Archive for the 'Accessories' Category
Here we are another year soon to end. Time seems to just fly by anymore and so many of us are so busy we don’t seem to have time to enjoy our families or life in general. At least, that is the way it is here on our farm. Even though I work at home and don’t travel everyday to a “job”, like my partner does, I do believe that it is harder than holding a 9-5 job working for someone else. I am constantly busy with the animals, we are beginning our fall kidding season and have only had two Nans deliver so far, and just taking care of the everyday farm needs, I could spend hours out in the barn and still not get everything done that is on the “to do” list. Then we have the yard work where there is always something to do, like decorating this time of year, and then the house, need I say more, and at last we get down to my actual job of selling livestock and pet food. Now if this is not enough, I am in my last year of achieving my bachelor’s degree in business and marketing. I really do not think I would know what to do without all of this; on the farm is where I am happy. A friend told me the other day that she would hate my life but was so happy for me that I get do what I love. Believe me, I am happy as well.
On another note, our blog is going to expand a bit and since our website is getting a complete makeover we are going to add some links to other websites that are affiliated with us. We will still remain providing articles about the farm but will have an extra flare for all kinds of different products for out around the barn and home both for business and personal. Keep a look out after the holidays for some new ideas and changes to the blog.
We want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May the New Year bring great health, profitability and happiness to each and every one.
I have often heard a comment stated by Farmers and Ranchers that you should never let your guard down around an animal, no matter if they are a pet or otherwise. I took this statement for granted, although I had witnessed a dog attack on my son by a dog that always seemed friendly. (He is fine by the way, the dog was taken away). Anyway, I was around my animals daily and messed with them and petted them, talked to them and we all got along. Until a few weeks ago and I am still carrying the scars.
Our Billy Goat, Big Bad John Wayne, named by our Goddaughter, decided to just become stupid. He has been kept away from the Nannies since June and they are all about to deliver now. He had been showing signs of rebellion and I know he wants to be back with them but it is not time to put him back in. On a Thursday morning, I went out to feed and turn the Nannies out to pasture and he had busted a couple of boards off the hay manger and had gotten stuck inside it. I called Al at work and asked him how I was supposed to get him out. I was instructed to just knock out the end of the manger and lead him out. So I did just that. Got him back into his pen and fed him. I had situated him on the opposite side of the pen and secured him while I began to repair the manger so he could not get out again. I was working away and all of the sudden I was slammed into the manger, losing my balance and thrown into a corner. Before I could get a solid foothold, the billy came at me head bowed and braced and slammed me into the corner further and caused me to hit the wall of the barn full force. I could not get balanced fast enough and he came again and again and again. I tried grabbing for his horns to keep him at bay but my strength was no match to his brute force. I know it was 15 to 20 hits and the more I struggled the harder he hit. I could not get to my phone, there was no one on the place, the neighbors were a quarter of a mile away and all I could do was pray I could stay on my feet long enough to somehow find a way out of this terrifying ordeal. It was then that my HERO arrived in a fat little 25 pound, four legged package with yelps at an extremely high pitch and with all her might came at him. My Jack Russell, Bella, heard my cries and screams and came to my rescue. I am not sure what she did but she got his attention and it gave me enough of an opening to fall over the closest fence. I could not stand when I tried to get up and I needed to get away because he was then trying to come over the gate at me. I scooted around the wall of the barn opposite the other side of the manger and what I had repaired plus more, he bagan destroying the manger as if he was determined to get at me. I finally got up and with the help of the barn and supports made my way into the pen with the Nannies and pulled the gate shut. I found my phone and tried to call for help, barely breathing, I thought I was calling Al and got the wrong number. No one home. I tried again and whatever I said, all I heard on the other end was, “I am on my way”. I collapsed there on the floor of the barn and tried to regulate my breathing. It was there that Al found me. His first concern was, “are you okay, do we need to go to the hospital, do you have broken bones?” My concern was don’t let him get me. Securing the gate he helped me to the house and helped me get calmed down and checked me for damages. I was okay, except for the fact that I was in pain, mad, hurt, and really embarrassed that I could not control “MY” billy goat.
That was the day that I learned to listen to those more experienced than me and to understand exactly what they mean when they make comments that make no sense at that time. It is those comments of experience that could save a life or at least a serious injury.
The next day I could barely walk;, it has been three weeks and I am still carrying the bruises and scars from his horns on my legs. He is no longer my responsibility. Al has moved him into another barn and feeds and waters him. He will remain until we find another qualified billy for my herd so until then, I am to stay clear of the monster. He has it in for me and some thought I was exaggerating when I told them that all I have to do is walk out the door and he sees me or hears my voice and he begins butting his head like he wants at me again until they seen and witnessed it for themselves. So I do as I am instructed and keep my distance.
Now I concentrate on my small herd and leave him be. The kids will arrive before we know it and that I am excited about. I will no longer take for granted the experience of others. Most of the time they really may know what they are talking about.
I have been raising chickens now for about three years now and I still learn something new everyday. I have Bantys, Leghorns and Buff Orringtons and they are all now grown. I have started allowing them to roam the farm and have to alternate letting them out of their coup in the daytime and the dogs out of their pens at night. I have found that to let them all out at once is unhealthy for the chickens especially.
I have 4 roosters and 43 hens. They are now laying over 2 dozen eggs a day and I sell them for a buck a dozen otherwise I have them running out of my fridge, literally. They are a sight to watch as they peck and roam around scrounging for worms and bugs and can make a mound out of nothing pretty fast. I was surprised to go out to the barn to feed and found my storage room where I put straw and hay for my goats all in mounds and hills. They work fast.
The other thing I am trying to learn is how to get them back in the coup when I need them there. If I wait until 8 pm they might go in pretty easy because it is getting dark but, there are days when I need them to go in earlier if I need to be gone or I know I won’t be able to be out at the barn at the time when they need to go in. Right now I am chasing chickens everyday to get them in. I seem to always have a couple stray away from the group and then it is a chore to get them back to where they belong. I am afraid to get one of the dogs out to help since Jessie has caught one or two before and they didn’t make it. So I run myself ragged just trying to get them in. I have had to leave a c0uple out once or twice just for the sake of not being able to get them where they belong.
I keep my hens healthy by feeding them Egg Maker Complete Chicken feed. This particular type of feed is designed to help the hens with all the nutrients they need in order to lay their eggs. Love my Chicks!
Since I was a little girl I remember my mother teaching us to say a night time prayer,”Now I Lay me down to sleep, I pray dear Lord my soul to keep, if I should die before I wake, I pray dear Lord my soul to take.” I remember this as it was yesterday and I taught this same prayer to my children when they were little tykes. Today you just do not hear the prayer much anymore and it is a real surprise when you hear a child pray these days. God Bless those parents and grandparents that keep the power of prayer alive in their children.
I suppose you think it is funny for me to talk about prayer on a farm blog but if any one person knows about the power of prayer it is a farmer and his family. We live by Faith and in order to have faith, prayer goes right along with it. We look to the Lord our Father for a plentiful crop, for the rain when we need it, the sun when we need it and sometimes even when we don’t. We depend on our Faith to keep us healthy in order to provide for our families and to tend to our crops and livestock. We cannot always depend on the market to provide because it fluctuates constantly. We have to depend on Faith to carry us through easy and happy times as well as the rough and tough times. Faith is invisible yet we know it is real, we feel it every day just like the wind and through prayer we strengthen our Faith to help us through out our lives by talking to God and Trusting in Him. God Bless us all.
I am writing about this today just because one of God’s beautiful creatures reminded me that we all have faith even if we aren’t human. I took this photo of my kitten, Gizzer, while she was sleeping. It just goes to show that all God’s creatures pray, at least that is what she looks like she is doing. It was so adorable I had to share it with all of you.
Just remember to keep your animals healthy and for Cats and Kittens try our Proud Paws Cat and Kitten food for great taste and good nutrition for your felines.
Nothing hurts more than the heartbreak of losing someone or something you love. The something I am referring to is the loss of a couple of kids, goats, that contracted Coccidiosis. Being a beginner in the raising and handling of goats; it was a shock to me when my kids started getting sick. I have had my herd for over 2 years and this had not been an issue for me so I was at my wits end.
I read up on the symptoms they were showing and most of it pointed in the direction that I needed to de-worm them. I hadn’t considered that they would need that at such a young age but, then again, I was totally at a loss. So, checking with the vet, I got what I needed and de-wormed the whole herd of 15, making sure to disperse the correct dosage per body weight, per animal. They seemed to improve some but in two weeks, I knew it had to be done once more. The time came and I done another round. A couple of days later, one of my kid nannies became weak and I had to remove her from the herd and give IV solution for dehydration. She did not make it. I was devastated! I did not understand what was happening.
I called the vet again and explained the weakness and dehydaration symptoms and lack of appetite and told him my smallest was down and the others were showing similar signs. After due consideration, he prescribed a Corid Drench for 5 days and a liquid to add to their drinking water for the older ones. Coccidiosis, which can be fatal if not treated in time, is an infectious disease caused by protozoan parasites that attack the epithelial tissue of animals and my little ones had it. My littlest was not strong enough to withstand the medication, another loss.
I began working with them on a schedule and drenching them once daily. Cleaned out their feeders and re-strawed their barn. They would be confined for 5 -10 days and needed a clean dry place to get over this. After a couple of days, their appetites increased, the diarrhea cleared and they were playing again. They even began to look healthier.
I was relieved but we were not out of the woods yet. They were not 100% and Doc said as a preventive and precautionary measure, I should change their feed to a medicated one that controls just this issue. So I did.
I now feed Goat Power feed with medication for Coccidiosis mixed in. It has given me great results and the goats love the taste. They look forward to that everyday. From this experience, I have learned to keep Doc’s number close at hand and when I see something that is not quite as it should be to question it, even if it amounts to nothing in the long run. Sometime it just may save a life.
Summer on the farm is one of the busiest times of year. We have fields to plant, hay to bale, pastures to mow besides the everyday jobs of feeding and caring for the livestock. Summer, for most folks, is a fun time. They go to their 9-5 jobs and come home and relax, cookout, swim, ballgames and whatever. Here on the farm, especially if you have a second job, which most of us do these days, farm work is our relaxation time. We put in long hours and less sleep and still continue to function normally, well, most of the time.
It is also a time for the kids to learn about animals and their care. We have a niece, age 4, and a grandaughter, age 2, that come to the farm often. Kalissa, our niece, has always been the little ranch hand but hasn’t been here much lately. Kennedy, on the other hand is here every week or at least every other. Between the two of them, they are the more excited to play with the animals that they will absolutely wear them out, or at least me, before they ever wind down.
Both girls now want to learn how to handle the goats and show them at the county fair. This info was discussed last week and in the process of explaining the need for them to spend more time on the farm to learn seemed to go over well with them. At least during the day, anyway, Kalissa had a bad overnight experience with a babysitter, woke up and did not remember where she was and Mom was not there and now is staying close to home at night. Fear of Mommy not being there, I guess. Any way as long as the daylight is on we are good to go.
So to start, we have to have goats, of course, and I have a small herd with 2 yearling nannies that are just at the right size for them to show. The problem being they decided a little late to do this and the fair is in 4 weeks. So, I suggested to start working with the kid nannies that are 4 months old and start putting a lead on them and messing with them some. So that is our plan. Now to just get started on a regular basis to have them ready for next year.
Another favorite is riding Blaze, my gelding. He is around 10 years old and gentle as a kitten. Anyone can ride him with any kind of horse sense, so to speak. The girls are learning to get used to him by being led bareback first. This teaches them balance and helps them lose their fear. Kalissa has no fear when it comes to animals and Kennedy is right behind her. A year ago, Kennedy was terrified and now that she spends time on the farm she just loves it. They cannot go a whole day here without getting Blaze out to ride. They will soon get to visit the tack room and learn how to care for their gear. They will pick a saddle from one of the many saddle racks and be shown how to clean and care for it, this will give them a sense of pride and they will want to take care of their equipment. They will graduate to a saddle and then we will begin with the bridle. It should be fun to watch them progress and the excitement they show is just wonderful.
Summer is such a great time to enjoy life on the farm and to learn new things, the girls love it.
As any proud homeowner will attest, it takes hard work and dedication to get your lawn and garden up to snuff after a long winter. When the snow melts, there’s an abundance of debris to be raked and cleared away. Flowerbeds must be dug and fresh bulbs planted. With all these tasks and more vying for your attention, it’s easy to forget about the importance of pruning your trees.
The aesthetic advantages of pruning are obvious, but there are significant health and safety benefits to the practice as well. Reduce the likelihood of falling branches and limbs causing injury to you and your family members by getting out the various implements from the garden tool caddy and eliminating the dead patches of trees. Trimming dead branches promotes healthy growth in the future. Lush, green trees and shrubs should be the centerpiece of your well-manicured yard.
Yahoo! Baby Chicks are soon to arrive. The Ladies have been on their nests for 21 days and within the next week we should have little ones. I have four hens sitting and boy, can they get cranky. Even when you reach in the nest next to them to gather eggs, they will try to peck at you, cluck like they want to attack and can be extremely mean to the other hens.
We recently built a new chicken coup and put up new nests for all our hens. I have recently learned that to have happy chickens it is good to have all your daily needs close by. I keep their feed in a barrel right inside the coup, they have free range to water and have plenty of room to peck, search and roost. This keeps them happy and healthy.
My chickens have their own waterers, feeders and nests to complete their home. They roost off the ground to keep away from country critters. They are eager to see me when I come to gather the eggs, I know this by them all standing at the coup door. They just get excited. By the time we are done they have all calmed down and are ready for a quiet night.
Their daily farm supplies are easy to keep on hand, their food, water, straw for bedding and a bucket or basket to gather the eggs in. One tip I would like to pass on; if you are like me and spoil your animals, I have found that chickens really like cat food and it is good for them, especially if you have layers. I give them a treat about once a month by just scattering some on the ground and letting them at it. I enjoy my chickens and in a few days will have approx. 70 little ones added to my flock.
There is always stress on your animals when you wean the little ones from their mamas. It does not matter the type or breed, there will be crying from both the mamas and babies. Besides all the noise the animals will want to get back together and they will look for any opening to do just that.
For at least three to four days they will walk the fences, try to jump the fences and try to climb through or crawl under any opening just to get back together. We always wean in the sign of the moon and have mostly good results but, there are always those few that just cannot get with the program.
So, what do you do when they get back together and you have to begin the process all over again? Really, I do not know what the best plan is. I take it one day at a time and go with the flow. Try as I might, I fill and close any openings that I find, where I think they are getting through and try again. Does it work? Sometimes but, not always.
I weaned my kids, baby goats, 2 weeks ago and have only had them all get out one day but Jillie has gotten out 12 out of the 14 days they have been weaned. It never fails, I go out to feed and she is back with Miss Dolly, her mama. She is such a pet, I spoil them awful, that it is nothing to get her back in with the others but keeping her in is a problem. It is hard not to think it is funny or cute but, she needs to stay in her pen.
Reinforcing the fencing is the best plan to keep them contained and having fencing supplies on hand is helpful. There are those moments, and I have a lot of them, that you just have to rig something up until you have the time when you can complete the job. Fencing wire, wire cutters, tools and the rest of fencing supplies are necessary livestock equipment to have on the farm and handy at a moments notice.
I have a question for you. Is it necessary for your pets, dogs inparticular, to be obiedent. In my opinion, yes. I love my animals and they jump and play with me and I don’t mind at all but, when it comes to visitors on our farm it can be a nuisance for them and myself.
We have two Border Collies, work in progress, training on the farm. We are always giving them commands when working the livestock and they do pretty well, not perfect but ok. My biggest chore is my little “FAT” dog, Bella. She is a Jack Russell and is 10 lbs. overweight and very hyper. She does several tricks but still has not got the technique of leaving others alone when they stop by. She is very much a “mamas girl” and doesn’t want anyone to mess with her. She tends to just be somewhat of a pest and in the way.
One of the techniques that I use to train her is when she comes toward you, you know she is going to jump on you, I take a step towards her to throw her off balance and say “No” or “Off”. This confuses her just enough to to balk and she links that to jumping and realizing that when I step forward she is to stop. It does take work and is no easy task to achieve. In time, I think she will get the hang of it. Another way is that when she does jump, lightly but forcefully step on her hind paw and she will hopefully learn that she is not to jump.
There are rules, a much needed farm necessity, everywhere and we have rules for our animals as well. It is up to us to teach them.
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