Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Check out these chickens!

My friend Beth has a farm near me and has been doing the cutest farm decorations! I have to admit that I am totally jealous of her creativity and her farm. Beth just finished her Fall creations. Aren't they just adorable?

They are even cuter in real life. So fun! All I can say is "I wish I had thought of that!"

When I told her how much I loved them and how badly I wish I could steal them, Beth had to rub it in and send me a picture from last year (featuring her boys!).

Now where can I get some hay bales, some paint, some ideas......  Happy Fall, y'all!!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A new venture!

In addition to my very amazing writing here on this blog, I will now be writing a weekly column called Down on the Farm over at Southern Mommas. A real writing gig. And by real, I mean it's not for myself. :)  Wow!

Come join us!!

Chickens... the day after the rain.

Hey! Who are you? What are you??

 Before you complain about having a bad hair day, check out these lovelies!

Bless her heart. The rain is not kind to Silkies.

 Loved the rain but it did make a mess! Hopefully by tomorrow things will dry up and my poor chickens will be pretty again!

Monday, September 27, 2010

RAIN!!!! And a stuck goat.

Oh, joy! It's been raining, and raining hard, for two days. After a month of no rain, those beautiful wet drops were such a welcome sight. Looks like we received about 4 inches, and while that's a bit much all at one time, I'm not going to complain!

After dropping the children off at school, I headed out to the farm, hoping I had a rain coat there. I didn't. And it was coming down hard. I managed to collect eggs and check on the chickens without getting too wet. One look at their waterers and the flood they were sitting in was enough to convince me that they could drink the puddle if they needed more water. Filling all the waterers is time-consuming and the pump is out in the open which would mean I would be out in the open. And soaked. The chickens happily splashed through their chicken run, oblivious to their bedraggled feathers and muddy feet. I ran into the house for a cup of hot tea and a towel.....

And then I heard it. Oh, no! The panicked BAA BAA of a goat. Two weeks ago I had heard the same sound. Turned out it was a little goat with his head stuck through the fence at the very back corner of the pasture. And it's a big pasture. And he was WAYYYYY back there and very stuck. I don't know how he got his head and horns through that little hole. That day I somehow freed the goat, although it took about 30 minutes and a whole lot of tugging, pushing and grasping of horns. Of course that day was sunny and nice.

Today I looked out into the pasture and sure enough, that same stupid sweet goat was stuck in the fence again. UGH!!!! The rain was not letting up and I promise you that I thought long and hard about just leaving him out there until and if the rain let up. But I couldn't do that. Apparently I love that little stinker. Even though he's obviously not very smart.

By the time I finally managed to get him loose, and this was not a fast process as he was fighting me every step of the way, I was soaked, scratched and irritable. Not to mention muddy. So instead of my cup of hot tea, I ended up having a shower and doing a load of laundry. Oh, the things I do for these animals!

Goat freed, chickens fed, eggs gathered, me clean. Huckleberry Farm is at peace. For now.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chicken Swap and a new camera

Yesterday we piled in the car bright and early and headed out to Honea Path to attend our first ever Chicken Swap. Not sure what a Chicken Swap is? Well, you're not alone! We weren't either. And it's basically just what it sounds like: people bring chickens to sell and people come to buy. There were also a few goats, turkeys and quail available.

Before we actually got to the big Swap, we stopped for breakfast at Godfrey's Market in Hodges. We've been hearing about the amazing sausage they have there and it didn't disappoint! I had a sausage, cheese, egg, lettuce and tomato sandwich. The rest of the family had some form of sausage sandwich (including my favorite: my son's bacon and sausage sandwich. Now that's healthy!). The sausage is made there and is huge and delicious! Bellies full, we continued on to the Chicken Swap, with me insisting the whole way that I was just there to look and not buy anything. Famous last words!

Oh, yes! Possum Kingdom, South Carolina was the home of the Chicken Swap. You just have to love a town called Possum Kingdom! We checked out some of the animals available and found Juliette, all the way from down by Charleston, who had the most adorable Seramas. Seramas are the smallest breed of chickens and they were all just beautiful! My kids of course wanted them all but I, okay mostly my husband, had the sense to tell them no. We did, however, pick out four little hens. While we were doing this, my husband was befriending Hank the Horse who was in the nearby pasture. My son started yelling and we all turned to see Hank pulling Cole's T-shirt and chewing. No skin broke but old Hank did chew a hole in it!

Our chickens picked and safely in the carrier, we loaded back up to head back to the farm. My children named the chickens on the way home and we now have Oreo, Pumpkin Lace, Pixie, and Snow.

The little Seramas blended in quite nicely with the rest of the flock. They are so little that no one paid them much attention. They are almost full grown and you can hold them in the palm of your hand. Snow and Pumpkin Lace love to be held and Snow actually fell asleep in my hand and started doing a Chicken Snore! Annaliese spent a lot of time kissing and loving on them.

I think they'll fit in just fine on Huckleberry Farm. Can't wait to see the teeny egg they lay!

We also have two new kayaks for paddling around on the ponds. And I have a new camera! My dear, sweet man bought me a new Canon Rebel for my birthday a few weeks ago. I finally got it out and started trying to figure out how to use it! So while the kids and Cole tried out the kayaks, I tried out my new camera!

I know I'll be able to do some amazing things with it once I figure it all out. Thankfully we had tons of butterflies yesterday for me to practice on!

The sheep are doing well. Getting fat and allowing us to come up to the fence to say hi.

We are getting some much needed rain today and tomorrow. The pastures are yellow and dry, which is not a good thing when you have grazing animals relying on them for food! Hopefully we'll get enough to get everything back green. The temperatures are finally out of the 90's!! Even yesterday, September 25th, was in the mid-90's. Today it's 70 and feels wonderful!

I took one last picture of our new Seramas. She is standing next to a few Silkies which are very little chickens. The little Seramas can almost run underneath the bigger chickens. Can't wait to get to know them better!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Today at the farm

It was a beautiful day at the farm today. I brought along my camera to take a few pictures of the animals.... and one husband.

We have 45 sheep now and all are loving life at their new home.

I love this guy! From far away, the rams look like they have ponytails.

A couple of my silkies waiting for breakfast.

Cookie looking for a treat.

The donkeys are so great! Friendly and gentle. Our baby is getting so big.

Grumpy always has to check everything out. Always hoping there's food involved. She looks like she's expecting again. Those goats multiply A LOT!

This used to be one of our babies but he's growing up. And starting to like the ladies.

The sheep are beginning to like us a little but are still very skitterish. It takes time. Cole insists he is the Sheep Whisperer but I didn't really see that today. Must only happen when I'm not there. :)

A little ewe. Looking at me.

And now he's the Donkey Whisperer.

A few of the eggs I collected today. A big brown one. A big green one. And a teeny tiny little tan one. You'd have to see the little one in real life to appreciate how very small it is. You need at least two to make one normal size egg. But the chicken who lays it is small and at least she's contributing! Loving the green eggs! Thanks Bobbi and Katie!!!


Annaliese cheered at her first football game last night. We've been talking a lot about cheerleading and what she'll be doing, hoping to ease her nerves. Maybe we didn't do such a good job. On the way to the football game, we were all talking about the football players, who they were, how old they are. Annaliese got the most puzzled look on her face and said, "There's going to be real people there?" Maybe she thought she was cheering at a video football game!

But when we arrived, our Little Cougar Cheerleader got a cougar paw painted on her face, picked up her pon poms, and went out on the field like she's been cheering for years. Good job, Annaliese!

She asked us at half time which team she was cheering for and we quietly told her the ones that match her uniform. I'm not sure if she really got the whole point of cheerleading but she had fun and can't wait until next week. Unfortunately our Cougars lost pretty badly, 38-3, but I'm completely convinced that the other team had kids old enough to be in college and not Junior High. They were way too big. Oh, well. On to next week!

Birthday presents

My birthday dawned beautifully at the farm. My babies woke me up with morning presents, a birthday tradition in our family. Just little things wrapped in newspaper. The birthday boy/girl must remain in bed and pretend to be asleep until the family arrives with the presents. This year I got beef jerky, Reese's Cups, Pringles and a National Enquirer. Woo hoo! And a hot cup of coffee. The day was off to a great start!

The night before my big day we had closed on our new house. So off we went... the kids to school and me to start the long process of unpacking, cleaning and organizing. But first we had to stop and say Hey! to our new sheep.

The first batch arrived safe and sound and settled in nicely. The rams are awesome!

We don't know how old they are but a few look very old and wise. Check out the horns on this guy! I love him!

We are living in our new house with occasional overnights at the farm. Once we get good and settled, we will spend more nights out there. I miss it so much! I get to see it every day but enjoying the view and cleaning chicken coops are not the same!
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