Here are a few tips to remember to help your animals deal with the heat.
- Always keep a water supply available to all animals by using waterers or buckets
- Have a place of shelter for them to get into out of the sun and heat
- If they have to be confined, place a fan in the barn/building to keep a constant air flow
- If possible, feed later in the day or early in the morning, the animals will be more apt to eat when it is cooler
These are just a few tips that we use here on the farm. Our animals get overheated and thirsty just like we do, so take care of them as well.
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.
Meet “Charlie” our newest Rooster
Here we are and it is March already. Spring will be here before we know it and so will everything new. New grass, flowers, leaves on the trees and the wonderful smell of Spring air. With this comes new life. I am talking of the birth of the new babies on the farm. Right now we have new kids, goats, and one little calf so far, more to come. We also have baby chicks. These babies arrived as a surprise.
My hens are just now beginning to lay heavily again and when they start wanting to set in the next month or so, I’ll let them. Then we’ll have an abundance of chicks. But, for now, we have brought our 14 chicks into the house to keep them warm until they can survive out in the barn. They are in our utility room in a large water tank with a 60 watt bulb for warmth and food and water.
There are a few things you need in your farm supplies to accomplish this and they are cheap and easy to obtain. A cage or something that you can put them in to contain them with plenty of room, a small chicken feeder, a waterer, a heat source and bedding. We use sawdust in the bottom and it has been quite effective. It is easy to change when it gets dirty and doesn’t take much to cover the bottom.
Have fun on the farm and take the time to watch your animals grow.
Well, we have done it, we have made it through our goat birthing season. I am now at ease. It began on Christmas Day with our first birth. Barbie went into labor during the coldest weather, 0 degrees, and lost both of her twins. It was so cold that she didn’t have time to clean them up before they froze. Two days later, Noel gave birth to triplets and she lost hers as well. By the time we got the rags and some warm water she had delivered all three and they were all still born. Not a good start to my idea of increasing my herd. Five days later, Polly delivered one baby, still born. It was difficult to deal with. I had been looking forward to the new kids and was losing them all.
It didn’t seem to matter what we did, nothing could have saved them as I look back on the situation. I started watching my remaining four nannies on a schedule. Checking them in the morning, at noon, afternoon, evening and before bed. I wanted to have something set up where they could have warmth and a dry place to deliver. So we brought in some fresh straw and with the pitchfork, scattered it around the barn and in the two jugs that we set up with the fencing supplies we had so that we could separate them and their babies would be safe from the rest of the herd.
We are so happy this week. After 6 losses, we now have twins that have survived. Miss Dolly delivered Wednesday morning, to my delight, twins. Boy and Girl named Jack and Jill. I was so happy to see them and watch as Miss Dolly carec for them. She is becoming a wonderful Mama.
Today, they are 4 days old and have started playing more with each other. This evening, after getting the chores done, I sat in the barn and watched them play. They started with filling their bellies and then lying down. It didn’t take long and they were up and sniffing the straw and each other and then it became hilarious. Jack would try to jump and would get his front hoofs in the air and then fall over. Next, Jill would do the same thing. They just seemed to take turns and then all of the sudden they were doing it together. They would jump and then fall down. It just became comical and I burst out laughing. The other nannies probably thought I was strange. They all just stared at me.
I have to admit, I have a soft spot for babies, whether human or animals, and just love watching them at play. They are just so adorable.
Even though, I go on about their play time, I still have to make sure they are kept dry and have clean bedding and warmth, on the cold days and nights. Right now, they enjoy their own little cubical with Mama but in a day or so I will be turning them all out with the others. Mama has her own water bucket and small livestock feeder that are easy to move . This way when we get ready to move them back into the herd we can just open the gate, move the bucket and feeder and allow them to move when they are ready.
It is pretty simple to care for goats, the one thing is that you have to be consistant and you should be fine.
Fall has arrived and we are preparing for the winter months ahead. Now is the time to clean and winterize your tools and equipment. One thing that I have learned is to not put tools away with dirt on them. I never considered that a problem until it was pointed out to me several years ago.
I didn’t realize that I could prevent my tools from rusting over the winter months just by doing about 30 minutes of cleaning and maintaining in the fall.
For garden tools, shovels, pitchforks and the like, wipe them clean of dirt and mud and then wipe them down with vegetable oil or cooking spray. This will keep them clean and rust free. Waterers and feeders that are not in use during the winter months need cleaned thoroughly, dried and put away in storage until needed. The best way to clean these are to wash them down, if not able to immerse them, with hot sudsy bleach water and then rinse well and let air dry.
The same pertains to bridles, saddles, harness and reins for your horses. If not maintained during the times of non-use, they can grow mold and become dry and brittle. It is advisable to clean them well and use a product like Leather Therapy to keep them in good shape at least every six months. Depending on use of your equipment, you may need to do it more or less.
This process goes for just about anything that you store for several months at a time. Just like my Lawnmower tractor and wagon that I pull behind it to do yard work. I clean them, wash them down and then store them in the shed or barn out of the weather. This keeps them in good condition and ready for use come Spring. This also applies to heavy farm equipment such as tractors, hay wagons , hay racks, combines, disks, brush hogs and etc.
Just a little maintenance in the Fall saves a lot of work in the Spring.