  Only the feathers he wanted.  Needless to say, the chicken was quite dead when I found it.  The temperatures outside were only in the 20's.  Poor cold bird.  Bad, bad Pig.

Winter is here.  We may as well carry on then and get through it.

Enjoy the snow.  ~A

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Farm Updates

It looks like the last of the last of the good weather will be leaving the farm this week.  Tomorrow will be in the 60's, and then it dips into the low 20's by next Tuesday.  The heat lamps are going to have to be put into place in the barn this evening to keep the water pump from freezing.  I'm already having flash-backs to last winter's polar vortex frozen hell.

It makes me cringe knowing bigger electric bills are on their way, especially since I neglected to order wood for the winter and call in a chimney sweep to make sure the fireplace was good to go for another season.  But whose fault is that?

Two of the breeding does are due to birth bunny babies sometime around November 24th.  I love baby bunnies.  But then who doesn't?  I love them even more when they reach about five pounds and make a lovely dinner.

Today I called Mahan Slaughterhouse and Trumbull Locker (the packaging company) to schedule a day to bring in the pig for his "big day."  The appointment they gave me is about a month later than I had hoped to have him processed, but due to the large amount of deer processing that Trumbull Locker handles, it was just too booked up for them to take him.  They claim they are the third largest deer processing place in Ohio.  Mahan company slaughters the animals, Trumbull Locker does the processing.  For some reason or another, Trumbull is unable to slaughter.  So Pig's big day is January 2, 2015. It should be a real treat trying to coax him into the trailer...

Sometime before November 16th, two racehorses will be returning from the racetrack back to the farm, for a little break from the racing life.  There are two horses on the farm already, along with the goat, and only three stalls available.  Another stall is going to have to go up fast.

Garlic still has not been planted.  I've been a terrible farmer this year... So I've decided to make sure I get it in the garden not later than October 15th next season (fingers crossed).  I've also discovered I need to plant at least two hundred cloves just for personal consumption, and two hundred more if I ever want to sell any!

On a good note, the turkey-sized, poultry shrink wrap bags arrived from Nadya's Poultry. Now I can  butcher the turkeys and freeze them as I get time.

I'm also considering getting some outdoor lighting installed to light up the round pen so that I can keep working with the horses in the dark of the winter on weeknights.  By the time I get home from work, its as dark as it gets!  I hate letting the horses (and myself) do nothing and get so out of shape over the winter months and this could be my solution to the problem.  I'll check into the cost sometime next week.   Forgive me for all the long farm updates. Happy Tuesday ~A

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Soon the day will come

About one more month and the pig will be sent off to the butcher.  It seems cruel.  It's been fun, and an interesting learning experience raising my first pig.  They're very intelligent animals, which makes the process of ending his life even more difficult.  But he has a led a very good life.  More like that of a farm dog I would suppose.  Allowed to run and play each day, get his belly scratched and his back brushed on a daily basis, and lots of good food and treats.  Okay, so maybe he has led a life a tad better than the average "farm dog."  Regardless, it will be hard, and sad to send him off when the day comes.  ~A

Friday, August 15, 2014

What a pig...

I knew nothing (and still very little) about pigs.  But this year I decided to add one to the menagerie at Mon Abri, and I have to say its been a good choice so far. 

(The one on the right is just a dog that eats like a pig...)
My perception of pigs was that they are dirty and stink.  Neither is true, as I've discovered.  At least not with my pig... 

He has a stall to sleep in lined with fresh sawdust, and a kiddie-pool of clean water out in the yard to play in.  He gets out to run all over the pasture and play with the dog, and root around all over to find whatever it is that pigs find when they root around. Ocassionaly he plays in the mud.  But then he always runs back to his kiddie pool to wash off. 

He like to build himself a little "nest" to sleep in by stacking up his hay just right.  He's really quite particular about it too.  Who knew that pigs build nests?

 I used to envision them laying around in their own crap and mud all day, covered in flies, which I guess is actually what they would do, given no other choice. But no, not my piggy! He found a good home ; )

See how clean and shiny he is?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Farm Happenings

Summer is rolling right along here on the farm.  Beans, Peas, lettuce and hot peppers are all producing great, and the goat keeps filling up the milk containers for delicious cheese and miscellaneous cooking needs.  The garlic should be ready for harvesting this weekend or next, and then I will replant that area with lettuce and Brussels sprouts (and maybe a zucchini plant?).

Also this weekend I plant to walk down the pond at the back of the property and see whether the elderberries are ripening yet.  I have to try making some elderberry wine this year after reading about all the good medicinal and health benefits of it.  And because I love wine : )

Speaking of wine, a have a few gallons in the basement that will need to be racked this weekend, and fresh water solution has to be put into the air locks as well. 

I might be picking up the baby pig that I ordered for September's pig roast, but I think waiting another week would be wise, in the hope that it is weaned enough and won't die on me.  Speaking of dying, I lost five turkey poults in the last 24 hours, most likely due to ingesting mold spores, and that is all I can figure it was because they were showing signs of neurological problems right before they died.  I hate turkeys.  I think I've given up on them for now.  I swear they all try their hardest to die in some way or another. 

Anyway, the weekend looks to be nice and there is never a shortage of things to do around the farm, thankfully.  Have a lovely Friday. ~A

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Goat Milk, Goats, Gardens and More...

Sadly, Chiba the goat gave birth to a still-born doe on May 13th.  On a good note, she seems to be recovering well, and is producing around two pints of milk every evening.  I've been freezing all of it with the hope of making cheese in June when my Mother and Grandmother visit.

Chiba's milk is on the right.
Around the farm, things are "greening" up nicely and the temperatures are definitely much more pleasant.  The garden is in and things are growing well.  Last weekend I bought a peach, pear, and two apple trees, bringing the total fruit trees on the farm to seven.  Can I declare I have an orchard now? 

The Buck goat was moved outside into a large pen, and the little spotted mare is his pasture mate for the time being.  They seem to get along fine. I'm hoping that being outside will settle him down a bit and he'll become less aggressive to humans.  Time will tell. 

I walked the back of the property yesterday evening, and so far the ticks do not seem to be a problem.  Maybe the harsh winter took care of few of them?

Louie, having a swim...
June is just around the corner and soon farmers will be cutting the first hay of the season.  It's one of my favorite times of the year.  June also means that if I want to have a heritage turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, I need to hatch some soon or buy some chicks.  The six eggs I have in the incubator are due to hatch yesterday or today.  So far there is no sign of anything trying to make its way out of an egg shell. I'm going to be really bummed if I can't hatch my own turkeys each year. I hope all of you are enjoying your spring and weather is good. ~A

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


This morning the farm was greeted with snow.  I refuse to give the snow any more acknowledgement and so you won't find a picture of it here.  Instead I will post photos from this past, perfect weekend of seventy degree temperatures and sun. 

On a good note, the taxes are done, and it appears there will be a little left over to throw back into the farm account to keep things going.  I hope you all have a lovely week ~ A

Chiba - Presumably still expecting (and very large)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Hint of Green

I have to rub my eyes with disbelief, but I think I see just the slightest hint of green out there today...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Finally, a Logo

The farm finally has a logo now, and a Facebook page.  Progress is being made.  I'd love any comments or thoughts you might have on the new logo!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


The first batch of chicks have started hatching out yesterday and today.  With a few winter power outages and some issues controlling the temperature in the incubator, I half doubted any would hatch.  This morning it looked like about 50% were out of their shells so far.  After tonight I think I can assume what's hatched is final.  Little dog BiBi cannot be torn away from them, as it is always with a new hatch.  She's so motherly.

A little blonde Turken

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Pear Shaped Princess

Still no signs of a baby.  I spoke with the vet about the possibility of a blood test to determine if she truly is pregnant.  She's looking in to it for me. Then at least, if I found out she wasn't, I could start her on some sort of diet and exercise plan... Happy Friday! ~A

Thursday, March 20, 2014

"Wabbit Season" Part 2

After yesterday's rabbit post I could not resist checking in on the little bunnies yesterday evening, just to see how much they had grown. I still haven't counted them. I plan to get around to that this coming weekend. I took a few quick photos while momma was away eating. Here is one, now at 12 days old. Quite a transformation.  Happy First Day of Spring! ~A

Google +1