Livestock

Pertaining to any animals we might raise temporarily for food.

Pictures of Mary Moo

Well after a very hard couple of days, Mary Moo is now finally eating steadily. Just FYI make sure your calf is being weaned when you tell them you are coming to get her… grr… Not only did she miss momma something terrible, but she hadnt been on her own until the afternoon we picked her up. It was not the best transition. Anyway, it’s in the past and I’m really trying hard to let it go, but it was just mean how they did it and they made us take part.

So we have been working with her on halter training, leading, and today she got a lunge line tie out session. She is doing very well. She is probably..maybe 2 months old. I’m going to go with that for my own sanity. She is a Jersey calf. She will be sweet one day, I know it. Right now she’s just not understanding what is going on. She does however have a small bond with me..come on over and try to walk towards her..lol.

ok without further ado..here she is.

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

Keeping a close eye on us.

Keeping a close eye on us.

She's not really that skinny..she was a LOT freaked out, but she is underweight.

She’s not really that skinny..she was a LOT freaked out, but she is underweight.

First picture home

First picture home

Tie out trial run, with me having a watchful eye

Tie out trial run, with me having a watchful eye

Resting in the field.

Resting in the field.

Irritated I snuck up and took this picture.

Irritated I snuck up and took this picture.

 

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Categories: Homesteading, Livestock | 1 Comment

Mary Moo

Hi guys! I know it’s been forever right?! How are all you doing? How’s the homesteading going? I hope well. Here is a very strange year. I don’t like moving to a new place. I’ll just say that right now. Glad it’s not going to happen anymore in my life. It’s been 3 months of chaos really. I think we have everything done with the house that needs fixed quickly. Now more projects are on the back burner.

I’m one of those people that seems to have to have everything done now and God has shown me that is so not what he is like. Lack of money is really hindering my homestead. My garden has been the worst its ever been yet somehow I”m still surviving with the garden shares..even if I have none left for me really. There are things that I didnt tell them I was growing like onions and potatoes. The corn didnt grow, the green beans grew but I still wasnt happy. The leaves were yellowish green instead of green. I dont know how those beans made it to maturity. My cabbage piddled out. My carrots never grew…two plantings at a friends garden and one at mine..no carrots..what is up with that?? Not all the same seed or the same company so I guess no carrots for us this winter unless I buy a bunch of organic at the store and can those. I might. Despite all that I seem to be selling things.

Not only have my garden share people been happy enough, but I am selling these dark cornish hens like crazy. I actually have a 3rd batch hatching right now!! I cant have enough it seems. Some person bought 25 and didnt bat an eye at my price..which made me think I should have charged more! I have bunnies up the wazzoo right now, 38 babies to be exact. Luckily those are destined for my freezer minus a few to a guy who is trading meat for a beehive set up for me   😉

Anyway..so with no money, a part time job and not everything done…hey what’s one more thing right?? Well I’ve decided I now hate driving 40 minutes every friday for my meat and milk. I still buy burger and milk where I used to. I still will for at least 3 years..but we are getting a calf!!!  I contacted my beef guy and he has a little jersey heifer available.  We plan on getting a little boy of some sort of breed for meat this year also so my new calf wont spend the winter alone. We pick her up next weekend. I’ve been paying on her here and there when I go buy my meat from him. He is a super nice guy. I will have pictures up as soon as we get her! I’ve decided to name her Mary Moo.  It’s just hard to build a stall when you are so busy babysitting and working that you dont have a spare minute. What minutes I do find I am either in the garden or in with animals. I still have 6 hides to flesh out and tan, plus now to build this stall. Oh did I mention we have no grass lol. Stupid lack of rain around here has me a beautiful brown lawn. Luckily when it was raining in june I was able to get some of my grass baled. I’m still hoping for one more cutting before winter but we are already feeding the lambs hay and have been for about 3 weeks. THAT is why we are getting a calf and not a cow. I could get a cow and make payments on her. She is ready to have her baby in two months..but I cannot feed that big of a girl plus a baby right now. I’d rather work my way up with Mary Moo and get to know her for a few years before I go to milk.

Well there you have it.. a chaotic post about my chaotic farm and our new addition coming Sat the 16th   🙂

 

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

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New Arrival

Just thought I’d share with you that we have a new arrival! Last year we kept two of our lambs in the hopes of breeding. Then once we noticed how much they were eating in hay, we brought the male to the sale barn and kept the female in hopes she was pregnant.

We ended up not really even finding out she actually was till Feb when her milk came in. Well last night she looked a little odd. Her milk dropped really low and she looked like a cow by her hips. I saw a little discharge but nothing major. I knew it would probably happen within 24 hours.

The worst part was that it was the coldest day of the week. The temp that night was below freezing and it was suppose to snow 2 inches. Of course she was going to have it then!

He’s so ugly looking lol. He’s a mix of a Suffolk and a Dorset so he looks a bit like a goat/lamb. He has a hairy face and is mostly white except he has a round black spot on his right butt cheek and the bottom of his legs are dark gray. He’s cute just because he is ugly. Oh well. They all cant be super cute like kittens or we would want lots of them.

Tonight it is suppose to be 12 degrees with a 15 mile an hour wind so we built him a little lamb house with a heat light. When he gets cold he walks in and lays down. Good enough for me. Oh and I put a cute little dog sweater on him to keep him warm and toasty.

So here he is.. Mr. Chops as my husband calls him lol.

mommababylamblamb2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Homesteading!!!   😀

 

 

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Tired

I’m Pooped! This summer is definitely not going the way I’ve wanted, but I’m just trying to go with the flow. My garden is at least half weeds. I have tomato blight, squash bugs, and my green beans suck.  On the bright side, my corn is turning out well and so did my carrots.  The garden share peeps seem happy with the turn out, but I know that it could be so much more than what it is.

The main problem is that I’ve been working. My husbands salary has me back earning money to keep things alive here. So this last month and a half I have been babysitting. Yes, I’m too old for this lol. I have been at her house 3 days a week for 10 hours each. So that filled my monday, tues, and thursday. Wed in the morning I’ve been helping clean a house then I am off to my garden I planted for a person who can no longer garden. She also has a share in my garden.  With those two things there goes my wed. Friday morning I help clean that house again and then go grocery shopping. After I am done there I try to catch 2 hours of swimming with the boys at a friends house. The only time left is the weekends and some nights if I’m not too tired. Not all my projects get done on a weekend. We have friends who want to come over, want us to come over, car problems, and some weeding.

I’m very surprised right now that my gardens are not worse then they are. I say gardens because as of right now I have my main garden share garden, a side garden that I had to make because I needed more room. It has two watermelon plants, 1 pumpkin plant, a row of radishes, two types of lettuce, rainbow chard, spinach, and mangel beets, along with 37 tomato plants. ( That is what I weeded tonight) Then I also have that garden in the other town. They are all at least 70% weed free 🙂  I’ve had to spend hours at night in there. I’m missing all my favorite shows and my family.

All my lambs are still doing ok. I have one (fat face) who now has a limp. We looked at his leg and the only thing we can come up with is that he might have gotten caught in the fence and sprained it. It definitely is hurting him and half the time he is on his knees eating. We are at this point just letting it go for a few days and see. I’m making sure the dog or nothing else make them all run. Hopefully it heals itself.  The only other thing I can think of is to ice pack it with some vet wrap. It looks to be the joint. We cant find any cuts or anything and it feels a bit hot and a tad swollen. I’m sure he will be fine.

I have been selling chickens and swapping them out for roosters people dont want. I’m almost down to just the three breeds I want. Wobbles the turkey is doing well also. He keeps following me around. He sleeps at night in the green house. My rabbit has been nothing but trouble lol. She was/is pregnant. She didnt really build a nest in the box and had 4 kits outside on the wire on day 26 from her first breeding. I thought that was it but then she built a mega next on day 28 and so I camped out all weekend with her. When she lays down you can see things moving in there. Each day they are getting higher and farther back. Today they were right up by the top of her hip. Tomorrow will be day 31 from her last breeding day. Here’s to hoping!! Even if its just one or two I’d be happy not to lose an entire litter.

Next week I start a new full time job. Then I will be balancing the remaining garden days, homeschool starting up again, housework, and a job. Sorry I havent blogged anything cool. I’m just too tired. In writing this it took me two hours because there are just things to do! Sometime tomorrow I have to butcher and can 4 roosters..hm.. just need a few weeks of 48 hour days!

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

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Sara the Rabbit

So now that my husband knows and there is no danger of me getting in trouble, I’m going to blog about a new addition to our mini-farm. Her name is Sara and she is a Californian rabbit.

Sara1

She has actually been with us for about a month. See here went the conversation.. “Do you care if I get a rabbit?” “Yes, I dont want rabbits.”  “Even if I can feed it for free?” “We dont need rabbits.” “Well I like the taste of rabbit and it would help if we had some in the freezer.” “I still dont want rabbits.” “Fine, but I’m getting one once I figure out how to feed it for free. That way you cant complain, besides I would be taking care of it anyway.” *Evil look from hubby* *smile by me*

So about two weeks after that conversation, a friend of mine told me she had a rabbit I could buy. She would include a breeding in the price. I already had the hutch from a rehab situation of an animal, but didnt have anything to go in it. I asked a lady friend of mine if she had any rabbit stuff and she gave me a heavy crock. That was all she had. It was a start. I got a rewards card for $5 so I went to the hardware store and picked up a hay rack and a water bottle. Total cost was $3. Ok so I spent some money on her..but so far we have not put more than $30 into her and the supplies total.

She is now about two weeks pregnant (lets hope anyway) and she is becoming very friendly. She knows our trick to tickle her feet in order to move her to the other side of the cage with the door, but we still manage to take her out. We try everyday to pasture her.  Here is what we built for her. It actually is made to hold 6 ish rabbits to finish them on pasture before culling to eat.

rabbit tractor

It is 5×7 total fence. The bottom has fence to keep her from digging out and it easily lets the grass come through. The sides are also the same wire and the top we are still working on. We are looking for a light piece of metal to provide the shade instead of the red board on top and then we will fix the other half with wire. Right now we just have a huge piece of wire across the whole top with bricks holding them. Then we put that red board on top to provide shade and so the cats wont lay on the top and knock in the wire. It works for now. It was made out of recycled 2x4s and fence I already had laying around. My son and I can lift it and move it as needed around the lamb pastures.

She totally enjoys being out all day and able to eat freely. At night we place her back in her cage with more fresh greens from the garden, alfalfa pellets, and hay. Usually by morning it is mostly gone and then we place her back out the next day. If she stays inside due to rain then we give her a nice pile of greens including the mixes of grass/weeds she would normally eat and garden stuff, twice a day. So far it is working well and she seems to be doing great on it.

Just a little update also on our turkeys. I was a really bad turkey mom and one accidentally drowned in our rain barrel. Ooops. Now I’m wiser! The one we have left is named Wobbles. The other one was Gobbles. Wobbles is growing like a weed and very nice. Still a little skiddish but I think that is just the heritage breed in him. I am pretty sure it is a him by the way he holds his wings and he tried to fan out when a strange chicken entered his area. So here is the latest picture. He is I think two months old now. So hard to remember all these animals birthdays!

wobbles1 wobbles2

Isnt he the cutest turkey ever!! Why of course he is lol.

Lambs and chickens still doing great and so is the garden. Thanks for having patience while I deal with summer and totally put off blogging  😉

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

 

 

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Another Farm update

Well as you can see I haven’t been on much. I just recently caught up with all the reading of friends blogs. I am never on facebook anymore it seems. I was off over the weekend and what happens?? My best friends brother had their baby…sigh..been waiting and missed it! Facebook is better than any ol newspaper!  Ok enough on facebook..so whats going on over there at the Simply Grown Farms??  Well nothing   😉

Ok not entirely true. My lambs were sick..did I tell you?  I dont even remember!  They were. Lambs are very fragile until about 4 months old. They get pneumonia if you look at them wrong!  With all this rain we’ve had and the cold blowing wind, it was hard to keep them healthy. I was giving them antibiotics and just plain got tired of it.  Who wants to go out there everyday and give 6 lambs shots?? Not me!  One day I had, had enough.  It seemed like they weren’t getting better. I said, “You stupid lambs can just die! I”m not giving you anymore meds.”  And they all survived and are doing fine.  We have names for them now..not fancy names cause most will die.  We’ve got Big Boss Man..he’s our male we are keeping to breed.  We have Cow, the spotted one, Fat Face..he’s all furry and fat in the face, Chubby who always looks bloated, then Orange and Green. The girls are still named by their ear tags which seem to fall off every year before we can butcher so I’d better come up with better names. My dad suggested Lamb Chop…hm..we really dont plan on killing the girls, but maybe if they dont fill out and get a tad taller!

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Back Left-Fat face, Back right- Big Boss Man, Middle back-Cow, front left-Orange, Front middle-Chubby, Front right-Green

My chicks are growing like little weeds. It is extremely cold out right now. It was almost 80 two days ago and tonight we have a frost advisory..go figure.  Here are the first set that were all pullets (girls). They are Buff orpingtons and Jersey Giants. The next picture are my younger straight runs. They were huddled in the coop cause I had the door open. They are Jersey Giants and Golden Laced Wyandottes.

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You know its cold when the adults no longer feel the need to free range. They decided to all huddle up together right outside the coop.

IMG_0810 Yes people I have a lot of chickens.  I have 27 adults, 8 teens, and 10 preteens. Not all will make it to winter 😉

I still have no turkeys. I had originally wanted 5..he talked me into 8..I called and told his wife I would feel more comfortable with 2 and if they die I will get more lol.  I need to call him because they should be ready this week or next..a friendly reminder I’m still alive and want turkeys never hurt anyone right?

Remember our cute little puppy Diesel?? Well he is now almost 4 months old weights close to 40 lbs and is in his terrible two’s of puppyhood.  I snapped a picture. Sorry its dark, but if I hit the flash it made him look all light colored and he really is not. Look at those EARS!!

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My garden shares are coming along great and I already have many cool weather veggies coming up. I am almost ready to pick radishes. I am picking rhubarb tomorrow. I think so far this homestead thing is working great this year!

Hope all is well with your homesteads!

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

Categories: Gardening, Homesteading, Livestock | 5 Comments

Rotations

sheepWe have started the rotations! We have 7 areas they are able to use and those will be further divided in half as summer grass grows. The only problem I am having is that it keeps raining!  I have two sick sheep..heard a third sneezing. The two worst ones are on antibiotics and thinking maybe I should give this third one a shot as well. We lost a lamb last year to pneumonia and I cant lose three! They seem to be doing well. I just need warm days and it needs to either rain or not..no scattered showers.  We built a new temp shelter on the side of the house which is to the left of the picture. This picture was taking out my bedroom window.  You can see where I had my fence two days ago behind the sheep. I moved it so they could graze the other half of the back yard for the next two days. Our septic is here and it grows like crazy!  Other than that, they seem to be doing well. Still eating and pooping plenty!  The chickens are two paddocks behind them. Going to keep it that way because turkeys will go in between them when they get old enough. So far so good, so keep your fingers crossed there is no drought and that they eat more than they are now..we might still need to mow.  That’s ok because I”m going to experiment with silage for the chickens this year so that they have good green stuff year round.

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

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Around the Farm

Spring has sprung, except the weather. I have flowers trying to bloom, trees budding, and baby animals all around.  Mother nature needs to get the memo so that I can get the garden started already.  Today I’m just going to write to tell you what the heck is going on around here.  I know we all get busy and I am trying to faithfully blog about something, even if it isnt super interesting.  I’m just a mom you know on a 1 acre zoo. Nothing interesting really happens here.

Lambs– They are eating a lot. It is amazing how much difference between 2 lambs and hay versus 6 lambs and hay. Not that I am worried about runnin out before spring…or maybe I should be with the way things are going!  They are super cute. The white females baaa all the time. The boys just let them do all the work of calling me for food lol.  All our males are uncut and will be banded here this week. All but the best one to my eye.  I’ll leave that chore to my husband   🙂

Chickens– I still have 26 hens and one rooster. The rooster is still separated until I need to move chicks. My girls are molting again..sigh..hurry up already! They seemed to have just molted a few months ago! I have the rooster separate because last year I had naked backed girls running around with sunburn.  I am getting around 12 eggs a day from the girls and they have slowed up on the feed. It looks almost full and shouldnt be. I’m not going to complain. I already told my husband I am switching to organic non-soy food either next month or the month after. I found that I can tolerate one egg on organic non-soy feed, but cant tolerate any at all on the feed I have. It also helps my stomach when I use them in baking too.  Its amazing how much something as simple as soy can make a difference. Of course  you wouldnt think I would be surprised because milk is different too. Problem with the feed is I would have to charge $5 a dozen just to break even!

Chicks– I have right now 8 chicks that are 2 weeks old. They are almost fully feathered. Probably another week or two and I can move them out to the chicken coop. I have a separate chick area that they go in for another month without outdoor access and then I can open it up and let them out into a run with a fenced top. No hawk is going to get my babies!  Then last night my other 10   9 chicks arrived. Some lady bought one of my jersey giants before I got there. Nice.. oh well. They said they would get more in next week and would call for my one chick. Sheesh..  Anway they are all cute and little tiny things sleeping a lot under the heat light.  Good thing I have a fail proof system of rotation here!  Ok might not be fail proof, but the turkeys havent come yet and that is the only hitch I could see coming in my plan.

Turkeys– Still to come…they were laying eggs beginning of March..the guy said he would call when they were born and he was going to keep them for a week to give them a running chance.  I dont need a running chance because he said if I buy 8 I should end up with the 5 I need. Well I’m a stay at home mom and keep all these babies in my living room so the chances of dying are slim to none.. The running chance will ensure I have 8 turkeys which is too much since we over bought on lambs!

Pup– You know how when you have a puppy it just licks you to death!  I mean you can sit quietly without the thing jumping and wanting to lick your face. Yeah..well….I dont have that.  This pup doesnt know how to lick apparently.  All the thing does is eat, sleep, poop, play with our other dog, and bite.  Everywhere you go..bites your pants. You’re sitting on the couch.. bites your feet. It is sitting with you on the couch..biting your hands, arms or anything else. Laying nicely with you..turns and bites you on the face. He is just playing but goodness. This is why you shouldn’t get a puppy less than 8 weeks. You have to teach it too much. The mom should be doing this, but now it falls on me. So the  update is that the pup is he is crate trained!! He will ring the bells at the door if you are near the door and ask him if he has to go potty. If yes he will paw at the bells.  If no, he will walk away. If you are not near the door, dont ask, he pees on the floor lol.  90% of the time when he comes in he will sit on the rug next to the door. You can wipe his feet, but he will bite you as you do it so we are still working on that. I am now teaching him to kiss.  Yes I showed him by licking him on the face, avoiding the bites. I said kiss and licked him a few times. We worked on it for a while. I could make the motion with my tongue and he would try to lick. It seemed very hard for him to grasp the concept of no teeth with that lick   😉 but it is a work in progress.  He is doing well.  If I teach him to “bite” and to “kiss” then when I need him to bite he will. Just have to get him down to not biting people unless I tell him too.  He is only 7 weeks so I’ll give him time. As my friend said, “He’s only a minute old!”

Well that’s what is going on around my farm at the moment. Hopefully I can put in my peas and mark out my garden shares this weekend. They say 50 but since snow is on the ground it is a little hard to believe.

 

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

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Lamb pics

Ok short and sweet.. First, I hate snow. I’m sick of snow..I want it to go already..Got like 4 inches and it is still snowing.. Hello It’s spring! Guess mother nature didn’t get the memo!

Here are my lambs..yes they are dirty, yes the pictures are bad, but it was blowing cold the next day and then it started snowing so I dont have good lighting.  We have 3 Suffolk, 1 Suffolk mix, and two white dont know whats lol.

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Happy Homesteading!!   😀

Categories: Livestock | 4 Comments

The Lambs are here!

I know you all are wanting pictures, but we just got home a little bit ago and I dont have any. I will take some tomorrow. They need to settle in for the night.

So my husband and I go to the sale barn and check out the lambs. He sees ones in pen F. They were white. There were 4 in a group. He decided those were it.  So as we were walking out, I pointed out a group of Suffolk. There were 4 of them also. He nods and we go out.  As they are calling the lambs the Suffolk come out..and he starts bidding! I”m like what are you doing?? you didnt like those..he said he wants to just bid and go home. Nice.. in his defense lambs were suppose to be at 3pm and they didnt even roll through till 5.  Anyway he bids and we buy. Before he can leave he sees another lamb. “Boy that is a nice lamb.”  I said ok well if we are going to get any more I want white ones because you can dye the wool.  So we wait for those group of 4 because there was a group of 2 in there with them.  I told him that we could possibly support 2 more if I used the front yard for grazing. At first he was like no..then I told him I would do it while he was at work. He seemed fine with that. So there they came..and there he bid.

All in all it was a long day, but we walked away with 4 intact male suffolks (one is a mix as it is spotty) and then two female white.  They are cute as buttons right now.  You’ll just have to imagine them until I get some pictures up. Right now they are eating me out of house and home. They must not have had anything to eat in a while cause man did they go through the hay tonight!

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

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