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We’ve been feeding Chaffhaye for a week now

You really need to watch our animals to see their love of Chaffhaye.

The goats get into the bucket before we can get into the pen.

The sheep do all but climb over their feeders, as do the milking goats.

What makes it so irresistible?

It could be the kiss of molasses that is sprayed onto the freshly chopped alfalfa, or it could be something far more simple, and something most animals in our valley have never tasted… absolutely fresh alfalfa, cut when it is most nutritious, yet tender and tasty.

I find it very interesting that both goats and sheep are in love with it. After all, sheep are grazers, and I would expect them to love it. Goats, however, are browsers. They are happiest when  allowed to trim our trees, munch on  tumbleweed,  or other miscellaneous weeds on our farm.

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Posted in Around the farm, Chaffhaye, Goats
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Summertime, and we’re still having newborns!

Yep, when most everyone else is done having babies around here, we’re still kidding, and one of our hens and our duck are setting with one chick hatched so far.

A while ago, our chickens discovered one of our secrets… their fence had rotted out at the base. If they wiggled a bit, they could go walk about. First there were a couple, then a few, and finally more than half the flock.

While it was fun to watch them interact with the birds in our front yard, go over to the sheep, cow, and goat pens, Mom soon became irritated as they kept “helping her” with the landscaping. Unfortunately, their favorite work was usually done where she had recently raked… kicking all that soil back onto the walkway.

So, Cindy went to work fixing the fence. Because the chickens were mostly smart enough to return  to the coop at  night,

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Posted in Around the farm, Goats
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Owl gets second chance

This one is for the folks who question the animal welfare we farmers provide.

While doing chores this morning, Cindy was collecting eggs when  she came upon a chicken that appeared to be setting on a nest in the corner of the coop. Upon closer inspection, the chicken was dead.

Imagine Cindy’s surprise when she turned to see a full-grown owl within about 4 feet of her, sitting in a feed bowl. I couldn’t see it because the sun was blocking my view through the screen. We’re still not exactly sure of the breed. I thought it was a barn owl, Cindy thought maybe a Great Horned. We’re sure it isn’t one of our local Long-earred Owl’s.

I gotta’ tell you, Cindy was just a little undone. I can’t repeat what she said, as there are some youngsters who follow this blog. Let’s just say she was more undone when I wanted to lock the outside door (that meant her in),

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Posted in Around the farm, Critter Central, Farm Tales
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Are we done with winter yet?

Enough with this weather! We have goats due to kid  about February 14 with lambing starting in March. We still need to finish the  two hoop houses and  then have to rebuild the  aquaponics system.

Besides that, we’re getting cabin fever.

Sheep in pen
Sheep are ready for breakfast.

Throughout the bad weather, our animals have made us look bad. The sheep insist on sleeping under the  stars, even though they have shelters. When we go out in the morning for chores, there they are, laying in muck. They get  up and  shake the ice crystals off their warm wooly coats and head for the feed.

More often than  not, our heifer has spent the night outside  although she has two covered wind breaks. She sleeps really close to her feed area, in case she wants to snack.

Zena, the Alpine goat has really frustrated us.

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Posted in Around the farm, Seasons
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Roosters get surprize… meet neighbor’s freezer

Totally natural chickensYesterday, our neighbors came to collect the five roosters we had promised them. They are going their freezer, so we agreed to help butcher them.

Now, Bonnie and Ray are in the process of building their own home to the  west of us. We have been in awe of their skills ever since we moved here. While they are retired, they’re not slowing down at all. From digging their own basement, to pouring the foundations, to putting in their own septic, framing their house (somewhere around 3000 sq ft), to finishing the inside… and on and on.

So butchering chickens should be a snap.

Not so fast… First off, Bonnie was traumatized as a small child by a rooster who attacked her. Her fear has continued to this day. While she was willing to supervise, she wanted no part of this process.

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Posted in Do it yourself time, New Home in Beryl
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  • Goats helping photographer
    Hey, we'd love to help you take your pictures.
  • Coco's little calf born July 30, 2014
    Coco's little calf born July 30, 2014.
  • Cindy feeding Chaffhaye
  • working in the kitchen
    Bev recording milk weights, Shari stirring the Cajeta
  • The first two little doelings.
    The first two little doelings.
  • Mom with Thor
    Mom is cuddling our new buckling, Thor.
  • cargo trailer
    Our Farmer's Market cargo trailer.
  • Hand digging trench
    Shari pitches in and digs up broken water line.

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