11 posts categorized "farm animals"

new life on the farm

Where do I even begin.  Our cow Tilly is no longer with us.  We had to bring her to the sale barn for slaughter as she wasn't well enough to be a milk cow for our homestead or for that matter any farm or homestead.  Bringing in our vet who took some blood, the results of the test he took on her we found out that she had Johne's Disease.   Hearing that was a very disappointing blow to us, we were getting very attached to her already and had even gotten a new calf from a neighboring dairy farm because our other calf was actually purchased for some friends.  The calf is with our friends who have a dairy cow that took our calf until she can be weaned.

Calf

So, we had to do some cleaning up in the corral area and pastures where Tilly had been before we could even think about bringing another milk cow onto our farm.  We cannot pasture any new milk cow where Tilly pastured for at least a year.  Our beef cow is okay and will be fine.  After we got everything all ready which was not an easy task, we were ready for a new milk cow, and I'm happy to say we found one and her name is Lazer, she's a registered Jersey and is a first-time heifer and will freshen in about 12 days.  We are so excited to have a birth on our farm other than the kittens that were born a few weeks back.

Lazer2

Laser

Lazer3

We also got pigs again this year, but we got them a bit later than we did last year.  These guys are quite small, but we plan to fatten them up pretty good.

Piglets

Our two barn cats had a total of nine kittens.  I just had to show you two of my favorite ones.  The top one is a male and is by far the biggest of all the kittens, our grandsons named him Tom.  The second one is such a pretty girl, but my photos just don't do either of the kitten's justice.

Tom

Kitten

Seeing the volunteer sunflowers growing in amongst the oats was such a pretty sight and having new life on the homestead makes up for everything.

Sunflowers


homestead update

Horseline

Dj

tilly

LIL ANNIE

Wow, I think it's time for an update on what's been happening on the homestead.  There is so much going on here.   We are the owners of 2 more cows, a Jersey milk cow and a Fleckvieh calf.  The Jersey and calf are actually at our Amish friends until our milk barn is finished which we are planning to have it done this week.  It's been hard around here to find a Jersey, and when we do find one it's gone and from what we have heard from the sellers they could sell the cows 5 times over.  Our friends milk cow hasn't freshened yet, so they are out of milk and for both of us it's a win-win situation, they house our Jersey and calf and milk her and they get the milk and we take some as well.  Our Jersey actually freshened early before the auction and didn't make it, so we were wanting to have her take an orphan calf and she has accepted the new calf as hers and has turned into a very good protective momma as well as gives some pretty good milk. 

The fencing is almost 100% done, but it's done enough that we can let the animals in the pasture.   The steer is out on pasture and with all the rain we've had he's not been able to keep up with it, so all is good.

While the livestock were being loaded into the trailer, I had to take a photo of all the horses lined up tied to the fence along with all the buggies parked.

The way this spring weather has been I wondered if we were ever going to get anything in the ground, but yay, we finally were able to work the ground and get some onions planted.  It's supposed to be nice and warm this week so what can be planted now will be.

For me it's been a long winter and the warm weather we are having is so nice to enjoy.


life on the homestead

Fencecorner

Fencepost

Noki

Suuvi

Sweetpotatoes2

Syrupb&w

So much has been happening here on the homestead.  We are putting up fence and we got a new puppy, an Australian shepherd who we named Suuvi which means, child of the summer.  So far, she's been a good puppy, but as you well know if you have ever owned a puppy, they are a lot of work.  But she's been a joy to have, the cats can't seem to figure her out yet and have been chased up the fence posts a time or two.

It has been very windy here on the ridge lately, and it has not been very warm either.  Seeds are started and I don't usually grow sweet potatoes, but I had bought some from an Amish stand last fall, I was about to throw the last few out and found that they were sprouting leaves.  So, I started some sweet potato slips.  We'll see how they do for me and how they grow, we have never grown sweet potato before, this is our first time trying.

Syrup season started off very slow, and boiling the sap was so different from years past.  We did end up with enough syrup which I use in cooking and baking in place of sugar.

That pretty much says all what we have been up to in 2022, it doesn't sound like much but with that and other things we have definitely been keeping busy.  Winter for me just has been very long, especially when the temps are just staying cooler than I would like and it's almost May and what's the old saying...April showers bring May flowers.  Let's hope that holds true :)


the weeks-end

Farmall b&w

Outside doing chores the other night the sky just looked so neat above the Farmall M that Jim has.  I absolutely love this tractor. 

Friday night we had no plans to do anything but hang around the homestead doing things that have been neglected some.  Am I complaining? Nope, it's all good.  Making meatballs and a broccoli cheese casserole for supper, yum!  I especially love leftovers the next day for lunch.  I've finally learned how to make meals and not have enough to feed an army

Pigs

The pigs are only with us a few more days and then we'll be butchering them.  It seems like we've had them forever.  I will say it'll be sad not to see them around the homestead here anymore.

I've been trying to do some knitting and that has been going so slowly and heading to the sewing room has not been happening lately either.  I chalk it up to the short days we have now.  How about you, does the shorter days bother you too?


his name is dee-jay

Another month has passed and so much has been happening here on the homestead.  We lost one of the 3 pigs we are raising for meat, she developed pneumonia and we had to put her down.  We could have tried giving her shots but there was no guarantee that she would survive, plus we would not have been able to butcher her for a minimum of 30 days.  We got 3 on the chance of losing one, and even though she was going to be butchered it was still hard to put her down.  I will admit that I cried, she was a sick girl and it was hard to see her so sick like that, so I cried and when I was all done I pulled myself up and told myself it was okay to cry because as we don't want to lose any livestock like that I realize they are here to be butchered and fill our freezer.  So no attachment girlfriend.

When our Amish friends mentioned that they have this Devon/Jersey calf that was a bull but is now a steer and that they really don't want to sell him but just don't have the room to raise him until he's ready to be butchered as they had twins born this past spring, and would we be willing to raise him on our land and split the beef.  We of course said yes, so the day after thanksgiving Jim went and picked him up.  Once our fencing is done around the pasture he’ll be able to roam a bit more, right now he’s kept in a smaller area to help him feel more secure while getting used to his new surroundings.

DJ2

DJ1
We definitely did not plan on getting any sort of cow, milk or beef at this time.  Our plans were to get a milk cow this spring and raise a calf with it but the opportunity came for us to jump right in we just couldn’t pass it up.  He’s such a good guy and so far things are going well with him. 


what's been happening here on the homestead

I don't think I will be able to update you on all that's been happening here without having photo overload, so I'll just do the best I can.  Since sugaring we have been so busy here on our homestead.  We got pigs this spring and friends came out to help us put up the fence before they arrived which was a HUGE help and we appreciated it so much.  The pigs are definitely getting big since the day we got them.

J&r

J&J

Had to get a photo by Jim's old ford tractor which has been such a work horse here for him.

Ro

Pigs

I've been growing herbs and trying to dry them out but it's been so hot and humid lately it may take a bit longer than I would like.  I'm also making some infused herb oils that I will be making into salves when they are ready.

Herbs

Infused oils

I started incubating eggs from our hens on July 1st and we candled them last night and it looks like all 22 eggs may have something happening.  I'm crossing my fingers that we will have chicks by the 21st or 22nd of July.  Our rooster Rudy is such a good boy and really takes care of this girls.  He has 23 hens to look after and does a tremendous job.

I know some may think that is too many hens for one rooster and we did try out another rooster to see how it would work and maybe have two flocks going but Rudy would  have none of it, so this guy had to go, and he was such a beautiful guy too.

Roo2

So Rudy in the man around the coop.

Rudy

This is the first time we have hatched eggs on our own, we have always gotten chicks from the feed store in town.  We'll see how many hens vs roosters we hatch out.  I'm hoping to get some roo's so I can process them in the pressure canner instead of freezing them. 

Eggs

The gardens are doing great now that we finally have gotten rain.

Weeding

Coop and vines

Grapes

What's a homestead without barn cats or kittens :)  Meet Smoky and Noki.  Noki is a Finnish word for soot.  Jim started calling the top one Smoky and I thought the black one looked like soot so I looked up the Finnish word for soot and it was Noki (pronounced No-Kee).  They are both girls and just so cute.

Smoky

Noki

There is nothing like taking a break with some coffee, haymakers punch also known as switchel and wild berries that are growing in the back yard.  I add lemon juice and maple syrup in place of the molasses and brown sugar.  I use either Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar or my homemade ACV, just depends on my mood at the time.   Believe it or not the haymakers punch really does refresh you on a hot day, especially when you have been working outside in the hot weather.

Berriesandhaymaker

Acv (2)

My flower garden is blooming so nicely.  I look at this lily and always think of my blogging friend Ann who sent it to me after my dad passed away.  When it blooms I think of them both.

Flower

I think I have covered most of the stuff I wanted to share with you, like I said there is just so much that has been happening here I'm not sure I could cover it all in a blog post so I just gave you some highlights.

I hope your days are going good where you live, take care.


chicks and chickens

Our chicks arrived and also 5 adult chickens we adopted from a neighbor who was getting rid of them, 4 hens and 1 rooster.  They are a Cochin breed and are not the greatest layers but we average 1-2 eggs a day, which is really nice to have at least that since the chicks won't be laying eggs for many months yet.

Eggs

Jim had to scramble to make a "temporary" chicken coop for them.  The farm where we got the chickens from had a lot of chickens and these girls were getting pretty hammered from the other roosters and they don't move that fast, so I made some shields for the girls backs where their feathers were gone.  When the girls start molting the feathers should grow back just fine and I will remove the shields from their backs. 

Chickens

5chickens2

Here they are waiting to get back into the coop.  I had to go run and get something as I was cleaning the coop out and had to close the door because they kept wanting to go back in there.  They are really adjusting well considering all their friends are over on the next ridge. The rooster has been a great guy up until today when he started to show some dominance with us, flogging like he wanted to fight us.  We'll see if he keeps it up because we're not putting up with a flogging rooster.

Chickens and coop2

Our chick breeds are from left to right...Rhode Island Red, New Hampshire Red and Barred Rock, for a total of 18 chicks, 12 hens and 6 roosters.  Not sure what we'll do with all those roosters, we'll probably keep 1 out of the bunch, the others will be raised for meat.  We went from zero to 23 birds on our little farm here in less than a week...whew!

3chicks

Perching2

The main chicken coop Jim started today and that is exciting for us.  I am breathing a sigh of relief having chickens again on our farm, especially with the way things are at with everything that's been going on lately. 


it's calving time

Cattle

Baby calf

Calving

I just love this time of year when the calves are born.

Still busy making syrup, we've made just over 15 gallons of syrup so far this year and lots more sap to boil yet.

Company here again this past weekend to help with the sugaring.

The temps are finally getting warmer here and the snow is almost 100% gone.

It felt so good to be outside today with the temps in the 60's.

I've not been in the sewing room for some time and I'm really missing it, I have a few ideas of things I want to make.

Looking forward to gardening this year.

No big projects like last year, just small ones around the farm.

I planted some wildflower seeds last fall I hope that they have taken.

It's been a long winter here and I am finally ready for spring.

 


from my spot this morning

Looking out the window...

Looking out

...forced me to grab my camera and head outside.

Slippers

Sauna wood

Fall leaves

These two look like they posed for me, but in actuality they had their eye on Sadie.  They still haven't figured out how to totally get along, or I should say, Sadie hasn't figured it out.  Hopefully she does sooner than later, because we are getting chickens in the spring, and things could get even more crazier around here if she doesn't get with the program soon.

Mister pose

Missy pose

Check out Mister the one who wouldn't come anywhere near us at first, he's turned into my buddy.

Friendly mister

Hope Y'All have a wonderful day today.

 


here kitty kitty

This is how I get entertained now, I watch the kittens play.  They feel safe on the back deck, because Sadie can't get to them, both stairs are gated.  Mister (on the right) still keeps and eye out for her, but Missy is a bit more braver and will lay on the top step to the deck with Sadie down below.  I'm with Mister, I don't quite trust Sadie and what she'll do, I'm hoping one of them will give her a good swipe with their paw and maybe she'll leave them alone.

Missy and mister 2

Missy and mister

Mister and missy

Still playing

Leave us alone

Relaxing

Missy 1

In the mornings and evenings they'll come and sit by our patio door letting me know that they are wanting to be fed.  How cute is that!

Waiting

Hahah, sorry for the kitty post, I just had to share how cute they are :)

Have an awesome day today!