2013 Chicken Trip

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A few weeks ago we came to the understanding that our laying chickens that we have had for the past 3 years are “done” laying so we found a new home for them. With a nice lady whom was going to use them for yard (field) bug control. We took a field trip out to see them and they are truly loving their new place. So with that said it was time for us to get new chicks. So we went over the my long time friend Matt who opened his own feed and farm store. Haggenan Farm and Home



One of the best parts of visiting Matt place is that the kids get to visit with Margarita, official store pet.


Sometimes she likes to take a short trip around the store to stretch her wings.


But she is always willing to go to Matt when he asks her.



But we are here for chicks. The kids all got to pick their own chicken to name and to take care of.



Overall it was a fun day…. Here are a few pics of some other stuff that we saw in the store.





Spring is here for real now

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This morning met us with a great surprise. Shannon, our ewe, finally had her babies! So far I have seen both of them nurse and she is attentive to both. I am hopeful she will continue to care for them both. We have kept our distance for the time being until they are a bit more settled. I believe one is a girl but I’m not sure about the other.





Back on the Farm

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Here’s a little update on our farm and how things progressed this winter.


We still have our chickens.  The site of chickens running towards you is hilarious.  They have been doing great laying over the winter.  We never did put out a light but they kept laying 5-8 eggs on average.  I was impressed.


We got our piggies early this year!  Say hello to Pepperoni, Deli and Hot Dog.  We talked about raising winter pigs so we wouldn’t have to worry about them while traveling over the summer or the smell in the warmer months.  Then we found a guy that had 3 month old pigs.  Score!  We usually get pigs at 2 months so that was one less month we had to feed them.


I love it when they line up like little sausages!

This year we decided to put the pigs in a different pen and use theirs for our larger garden items.  Corn, squash and what-have-you.  This also gave them a little more space and new ground to till.


Each year we try out a new feeding system for the pigs.  This “clean-looking one is this years.  So far so good.


We still have our sheep Shawn and Shannon.  At least for now.  Shannon is pregnant again and we are waiting for lambs.  Our very loose figure is mid March.  I am really hoping she is a better mama this year and takes care of both of them, should she have twins.


Pregnant sheep have those hard to reach places too!

As soon as the babies are born Shawn will be finding a new home.  His purpose at the moment is just company for Shannon.  We had our experience with a ram and are now done.  I think if we had more land and more ewes for him to keep track of I wouldn’t mind keeping him but for now we are thinning out the farm.  When the babies are done nursing Shannon will also be looking for a new home (sooner if she’s not a good mama).


She gets extra lovey when she’s close to her due date.

We are done keeping them over the winter.  If we want lambs we will just get some in the spring.  We will also be sending them all over to our friends property to gorge themselves on the pasture over the summer.  Tis the season of simplifying!



Hey! Did I ever mention I got a barn!  A red one.  I love, love, love it.  It has two stalls on the pasture side and storage on the other for hay and grain.  It has already needed repairs as Shawn was using it for target practice but she held her own pretty well.  It will be so great to be able to keep chicks in there when we need to freshen our flock.

Piggies 2012

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Our piggies have arrived at last!  It was so nice to be able to put them right into their already made pen and not have to build them something first.  It only needed a few touch-ups after the winter.

It’s no surprise they are hanging out in front of the food.  We were running out of pork type names for this batch and since all meat amimals have to have food names we decieded to name them after different cheeses.  The orange one was easy, Cheddar, and the blueish/black stripped one is Blue.  The other two are Feta and Swiss but I cant really tell them apart yet.  They will probably get some freckle spots on them as they get older and we can be sure who we are calling what.

And here’s the handsome Shaun.  We finally go the end of his winter coat off.  His rump got a little stuck on him.  For the most part though his hair came off in one big lump.  It looked like a dead animal in the field. 🙂

And the new animal of the year is Turkeys!  So far they haven’t been the best but we are still liking them.  In the first week we lost 4 of them.  Apparently turkeys are so dumb that sometimes they will just not drink or eat when they are little and of course, die.  We lost another one a few days ago and it may have been attacked by another one but we’re not sure.  So starting with 10 we now only have 5 lest.  Their price just doubled.  We better have mostly boys in there to make up for it.  🙂  That’s the farm update for now.  Shannon and the babies are at a freinds house gorging themselves on 8+ acres of pasture and fertilizing it for them in return.

Lamb Update

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It just dawned on my we havn’t shared the names of our lambs yet.  Mutton and Grilled were the names Greg and Zoe came up with.  Mutton is the one we are bottle feeding.  They are two weeks old.  Boy, it seems a lot longer than just 2 weeks!  Here are some pictures of Mutton at 9 days old.

 (Notice Oliver’s cratled egg? Nice hold!)

Mutton’s sister is a bit bigger than he is.  I’ll have to get pictures of her soon.  He is still separated from the rest.  We are waiting for him to get a little bigger before putting him back in.  I am hoping Shannon will be nice when he joins them again.  I think as long as he doesn’t try to nurse from her he will be OK.  He has been doing well eating his grain and trying his hand at grass.

Eggs How I Love Thee

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We are in the mists of many, many eggs.  Our chickens are laying at full speed and we seem to have one that loves to give us double yokers.  And lest you think I am complaining about the 13 dozen eggs we currently have I am not.  We love these nutrition packed, golden yoked eggs.  But, yes, now that you mention it, we do sell them!   It’s Zoe’s little business.

 She has been doing an awesome job taking care of the chickens  and collecting/cleaning the eggs.  As with many of us, she doesn’t like to work alone. That’s what siblings are for!  She will take Zeke out with her and tend to the chickens.  It is so sweet to watch her teach him how to do the different tasks.  And to be fair she told him she would pay him for helping.

Ezekiel is a natural at catching the chickens.  It’s quite funny actually.  He is very relaxed and easy when he goes to get one that I never see him chasing a chicken to catch it.  If I need one I know just who to send out on the job.

The biggest problem?  How many ways can one prepare eggs?  We eat our share (and some of yours) of scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, fried eggs, egg salad, egg, egg, egg, egg, egg.  (sorry, a little Dr. Seuss moment)  I was bummed to find out a quiche only uses 4 eggs.

Quick Tip:  Did you know if you put some baking soda into the water when boiling eggs it makes them easier to peal?  I just learned this nifty little trick(thanks Cindy!)  So, what are your favorite egg dishes?

Apparently Not

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 just for fun

Shannon will not be winning the “Mother of the Year” award.  In my eyes she has gone from an awesome ewe with a sassy but sweet personality to “Whats for dinner?”  Yep, my love towards her was very conditional.  She has rejected one of her babies.  The last few days have been less than fun.  She ended up having a boy and a girl.  After the first 24 hours or so she started shoving the boy away whenever he tried to nurse.  We are having to force her to stand still to allow him to nurse.  At first she was reasonable with this and as long as I had her head she was still.  From there it went downhill and she was fighting me more and more each time.  Wresting with a stinky sheep at 1 in the morning is already old.  Then came the ramming him into the side of the house when he tried to get close.

So, we have moved him into his own little pen with a heat lamp and started giving him a bottle.  We may continue to force her to nurse him but only during the day with help other than that it will be a bottle for him.  Plus side to formula is I know how much he is eating and, interestingly enough, it smells like vanilla cake batter.  Not bad.

Our little orphan

Whether or not this will be normal for Shannon on future lambs is unknown.  If we bread her next year she may do great and be a completely different mother.  Or she might always reject one in which case we would stop breading.  We were told that if she rejects a baby next year she will probably always reject one and chances are her offspring would  as well.  On another note Greg started calling him Murdock today.  Isn’t that the cutest name for him?  But then I had to remind him of our naming rule.  Sorry, no Murdock.