What we’ve been up to in 2014

The lack of posts is not indicative of lack of activity on the farm. From making hay to birthing livestock to processing poultry, it’s been a busy spring. For those interested in antibiotic-free, pastured meat chickens, we are doing our last round of butchering until fall this Saturday, so be sure to get your order in before then so we can add you to our list. They keep well in the freezer and provide 1-3 meals for your family, depending on size. We like to roast it and eat it with mashed potatoes the first day, then make either chicken noodles, casseroles, or chicken salad the next days. But I digress…back to the new babies…

We had four lambs this spring. Two ewes and two rams. We’ll save one of the rams for breeding and raise one for meat. Lucy will get to show one of the ewe lambs at the fair this fall since this is her first year in 4-H. Here’s some nice pictures of momma after giving birth…lambs stand up pretty soon, with some gentle cleaning and nudging from their mom.

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And soon get busy having their first meal.

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After keeping each mom with her baby(ies) for 24 hours or so, they can all go back in the flock together.

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We even did some milking this spring and Andy loved the taste of it. We stored some up in the freezer in case we’d need to bottle feed at some point.

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We had to buy new bees this spring as we lost all but one hive. Andy’s dad came over to help him as he is going to start keeping bees this year too.

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Piglets! Much to my shock we ended up with pigs on the farm again (thank you craigslist). We bred this sow to the neighbor’s boar and ended up with a litter of 12 (after 2 died). They are super cute, and momma is super protective.

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I do love how she seems to be smiling here.

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We also had kittens on the farm this spring, and their momma is an excellent mouser/ratter. We had one loose in the house and we coaxed her in (she is a stray and must’ve been a house cat before us). She found it within minutes and then we coaxed her back out so she could feed her babies.

 

And one parting shot of the sheep out on pasture. The lambs are so cute to watch as the bounce around.

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Again, we’ll have fresh chicken this weekend and currently have freezer lamb and rabbit, and eggs for sale. We’re also taking orders for Thanksgiving turkeys now, as we’ll only raise the number ordered. Feel free to stop on Sundays for farm visits.

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The lion and the lamb

Well, almost…our “lion” is our newest farm kitty, a female we named Jane Grey. She showed up a few days after our old farm kitty went to live at the grandparents house (due to his taste for baby chicks). It doesn’t amaze me anymore how cats come and go from a farm. She was just what we needed- super sweet and loving with the kids. And apparently the lambs.

This little guy is in the infirmary with his momma right now and I guess he needed some company.

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Have you seen any unique animal parings lately?

A busy birthing weekend!

We have more babies to celebrate at the farm! Andy had walked out to the barn around 5 am the morning of Good Friday to find one of our ewes in labor. When he and I checked again at 9 we found momma with her two boy lambs- our first set of twins!

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Momma and one baby
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Oh, there’s his brother! Nothing better than watching a momma take care of her babies.

Then later that day we found another ewe laboring and Andy and the two big kids were able to witness/assist this little guy being born.

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I love that Tunis are born all red.

That makes for a total of 4 male lambs born in March. While we would’ve liked to have added to our breeding stock, it will be nice to have lamb to sell to our customers!

We’ve gotten a great response so far with the meat we had processed in January. Andy cooked up lamb shanks¬†the night before, and they were delicious! I joke that I really don’t like the taste of lamb, unless it is cooked in a really nice restaurant. But I loved this preparation and so did the kids.

To top off our weekend, Easter morning our pig (which has been residing at a neighbor’s house¬† since we didn’t have adequate facilities) went into labor. This was a disaster learning experience. She birthed one dead and one live piglet. Then stopped. After lunch Andy went up and watched for 6 hours as they tried to get her to birth the (supposed) rest of her litter. Unfortunately, nothing else happened. (Thankfully) Andy is done with pigs. I wouldn’t mind raising one for bacon, but I don’t see us getting into farrowing again.

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Yes, even pigs nursing are cute!