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SA Farm's journal

Discussion in 'Member's "BackYardHerds" Journals' started by SA Farm, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. Feb 23, 2014
    SA Farm

    SA Farm True BYH Addict

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    I like questions since I can never think of what interesting things to say about myself! :oops:
    I just realized that this is a super long post, so let's see if I can summarize:

    I live in Ontario, Canada, where the weather ranges from -30 in the winter with the wind chill to about 40 with humidity in the heat of the summer.
    I am married to a wonderful husband who puts up with my growing, eclectic farm, and occasionally adds to it himself! I've helped my hubby build hutches, coops, sheds, etc, all for the animals!
    I come from a long line of farmers from both sides of my family and got the animal lover's gene to boot :rolleyes: I farm for a living, but I don't make enough to consider it to be more than a hobby.
    No matter how much I know about the animals I have or have had, I'm always researching and looking to learn more. I have varied experience with many different breeds and types of animals from pets to livestock.
    A few years ago I started into gardening, and, while I despise it, I'm very determined to do what's best for the health of myself, my animals, and my family. (Not necessarily in that order!)
    I have chickens, pheasants, ducks, goats, rabbits, turkeys, dogs, and cats...I don't think I've forgotten anyone this time!
    I basically manage the farm, keep the records, do the feeding, upkeep, medicating, buying, selling, breeding, etc.
    I would like to learn how to sex day-old chicks.
    We do keep some animals for meat, but my hubby is in charge of that, thank God. We freeze our meat right now, but my hubby has been talking about building a smoker!
    This year is going to be really busy, since we just added ducks and pheasants to the farm and are expanding our goat herd. Since goats are awesome and I love them :love
    We do as much as we can for ourselves, including using recycled materials, building everything from coops to putting up fencing ourselves. We improvise a lot!

    My animals have changed my life. I've learned to live with death and celebrate life. Too many things to name, really. I've lived my entire life surrounded by animals and loving them, losing them, wanting more of them, parting ways with them, worrying about them, wishing I could do more, kicking myself for not doing more, wishing I had more money so I could spoil them more, etc.

    Edited to say: I basically restart on Paige 21 for those of you who want to skip ahead ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
  2. Feb 24, 2014
    Four Winds Ranch

    Four Winds Ranch Loving the herd life

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    Welcome to Journaling!!!!
    I am looking forward to reading about your little farm!!!
    There seems to be a shortage of us Canadians on the forum!!! ;) Lol!
     
    Senile_Texas_Aggie and SA Farm like this.
  3. Feb 24, 2014
    SA Farm

    SA Farm True BYH Addict

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    Today felt like a very long day.
    The bottle babies are 4 weeks old now and are finally starting to eat hay! What a relief! Yesterday, well, technically two days ago, I had to take them with me to visit my parents and they had a blast! They zoomed up and down the gravel driveway, leaping and bounding like crazy!
    It was adorable!
    My nephews were calling them and trying to get them to follow through the snow, but the girls weren't having any of that! Smart girls :D
    Anyway, my DH and I got our taxes done today and then we had to go grocery shopping. I really don't like shopping! I like to stay home and read and play with the animals. I would prefer to clean out every animal pen on the property than to go any kind of shopping - what kind of woman am I? :gig
    Tomorrow we'll get feed and some chicken wire so I can build the turkey fencing higher so they can get out of their coop now that the weather is starting to be less hideous.
    I have decided that I have too much to do this spring!
    Also, I've decided to keep my bottle baby doelings, but I think my chickens are going to have to go. Some of them are a year old and have never laid an egg. It's pathetic. They have roomy, insulated housing, with nice nest boxes, are fed laying mash, have lots of fresh water, are allowed to free-range, and the sun has been shining with mild temps for about a week.
    They have no excuse. :smack
    I'll probably still give them another month because I'm a sucker, but if they aren't laying by then, they're out of here!
    Really, I mean it.
    I'll get some better chickens that will lay eggs :tongue
    :rolleyes:
     
  4. Feb 25, 2014
    SA Farm

    SA Farm True BYH Addict

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    Today I started supplementing the puppies with some puppy food.
    Oh, wait, background first:

    So in the area I live, there are a TON of loose unaltered dogs that run around and often form packs. So far, we had only lost a batch of chicks to the bleeping things, but around Christmastime, we got a husky that managed to kill two of my turkey hens, my blue Ameraucana hen, and my Speckled Sussex rooster :hit
    So I caught her and put her in my kennel and began the search for her previous owners.
    No luck.
    We decided to keep her around for a bit and hopefully find a good home for her, since, aside from the bird killing, she is an absolute sweet-heart! Loves people and other dogs and is such a cuddle bum!
    Anyhow, weeks went by and she began to get quite chubby. I figured she was just finally well-fed enough to put on the pounds, well, I figured out I was wrong a few weeks before she popped out 4 adorable little puppies!
    Here are two of the girls and the boy:
    101_8572.JPG 101_8591.JPG 101_8594.JPG
    Anyhow, so we have now found a home for their mother, she'll be leaving as soon as they are weaned and for some reason...:hide Well, we're going to keep one...:eek: I know, right? I really don't need anymore animals to take care of, but at this point, what's one more really? :weee
    So I'll do some obedience training and, if she has the right stuff, I'm considering doing some Agility. I've always wanted to do agility with a dog, but I haven't really gotten around to it. My ACD is too old and dog obsessed, my DH's beagle doesn't like me, and every other dog we've had just didn't have the intelligence or drive.
    :fl She'll have both. Any name suggestions would be appreciated. :love
    My DH wants to name her Dog.:smack
    101_8598.JPG
     
  5. Feb 27, 2014
    SA Farm

    SA Farm True BYH Addict

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    This weekend is going to be busy. My Mom is coming to visit me tomorrow - which is absolutely fantastic, since she's always super helpful and inspires me to get stuff done! :cool:
    Then on Saturday we have plans to buy a new shed, which is fantastic since we're quickly running out of room and I'm expanding my goat herd, so the shed I'm using now isn't big enough. It will probably turn into either a kidding shed, buck shed, or maybe storage if it doesn't get taken over by chickens or turkeys first. Next year I'm hoping to get a blue-eyed ND buck to add to my herd permanently, so it may end up belonging to him. :fl
    And Sunday we have other family visiting, so that will be...er, fun.
    So add regular chores, bottle feeding, puppy feeding and playing, and milking Granny and I will be busy. That doesn't even include making the house presentable for guests! :barnie
    At least I have adorable baby goats running around my house, jumping off furniture and prancing around! Nothing like that to brighten your day! :love
    Miracle is the roan, since she almost died, and she is my little cuddle bum. She's always in my lap or in my face, so it's hard to get a cute picture of her! Chance is the black and white and she is the adventurous one, she's the first on a new piece of furniture, first to try anything and first to run away when you try to catch her! :rolleyes:
    101_8560.JPG 101_8584.JPG
     
  6. Feb 27, 2014
    Pioneer Chicken

    Pioneer Chicken True BYH Addict

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    Awww...your little goats are just adorable. :love I'd like to hear - hmmm...I should say read :) - Miracle's story sometime.

    I've wanted to do dog agility for a long time, too. I tried getting our first dog to jump some years back which he did; he has really aged and has arthritis now. :( My new dog (I've almost had her for a year) is almost three. She LOVES to jump; my problem is that she is really shy and doesn't listen when she's nervous. sigh

    Your pups are adorable. I don't know if I could help with a name; there are too many to pick! I kind of go by what the critter is like or looks like or things I like. LOL
     
    Rammy, Senile_Texas_Aggie and SA Farm like this.
  7. Feb 27, 2014
    SA Farm

    SA Farm True BYH Addict

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    Miracle's Story
    Once upon a time... Just kidding :D
    So Granny always has a huge udder and takes fantastic care of her kids, so because I wasn't expecting problems from her, I wasn't too concerned this year either. I don't shave my goats and Granny was pretty feral when I got her, so I wasn't planning to milk - certainly not her ever. She kicks like a bleeper whenever I go anywhere near her udder and it took me FOREVER just to be able to handle her at all and I didn't want to jeopardize what progress I'd made by pushing my luck since every time I would even reach for it, she would go nuts and avoid me for hours afterwards.
    Fast forward to this year. Granny was her usual self, doing well. I was with her when she kid and she was taking great care of them, talking to them, cleaning them, the usual. So, thinking all was well, I went to the house to get some sleep (it was 3 am when she was done kidding). I got up early and went out the door and had only taken a few steps when I could hear loud bleating. I ran back to the shed and found Miracle completely splayed, half-frozen and not moving, but to cry.
    Chance was lying down not far, but seemed okay, so I grabbed Miracle and took her to the house. I ran some luke-warm water and started washing her - particularly her legs and ears as they were the worst. (It was -25 or so and she had gotten very far from the heat lamp :( )
    She couldn't stand and was barely holding her head up, so I warmed up some milk and used like an eye-dropper thingy to get it into her mouth/down her throat. I put her in a box and went back out to check on Chance.
    Granny was munching hay not far from Chance and was responding when Chance made any cries, but when Chance got up and went to Granny to nurse, she was promptly kicked away. If Chance persisted, Granny would move.
    I took Chance to the house and repeated my performance with Miracle and put her in the box too. I called my Mom to come over and give me a hand (I was home alone), she came out and together we wrestled Granny and got maybe a teaspoon of colostrum out of her.
    She had nothing for the kids.
    (to be continued)
     
  8. Feb 28, 2014
    SA Farm

    SA Farm True BYH Addict

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    Miracle's Story (Cont.)
    So with Granny basically dry and two hungry kids to feed, my Mom and I went out and got some replacement colostrum. I don't like using replacement powder milk, so I called up my sister who has raw cow milk and asked her for some. So she drove out with milk for me and between my Mom, sister, and myself, we managed to milk Granny every couple of hours, so the kids could get what very little we could get out of her.
    It was a battle royal every time.
    So, by the evening of the first day, I still wasn't convinced that Miracle was going to make it. While I could get the milk down her throat, she was lethargic and could barely hold up her head.
    My family went home and my hubby got home and together we managed to milk Granny another two times that evening. The kids were fed and prayed for, so that was that.
    I got up and fed them a couple of times through the night, since I wanted to get as much colostrum into their systems as possible and by morning they were much perkier. My DH helped me with milking Granny 3 times a day. He would wrestle her while I dodged flying hooves to milk her. It took almost three weeks for her to settle into the routine and now I can milk her by myself. I bribe her with alfalfa hay and grain while I milk her and she has finally settled in.
    Since then the kids have been doing great and are taking over my house!
    I just thank God that I got up as early as I did, since I know that if I had slept a few more hours as I had wanted to, Miracle wouldn't have made it!
    The End :)
     
  9. Feb 28, 2014
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master

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    Good job on Miracle!

    Good job on pups too.

    Don't :smackme but I like "dog". :)

    Goats are the best! Well next to human kids and then dogs. LOL
     
  10. Feb 28, 2014
    Four Winds Ranch

    Four Winds Ranch Loving the herd life

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    PS : I HATE shopping too!!!! Lol, too would soooo much rather be pulling a calf, vaccinating sheep or shoveling manure than go to town!!! ;)
    Did ya get a name for the puppy!! If not, how about "Ruby", or "Tia"!