Thursday, March 20, 2014

Update from Black Sheep Farm

It's been a while since I've said anything about this little place we call home. So I figured I'd do some introductions. Plus, my friend Cate (hello, Cate!) asked me ages ago to put up some more farm pictures. Also, as a disclaimer, please remember that I am merely a farmer-ette-in-training, with barely enough motivation, and nearly no expertise on farming. I do have some aspirations to have a little vegetable stand one day, and eventually enough goats to sell (yes, that means for their not the cute ones!). we go!

This is about my daily level of excitement over farm chores. I'm holding a bag of hay for the goats. The hay bag is a very good invention, if you keep it full. If it gets empty, it gets eaten (the bag, that is). There's a metaphor for life in there somewhere. 

This is Leo's usual attitude about farm chores as well: let's find a stick.  He does like to dig in the dirt (what 3 year-old boy doesn't?) and to drive a tractor (again...3 year-old boy...). I will be far too delighted when he is old enough to feed the goats on his own. 

Can't get enough of that smile.
Daniel is pretty content to pal around with Mom and Leo, so long as he can jump in all the mud puddles.

These are the goaties. 
Bramble (R) and Raspberry (L) were our first official farm animals (if you don't count cats and dogs). They are so named, b/c goats are supposedly about as easy to care for as raspberry brambles.  Supposedly.  Houdini raspberry brambles, we'll say. 

Those two are supposed to become matriarchs, but so far our efforts at raising a buck to older age have been...a learning experience?


This little goat is our Prince Reagent, the Patriarch-Elect of the Goat herd. He is a Boer-Kiko cross (75-25), so he's supposed to get really big and be wonderful. We'll see. He is just called "the little goat" right now, because if we really named him officially, it would jinx everything. Some times I'll say his name is Izzy, or Israel, and his name in his previous life was Klondike (because he is brown-white-brown), which I refused to endorse. I've learned not to get my hopes up too high in farm life. The unexpected is right around the corner...

This is the sheep. Most of the time we just call him "the sheep" or "mean sheep", b/c he's pretty ornery. There was a time when Leo said that his name was "Red"...

Don't let that look fool you...he's a toughie.  And he *will* ram you. Srsly. I used to be more mad about the sheep's existence on our farm, which is understandable, considering he's knocked me off my feet more than once, but I've since decided that since he is a rescue animal, I'm getting points in Heaven from St. Francis and St. Isiadore (patron of farmers) by being nice to him. Nice from a distance, that is.

This is the chicken coop/yard that Steven built. He's handy like that :). The orange bucket things are water-ers that self-fill via gravity tubing from the outer white bucket (in the summer, when water doesn't freeze), and they are lovely lovely. Yes, I just called a chicken water-er lovely. Judge away.

Some of our flock. The chickens are very good layers when we're not in a polar vortex, and we haven't had to buy eggs since they started laying (well, except for 2 doz. during said polar vortex). We also *had* four ducks, which were quite funny-looking, and a delight to watch when swimming in  their little kiddie pool (not pictured, b/c it's yucky looking). Unfortunately, an opossum (possum?) killed them all last week. Remember what I said about the unexpected in farming?  Perhaps there's another post in this thought, but I think that it's rather healthy for us to experience death up close like this. Circle-of-life, ashes-to-ashes, and life isn't always a bed of roses on a silver platter and all that jazz.

And so, we truck along here on the "farm", where time passes slowly and the children grow too quickly. 


  1. Yay! This made my day/week/life. I think Mean Sheep is my favorite (sorry!). Do you shear him?

    So... why are the bucks so hard to raise to adulthood?

    1. :0) I'm so glad you liked the update; it's been in the works for-ever!
      It's OK that you like the Mean Sheep best--someone's gotta! ;) We don't have to shear him because he is a special type of sheep with hair instead of the regular wool, so he just sheds his hair (easy-peasy!)
      The bucks are so hard mostly b/c of our inexperience with goat problems, I think, although I have read that bucks are more susceptible to goat ailments. We've had one die of "sudden goat death", which is an actual thing :P, and another of a combo of a bad parasitic attack (goats succumb to these easily) and yucky weather (poor recovering conditions).
      We are learning, though! We made it through a bout of goat pneumonia (which saw the goat spending a smelly week or two in the basement, and me conducting goat physical therapy at the end!) with this one (a generous and helpful goat neighbor plus a veterinary visit to the farm plus prayers to Sts. Francis and Isidore), so there is hope yet! :)

  2. Wow! I'm so impressed- you have quite the little farm going!

    1. :) thanks, Rachel! We're trucking along...!

  3. Love this. We just finished with taking our son to a "Little Farmers" class, and wow, he loved the animals. Kind of jealous of you. :-)

  4. That's awesome! I'm surprised the black sheep is the one doing the ramming!


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