Thursday, September 11, 2014

Happy (early) Fall!

Leaves are changing, nights are cooler, and we are beginning our preparations for another Jersey winter. I realize it's been about three month since our last update, basically our whole summer, so let me show you how our summer went..

 My sweet little chickens have finally grown up into hens and surprise roosters! To the left is our silly polish, Morty, giving me a completely necessary 8 pm crow. And to the right is some of our odd shaped eggs we've collected. The first few weeks of laying gives all sorts of eggs.

Over the summer we had some changes in the horse line up. Donnie's big sweet American Cream Draft got re-homed to a small time farmer. He'll be used for exactly what he excels at, light driving and a whole lot of standing around. 
After he left we found out about one of the horses I used to ride as a teenager. He wasn't able to stay at his current farm and a few things just fell into place, so we took him in. 

Here's our current boys, from left to right, Beau, Lance (new one), and Phantom. Mom's little pony Lance (yes I know, same name, very confusing!) went to a farm that will be using him more often. Keeping him busy with kids and lessons will be a nice change of pace for that pony. 

 We survived the fourth of July fireworks somehow.. To the left is Luna hiding under Donnie's legs when all the noise started. We had fireworks all summer really. Hopefully this past weekend was the last. It really gets all he dogs worked up!
To the right is our dog friend Bear. He was one of the pups brought up from the South years ago. He got adopted to family friends Jen& Joe, and as you can see is the happiest puppy in the world now! He and his parents came for a nice patio lunch one afternoon.

We had beautiful blooming flowers, just like every other year. 
And, beautifully blooming trees, which Christian politely posed under for me.

This summer brought lots of rain. Which, as you can see, was no problem for our visiting geese and all their goslings. 

Our most recent addition to the farm is three little cochin bantams. They came from a lovely family right down he road. They're about 2 weeks old now and adorable! Two of them have begun to have frizzle feathers.. They are the goofiest collection of babies. And, from the picture below you can see Luna obviously loves them!

Later on we'll post a few more pictures of chickens, produce, and just miscellaneous farm things.
Sorry to be so absent, hope everyone had a wonderful summer and is enjoying the cooling weather! 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The 2014 Lambs

Well, just like every year, we had beautiful baby lambs. Fluffy and all white this year.  There were two ewes and a little rambunctious ram (check previous posts for tons of just born pictures). 
These weren't especially bad, but just like every other lambing season, they figured their way out of the gates and fences to explore all on their own. We had lambs in the front yard for parties, lambs by the chicken coops as I fed, and lambs eating things lambs should not eat (boy was that messy!). Overall, it was lovely to have new life on the farm, yet wonderful to see them go to their new home. This year all three were picked up by a nice woman who does a travelling petting zoo. She enjoys the small, docile breed and wanted to add a few ones to her flock. We are very happy to have them going together, and after weeks of chatting with their new owner and confident they went to a great home! 
We learned some
new tricks with these guys and got to bottle feed one ewe to keep her healthy. It was an exciting year. We'll miss you little ones!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Garden Growth

 Some spring updates from the farm:

  Our February additions to the flock are growing! At nine weeks now, everyone is outside, with no light, and lots of room to roam. We've given them an unused shed and Donnie's been adding on to their run. These two are our trouble makers. Above, our sicilian buttercup is eyeing me up as I tried to put he back into the run. To the right is Morty, our polish (hen) sunbathing, clearly unaffected by my arrival. A few of these hens are for sale since we just do not need 15 new hens!

We've got lots going on in the garden. Peas, strawberries, oregano, chives, asparagus (for the first time is coming up nicely!!) and other greens are popping up.
Lots planted, lots in the green house! We are ready for this summers excellent veggies. This weekend we got some potatoes in the ground on one side of the yard and some squash in the other. 

Here's a few of the pictures of what's going on 

It was a little too sunny to take great pictures, but here's a few attempts.
The lovely chives on the left.

A terrible picture of our asparagus we cut this weekend. Any tough ends went to some very eager hens. Now we'll just wait patiently for new stalks to pop up where we cut these down. One already is from the cut I did last week. It's much larger too, SO happy we're finally doing the asparagus right!

Strawberries are flowering : ) We've got wild and planted strawberries all over the place in our yard. These are right next to the pea box. Hopefully, since its all fenced off those pain in the butt rabbits and deer won't get them this year!

Just a few more days and we will have ripe, red strawberries all over the place. What better way to take a break than snacking on strawberries fresh of the plant?

Above is our enormous oregano plant. It's sort of growing out of control at this point. Good thing we use a lot : ) 
If not we've got great plans to dry some out and use it all winter. Maybe next year we'll get around to controlling it some
Some of our tallest pea plants. Conveniently half of them were ruined by our adventurous pullets. But, we've still got a few dozen plants growing! Lotsa pea coming soon.
Just a few more days and we will have the beginning of our frutis and veggies.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The real arrival of springs comes with bleating lambs

April fools day was quite exciting for us. While they are almost a week late, we finally had our first lamb! Mom was still at work, and I was going out to see how everyone was doing. Nina was laying next to this little long legged fur baby. Our first little ram lamb! 
Nina is the perfect mom, just like last year. Her little lamb is sweet, quiet, and absolutely adorable! Especially in his grey sweater that Mom bought this past winter.. I'm pretty sure they are puppy sweaters, but it works. Don't worry, there are more cute lamb sweater photos below!!


Next mom up was Raindrop. By the time Mom was out there this morning at seven here baby was completely clean and already making little lamb bleats. Everyone easily moved into their individual pens with the shake of a little grain. As always she is a great mom to her little ,white female lamb. 

Olivia was last, for today, (Mellie is still expecting too) With her white female lamb. She's REALLY loud, and was not being cleaned or fed at all. So we stepped in to clean, warm her up and show her where to get the food. It took a little coaxing, and I had to squirt her in the face with milk before she finally latched on. Silly lamb was trying to suckle from my fingers. We'll keep an extra close eye on her, just to make sure she's nice and healthy. While being cute and loud, she's also wiggly. It was almost impossible to get a picture of her this time. The one of her lying down on the left was a small fall. She was back up and moving around within seconds. Maybe we'll name her wild thing.

Here are everyone's day two photos. Well minus Nina's baby. He's three days old. I went out and everyone was sleeping peacefully.  '
Not quite positive, but her little boy may be named Randy, unless of course anyone has any better names they'd like to offer up : )
The girls are still un-named. The picture below is little Raindrop's baby, I think she needs an elegant name.

 Everyone looks healthy and is eating. Even if Olivia needs a little coaxing to feed her noisy babe at times. We'll start looking for the perfect homes for our lambs soon, so if you are interested please contact us as soon as possible! We already have a few people who we've spoken to in interest of lambs. So hurry hurry!

As I've said, spring is finally here, these nice perennials popped up right off the front porch. It's nice to have a little color out there.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Still lamb-less

Well the yard looks a mess from all this rain, but all the sheep stood still long enough to get a picture. I was trying to get a few of their enormous bellies, but as soon as they  learned the cookies were gone, everyone scattered. This picture was sort of funny though, everyone looking in different directions. From the front we've got Rain (drop), Olivia, Nina's butt, and all the way in the back is Mellie. Mom was quite sure we'd have babies in all this rain, but still not lambs. 
Olivia's large belly looks to have a dropped a bit, I'm hoping she will be giving birth soon. If history repeats itself we should have twins, too : )

Here's another shot of our pretty little mama, Olivia

We wandered over to give some lunch to the hens and silkies. Donnie's little black hen wanted a closer look before we started feeding them their snacks. She's such a silly hen. 
Donnie had gotten some great work done in the new silkie shed so that we could move a few in. Right now we've got the 6 week old chicks in there along with our newer silkies. 
When we went to feed, Sundance did a little dance around Donnie's feet. I tried to get in on video but he was moving around him much too quickly.. one day I'll get a good one.

This week SHOULD be warmer, we just need to survive this weekend of rain first. Maybe we will get our new lambs with the nice spring weather. Don't worry, we'll make sure we update here immediately! 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Chicken Work

Well, I didn't realize it had been so long since we updated this. I assumed our next post would be full of little lamb photos.. Unfortunately, we are still waiting. This Thursday is the due date estimation, and don't worry I  have informed the girls of this. I'm not sure they were all that worried about it as they chomped on hay and  waited for more grain, spoiled brats.
While we haven't had any new babies born we have had some progress with our few warm days in the past month or so. Thank goodness it's been starting to look more like spring, minus today  of course. 

So, we have added a few new chickens to our flock our the last few months. Two polish will stay and a couple of silkies to go along with our current  few. We decided to add some coop space, and in the words of my old swim coach, "go big or go home." We've done just that by repurposing an old shed that was left empty. With the help of a few Amish we got it into a great place near all our other chickens, and now the work inside is starting. Putting up nesting boxes, fixing up some good roosts, and closing off half to keep  two separate groups in there. Here is Donnie and Mom checking out whats going on in there before we made any decisions. 

Mom got some great work done outside. Peas are planted, tons of plants are started inside, so she (and all of the chickens) were turning over some of the beds outside. We've been moving in some of that great aged manure into the garden areas so we have excellent soil to grow in.

She also got some leaf clean up. She's SO lucky to have the puppies helping. Christian loves laying on anything on the ground. He's a little weirdo, as soon as I put his bed down he's on it, or if part of a blanket is on the floor, he's in heaven! Mom was not so amused.

Miss Maisy, our wry neck Buff was VERY helpful during all of our work outside. She checked all the dropped screws and tacks and walked around all the fencing as we started to put it up. As you can see, she got nice and close to the camera when I stopped working to take her picture. I believe she was telling me to get back to work. Slave driver..

Friday, February 21, 2014


Our chickens have slowly been starting back up with their laying. We've got a few mix girls that were born here this past spring. They are both black with hints of blue or green. The one, I swear shines a little purple! She's beautiful. Well they are Ameraucana x brown layers so they have olive eggs. Our first olive eggs! I got a picture of one compared to one of our regular tinted eggs. You can really tell the difference against this one.

Hopefully by spring we will be back in full egg laying mode, right now it takes a few days to lay a dozen, but soon we'll get a dozen or more a day! It's about time, I've been threatening to turn them into stew for months, unfortunately they know I'm all talk..
I got a few pictures of our lovely olive egg layers.. figured I'd make them bigger so you could see the color a little more.

 This little girl is our AmeraucanaX Cuckoo Maran mix. She has some purple, blue, and green in her feathers. It's easier to see in the sun, but she just refused to pose properly for me in the sun..
To the left was her giving me angry looks for chasing her around while great snacks were on the ground. I brought out pancake, banana bread, veggie sticks, and mushrooms. She was not happy I kept disturbing her.

Obviously, since i was trying to take pictures, T-rex had to check me out and make sure I wasn't bothering his hens too much. He cracks me up, but is an excellent rooster. 

Since I had previously written some about our wry neck silkie hen, Maisy, I figured I would show a picture of exactly what i meant by "star gazing" Here she is checking me out when I surprised them. She doesn't do too well with surprises, I should have warned them I was coming. She's really silly and completely independent. Just every once in a while when she gets nervous her neck goes back like this.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Winter Work

Got a little work done these past few days, you know, because it's necessary on a farm, especially with this "snow storm" coming.  Cleaning or filling waters, fixing electric, checking buildings, chopping more wood, and moving over hay. It's not so fun in the snow and ice, but the our sweet animals make it a little less awful. Phantom was being nosey, Beau got his blanket off to roll around, and Remy was watching our every move. So I got a few pictures, while poor Donnie did most of the manual labor.. thank goodness we have him! I couldn't lift some of these things anway.. The extra water trough we have in the sheep pen had frozen completely solid. I couldn't believe it! So Donnie helped me out, flipping it over and cleaning it, clearly it hadn't been touched in quiet a while. Even more amusing, that huge ice block is still there. Has anyone else had this problem? Just large chunks of ice around the property? Our chickens get water in black rubber bowls that empty easily, but they just keep freezing. So now we have about twelve perfect ice circles from the past week out there. Isn't it going to get up above freezing soon?!

A very happy Beau, finally free of a blanket rolling around.

Poor left out Rem, just watching us chop some more wood. He just didn't understand why we wouldn't let him in the field with us. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

An Excellent Birthday

We had a very fun groundhogs day here on the farm. Not at all because of the super bowl, but my quarter century mark! This year, I got the best sort of gift, new silkies : ) Yes, that's right, some chickens for my birthday, but these four are absolutely beautiful and just full of personality. First up, here I am holding Sundance and Cassidy.. We left behind Butch, don't worry though, he has a whole harem of ladies. These are splash silkies, which we have never had before. We'll post more close ups of these two, they are absolutely beautiful, and even more social than some of our other birds. 

So we went to meet our two new silkies at a wonderful local farm. *Small side note, this was after quite a bit of communication back and forth. During this time I had realized I had found another "crazy chicken lady" just like us! She had mentioned her wry neck buff silkie, Maisy. And, during our conversation she had mentioned we could take her and her pal Lily if we wanted to. Well, not wanting to get in over our heads we talked it out quite a bit.. and big surprise, got there with enough crates to bring home all four, you know, just in case. Honestly though, getting there and meeting them, it was hard not to love them! Maisy was obviously nervous, which causes her to "stargaze" ( the perfect name for it) When she does this, her head goes back, I mean all the way against her back. It's weird to watch up she isn't uncomfortable at all and still completely independent. If you haven't realized yet, we are suckers for those "special" pets. So, we obviously brought her home too. Yes, four new silkies to add to our flock. These four will go with Nugget, Smokey, and Boo. We intend to make a nice new silkie container for them with a nice new run next to the garden. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Fall Activities part 3

Thank goodness we keep Donnie around, we spent hours chopping wood. It really wasn't too bad, we just had quite a bit to be cut for winter. Good looking pile of wood, huh? 

I had a few of pictures of Luna on my phone I had to share. It's so cold out, I don't have anything green to share! So, here she is with our nice little Christmas tree. This small couch has become hers.. It's hard to say no to a dog so stinkin' cute.

For a while we had three chicks on the side porch. These were the ones born in October. Sweetest little things, three was the perfect number to socialize and spoil. Here they are staying warm in Donnie's enormous shoe. As you can see you can fit at least three in one shoe. 

We also had a family friends wedding in the fall. Here is the whole family all dressed up. It's nice to do every once in a while : )