First page of original farm blog

A brief history:

We purchased this farm just 8 months after we met.  It was a 12 acre sheep and horse farm that had fallen in disrepair and had been abandoned for two years.  It was a mess!  With the help of a contractor, family and friends we fixed up the house and farm and were able to move in 6 months later.  We were married here 6 months after that in July 2003 and have settled into living here since.

Currently we have 2 Highland cows, 25 Shetland sheep (and one California Red and one CVM), 20 Nigerian dwarf goats (one Pygmy, one Angora, one Alpine, 2 mini Alpines, and one Nigora), 3 Satin Angoras (with one Fuzzy Lop, one Jersey Wooly and two Lionheads), two guards llamas, two mini donkeys and assorted poultry (chickens, ducks, turkey, and geese).

February 7, 2005

It’s currently winter although some days feel like spring.  The ground is muddy and some of the goats and sheep are bred- due in April.  We have three kids born January 15th from when the buck escaped in August and bred a doe too early. They were very chilled when I found them one hour after they were born. They are thriving now and oh so cute!  Chores involve feeding and watering everyone which is great exercise! We’re just trying to keep the peace here and the predators at bay.  We really want spring to get here and more light- it’s pretty dark and wet right now!

CLICK on their photo fro an enlargement.

February 9th

Today was a sunny day, and all the critters (including myself and Max the cat above) enjoyed it.  I managed to feed, water, clean up after, move and groom every animal that needed it.  I had to move three goats to a separate pen as they were getting too thin eating with the rest of the goats.  It’s hard to manage the weights of a flock of animals- some will eat more and be fatter than the others.  I worked on temporary fencing repairs today until the ground dries up and we can do permanent repairs.  We’re trying to tame up our Highland heifer calf Dana so today I spent time petting and brushing her.  All and all a very nice day but I’m exhausted.

CLICK on the photo for an enlargement.

February 12th

I spent the day with the animals again.  I brushed all the rabbits and trimmed their toenails- quite a chore since they don’t like the toenail part.  You have to keep up on the grooming of fiber rabbits because otherwise they mat up omething fierce.

I dusted all the goats with Coral, since I found some lice on one of them- seems to be a common problem with the goats in the winter.  I’ve never had problems with the sheep though (thankfully!).

I again tried to spend time with Dana, our Highland heifer- tried to lead her today- I’m not sure who lead who.  I spent time with the goat kids too- trying to get them more friendly. Pixie Stix is the friendly one- she always comes up and nibbles on my coat.  Tootsie Roll seems to be the jumper- she’s jumping on her mom’s back and on the hay feeder.  Zotz is just a scaredy cat- just hides behind his mom all the time.  They are sure cute.

Yesterday we picked up three Welsummer hens.  I’ve always wanted some because they have beautiful golden feathers and lay dark chocolate brown eggs.

I published the “Story of Spike” on the web site and am getting some positive feedback- that’s a recent photo of him above.  You can link to the story by clicking on his photo.

 

 

February 16th

Today was a sunny but cool day.  I spent the morning feeding and watering critters and the afternoon laying compost on the vegetable garden beds.  I had three goats out with me, munching down the weeds.  In the afternoon my copper Satin Angora rabbit gave birth to a single bunny.  All’s well so far, but I brought the nest box with the bunny into the house because it’s supposed to get very cold tonight.

CLICK on the photo for an enlargement.

February 26th

Today was a beautiful, warm, sunny day as you can see by the photo of our dog Vanessa lazing in the sunshine.  I did the usual animal chores.  I also dug up one of the compost piles and laid it on our blueberry garden.  The blueberries love it here with the peaty moist soil.  I also laid out some plastic over where the comfrey grows to try to kill it.  This plant is beautiful, but it’s carcinogenic and it’s taking over!  I laid some of the compost over the plastic to keep it down and hide it too.  I took some really rich soil from the bottom of the pile and placed it in small pots to start brocculi and cauliflower seeds.

A couple came over to look at the animals today.  They are buying a house with a little land and thinking about what kind of animals they would like.  I think goats are high on the list.  Finally I hung out with the baby goats and let them climb all over me.

CLICK on the photo for an enlargement.

March 6th

I started to shear the sheep this week.  I decided to start earlier than usually and go slowly- I’m only going to do 4 sheep per day.  I do it on a stand but still there’s a lot of bending and lifting so it wears you out!  I do all the yearly maintenance at the same time so it takes a little longer (trim hooves, trim horns, shots, worming).  I shear my own sheep to make sure the wool is cut well (no second cuts) and the sheep aren’t nicked up.  Despite this I managed to nick twice so far.  It’s hard to shear close and not to nick with all the curves on a sheep.  They’ve forgiven me though.

We’ve also been working on fencing- a never ending chore here.  The neighbors above us had cut down some trees and brought in some fill, both of which landed on and knocked over our fence.  The dogs were getting out so it had to be fixed pronto.  Fortunately it wasn’t a livestock fence so they didn’t get out.

CLICK on the photo for an enlargement.


March 9th

I sheared 4 more sheep.  In the photo you can see the stand I use to shear the sheep.  The chickens like to eat the trimmings from the hooves so that’s why there in the photo too.  I am getting better at shearing all the time.

I also had one of my does abort her kid today.  It’s my favorite does, of course, and she didn’t pass the dead fetus so I called the vet out, and he was able to remove it.  I gave her an antibiotic shot and am watching her for signs of infection.  We’re awaiting test results to see why this happened.

Another day on the farm!

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Farm. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to First page of original farm blog

  1. Pingback: Blogiversary #7 | Schoonover Farm Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s