The Commander spotted a wolf eating a car deer kill on the side of the road today. Great, all we need is more predators around here.
Last year a lynx moved in for a while, just long enough to eat all the bunnies that lived in the front woods. Thankfully, she hasn't been around this spring (as far as I know).
Of course the last bear around these parts ripped through the old blue barns' wall and ate the previous owners goats. Last year a bear destroyed all our (and our neighbors) bird feeders. Hopefully the new barns solid wood walls will keep the bears away.
Eagles fly overhead every day here. We have to bring Patch in on some days when they begin to circle too low. The sheep pasture that we are creating will have a lot of older trees left in it to discourage the eagle from grabbing/spotting young lambs.
We had to run a badger off the property last year by filling its (front) burrow entrance with rocks and then flooding it with the garden hose. Skunks travel this area every night and leave their peculiar calling cards. A pack of coyotes roams this area, the shotgun is kept at the ready in case they decide to visit. Fox, Owls, and Hawks all make their presence known from time to time.
I have to wonder if these bad guys are looking at our farmstead with the same eye folks look at a new supermarket opening up - "When are they going to stock the shelves?"
The Commander sprained his ankle on Saturday clearing brush and progress has ground to a halt. He has been reduced to bed rest and it is driving him crazy.
Sara is so used to the Commander being outside that she isn't sure of what to do. She has decided to bring every toy in the house to where he is laying.
Since the Commander was bed ridden we have been watching Joan of Arcadia, what a great show. The Commander says he loves watching this with me because he like to see me tear up during every episode. If you haven't seen this show it is something you really should do.
I haven't been totally lazy. The garden is now tilled and ready for planting and the shed is 3/4 painted - pictures soon.
When I go outside with the goats I always wear my gloves. The only time they see my hands is when I give them treats. The other day the Commander was walking the goats and having Sara practice herding Chip so I thought I would go out and watch. I forgot my gloves and boy did the goats take notice. Addison was next to uncontrollable in her attempts to get treats from me. She was doing all her tricks and showing off. Poor Chip could only beg and nibble at my zipper pockets. Things got so ridiculous that I had to go inside and get my gloves, when I came out again, hands covered, they acted just fine.
The Commander and his chipper have been very busy over the past several days. The area behind the new barn and the high ground were all cleared of trees and saplings, leaving several huge piles of brush. The chipper (able to handle 3" wide sticks) has been running endlessly, reducing all the set piles to pulp.
While he was doing that I got the new red barn taped and painted one of the sides. The wood is literally drinking the paint. This is going to take several more days to complete.
Here is our new goat barn! It is 18 x 12 with a 10 x 12 full height loft. Sky lights on the top. This wonderful building was built for us by "Duluth Shed" in less than 3 days. The barn is all solid wood.
Notice the little goat door and ramp cut into the main door. This is on the South side and will lead out into the goats everyday living area.
Windows on the East side to let the morning sun shine in. A high door was included so we could load hay directly into the loft.
Dutch doors on the West side. The inside floor is treated planks normally used for building decks, this will allow for plenty of ventilation. We even have electricity. Now all we need to do is paint it red with white trim, add the lattice, and put up the fencing. Addison and Chip will soon be enjoying their new home.
It has been a busy weekend here. The blue barn had to go, but first we salvaged the aluminum roof tiles for future sheep shelters. After the roof was removed the barn was knocked down via truck and sledgehammer. The remains were hauled into a 30 yard dumpster, I thought the dumpster was huge but it just managed to contain the rubble.
After the barn was removed a few trees were cut down to make room and a mountain of branches, brush, and saplings were accumulated. A chainsaw helped increase the firewood supply for next year, then the new chipper went to work. Over two days the mountain was reduced to around 10 wheelbarrow loads of mulch. The mulch was placed around the garden fence and in various flower boxes.
Finally, all that remained was the railroad tie flooring. The floor was pried up and carried off to the side for the goats to use as toys.
The cleared plot, ready for the goat barn that will be built this week.
I'm sure we can make some good goat exercise equipment out of these.
Chip joined us last week and Addison is so happy. No longer is she lonely or bleating for company. Chip arrived a little chubby and hasn't lost any weight as of yet.
When you see him from the front he looks like a mini-llama, and he runs with both front feet kicking forward at the same time. We are leash training Chip and Addison because there still are not any fences.
I cleaned out the woodshed today because I wanted the place to be clean for Chip's arrival tomorrow. Addison was more than happy to help. I was pleased to find that the wood chips and straw had done an excellent job of absorbing any "fluids" that found their way to the floor. I spread fresh layer of wood chips, baking soda, DE, and then straw - the place smells great.
Addison appears to love the wheelbarrow, who knew?
I am an Ocicat. My duties include; security (rodents), counter intelligence (predators), infiltration (sneaking) and night surveillance.
I live in NE Minnesota on 10 wooded acres with; my best friend Mocha, three dogs, chickens, Guinea Hens, Nigerian Dwarf Goats, Cascade Sheep, Icelandic sheep, and a few humans.
When we moved here it was completely wooded, our plan is to turn this property into a working homestead.