Saturday, November 16, 2013

Farm Happenings

We have added to our goat herd…actually I should say we have replaced a buck.  In the summer we were blessed to receive 7 female purebred Alpines.  Alpines are a larger goat, and the 3 bucks we have are a smaller breed.  The one we have replaced was a purebred dwarf Nigerian and the other two are our babies, born in February, that have dwarf Nigerian in them.  The females have been in heat for the past month…Pongo (the one now gone) even broke through the fencing to get to them so he could "do his duty"…ahem.  Well, after allowing all 3 bucks a chance to do their thing with the girls in heat we quickly realized after observing (yes, this is something you have to do when you own animals :) ) that none of them could mount the girls properly because the girls are all too big!  Our neighbor, Mr. Jerry, who is a goat owner himself, suggested we get an Alpine buck to mate all the gals.  He actually personally knows the owner of Split Creek Goat Farm.  So after a phone call, we were on our way to pick up this handsome guy!!
 He wasted no time in becoming familiar with his new gals!
He's handsome, isn't he?!  We will put the females in with him when we notice they are in heat.  We are going to try and spread the mating out so we have a good supply of milk too.  The addition of baby bucks to sell will be a good supply of income to our farm since we now have purebred females and a pure buck.  Of course we will need to purchase another Alpine buck to mate any females that come from him.
Graycie and Ellie's sunflowers have gone to seed!  We have left them on the stems to dry, and now that they are wilting we are going to do a couple different things with them.
We cut all the heads off.  We're going to keep several to continue to dry them and save the seed for next year.  This year we only planted a handful in a box, but we have decided to plant them along the entire fenceline next year…it will be beautiful!!  Can't wait!
We are going to feed some to the hens as well!  Off Ellie goes!
We don't let anyting go to waste here!  We pulled the stalks up and are giving them all to the goats!
 They loved it!  I bet the stalks tasted sweet like the seeds!

This was actually really fun!…we rubbed the sunflower heads and let the seeds fall out everywhere.  The hens were appreciative, as you can see!
I didn't even notice Ellie dipping hers in the waterer until I posted this picture…ha!!
A bit time consuming, but a fun learning experience :)

Big brother Ben telling Ellie how to do it…she did her best ;)

Now that the kids have shared a treat with the hens it's time to collect eggs!  Seeing so many hens in the pictures you would think we are getting a lot of eggs every day, but all the reddish hens, our cinnamon queens, are still considered pullets.  They are not mature enough to lay eggs yet.  We should start getting eggs from them in February.  We have 35 laying hens total right now so when they do start giving eggs we will be getting quite a few!!  And they will be for sale :)
We checked our 2 bee hives today.  One colony has loaded up with honey…15 frames were full!  And it tastes sooo good!  The weaker colony only had 7 frames of honey stored.  We will be feeding them both over the winter with sugar water.  Everything we have read has said to do so.  Neither hive had a queen though!  No brood!  Not sure how we lost both queens AGAIN, but both colonies successfully replaced their leader last time, I'm sure they can do it again.  We will be seeking advice on what to do about this dilema since it's winter and it could possibly take a greater toll on the colonies not having a queen to be laying brood.  Here you can see all the honey capped off, stored for winter.

So thankful for all we have here on our farmstead, and we LOVE sharing all we are up to with everyone :)


  1. you take the coolest pictures! We wanna come visit soon if you're up to it!

    1. thanks!…it's all in having a good camera if you ask me ;)
      Call me when you want to come over!!