Saturday, August 24, 2013

Emergency Planning for Farms


What happens when the farmer gets stranded out of town?  Have you ever taken a day trip and thought you would get home in time to feed and safely put your farm animals to bed, but traffic or something else unforeseen keeps you away?   Follow these steps to have a back up emergency plan in place before you leave home.  Then you can avoid the anxiety of worrying about your farm friends.
Read more here......

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Little Gourd of Horror

Last year before planting our garden, we started seeds in our little greenhouse and nurtured them along the way, until a wind storm took out our greenhouse and the only 2 plants that survived were one tomato plant and a mystery vine type plant that we hoped to be a cucumber. It was not a cucumber, it was a bottle gourd.  I don't know if you have ever grown birdhouse gourds, but beware this plant took over it's little space at the community garden and started working on the neighbor's space as well! (Our neighboring gardener had to put up a fence to keep the gourd out.)  This was really a trial plant since we had never grown them before.

What do you mean your electric and cable are not working....
This is the only big gourd we could find so far
So this year I planted 10 plants on the hill next to our garden, and figured this would be plenty of space for them to grow and not bother anything or anyone. (Sorry community garden neighbor...) Well I have since decided that someone should write a horror story about this plant. They are EVERYWHERE, and the vines are much like strawberry vines in that they put down roots on their off shoots. They are climbing up trees, bushes, and into my watermelon. I even had to pull it off the electric pole!  I'm not sure it would have climbed all the way up to the wire, but I'm sure the neighbors would love us if the power went out because of my crazy gourds. I think we should have a bumper crop of birdhouses to paint next spring if the gourd doesn't attack us first!

It was nice knowing you tree.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Grit and hard work...

Grit and hard work....

It is county fair week here, and Katzya has been working hard on getting Mia (and herself!) ready for the show pen.  This year has been a little challenging for Katzya in terms of showing.  

Katzya loves to show on a local circuit during the year from about April - October, but this year without a horse to show (Mia is very limited on the amount of showing that she will participate in, and to our family she is a companion first and a show horse second...) we sat out this show season.  Holding us back from purchasing a new horse is money currently.  

Showing horses comes with a price, and when you are showing several weekends a month, it comes with a big price.  As a family, we decided sitting out this year was what we needed to do financially.  (There is a valuable lesson in teaching a child that you can't always have what you want, and where we would love to give her another horse, realistically some children don't ever get one horse, let alone two.  She gets it...)  

But slowing down our progress most recently is the fact that Katzya fell off Mia several weeks ago, and was afraid to really commit to her riding again.  It has been a challenge for both of them.  While we leased another horse last year, Mia sat in her stall, unemployed, eating and being content with her retirement phase of life.  She was so content that she decided she wasn't going to lope anymore, and there was really no amount of retraining that was going convince her otherwise!  So for the last 3 weeks, Katzya and Mia have worked tirelessly on finding Mia's "lost third gear".  Finally, after what might have been the most stubborn battle of wills that they have ever encountered in their relationship, Katzya won the battle! 

And I am proud to say all of Katzya's hard work has paid off brilliantly!  I got this picture earlier today on my cell phone, and by the smile on this girl's face you can tell she is proud of all the hard work she's put in.  

Way to go ladies, I couldn't be more proud of you!
This Summer I’ve been able to expand my borders and really start working with horses. It’s been an exciting and hardworking time (seriously, my biceps are bigger than they’ve ever been). In today’s blog, I’ll catch you all up on what’s been going on at our farm – breeding chickens, rescuing a horse, my newest husbandry adventure, and more!
What new things have you tried this summer?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Chicken Eyesight: found a bug...oh wait....

Gotta wonder about these girls sometimes!  Our chickens never fail to amuse me.  :D

Read more about the antics of one of our reds here.

Pasture Deficit Disorder

Predator in the Chicken Yard

*** Warning...this post talks about real farm life and how we personally choose to deal with predators a.k.a. threats to the well being of our animals.  Please don't read on if you're offended by this.  I am not interested in starting an animal rights debate.  My husband and I are about as critter friendly as they come, and go out of our way to provide food and habitat for many critters on our land.  But we will not stand by and let predators pose threats to our beloved furry or feathered kids.***

Read more about the predator that found it's way into our chicken yard here.

Pasture Deficit Disorder

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Integrating Pullets into the Chicken Flock

This is the time of year to start thinking about moving spring-hatched female chicks (pullets) into the main coop and flock before they start laying this fall, but introducing new pullets into the established pecking order can cause serious scuffles between the mature hens and the pullets.  Continue reading here to find out how to do it and avoid "pecking order" fights between birds. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Recycled Metal Shelving For Chicken Pen

by Janet Garman

It happened again.  I brought home more baby chicks than we could house in the brooder/grow out area of our chicken coop and run.  Read on to see how we managed the problem and created the safe space needed for this years pullets.  Timber Creek Farm

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