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A view from the farm

Dog, behaving for once, Goats one and two, and if you’ve a really good eye, Chickens! 🙂 Just... read more

A hunting we will go

Yesterday when I went to the chicken coop, basket in hand to get the egg “haul” of the day, I discovered only one egg! Boo-hoo! What I believe happened was this. The wily goats have discovered the chicken feed in the coop. And they like it! Mucho! Which is fine, it’s organic, no problem well except that little goaties shouldn’t be eating a lot of grain, and can in fact gorge on it and cause themselves some pretty significant issues. So to avoid that problem, when the goats are out (because we let them out nearly every afternoon for browsing and exercise) I close the outer door to the coop to keep them out of the grain. Apparently yesterday when I did this, most of the gals hadn’t laid their eggs yet. *sigh* So I imagine they found someplace that would “do” and dropped them all there. Arg! I kinda wandered around and glanced at some of the places the girls like to hang out, but didn’t find anything. Oh well. We’ve still been getting 5-7 eggs a day from our 8 remaining hens. I have plans to get some chickies to enlarge our flock hopefully sometime in February. I’d like to get them settled into the brooder in the garage and growing well between when our goats kid. I’ve been looking on the My Pet Chicken website and have pretty well decided that I want to get Easter Eggers as my next batch of layers. They are called that, you may wonder, because they lay eggs in a variety of colors, most often blue and green, but also cream and pink even! How fun! With 15 of those we’d have a colorful egg basket for sure! 🙂 As for the goats. I’m getting nervous! We are within a week of Polka’s possible due date! And guess who gets to be midwife? US! Ack!!! It’s weird but I’m more nervous about helping these silly goats have kids than I was having my own… well, sorta. Anyway, I didn’t have to be on the “catching end” with mine. 😉 I’m looking forward to seeing what and how many babies we get! It’ll be fun to have bouncing kids around. What I’m not looking forward to is having to disbud them. 🙁 That means burning the “buds” where the horns would grow in. Not fun, nopers! But having a goat with horns is not good either. They are hard to rehome,... read more

Pig for Christmas?

Dear Santa, (sorry Mom) I would like an American Guinea Hog for Christmas please! 🙂 Be sure not to confuse it with Guinea Pig because they are NOT the same creature. 🙂 A pregnant couple would be best actually. Thanks! Rachel P.S. I have been a very good girl this year. Just so you know. 😉 So I don’t really believe in Santa, but I have been a good girl. 😀 I do eventually want to get Guinea Hogs for our little mini-farm, but it’ll probably be a few years down the road. Guinea Hogs are considered and endangered breed and are therefore more expensive. Go figure! However, from what I’ve read they make great pigs for the small time farm operations who are raising meat for their own use. Piggies are actually great animals to have around because they scrounge around and eat just about anything! 🙂 Plus I’ve read this breed are known for killing snakes! Nice perk! So we’ll see how the goat adventure goes. Perhaps we’ll buy a pig to raise and butcher sooner, but eventually I’d like to get a pair of Guinea Hogs to keep our freezer stocked with pork.... read more

Cheap Meat

Last night Stuart was reading blurbs of this article to me. This morning I read it myself. And even thought it wasn’t a huge “surprise” based on the way things degenerate when ‘big’ anything takes over, just the amazing amount of cruelty was completely overwhelming. And disgusting. And sickening. Yes, actually sickening! Yet I am going to recommend that you read it just the same CLICK HERE for the article. It contains some video footage as well, which I’d highly suggest that you don’t let any kids see! I only watch a couple minutes of it and literally felt physically ill. It’s revolting and completely cruel! Now before you think I’m going down the “Animal Rights Activist” road, let me tell you that I am not. In fact reading/watching this makes me more than ever determined to raise our own meat. I just can’t buy meat from the stores knowing that it came from animals that are treated this way! Animals are supposed to be food for us, sure, but not like this. No way! And it also begs the question of how ‘good’ can meat from animals in these conditions actually be? So what’s the solution? We can’t all move to plots of land and start raising our own cows, chickens and pigs, right? Right! But there ARE other solutions. And to be perfectly honest with you the price that you pay in dollars will be well worth it to NOT be supporting this kind of heartlessness AND to be getting food that is going to be better for your over all health. While we are in the process of building up our little farm operation. We are still in the same boat. Trying to find sources of good food and humanely raised meat until we can produce it on or own. So I’ve got a few suggestions for you if you’re willing to do just a LEEEEETLE leg (or computer) work that will help put better quality food on your table and stop supporting those horrible meat manufacturers. I’ve managed to find farms in our state that will sell quarter or half grass fed beef for as little as $4.90 per pound!! If you’ve been shopping lately you’ll probably notice that that is actually LESS than what many supermarkets are charging you for the beef that comes from tortured animals. Really! A quarter beef is going to be in the 80- 100ish pounds of meat range a... read more

A trip to get goats

Pretty sure I never actually blogged about our trip to get the Ladies. These goats are amazing and come from REALLY good (read champion) blood lines. Since they are dairy goats that means that they are bred for maximum milk production qualities. We were even sent home with several of Polka’s blue ribbons that she’s won! Polly had not been shown. All of that to say that it was a fabulous opportunity for us to get our hands on goats of this quality right out of the gate! I can’t wait to start getting milk from these Ladies! Woo-Hoo!! So we had to take a little trip to the Valley or Phoenix area to pick up the goats. They lived less than a mile apart so that made it relatively easy. 🙂 Originally Polka was going to be shown one last time at the fair, but she “dried up” faster than expected (which could indicate more than 2 babies!) and her previous owner opted to just forgo the fair with her. We’d already made plans for the weekend to be there and were going to take the boys to the fair, so we just changed it up a bit and spent time with the boys doing other stuff. We dragged them to IKEA! 😉 They were less than impressed, silly lads, but they did have a great time in the pool! We had it to ourselves for most of the afternoon which is not surprising because even in Phoenix November is not the best time of year for a swim! But it was warm enough for a little bit so we all had a good time! (look for the cameo of Stu’s foot in the following photo to prove that he was there!) Keeping little kids quiet enough in a hotel is stressful for me. Uh-huh! Fortunately they usually come equipped with a tv. and if that doesn’t work we bust out the iPad! They also experienced Chick-fil-a! This is me the morning we were to meet our goats! I’m kinda nervous… dunno why. And here they are snug as bugs in the crate for our trip home! You can see by their wide eyes that they are not so sure about this adventure. 🙂 A huge thanks to our friends Matt and Rachael who kept the girls for us that weekend! They had a blast! And so did... read more

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