Thursday, December 23, 2010

White Christmas?

Could it be? Well, maybe... but probably not. According to the local weatherpeople, we haven't had a white Christmas here in our part of South Carolina since 1963. So the fact that they are predicting snow for sometime Christmas Day must be listened to but not necessarily believed. I think it's more likely that we won't have bread or milk on the shelves than have snow on the ground. But I'm an optimist!

My children, of course, are beyond excited about the possibility of a few inches of snow. The fact that it might happen on Christmas means little to them. Snow is snow and that means fun!

I'll keep you posted! I'm predicting rain. Hopefully not ice. Snow would be perfect!

Merry Christmas to everyone! May the blessings of the Lord Jesus be upon you this day and every day.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ugh..... this weather!

The last two weeks.....  Brrrrr! The temperature struggles every morning to get out of the teens. All the animals have frozen water and frozen feet. Tonight we're expecting ice and freezing rain. How fun! Yesterday I found two of my little Columbian Rock chicks dead in the chicken run. I couldn't tell if they had died from the cold weather or from being trampled. I have a coop right there open for business with a nice heat lamp for them. But no one is ever in there! I moved my remaining five Columbian Rocks into the locked coop with the real baby chicks.

I'm ready for temperatures above freezing. Just a little above. I'm not greedy!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Polar bear!

Back in the fall, I posted the pictures of my friend Beth's cute chickens made out of hay bales. She's done it again! Check out her new creation for Winter... Mr. Polar Bear! I'm eaten up with jealousy.

Isn't it just too cute? He's so big in real life. I'm not sure how she does it. Maybe a little Christmas magic.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Buttermilk sky

My first thought this morning:

Wow! What a beautiful sunrise! My mother-in-law always calls it a "buttermilk sky." I'm not sure why that is except that maybe it looks like buttermik biscuits. It was truly bright pink and blue. Gorgeous!

My second thought this morning:

There's something wrong when 30 degrees feels warm to me. But it did!

I hope we're not gearing up for the same type of winter we had last year. Cold, wet, windy. Yuck.

Hope it was a lovely morning wherever you are!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside!

Early December in South Carolina is NOT supposed to be this cold! The temperature hovered around 13 degrees this morning. Yikes! I ran out to check on all the chickens (especially the baby chicks I brought out yesterday), and they seemed okay. Amazing how chickens just walk around in such freezing weather. The chicks are in a locked coop under a heat lamp so I hope they'll be okay. Looks like the cold weather is hanging around for awhile. BRRRRRRR!!!!!

I snapped this picture this morning of a little goose just swimming around the pond behind our house. She didn't seemed bothered at all by the temperature!

RIP, Grumpy.

Yesterday was a day I'd like to forget but probably never will. We arrived very early to the farm and found our three dogs (Bear, Lambchop and Toby) in the pasture with the goats and sheep. We haven't figured out yet how they managed to get in there. The fence all looked secure and we have barbed wire run at the top and bottom. But I guess a determined dog will find a way.

By the time we arrived, those dogs had killed five goats including beautiful Grumpy. :(  They had ripped her two babies out of her and were eating them. They also killed four other pregnant girls. One was way in the back of the pasture so it's obvious they chased her back there. I'm not going to describe the horrifying scene. I wish I hadn't seen it at all.

We got the dogs out and took care of the goats. My poor babies! They had such great personalities, always anxious to say hello and get a little treat. I can't believe they are gone in such a senseless way. My two children took it particularly hard when we had to break the news to him. My 10-yr old son has a very tender heart toward animals and he just kept replaying what he imagined the goats felt and saw. He was sad that pregnant little Sneezy never had the chance to deliver her first baby. And Happy, who had her first baby killed a few days after birth last year, never had the chance to raise a baby. It went on and on. What can you say? I did the best I could to offer some comfort. He finally fell asleep, asking God to take his nightmares away. He just looked at me as I was walking out of his room and said, "I wish God would let us have this day over again so we could stop everything from happening." Me too, baby. Me too.

After an afternoon of discussion, my husband and I made the difficult decision to rehome the dogs. We have a lot of innocent animals and we didn't feel like we could securely protect them from the dogs at all times. The unfortunate thing is that the dogs are wonderful with kids and people. No aggression at all! I guess not all dogs are meant to be farm dogs. Chalk it up to another tough lesson learned by inexperienced farmers. We'll know better next time!

The only bright spot yesterday is that we now have a kitten! This precious little kitten showed up at my children's school a few weeks ago and had been living in the Kindergarten classroom where my daughter is. All the kids loved her and the teachers said she was the sweetest kitty. The entire school had been putting out flyers (it's a small, private school so going around the neighborhood and hanging Lost Kitten signs is okay!) and trying to find the owner. No one claimed her. They've been desperately trying to find her a home and kept asking us to take her. We thought about letting her live on the farm in our house but were afraid of what the dogs would do if she got out. After the dogs left yesterday, that was no longer an issue so I went up to the school and got her.

We named her Gabby and she's a little tortoise shell kitten. So cute! She spent the whole afternoon going from one lap to the other and purring away. What a sweetie.

So we have five less goats and three less dogs but gained a little kitten. I'm thinking a herd of goats would be a great Christmas gift for the kids! And me!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


No, I'm not grumpy. My goat is Grumpy! Seven goats came with our farm so of course, we had to name them after the Seven Dwarfs. And someone had to be Grumpy. Little did we know at the time how great she is and how in charge! She's definitely the boss of that pasture. She even takes on the Big Horn Sheep.

Grumpy is very, very pregnant. Her sides are so big and her belly is practically dragging on the ground. Every day I expect to have new kids, but not yet! I just love Grumpy.

How can you not love this face?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Hayride!

Hayride on Thanksgiving! Right before everyone else piled on us. I'm finally in a few pictures!

My family!

Here's the family in front of my chicken coops on Thanksgiving. I think we're looking good!

I'm in the back row, second from the right (behind my niece Katherine in the yellow shirt). I point myself out since I'm never in any of my pictures!

Finally.... a lavender silkie!

After much anxious bidding, waiting and incubating, I finally have four lavender silkies! As if I didn't have enough going on the last week (HA!), I've had eggs hatching like crazy! Nine little silkies hatched during the week, but I lost three. Silkies are teeny tiny and fragile. I've also bought them as chicks and had no idea how difficult they are to hatch! Wow! The six that survived are growing and chirping away in my dining room under a heat lamp and will be fine in the long run. I took my seven Columbian Rocks out to the farm on Saturday since they were jumping out of their mail bin. They are in the coop with the other babies. I may let them out tomorrow to mingle with the rest of the flock!

Yesterday the real test came.... the hatch of the lavender (potentially!) silkies. I had a 25% chance of getting a full lavender silkie. I also had 14 Olive Eggers ready to hatch. Can't wait to get Olive Eggs! They all started hatching last night. I now have 12 Olive Eggers and 10 Silkies. And... drum roll.... 4 are lavender! Woo hoo!!! If you're not into chickens, and I mean really into them, the thought of lavender silkies probably means little to you. But if you are, you know the excitement I'm feeling right now! I gave the children strict warnings to leave them alone. No stressing the beauties out! Having chicks on the dining room table is a magnet for every child in the neighborhood.

Behold... my latest batch of chicks.

The first set of silkies.

The lavender silkies (3) and the rest are lavender splits (carrying one lavender gene)

My Olive Eggers

I still have eggs in the incubator so we'll see what we have in the morning. Unfortunately we lost one of our favorite hens this weekend. I found feathers everywhere in front of the chicken coops and ran into check on everyone. My little Blackjack was nowhere to be found. I don't know how she got out but I can only assume the dogs got to her. Poor baby.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, it's done. Thanksgiving! Hope yours was as wonderful as mine! We had our whole family out to the farm (and that's a lot of people!). I was in a mad rush to finish painting the chicken coops and get things ready for all of our visitors. And I did! Barely....

Introducing... Rainbow Egg Row!

There's actually one more coop that's not pictured. It's far down on the right and is painted a beautiful coral. I'm really pleased with how they turned out! My children love sitting in the chicken run with their babies!

Unless they're swinging on one of the porch swings on the coops....

We had beautiful weather here in South Carolina for the holiday. The week leading up to Thanksgiving was in the 70's every day. Thanksgiving Day was sunny and in the high 60's. Perfect! We had a big meal, a croquet tournament, hayride, played with the animals, oyster roast and music around the campfire.

We lost my father-in-law a few years ago. He loved to play croquet so now we have a big croquet tournament every year in his memory.

Singing songs around the campfire. That handsome man with the guitar is my very amazing spouse! We just celebrated our anniversary yesterday. And today is my son's birthday. So that makes three celebrations in four days. Busy but fun! Happy Anniversary, honey!

Didn't I say a few posts ago that Lambchop is a big lover? Here he is at the campfire with my nephew and my daughter. He's a bit big for a lapdog but he refuses to acknowledge it!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I know there are more pictures floating around out there taken by my family members. Hopefully I can get some more. I got busy socializing and forgot about my camera!

I hope all of you had a blessed day!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chicks and a present

The leaves are starting to change! Seems a little late this year (probably thanks to that horrible, hot, humid, miserable summer we had) but at last, the leaves are taking on the beautiful hues of red and orange.

My latest batch of baby chicks made the big move to the farm a few days ago and are happily living in one of the little coops. Under a heat lamp of course! They have grown so much just in the last two days! I have 35 babies (30 Easter Eggers and 5 Ameraucanas) in there which puts my total chicken total to .... not sure but I think around 120 or so. They are almost two weeks old now!

Hi, Mom!

Bear and Lambchop greeted me this morning with a gift. Bear proudly dropped this lovely gift at my feet. Lambchop picked it up. They chased each other and then spent the next hour fighting over it. And what is this amazing gift? A beautiful, smelly, disgusting piece of fur from some random dead animal. Jealous, aren't you? Not being a dog, I don't quite understand the fascination with an ugly piece of hide, but the dogs were beyond excitement. They've also brought me a skull and a vertebrae in the last few days. Makes a mom proud.

My little Scarecrow

Annaliese's class performed a cute little play for Halloween called "The Littlest Pumpkin". Annaliese was the Scarecrow and actually said a lot of lines. Kindergarteners are so cute!

Looking at her face in these pictures, it's hard to say if she's actually enjoying the performance! But she said her lines and didn't run off the stage crying which made me a happy parent!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Kindergarten Field Trip

Right before Halloween, my daughter's Kindergarten class came to Huckleberry Farm for a field trip. 21 kids + 2 teachers + 1 Grandmother + 2 parents + lots of animals = FUN!

First off, a little sing along with Farmer Cole.

Of course we sang Old MacDonald! Right at the part about the sound a chick makes, my rooster, Butterscotch, conveniently started crowing his head off. My husband said, "Just like we planned it. Good job, Butterscotch!" The children thought that was hilarious!

Colin tried to keep Lambchop occupied.

A quick lesson on goats and then some fun feeding of treats. The goats were in Heaven!

Some of the children liked that part better than others!

And then it was on to the donkeys!

Oh, Blue! He loved the kids! Being deaf and half-blind has its advantages!

We gathered to read a story about a hen and her big egg before heading off to see and hold the chickens. The children loved seeing eggs in the nest boxes!

Then it was time for a game of Hot Potato. Farmer Cole played the guitar and we used one of our huge Sweet Potatoes to pass. A few of the kids got knocked over by the big potato but they all laughed so it's okay!

All the children were very well-behaved, asked great questions and showed respect to the animals. We loved having them out and can't wait to do it again!

Related Posts with Thumbnails