Update from the farm

January 17, 2011 stephhwilliams 0 Comments

This is likely to be a very dry and very long post to catch up on all that’s gone down on the farm in the last few months … so I’ll try to make it bearable with pictures. 🙂

Since the state fair in October (I still can’t believe that was my last post. Sheesh!), quite a bit has happened … it’s true that farm life is never dull. Unfortunately, not a lot of is all that pleasant, maybe even a little sad.  Also unfortunately, I can’t think of any neat way to present what’s happened other than chronologically because that’s how my type-A brain has tried to remember everything.

Rhode Island Red

During the week of the state fair, since both Bryan and I had taken time off for the fair, we also took the opportunity to do some poultry homesteading, i.e., massive chicken slaughter.  Don’t worry, I won’t put any pictures of the slaughter here; though I would like to devote an entire post to it at some point and of course include instructive pictures.  I say “massive” as that was our intention, given that we had over 75 chickens on property and were getting more than 3 dozen eggs a day.  Plus we had too many roosters.  There’s got to be some catchy saying about too many roosters but I can’t think of one right now.  Anyway, we ended up only managing to slaughter 3 in 3 hours, though we were getting faster at the process with each one.  Shortly after that day, the chickens began to molt, meaning no eggs for awhile.  For maybe a split second, I thought maybe we’d traumatized them into not laying (or just pissed them off) — I occasionally succumb to conspiratorial thinking.  A few weeks later, Bryan took several roosters and a good many hens to the Beebe Flea Market to sell … by that point it was too cold and we were too busy to try another “homesteading” day.

Our Belle

In December, we lost Belle, our 4-1/2 yr old Swissie. We found out not long after we got Belle as a puppy that she had a food allergy. The allergy, which was to practically every ingredient in 99% of dog foods on the market, would cause her to lose weight and patches of hair.  For the last several months, we’d been trying out different specialty dog foods to see which, if any, she was able to consume without issue.  Unfortunately, the last time we took her to the vet, she was down to 98 lbs (her normal/appropriate weight is around 120 lb).  The vet said that, despite the high protein content in the specialty food, it appeared that Belle was not able to retain any of it, thus causing her to lose weight.  Ultimately, none of the food seemed to make a difference and Belle passed in her sleep in December.  She’s buried here on the farm with a large rock marking her grave.

Wild One

Wild One, the blue-eyed doe who the kids sometimes call Blueberry but who Bryan and I always refer to “the wild one” because she doesn’t like to be touched, was bred to Seth back in late summer when we housed them together for companionship (it’s never good to have a goat alone).  Sadly, on the day of the really bad thunderstorm in our area, she apparently stressed herself into early labor, kidding 2 premies who didn’t survive the birth.

That’s it for now … I know there’s more but during the course of typing this (with frequent stops to break up fights, move laundry from the washer to the dryer and cook dinner) I’ve forgotten what else I was going to say.  Here’s hoping it doesn’t take me months to post again … and that the next one is bit more chipper.

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