Saturday, January 21, 2012

So much for my New Years Resolution?

I've really wanted to blog more lately and post pictures of the farm critters but life is so incredibly busy right now I haven't had much of a chance.

On the plus side starting in February I will only be working 1 night at the ER clinic a week which will open up just about every other weekend for me so long as I'm not working the Saturday at the day practice. These open weekends will be dedicated to the farm and the dogs respectively.

In farm news my Creme D'Argent rabbit litter missed so no cute orange babies on the farm.. I will rebreed the doe if we have a warm day this week and I'm going to be culling out the rest of my Rhinelanders over the next month or two so all of my cages will be open by spring for my commercial rabbit project. If the Cremes don't end up producing like clockwork like my Rhinelanders and Belgian Hares have in the past then I most certainly will bring in another rare/heritage commercial breed that is dual purpose meat/fur.. I'm experimenting with tanning rabbit hides at the moment, the goal being to use as much of the animal as possible and I hope to have a whole blog post soon all about the processes I'm trying.

In goat news I've been lax with getting on the boat with breeding... I only think my fainter Dandy is bred at this point and I'm not 100% sure.. I'm going to be staggering the Nigerian does for breeding this year, the plan being to have a kidding every few months so I'm not overwhelmed with kidding responsibilities all at one time and to hopefully have milk available year round.

In chicken news, not much to report.. the first baby chicks will arrive in a month or so which is always fun. My current hens are not too amused with the cold weather and it certainly has effected their laying as egg production is down quite a bit.

Alot of changes will be coming to the farm this year, the big project around the corner is a major clearing and landscaping project. Just about 3 acres are being completely cleared for pasture space, the goal being to use it for hay production down the line. Other areas are being thinned and clear cut respectively, a half acre plot for a garden space, a separate space for a new goat buck area that will completely separate the boys from the girls. (no more shared fenceline, yay!) And of course the dogs are benefiting greatly from all this as they will be getting a much larger play yard, an agility field and an expanded kennel.

I'll try and get some photos up soon, I'm also planning on doing a major overhaul on the farm website... stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

First post of the New Year

My resolution was to be better blogger and so here it goes!

As January rolls into the farm it has brought with it very frigid weather. The rabbits water bowls freeze each night and have to be thawed/the ice banged out and refilled each morning and evening. Thanks to heated water buckets and bowls/heat in the kennel I don't have that problem with the goats, pigs, chickens and dogs.

Construction on the farm will be resuming soon, the first project of the new year is a small addition on the house deemed "the pet play room." This space is specifically designed for my evergrowing/expanding dog pack, it will function as an indoor training space and room just for the dogs in the house, the goal is to keep the dogs primarily in there so the rest of my house stays a bit cleaner.

The next big project will start after the pet play room is built later this winter/early spring which will be the much anticipated land clearing project. More will be added about this exciting project when we get closer to its start, I cannot wait to have more pasture space and garden space!

In animal news all is well and stable on the farm. I've decided to do something new with the goats this year and I will be staggering my breedings. The goal for this is to have milk available throughout the year so by breeding the does on spaced intervals I will have a doe in milk year round. In the rabbit barn my current litter of Rhinelanders are growing like weeds, the marked looks better and better every day. I have 2 does due in a little over a week, a Rhinelander litter and my first ever Creme litter.. my fingers are crossed for a whole bunch of cute little orange cremes.

I'll be ordering baby chicks soon to replenish my flock, the hens haven't been laying much due to the extreme cold and several are just finished with their molts. This year I'm going to order more Jersey Giants, Delawares, Campines and New Hampshires. I may also order some turkeys too and give the turkey raising a shot again..

That about sums up whats going on around the farm at the moment. Since my resolution is to post on the blog more often I will be checking in on here whenever I can even if its just to post 1 photo or to report one tidbit of farm news.

Current Farm Photos:


It sure looks bleak in the paddocks right now with all the leaves fallen from the trees and the sky gray with cold. The goat does don't mind and are hard at work eating their hay out of their hayrack.


From left to right in this photo: Wind Chime, Dixie, Spice, Latte, Athena, Dudette, Macara and Caddy. The fainters Ribbon and Dandy, and the nigerian dwarf Almond Joy are on the other side of the hay rack and not seen in this photo.


Here are 2 of my Domonique hens, they're still looking a bit off from their winter feather molts but they are looking so much better then they did a few weeks ago. This breed of chicken is very docile and they are excellent layers.


Here are the boys nomming away at their hay.


That's a New Hampshire hen up front, they're a big docile breed and I really love them, I'm looking forward to having more baby chicks of this breed in the next few months. In this photo Gigantor is the goat on top of the hay rack, Tambourine is the big white goat up front and Midnight and Herhsey are to the right.


Every morning my "farm hands," try to help me get chores completed. Reuben and Ritz wait at the gate to help.. Ghost the cat gets a better view from above.


Here's an upclose of hay chow time.


And another upclose view of the gals nomming away.


Pepper hates, HATES HATES the cold but she will wait patiently at the gate for me to return from feeding and watering the goats each morning.


Ritz and Reuben are much more enthusiastic about my return to the dog yard..


And here's the cute little marked baby with its sport sibling snuggling in their nestbox.


The baby just loves the water dish.


Seriously it spends alot of time just licking the outside and dipping its head in the water.. what a little goofball.


Here's protective momma Confetti with her cute little marked baby!