Oak Knoll Farms - My New Journey

Oakknollfarms

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More pics from my “missing time” 🤣
 

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Senile_Texas_Aggie

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Miss @Oakknollfarms,

So great to have you back on the forums! I have missed you! Thanks for bringing us all up to speed on what has happened since your last postings. And thanks so much for the pictures! As you probably know, we all LOVE pictures! :D =D

I hope your new job goes well. Please keep us up-to-date.

Senile Texas Aggie
 

Oakknollfarms

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Been another busy week. Got the driveway regravelled and some new outdoor fire pit furniture (all cleaned up and painted cheery blue).

Got a salad greens bed planted. And a water melon, lol. I swore only annuals and trees this year, but I was gifted a great mesclun mix seed pack and couldn’t help myself.

Snake adventures the other morning. Foiled by deer netting. They were untangled and set free.

Other than that, just livin’ the dream 🙃. I did take a day off and explored Skyline Drive with my best friend this weekend. Planning camping trips and day hikes in my dreams......
 

Oakknollfarms

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So, I did a thing yesterday. I wasn’t *exactly* in the market for a Rooster. I also wasn’t exactly NOT in the market. I’d been tossing around the idea Of picking up a fella for my flock, but he had to be the “right one”. Like with most things critter related in my life, my pets usually come to me.

I went to my first livestock swap with a girlfriend to go see some silkies. She was looking into adding a breeding pair to her flock. I loved that place. I got to see so many new things and breeds in person. A very cool experience.

I was looking at all the handsome Roo’s and noticed this man buying up every massive, spurred Rooster at the swap. He was carrying them by their feet and the lady and kids in his company never made eye contact or spoke to anyone the whole day. I can’t say exactly what he was doing with these guys, but he only bought the largest and meanest and biggest spurred he could find and it set off my alarm bells. I’m not an alarmist, but when the hair on the back of my neck stands on end, I. Listen. Always.

So, I’m talking to this lady, admiring this gorgeous, blonde, MASSIVE Fabio of a Roo when this guy walks up and starts asking if he’s available too.Without thinking, I turned around and said “He’s mine” and handed the woman her money. Not. Today. Satan. Not on my watch. Whether it’s fighting or eating, THIS guy isn’t coming with you, buddy.

So now I have the biggest Rooster I’ve ever seen, and he’s still just a baby.

I introduced him to my adult ladies, and they were NOT happy. Ran him Ragged and chased him off. He even was picking up treats and dropping them in front of the ladies, like a perfect gentleman. He seemed super interested in the separation coop that I have my 11 week old Olive Egger and Ameracauna girls (he is an Olive Egger, but I was so flustered I forgot to ask what his cross or actual age was. He is not yet full grown, though).

I said a prayerpicked him up and dropped him in with my younger girls and he walked right to them and laid down in the middle and I swear he narrowed his eyes in contentment. He is literally 3-4 times their size, and it’s freaking adorable.

I figure in a couple weeks, I’ll reintroduce EVERYONE to the ladies at one time. They weren’t a fan of the younger ladies the first time I let them out to roam, either. Maybe lock up the 4 adults for a few days while I let my new 6 have run of the coop. Maybe I can help shake up the pecking order enough.

My older ladies go in to free range with my goats every day. I could move one coop into the goat pasture for the adults and let my new flock have run if the current run? Thoughts/advice??

Side notes: learned how to trim goat hooves over the past week. Sweet Chippy just lays there and let’s me do whatever I want. Dale the Feral is a bit of a Struggle Snuggle, but I’ll take my snuggles with him however I can get them. I don’t get many, but he will eat from my hand now and he doesn’t run away from Angus the FarmDog anymore, at least. Progress.

The ladies have been out exploring the run while the adults girls have been grazing with the goats. It’s a bit difficult to catch them up at night and get them back into their coop though, and Chippy just lives “helping” me feed the ladies 🤣

FarmLife ❣️🐓🐾🐐❣️ I wouldn’t trade this for Love or Money.
 

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Oakknollfarms

Overrun with beasties
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Ha! And I just noticed that my new “status” on here is “Overrun with Beasties” 🤣. How appropriate. On February 14th, when I moved permanently back out here to the Farm, I had exactly one Beastie. My Big, Sweet, Smooshy Dog, Angus.

4 Months later, I’ve got 10 Chickens, 2 Goats and my Boy. I am officially the crazy farm animal lady. That, too, I wouldn’t trade for love or money. ❣️
 

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Oakknollfarms

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This New Years, I jokingly posted a meme about my resolution being to become completely feral.... I had no idea just how true that would become..... I swear I’ve gone 100% feral out here. I look up and a month and a half has gone by. 🤦🏻‍♀️ Feral and moving at warp speed. Life’s settling in to a rhythm, but this heat has been killing my workout. When you live in a tiny house, your gym is outside. Yeah, I’m not doin’ it in 100 degrees. No thank you. The new job is going great. I’m really enjoying it. It’s the first time in years that I’ve worked full time outside of the home for anyone but myself. I had forgotten the balancing act between work and getting everything else done. It’s easier when you work for yourself and from home. Goals...... make this farm work for me so I can get back to only working for myself.

I was able to take a kayak trip recently around the Goodwin Islands near Yorktown. Such an amazing day, and I swear I thought about my Beasties all day long. Speaking of Beasties..... I’ve decided to get some fencing done and start boarding horses. Figure it’s the best way to make the land work for me and help get me self sufficient out here.

All the critters are doing well. And spoiled plum rotten, but I think I’m fixin’ to have to cull my first bird. Lancelot has turned into a complete jerk and I’ve taken to walking around the coop with a big stick. And he’s a sneaky jerk, too. Preferring to attack as I’m walking back to the gate. I’ve tried catching him & carrying him around, tried making friends with treats. Nothings working. A few days ago I caught him and confined him inside of a chicken tractor in the run. Partially to give him an attitude adjustment, partially because I knew I’d have kids over this weekend and didn’t trust him. I let him back out today, and he kept a respectful distance and didn’t give me any trouble. We shall see. He’s also taught the pullets to roost on the top of the goat house instead of the coop. We are all going feral out here 🤣. I’m having to catch everyone up and put them up each night again. I’m pretty sure I’ve done this once already....

Chippy & Dale are the silliest little things. Chippy is finally big enough that he can’t get his face through the fence, so he’s not getting stuck anymore. It. Was. Every. Stinkin’. Day. Sometimes twice. He is why we can’t have nice things. But, I do think I am over feeding them? Advice? 6month old ND bucklings.... minerals/baking soda/Timothy hay out 24/7, large grassy paddock (that they don’t really graze on) and I’m feeding about 1/4 lb of grower pellets and a handful of sunflower seeds twice daily. I always toss in any branch cuttings when I’m cleaning up the property. Chippy looks like he’s going to birth twins. Do they need The pellets at all?

I was planning some more raised beds and planting this year, but I think I’m Built-Out for the year. I may start a few more projects this fall/winter, but I’ve accomplished more out here in the past 6 months than I thought possible this year. Time to pause, regroup, get my healthy routines back to being routines, like the critters and the chores. Back to my yoga practice and meditation, otherwise, Super Woman might just burn out.
 

farmerjan

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Be careful of the horse boarding. Make sure you have a written agreement on everything you provide, what the owner is responsible for, EVERYTHING. Make sure you get paid up front for each month. Many horse people are known for not paying bills. I had horses, and was around alot of them as a younger person, so I can say this with knowledge and experience. Many are just regular decent working people... but some are not.
MAKE SURE YOU ARE INSURED. Horse farms have certain exemptions for liabilities, but make sure you are covered.
Are you experienced with horses? I think you mentioned that your grandfather had horses, so I am assuming you are. Realize they will eat the bark off the trees just like a goat, they will graze the grass into the dirt if you are not careful and they don't have enough room. They are real herd animals,,,,,and if you think chickens pecking orders are bad, watch for horses. They can be worse. Some get along real good.... some just don't. Injuries come from one having an attitude, and can come from just "horse play".

Fences are very important, and getting their feet into woven wire fence can be a problem. They will "ride down a fence " if they want out, or want something on the other side.....Many on this side of the blue ridge use the woven wire or horse wire with a board on the top. That means posts every 8 feet so that the fencing boards can be nailed on the top. Electric works for most once they are acclimated to it.... We grew up with barbed wire but to board a horse at a place with barbed wire is asking for a law suit. High tensile is okay if it is electrified; but don't even run them in high tensile that is not electrified. If they get a foot caught up, it can be a very horrible thing. Board fencing is terribly expensive.....

I am saying this from experience and from working at a boarding stable years ago when people were not so "sue crazy". @Mini Horses on this forum has mini horses, several retired animals, stallions and all. She used to show. They are more handleable due to their size.... but I am sure no less troublesome. I had appaloosa's and a couple of 1/2 percheron geldings that I was training to pull logs and such, but had to sell when I had to move. Kept my one old mare til she died, at 27. But she was acclimated to the cattle and was happy being out "free" on pasture....retired.

Good luck but be very careful. One other thing to think about. People with horses boarded there will also disturb your privacy. Vehicles driving in and out, people there, all sorts of things. Might be something for you to take into consideration.
 
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