Sunday, March 20, 2011

Our New Website is Up!

You are invited to our new website, Huckleberry Farm. All future posts will be made there!

If you're looking for Silkie, Ameraucana or French Marans hatching eggs, click here.

If you'd like to purchase day-old chicks or started chickens, please click here.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My lavender Silkies are growing up... slowly

Aren't they precious? I really hope one of the three is a boy! And a girl. I need at least one of each! Now to fast foward about 7 months and then I can start hatching eggs from these beauties!

Our last Spring Baby

Bashful finally had her baby last night. So that makes 3 kids and 3 lambs for the spring season. The lambs are growing so much! Hard to believe they are almost a month old!
The new kid
Playing with her new friends
One of the lambs

Now that all the birthing is done (no thanks to me!) and the weather is starting to warm up, I'm thinking about the garden, flowers, and grass growing. I have almost 100 eggs in the incubator for my new breeding projects. We're getting 4 dozen eggs a day from the laying flock! I tool 16 dozen eggs yesterday to the Food Pantry. I can't sell them all and I love being able to give fresh eggs to a needy family. Plus I waltzed out of there with tons of bread that they can't use. The chickens were super happy about that!

Looking forward to a lovely, warm, sunny weekend. It was actually 76 degrees one day this week! Only 50 something today but it was nice while it lasted!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Something to brighten my flu-ridden life

What a couple of weeks! My son had the flu all of last week. Then my husband got it. And now I have it. And my daughter. And now my husband has escaped to California on a week-long business trip leaving me with a stuffed nose, cough and a fever-ridden 6-yr old. sniff sniff
On the plus side, all three lambs are growing and thriving. And we woke up this morning to a beautiful sight.... two new baby goats! Dopey, bless her big pregnant self, finally had her twins. The poor thing hadn't been able to walk comfortably for weeks. I gave her as many pep talks as I could (which was difficult when I didn't have a voice for two days), but she just wasn't ready. This morning, I went out to the pasture to check on her and there they were! A fat little white kid and a little tan one trying desperately to figure out how to use its legs.

Can't be a bad day after all!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Our new lambs!

Finally, finally got out to the farm. My husband has been doing farm duties while I've been taking care of my son... who still has a fever on day 6. Anyway.... one day I'll live out here full-time and won't miss a thing! We hope to start building in the next few months. I can't wait.

Introducing.... the new lambs!

I just love them! I even got to hold one today. They are just adorable and precious. So glad the coyotes have stayed away. Both of my goats spent the afternoon waddling around the pasture. Surely they will give birth anytime.

And just for laughs.... a picture of Toupee. Bless his little ram heart.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


At the end of our snowstorm in January came the time for our foster sheep to move onto greener pastures. I was kind of glad since feeding them was expensive and time-consuming! It took a lot of people and two extraordinary herding dogs to get the sheep into the trailer and it was fun to watch! We did it though!
We kept eight sheep: four rams and four ewes. And now have three babies. Yay!!
We had to catch Snowflake and put him on his trailer for the ride back to his house before letting the dogs loose. It took awhile but eventually we had him!

Dopey didn't really enjoy being penned up during all the action... as you can plainly see.

The dogs were doing a great job until.....

this happened. Uh oh.  Escape!

Finally they are headed into the trailer with my handsome farmer now doing most of the herding.

And people call you a city boy. You're a farmer now, sweetie! Look at you go!

It was a really interesting and fun day. All the sheep made it safely to their new destination and we settled in nicely with our much reduced flock. Plus a new donkey with a new name.

Eggs come in all sizes!

Two of the three dozen eggs I collected today. I'm not sure who laid this teeny, tiny egg (which is about the size of a grape), but I do appreciate the effort!

I just love my eggs! Thanks, Hens!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Three new babies... and the flu

Oh, dear. It's been a very long four days. My little boy (well, he's 10 and not really so little... but you know how it is! He's my little boy!) came home from school Friday not feeling well. I don't know how it is where you live, but here in South Carolina, the flu is running wild. And it's not a little, bothersome flu. It's an out for 10 days, in the bed, horrible flu. And so he has it. Thankfully the rest of us are still well but I'm tired! If he can't sleep, I can't sleep so we spend much of the night awake and sad. Hopefully he'll be better tomorrow.

While I've been playing nursemaid, my husband has been counting sheep! After losing three baby lambs to the cursed coyotes, we've had three more born this week and all are doing well! A friend of ours put out a few coyote traps. No coyotes have been trapped but something he did is obviously keeping them away. If my son feels up to it tomorrow, we'll spend the day at the farm and I can finally take some pictures!

I have several new ideas in the works for the farm. Can't wait to share them! But first I have to talk my husband into them. And that's taking some work!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lambs today.... Gone tomorrow

Well, that didn't take long. I ran out to take pictures of the new lambs on Monday morning and couldn't find them anywhere. I saw the Momma hanging out with the other sheep, but no babies. Knew that wasn't a good sign. I searched everywhere in the pasture for any sign of them. Nothing. Thinking they might have somehow squeezed through the fence, I looked all around the pasture. They're gone. No bones or hide or anything. I can only assume coyotes came and took them. The mom must have taken them to the back part of the pasture which is where she gave birth. Being separated from the rest of the animals, including the four guardian donkeys which I'm not too happy with at the moment, must have put them at risk.
So no pictures of the lambs. I think two more of the ewes are pregnant and I need to figure out how to protect those babies. We don't have a barn yet. Hopefully the Barn Fairy will give us one soon! We do plan to build one this year thankfully.
I hate losing animals.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Goodbye Bully.... Hello Baby!

Whew! It's been a busy few weeks at the farm. The ice and snow didn't melt for a whole week. One cold day after the other made for a lot of slipping and sliding. And when it finally did melt.... oh, the mud! What a mess! The chicken run and the pastures were so muddy that I actually lost my boot right off my foot. The good news is that everything has finally started to dry up... just in time for the next winter storm to come next week. I'm hoping it will just be rain!

Last Saturday we had an old-fashioned sheep round-up. It was time to say good bye to the sheep we've been fostering since summer. Two border collies came along to help round them up. How fascinating to watch! Those two dogs listened to their owner's voice inflections and commands and knew just what to do. I never heard her call either one by name but somehow they both knew where to go and what to do at all times. While that was going on, I was busy talking to Mr. Mann (the man whose donkeys we were also fostering) and trying to sweet talk him into letting us keep his donkey, Thirty Eight. It worked! He packed up Snowflake and all but 8 of the donkeys and headed home. We were able to choose eight of the sheep to keep so we picked out four males and four girls. Of course we had to keep the ram that my husband saved from drowning! Everyone is doing great and I definitely do not have to use as much feed which is great and much cheaper!

After a short family meeting, we decided to change Thirty Eight's name. It just didn't go along with the rest of them. So he is now Muffin. And that suits him just fine. He has a bigger muffin top than me.
This past week, our three billy goats suddenly decided to become aggressive. Ever since we lost our head goat Grumpy, those three boys have become increasingly obnoxious. She must have kept them in line. One in particular (Scrooge and trust me, his name was perfect for him) started being very food dominant and would lie in the food trough and throw his huge horns at anyone that tried to eat. Even the donkeys avoided him. This past Thursday, he made the horrible mistake of injuring me while I was feeding everyone. He came barrelling in and smashed my hand against his horn as hard as he could. I thought it was broken and boy, did it hurt! Luckily it just ended up being a painful, deep bruise but that was the last straw. I put him on CraigsList that night.

Here was my very honest ad:

One big white bully Billy Goat to someone who wants to come get him. Big horns. No specific type and age unknown. We acquired him when we bought our farm and he was fine until our main girl was killed. Now he's a bully and we don't know how to handle him. Good size for a goat and still growing as far as we can tell. Anyone want him? Available Saturday 1/22 only. He just about broke my hand and we have two small children. Wish I could keep him but he must go! FREE! Can also throw in another billy who is much nicer but not needed.

My husband laughed at me but I thought I needed to be truthful. Within the hour I had emails from almost 30 fools  people who wanted him. Guess you really can get rid of anything on CraigsList. Our excited new goat owner arrived right on time Saturday and took all three of our male goats. I was so happy! I couldn't part with our two pregnant little girls, but we really do want to get a new breed of goat and this is our chance. We promised the children we will have new goats soon. Of course they want little Nigerian Dwarf goats. Or Fainting goats. We'll see. The farm is much more peaceful now that Snowflake and the bully goats are gone. Everyone is eating nicely and working together. Beautiful! And my hand is finally losing some of the swelling.
And guess what else? We have two brand new baby lambs! Born today. One of the ewes that we kept had her babies this morning. We didn't even realize she was that close to giving birth! We have so much to learn. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera but I'll definitely be there out there tomorrow snapping away!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Walking on water! Just a frozen pond and that NEVER happens here! These poor geese are wondering what happened with their supposed trip South! Not far enough apparently!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Where's my brush?

The sledding has been a bit rough on my daughter's hair. Yikes! At least she's having fun! We didn't have a sled so one of the feeding troughs kindly volunteered. 

Snowy farm... day 2

At least it's sunny today! Still freezing cold. Still inches and inches of snow with a layer of ice on top. But I did entice a few of the chickens to come out of the coops for a visit.

The little birds enjoyed a breakfast of chicken feed. Obviously finding food under all the snow was hard this morning!

The high temp today is forecast to be 32. But tomorrow it's 38 and 50 by Sunday. Guess the snow will be here for a few more days. I think I speak for a lot of Southerners when I say, "Melt already!".

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow 2011.... farm version!

We made it to the farm! What a mess. They do not de-ice or plow our roads down here so you travel at your own risk! We made it to Walmart where I found absolutely no milk or anything else I wanted. Shelves cleaned bare. I did manage to pick up a few items to take the farm so we can eat for the next day! The normally 20-minute trip took about 40 minutes. We got stuck spinning out heading into the farm but finally got a little traction and headed down our very, very long driveway (1/2 mile!). We have 6 inches of snow with a crust of ice on top. Not fun to walk on to be sure!All the animals were alive and okay. Thankfully. The sheep had escaped their pasture and either didn't know how to get back or didn't like walking on icy snow.

Thanks to Farmer Cole and my sweet baby girl, the sheep managed to head home for a bite to eat. I wish all children lined up as nicely as my sheep!

The farm was dressed in a beautiful coat of white. My chickens did not cooperate with the photo shoot though. Despite the yummies I tossed outside, they wanted nothing to do with the snow!

They may not like the snow, but they still laid eggs!

It's cold, crunchy, icy, and wet, but I don't care! I'm here and I can take of my little sweeties. The sun has just set and it's freezing out there. Black Ice warnings tonight. No school again tomorrow. At least I can go to bed not worrying about the animals!

 I swore I wouldn't complain about the weather this winter after the horrible summer we had. So I'm not! It's pretty and it's cold but I can handle it. Stay warm and safe wherever you are!
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