Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Goat Stand

I decided it was time to introduce the goats to the goat stand so this morning they all had their grain while restrained on the platform. Since they were locked away I took the opportunity to clean up their hooves.

They were not at all happy at the time but they now seem to relate the green grain bin with food, so up on the stand they jump at every opportunity.

There just doesn't seem to be enough room to accommodate the demand for space around here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ready for Sheep Barn

The trees are gone, branches chipped, stumps pulled, and the land is clear (but muddy). We are now ready to have the sheep barn built.

Should be plenty of room here for the 20' x 16' building that is planned to be built next week.

The sheep are scheduled to arrive late July, and they will have access to the cleared hill area next to their future barn.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Fowl day - with Goats!

After seeing how dirty the chicks could get their pen we decided to see how they would react in a makeshift pen outside. We set out some chicken wire and covered it with mesh, added water dispensers and food trays, then introduced the chicks. They loved it! It was funny to watch them try to fly, and once they discovered they could get off the ground they took turns launching themselves at one another. Can you spot the Rhode Island Red who replaced the one chick we lost?

Not to be left out the ducklings decided to splash around in the water pan. No escaping this time, they settled down and ate grass and whatever bugs they came across.

The Guineas are smaller than the others so I was a bit leery about putting them in the pen but the Commander talked me into it. The Guineas actions seemed to prove me right as they huddled in a circle and made loud peeping distress calls. The calls actually attracted some crows who decided to circle menacingly overhead. Canyou spot the white Guinea replacement?

The only Guinea who didn't huddle in the circle was this brave Lavender. When the ducklings took over the water hole and drove the chicks off the little Lavender charged in and drove the bigger ducklings away - so funny to see.

It took Chip crashing into/over the fence to get the Guineas out of their circle. Once they discovered that the chicks were friendly they too had a ball. The Guineas actually seem to be further ahead in the flying game than the chicks.

At the end of the day we had to round everyone up and put them back in the garage. A later inspection showed all the fowl resting in an exhausted manner - a very happy day!

Chip so wanted to try the chicken feed, we had to keep a close eye on him as he crashed the wire several times.

Everyone wanted a ringside seat to watch the show, and when none were available Chip and Becca made room for themselves.

The fencing for the coop area was finished today, so in went the goats to eat down some of the brush. Addison enjoyed being off the tether for a change.

Chip found his way into the duckling's old maximum security holding area looking for food, what a ham.

Friday was a very special day here as a little girl had a slumber party for her birthday. A lot of fun was had by all, with the girls finally succumbing to the sandman at 0530 the next morning.

I get a hug from a happy little girl!

Oh, I got the goat stand ready for use today - although this is not the first customer I expected.

Happy Fathers Day everyone, hope your day was as wonderful as ours!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sunshine and Ducklings

The sun finally came out today so we decided to let the ducklings play in the grass.

Everyone was excited to be outside, and they all wanted to see the new ducklings. Chip leans in to take a closer look.

The ducklings immediately escape from our maximum security enclosure with Chip hot on their tails.

Addison takes a turn at herding the escaping ducklings. The little ones were quite funny, following me all across the lawn and remaining in a tight 3 duckling formation at all times.

Becca watched the antics comfortably while seated in my chair. Sara wants her out but she won't budge.

Chip can't get her to move either - it almost looks like she wants to order a drink for the cupholder.

Becca only decides to leave when she spots the lush vegetation that all the rain has helped spawn. She sprints across the yard to make sure she gets her share.

Becca puts on her cute face while clearing the underbrush.

Chip can eat with the best of them, but isn't he handsome.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Replacements

I picked up one Rhode Island Red chick and one White Guinea keet at the farm store to replace the ones we lost, after a short period they were in snuggling with their bin mates. I also picked up eight feet of low fence that can be set in a circle, I plan on putting it in the grass and letting the ducks free to play in the grass. Anything that reduces the mess they make in their pen will be greatly appreciated.

Today was again overcast with light rain sprinkles, making sixteen straight days in June with no sunshine. The goats left the barn but didn't really graze, they still hate rain.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rain, Rain, Rain

It has rained every single day this month, not a single day of sunshine since late May. If the sun ever shines again things (that haven't drown) will really take off and grow, at least I hope so for my gardens sake.

I separated the chicks and the keets to give them all more room. The chicks really like it but the keets appear to be scared without the larger chicks around, we will see how this works out.

Goats hate rain.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lost a Guinea

More rain, although we did manage to get the lawn mowed. The goats refuse to leave their barn because of the rain or mosquitoes, I don't blame them. Per Faith's advice I took some of the clippings and put it in with the chicks and keets - they loved it. Unfortunately our weak little keet passed away today, so we are down 1 chick and 1 Guinea.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Rain, Clearing

It has been raining for days, everything is soaked. The garden has stopped growing and really needs some sunshine to explode in a massive growth spurt. The overall wetness has really slowed down the clearing and chipping, but the Commander slogs on when he gets a chance.

The sheep barn will go here once the stumps are removed, hopefully next week.

I can't believe how different this looks, and how much the forest has been pushed back.

One of the chickens passed away this morning, I really hope it wasn't the rooster. One of the guineas is looking wobbly, we will see if he makes it through the night. The ducklings are doing fine, but boy do they create huge messes.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Yes, cannibals! No picture with this post because it would be too gruesome. To break the mood look at my new boots.

OK, The chicks are cannibals. I didn't want to do it but the care instructions made me. I hoped that the chicks would exercise restraint, but I was wrong. Isn't this grown up Guinea pretty?

Anyhow, the instructions said to feed the chick cooked egg yokes - yes, egg yokes. The cannibals wolfed them down without a second thought, and the guineas, chicks, and ducklings are all doing great. The ducklings even had some chopped greens with their chicken - I mean yokes.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

And so it begins.....

I picked up our poultry order from the local farm store this morning. It consisted of 8 Wyandotte females, 1 Wyandotte rooster (pictured above), 5 royal Guineas, and 5 lavender Guineas. The rest of the day was spent setting up heat lamps for the brood in the garage, and moving the ducklings out to join them.

They all seem to be healthy and active, and every time I check on them I dip their beaks in the water so they know where it is. The Guineas are smaller than the chickens, pictured above is one of the royal Guineas.

The lavender Guineas are very cute (pictured), but the chickens seem to go out of their way to trample or lay right on them. Lets hope the garage doesn't catch fire tonight from the heat lamps.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Don't take kids shopping......

...or else you will end up with things that you didn't plan on, like Ducklings! I went to the local farm store after my after school pickup to make sure our chickens would arrive tomorrow as scheduled and, well, I ended up with three ducklings. I originally said no. I made the case that ducks really don't serve much of a purpose, especially at our house where we have no standing water, but.... I fully expected the Commander to back me up so when I asked him he stated; "I don't care." That was it, I couldn't say no at that point. Tonight will be spent researching how to raise ducks.

They are cute, I guess we will be picking up a baby pool for them some time this summer.

It has been raining all day, so when I heard the goats screaming I knew something was up. Out I trudged into the pouring storm, only to discover that they had somehow gotten into the birthing stall - that had a tamper proof latch - and had eaten a small hole in the grain bag and chowed on the alfalfa stored there. Addison and Becka looked fine, but Chips belly was full! I fed him some baking soda and will check on him later. Sara was no help, I let her in the barn to help me round them up and she was more interested in eating goat dropping than helping, so out she went.

Finally, the Commander had what he thought was a simple question for me; "This project was originally planned for sheep, yet we now have goats and ducks (and no sheep), how did this happen?" The chickens and Guinea keets arrive tomorrow, Lord help us.