Friday, April 29, 2011

And A Partridge In A Pear Tree


Evening barn chores are beginning to lean heavily on the side of being pandemonium. It's crazy! I find myself subconciously humming 'The Twelve Days of Christmas', as I go about, trying to get things done. What with 60 chicks a' chirping, 6 goats a' maaa-ing, 2 ducks a' quacking, 1 rooster crowing, 1 cow a' bawling... I can't help but wonder where the partridge in a pear tree is! ;)

Things usually start out with the goat kids crying their heads off, as they hear me come into the barn. That in itself is ear piercing. Next the cow starts bellowing. Not sure why she thinks she has to shake the barn rafters, as she already has food in front of her face; but I guess she feels it necessary to try to harmonize with the kids. The ducks pick up the chorus with their incessant quacking and start following me everywhere. Not to be outdone, Ivy, Heidi, and Capri start shouting out the soprano parts of this crazy symphony. The rooster adds the bass, and the chicks merrily keep time to the melody. Things have suddenly gotten really loud!

Wait a minute! This ain't no 'Twelve days o' Christmas'! This is old McCaity had a farm! With a moo, moo here, and a quack, quack there! Here a chirp, there a crow, everwhere a Maa! Maa! E-I-E-I-O!

The goats all make a dash for the gate, which has just been untied, and I feel like I've just been hit by a tidal wave. There's a mad scramble to grab their collars, but one orney goat still manages to slip past. Fine, have it your way, goat.

Feeling rather harried, as my two milkers are complaining that they need to be milked, I scramble around filling water buckets, throwing hay into the manger, feeding the dry does their evening ration, attempting to bottle feed the kids, closing up the chicken coop, re-filling the chickies feeders and waterers, feeding the ducks, closing up the barn doors, cleaning off the milk stand, preparing for milking, filling the ducks water bowl, as I realize that while I cleaned it out five minutes ago, I forgot to actually put water in there.

And then!

Everything goes silent.

Utterly silent...

The goat kids have milk in their tummies, and their little heads start nodding like wildflowers in a breeze. Their tiny snores are heard in a few more minutes. The cow decides that the hay in the manger is more appealing than voicing her opinion on things. Nothing more is heard from her, except methodical munching. Capri and Penny settle down for the night, content that they got their rations before the milkers did. The ducks lay down next to the milk stand, waiting for me to start milking. The broiler chicks are all asleep, the rooster finally stopped crowing, and Heidi and Ivy expectantly watch me as I finish up getting ready to milk.

The pandemonium probably only lasts ten to fifteen minutes, but it seems like eternity sometimes. I am extremely grateful that they are usually quiet when I milk. It makes the noise more bearable. I milk Ivy first, and then Heidi. all you hear is the streaming of the milk into the stainless steel pail. One squirt, and then the next. The ducks watch me, sitting one foot away. No barn cats here, to bother me when milking; instead I get inquisitive ducks.

Maybe it's a good thing that I don't have a partridge in a pear tree; that might be too much noise... ;)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Will the sun never shine!?

My garden is still not planted. There is still mud. My veggie starts are waterlogged. The goats are complaining about getting their feet wet. And I wonder...

Will the warm, dry weather of memories past ever return!?


This picture is torture to me.

Blue sky. Canary yellow flowers. Green things growing...

Which is exactly what we don't have right now!

Patience is a virtue, they say, but methinks I'm  a little low on that virtue right now... 

Will the sun never shine!?

Friday, April 22, 2011

My Two Meadow Flowers...

Please be forewarned that the following pictures are horribly grainy, and are yucky quality. The kidding pen is extremely dim, so good pics were out of the question!

But to continue... Here are my two newest girlies. :)


The solid brown female is named, 'Chamomile'...


And my spotted lass is, 'Melilot'. ;)


Seeing as their mom had the name 'Ivy', it seemed appropriate that they too should be named after an herb.


Both Melilot and Chamomile are pretty common meadow flowers, and the names just seemed to fit these two imps.


 I have to admit that Melilot is my pride and joy. I had been hoping fervently that Ivy would have a spotted kid, and she did! She's been nicknamed 'Lottie', and boy howdy does she like to keep moving! She has mastered the art of perpetual motion. ;)


Dear sweet Chamomile... What a sweetheart. She had a rough start in life, and I ended up having to bottle feed her for a short time, and then she ended up bonding to me instead of with Ivy. She's the smaller of the two, and looks extremely dairy! I'm looking forward to seeing how she grows.


Ivy has been doing well, and while she has been motherly to Chamomile and Melilot, she hasn't really bonded with them. Hopefully this means that it will be relatively easy to separate them. I went ahead and decided to keep the kids on her until Monday, then I'll switch to bottle feeding them. 

I am not looking forward to feeding those little rascals every 6 hours around the clock, but I guess I'll get used to it. :)


I'll try and get some better pictures of them on Monday, when I put them in the weaning pen!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Secrets Revealed...

A magician is never supposed to reveal their secrets... Such matters are meant to be kept heavily cloaked in mystery and wonder... Only they, are supposed to know the answers...

But seriously, where's the fun in that!? ;)

I'll stop being weird now.

I love getting to talk with other people who are of like mind, and gleaning new ideas and techniques from them. So many times, I have caught myself thinking, "Duh! Why didn't I think of that?" when someone shares something new with me.

So, I thought I might share a few of my "deep, dark secrets to success" [wink], with y'all...

My number one, top secret item that I absolutely could not live without is.... apple cider vinegar!
I'm not kidding! I put 1/2 cup of the raw, unfiltered stuff in my animals water bucket (holds 5 gallons), and it gives them a beautiful sheen, boosts their immunity, helps keeps the flies at bay (doesn't completely deter them, but it does help), and causes your animals to have female babies. I know, that last one sounds weird, but it's true! I always increase the ACV amount in their water right before breeding season, and voila! you have about a 90% chance of getting female offspring. :) I put it in my chickens water as well, for all the above mentioned reasons, and I've heard that it too will increase the chance of getting pullets instead of cockerels in your hatch, but I have yet to try this.

If you want male offspring, then start giving your girls alkaline foods two weeks before breeding. A lot of goat owners end up with an amazing amount of bucklings each year because their goats have baking soda available year around. Very alkaline.

To give your chicks a really good head start in life, give them mashed up hard-boiled eggs, complete with crushed egg shells (I do 3 eggs for every 50 birds) once a day for a few days. I usually leave the mashed eggs in the brooder for 20 minutes before removing it.

Chopped up raisins give excellent results when given to chicks too. They're a pain to chop, but it's oh, so worth it! I don't know what it is about raisins, but they really seem to boost the health and vitality of those teeny chickies. Chopped up onions and parsley are also super good for chicks. Again, only leave these extra tidbits out for maybe 20-30 minutes each day; otherwise the chicks may get too full on them, but not receive the protein they need.

Put 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in each quart of water for your chicks. I have never had a single case of "pasty bum" with my chicks when they were on the ACV. A wee bit of raw milk is also really beneficial to the little guys. :)

The following recipe is great to use for pregnant livestock. Start feeding one month before their due date.

2 Tablespoons Raspberry leaf
1 Tablespoon Thyme
1 Tablespoon Chamomile
1 Tablespoon Peppermint leaves

This is one dose. You can easily change the recipe to "parts" (e.g. 2 parts raspberry, 1 part thyme, etc.) to make bigger batches, and then feed 1/4 cup a day.

If you are going to be bottle feeding any animal, put Slippery Elm powder in the milk at each feeding! This will prevent scours entirely, as well as being a good bone and muscle producer. I started out, putting 1 teaspoon in Poppy's milk when she was on the bottle (each feeding was 1/2 gallon), and then gradually worked up to 1 Tablespoon. I had to switch milks a lot with Poppy; sometimes she was on goat milk, sometimes cow milk, sometimes milk replacer! But she never once scoured, since I put the Slippery Elm in there. For goat kids or lambs, I would stay at 1 teaspoon per feeding. Calves, foals or other large animals can have 1 Tablespoon.

Pine tree branches are an excellent hay substitute if you suddenly find yourself out of hay. I don't know if horses will eat them, but I do know that my goats and cow love them!

Apple cider vinegar will cure hoof rot in record time. Spray it undiluted on the affected area twice a day until the animal has recovered.

Keeping your future dairy animals on the bottle, or on the mother, until they are 5-6 months will make them less reliant on grain in order to produce milk when they are older. It's my secret to building a "grass-based" herd of dairy goats!

Quoting Dr. Seuss helps calm down fidgety animals. ;)

I use freezer bags filled with frozen water to chill milk quicker. It's like having giant ice cubes! By putting my milk in a pot full of ice cold water, with the freezer bags, and then keeping it in the fridge, we get our milk chilled in about 20 minutes.

Having 6 goats, 75 chickens, 1 cow, 2 ducks and three gardens makes you sleep really good at night. ;)

What are some of your favorite tips and tricks?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spoke Too Soon

Hehe, this afternoon I posted those pics of Ivy looking all rotund, and I was wondering when she would *ever* pop. Well guess what....

Ivy kidded today!!!

I went out at 3 PM, and found Ivy in what I thought was the first stage of labor. Ten minutes later, I found that she was in the third stage as I watched her give birth!!

She had twin doelings!!!

One girlie is a solid bay color, with cream badger stripes on her face, and a white star on her forehead. The other wee lassie is dark brown, also has a white star on her forehead, and has gray patches and spots all over her!  Both weight about 4 lbs. so they are tiny! Beatrix and Bertram weighed about 8-9 lbs. when first born. :)

Sorry, I haven't gotten pictures yet, but will soon! Names have already been decided for my little ladies, but I shall wait until I have pictures before revealing them.... Yeah, I'm so mean. ;)

Next up is Capri on May 9th!

And They Lived Happily Ever After...




The end...

My ears are ringing...

We awoke to the sound of the phone ringing this morning. My clock read 5:58 AM. T'was the post office calling; they had a package for us...

Dad drove the truck into town, while I stayed home and made a few phone calls to various people.

Not too much later, dad came home, but there was a good deal more noise coming from the truck this time! In the back lay four big cardboard boxes with holes punched into them. Each box was liberally pasted with stickers that shouted, "LIVE ANIMALS", "Handle with care!".

Within those dark cardboard walls were 375 peeping chicks!! Aaaah!

Mennagerie Farm only needed 50 chicks right now, but a few other families wanted to buy some meat chicks as well, so we all ordered together and the total somehow came out to the earlier mentioned 375. The deadline was eventually reached, and the chickies were shipped on Monday. I was extremely pleased with the whole batch of chicks; they were all perky looking, and were eager to explore the brooder from the start.

However, I learned that you CANNOT fit 375 chicks into a 4'x4' brooder box!! I think I was able to comfortably put 150 in there? Thankfully, everyone who ordered with us came early to pick up their chicks, so it wasn't too bad.

I got so discombobulated this morning between the chicks arriving, trying to count them all, and people coming to pick them up, that my regular chores took twice as long as usual, and I actually left the milk pail (full of milk!) in the barn! Sheesh.

My ears are ringing now...

Still Holding Out...


Ivy's ready...


Her official due date is tomorrow....


But the question remains as the when she will finally pop!


I'm looking forward to having a floppy eared kid (or two!) around the place... :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Looks like work


"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
~Thomas Edison

Three ways to national wealth


"There seem to be but three ways for a nation to acquire wealth. The first is by war, as the Romans did, in plundering their conquered neighbors. This is robbery. The second by commerce, which is generally cheating. The third by agriculture, the only honest way, wherein man receives a real increase of the seed thrown into the ground, in a kind of continual miracle, wrought by the hand of God in his favor, as a reward for his innocent life and his virtuous industry."
~Benjamin Franklin

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Random...

I was looking for a totally different picture when I stumbled upon these... Really, I was!

But since I found the below pics, I decided to go ahead and post them on here.

This was my little baby alpaca that was born on our farm last year...


He was a smiley little feller', who went by the name of, 'Tumnus'. The mother alpaca had always given birth two weeks early for the last 5-6 years, but that year, she was almost three weeks late! Thus resulting in a cria (term for baby alpaca) that was born the size of a three month old! He was a whopper!


Petting him was like feeling pure silk... It was amazing. Last time I saw him, he was only three months old, but was the size of the six month old babies! ;)

So yeah, this is really random. I was actually getting on here to say that I sold Beatrix and Bertram today (I'm very pleased about who they went to; they will both be spoiled rotten!), and that Ivy should kid any day now; so stay tuned!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Why am I not surprised?

When I read the article below, I really wasn't surprised at all. Mad that tainted meat can still be sold in grocery stores? Yes. But not surprised...


"A team of researchers from Arizona bought meat and poultry in five cities across the United States, tested them for bacteria, and found this: 47 percent of the samples contained the very common pathogen Staphylococcus aureus, and 96 percent of those isolates were resistant to at least one antibiotic. Of more concern: 52 percent of those staph isolates were resistant to at least three antibiotics that are commonly used in both veterinary and human medicine.

That is: Roughly one in four packages of meat and poultry from across the US contained multi-drug resistant staph.
Here are the details: A team from the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Flagstaff, Ariz., led by Lance B. Price, Ph.D., bought 136 packages of ground beef, chicken breasts and thighs, pork chops and ground pork, and ground turkey, under 80 brand names, in 26 supermarkets in Flagstaff, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles and Washington, DC. They analyzed the meat for the presence of staph, because staph has been found in the past in several food-animal species. They did a second round of testing to define which strain of staph was on the meat, and then they did a third round, testing the isolates against five important classes of antibiotics, to see whether the staph they had found was resistant.
Which it was. Very. The antibiotics to which the staph was resistant included: penicillin and ampicillin; erythromycin; tetracycline; oxacillin, the more modern form of the drug methicillin; the drug combination quinupristin/dalfopristin, known as Synercid; the fluoroquinolones levofloxacin (Levaquin) and ciprofloxacin (Cipro); and the last-resort drugs for very serious staph infections vancomycin and daptomycin. One staph isolate was resistant to nine different antibiotics.
Among the types of meat tested, turkey carried the most resistance, with 77 percent of the meat samples showing at least some; that was followed by pork (42 percent), chicken (41 percent) and beef (37 percent). Interestingly, it wasn’t all the same staph. Though there was a great diversity of staph types, each animal species seemed to carry mostly one sequence type or strain of staph: ST1 in pigs, ST5 in chickens and ST398 in turkey. 
I spoke to Lance Price about his team’s work. “This is the first study to show that antibiotic-resistant staph is highly prevalent in the American food supply,” he told me.
He added: “There’s an important second point: We found that each of the meat and poultry types had their own distinctive staph on them. That provides strong evidence that food animals were the primary source of the resistant staph. The source wasn’t human contamination of the meat at slaughter, or when it was packaged for retail sale.”

And yet the government is still trying to snuff the small farmers out. Why is it that our clean meat is considered "more dangerous" than CAFO meat?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Proverbs 14:4



"Where no oxen are, the trough is clean;
But much increase comes by the strength of an ox."
~Proverbs 14:4

The above verse really stuck out to me this morning, as I was reading through my Bible. Synonyms of the word "trough" are "manger", or "hay trough". Where no oxen are, the hay manger is clean (or, empty).

This past week has been a mix of struggling and trusting. As I mentioned in the post below, I'm not exactly swimming in money right now; and I'm learning that you always run out of everything when you don't have any funds. In this scenario, I am almost out of hay.

On and off, throughout the week, I kept on having the thought, "If you didn't have any animals, you wouldn't have to be continually stressing about hay and feed!" What an annoying thought. If I didn't have any animals, my hay manger would be clean (empty). But much increase comes with having animals.

Last night, the stress hit it's peak as I woefully opened the last bale. I was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted from a long day, and opening that last bale was the last straw (no pun intended). I finished up my barn chores, and despite my tiredness, I started walking.

And walking.

And walking.

I paced the perimeter of the property; I roved the neighbor's property. I racked my brain... Where was the money coming from to get the next batch of hay!?!? I cried out to the Lord, "Father, I can't do it! Help me!" (Gotta' love flare prayers!) And then I stopped.

A piece of scripture came to mind, "Be still, and know that I am God."


How often I falter in life; I get so wrapped up with my own things, that I start thinking that "I can do it all by myself.", and then BOOM, I get the jarring reminder that I really can't. Not without the help of Christ.

I walked some more; my mind was quiet this time though. Then a quiet, soft thought came to mind...
"Sell your rabbit cages..." I balked at first. "But I might need those!" I sold my three rabbits a couple months ago (ironically, to buy hay), so my cages all stood empty at the moment.

After a moment, I softened. It was logical. Cages sell for a good price, and they sell quick.

A few minutes later, another quiet thought came to mind, "Buy a round bale this time..."

Well that was out of the blue!! I have never bought a round bale in my life, but as I thought about it, it too seemed logical. A "square" bale (they're actually rectangular, but for some reason we call 'em square) usually weighs between 60-80 lbs. and a ton sells for $150 to $240. That's an average of 30 bales, which might last me 2-3 weeks. Anyone see a problem with that? Shucks, I didn't even have a dollar. Much less $150! Round bales on the other hand, weigh 700-1600 lbs. and sell for $40. Yup, $40. I've always shied away from the round bales in the past, because the quality isn't always as good as square bales, and with dairy animals, you NEED good hay!

So, with the above thoughts in mind, I went to the greatest website ever invented: Craigslist. ;)

After some snooping around, I found what I wanted: one place had some 750 lb. bales of good grass hay for $40 each. Another place had some 1600 lb. bales of green orchard grass hay for $75. I'm leaning towards to $75 dollar bales, as I know my goats will eat the hay and still produce well on it.

I put my cages on craigslist and within one hour, I had three people ask to buy them. I've got someone coming to pick them up as I type.

If I had no animals, my life would definitely be a lot more stress-free; but mightn't I miss out on some lessons that the Lord has in store for me? The Lord is teaching me to trust Him more; to let go of my fear and just let Him lead. But methinks it's an uphill climb. I am not perfect. It may seem so as you read these words that have been carefully thought out and edited. But my life un-edited has some ragged edges to it. I could make myself sound like the most perfect person in the world, on this blog. typing's easy. I just push buttons and words magically appear. It's living life out that is difficult.

So I here I go. Embarking upon a new adventure that entails selling cages, and tentatively buying a round bale. I won't deny that I still have a shred of regret in selling my cages, and I am still wary about buying a round bale; but at this point in life, I have no choice. There are mouths that need to be fed.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Milk Money. Literally.

Over the past few weeks, it has become clearer and clearer that I might be onto something...

I have "milk money".

Nope. This ain't the usually money that comes from selling milk. You don't see much of that in the dairy business (despite selling goat milk for $10 per gallon).

This is milk that can be used instead of money.

In our area, there is a HUGE demand for raw milk. It's unbelievable. But times are hard, and people would rather use their money for other things besides real food (I would never dare suggest big screen TV's, or sodas, would I?). However, I have been finding that trading is an interesting, untapped alternative.

People like milk. Period. And the idea of getting raw milk in trade for something that they already have is especially appealing. So far, I'm trading raw goat milk for homegrown eggs, and raw cow milk, and am on the lookout for more trades. I'm really hoping to start trading milk for meat soon, but may end up having to wait until I have some cow milk of my own to trade. One trade that I would like to someday try is this: Trade milk for a beef calf and then raise it to slaughtering weight. Trade half of that beef (value of 1/2 beef is $400-$600) for 4-6 tons of good cow hay. Trade 2-3 tons of that hay for a 450 lb. beef calf, and the process starts all over again! I figure that if I ever get that ball rolling, then I can keep free beef in our freezer, and free hay in our barn. I already have friends who will trade me hay for beef, and I know of some people who will trade hay for a calf. All I need is that first lil' feller.

Other trades I'm on the lookout for are fresh veggies, fruits, fish, plants, livestock, etc. So if any of you blog readers are in the area and want some raw milk.... ;)

Money is something that I am definitely short on, most times of the year; so I fall to trading and haggling. You might say it's starting to become a hobby of mine. Or an art. ;) You should try it sometime!

Book Review

While I have many books in my "book crate" this month, I really only enjoyed a small handful of them. But there was one book in particular that I definitely liked...


Yeah, big surprise; it's a book by Joel Salatin. ;) Have I ever mentioned that I like his books?

I had heard a lot of people raving about this book, so I got in line to check it out at the library. Unfortunately, there were already 6 holds on the book before my request, so the wait was long.

But it was worth it.

The Sheer Ecstasy of being a Lunatic Farmer.
By Joel Salatin


Rating: 10
Readability: 10
Impact: 10
Recommend it? Yes!
Read it again? Yes!

What to expect: "From his own pen, Salatin explains both the rationale for and the satisfaction from a solar-driven, pasture-based, locally-marketed, symbiotic, synergistic, relationally-oriented farm. This book describes, with stories and evangelistic fervor, the breadth and depth of the paradigm differences between healing and exploitive food systems. A landscape and food policy epiphany awaits every reader." --Excerpt from back cover of book.

My thoughts on it: When I finished the book, my first thought was: "Wow." I couldn't seem to find any other word to use. The book was filled with humor; so much so, that I started driving everyone crazy with my constant mirth! Can you say, "Mob stocking herbivorous solar conversion lignified carbon sequestration fertilization", five times really fast? I can't either, ;) I guess Joel can, though.
The book continues at a quick pace, which keeps it from getting boring. I loved Joel's optimistic, upbeat attitude that shines through in the book, and was very encouraged throughout the whole thing. You learn about growing soil, portable infrastructures, the "pigness of pigs", relationship farming, and so much more that methinks I am going to have to read the book again! I think Joel is a little more blunt than usual, and a couple of his comments caught me off guard, but it was still a very good, educational read.


Mob stocking herbivorous solar conversion lignified carbon sequestration fertilization.... Don't know why my tongue can't seem to say that.... ;)

Eggses

I dunno'. Plain ol' "eggs" seemed so boring. Eggses has a nicer ring. Or maybe it just gets your attention... ;)

Some sweet friends of mine surprised me the other day by giving me a free bag of chicken feed from Q-Bar farm; I had heard a lot of good about this particular feed mill, so I was especially excited to see how my pullets did on the whole grain feed. To my surprise, on day #2 of switching feeds, my little ladies started laying! Coincidence? Methinks not. :)

The eggs are only about 2" long right now, as the hens get older, their eggs will get bigger. They look so cute nestled amongst the gargantuan brown and green eggs in our fridge.

Below is a picture of an egg comparison. On the right is one of our tiny pullet eggs; on the left is a duck egg.


Wait a minute! Where'd that duck egg come from!?

Hehe, I couldn't resist...


A friend mentioned to me that she needed to re-home her pair of Magpie ducks. And who was I to say nay to such an opportunity? ;) I absolutely love these two new additions to the farm. They are so hilarious as they waddle around, quacking softly to each other. As you can see in the picture, I dug out our kiddie pool that had been gathering dust in the shop, and filled it for my small aquatic friends. 

The female has been faithfully laying an egg every single morning, and for awhile we would have them for lunch (personally, I LOVE duck eggs!), but now I have been leaving the eggs in her nest in hopes that she will go broody and hatch out some ducklings! We'll see...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

For Sale...

Beatrix and Bertram...

6 weeks old. 1/2 Boer, 1/4 Saanen, 1/4 La Mancha.


Both are dehorned, and Bertram is castrated.


I'm not sure how Beatrix will turn out as a potential milker, since she has Boer blood. But if she is anything like her mom, she should be a good producer! Heidi is producing 1 gallon a day, and has not yet hit her peak. 

Beatrix is a little pill. She's cute and she jolly well knows it! She likes to prance away right before you can touch her, and then race around the pasture; gloating over how clever she is. ;) Her conformation is very correct, and she is pretty dairy looking. Her legs are just a little stubbier than most pure dairy breeds.

$100 for her.


Bertram is my love bug. He loves attention, and enjoys being scratched behind the ears. Beatrix may have gotten the brains, but Bertram definitely got the brawn. He looks very Boer with his thick, heavyset body type. I've half a mind to keep him and train him to do draft work! 

$75 OBO.

If you want both kids, I'll lower the price to $150 for the two of them.


If you would like to come out and see my little goaties, feel free to e-mail me HERE.

Monday, April 4, 2011

And I Cried...

Heidi's CAE test results didn't come in the mail today, like I was hoping.

I tried to wait. I told myself that they would probably come tomorrow.

But I couldn't wait. I wanted to know what the results were, NOW! So I called the lab, and asked for the results. It seemed like forever as they searched through their files for my name.

Then came the moment...

Heidi tested...


100% negative!!!

She is completely clean!! I was so overjoyed that I started hopping up and down. I think my response over the phone was something like, "Really!?!? THANK YOU SO MUCH! I am so happy right now!!"
The gentleman on the phone just laughed at my exuberance, and guessed that it meant a lot to me.

It did.

I went out to the barn, to see Heidi, who was contentedly chewing her cud. 

And I cried...

I was so happy, and relieved, that I cried...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Need A Laugh?

I posted the first video of Huguenot Farm a while back (look in the 'Labels' on my sidebar for 'videos'), and am now posting the sequel. I don't know how they manage to do these things without bursting into laughter... ;)

I Must Have Blinked..

Poppy...

@ 12 days old. 50 lbs. 




Poppy...

@ 4 months old. 300+ lbs.


Poppy...

@ 6 months. 400+ lbs.



I must have blinked... My knobby kneed, clumsy calf bloomed into a graceful, not-quite-as-clumsy, heifer. I don't even know when it happened...

All Flesh Is Grass...

Our herbivores eat grass. They don't eat dead cows, chicken manure or bubblegum wrappers, like CAFO animals. They eat grass. Just the way they were created to...




















I love bein' a farmer...