Farm Update

I realize that I haven’t updated the blog in awhile. Sorry about that. Life has been just as crazy as it can be over here. Along with fall came the start of school, the renewal of the mothering group I am a care group leader with, and several craft shows for Baby Vardo. Add that to our already hectic life and I feel like I’ve just been hanging on for the ride. This is the first weekend in awhile that I can feel like I can just sit and relax, well at least for a little bit, then I have to work on the budget, which has been pushed aside because of lack of time. But hey, at least that means I’ll be sitting down. ๐Ÿ™‚

I realized the other day that I hadn’t shared any pictures of what has been happening with our animals here. Well, remember all those fuzzy little chicks that arrived back in August? Well, here they are now as 9 week old slim and sleek adolescent chickens. Quite a change right? They are really fun to watch, and come running every time I step outside, just in case I might be bringing kitchen scraps or scratch grains for them. We’ve taken them off regular commercial feed, letting them search for bugs, greens and other edibles in our yard. Once or twice a day I also give them all natural scratch grains, partly just to make sure they know that there are reasons to stay up around the house. They completely demolish my compost pile every time I add anything to it, but hey, instead of getting compost, I’m recycling my kitchen food scraps into eggs and meat. They have very effectively ridded our yard of all insect pests and have started ranging a little farther from the house to find goodies to eat. Pretty much the only time they get into trouble is when they venture into the neighbor’s pasture to get what I can only guess is winter wheat he put down about a week ago. I’m cringing at the thought that he might have whole patches missing when it starts to come up. Sometime in January we’ll set aside a day to put away the roosters in the freezer. It will be hard to kill such pretty and friendly birds, but I hope it will be a learning experience for our kids to see a little more of where our food comes from. In case you are wondering, the red and white ones are the red star hens. The black and red ones are the black star hens. The black and white ones are black star roosters and the mostly white ones are the red star roosters. We’ve been pleasantly surprised at the variation between each one. There are several that stand out enough to be recognized and therefore have been rewarded with names.

On labor day, our resident farm cat disappeared for a whole day. Finally that night we discovered her and her 4 little kittens in a box by our back door. We removed the kittens to a safer location, but not too long after their eyes opened, she brought them back closer to the house. Now they romp outside my sewing room windows when the kids haven’t carried them off to wherever they happen to be playing. Surprisingly enough they are very tame (i.e. don’t go running when they see the kids headed towards them) and extremely healthy (i.e. have survived two little boys who have not yet learned how to be gentle with small living creatures). They are at the stage of absolute cuteness. In these pictures, the one Elise is holding is Mischief, who is the littlest and therefore I am finding my favorite. I was always a sucker for the runt of the litter. And yes, he does have one eye closed, he’s still dealing with the sticky eye the others have grown out of. The one Will is holding is I think Roly Poly. I’m not sure because Roly Poly and White Paw (I think that is still his name, the kids change them occasionally) look exactly the same, though one is a boy and one a girl. There is one other one named Smoky (amazingly the kids stuck with my choice of name on this one). He’s a beautiful white with grey tipped tail, ears and paws. Anyone want a kitten? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I guarantee they will be tough little farm cats after surviving my two boys, and the momma has already started bringing them her hunting catches to eat, so I’m sure she’ll make sure they are good mousers as well.

We really are enjoying being out here in the country. The kids have days like yesterday when they play outside almost all day, only coming in for naps and meals. Will and Elise especially have been enjoying making up elaborate stories while carting around the kittens. And never far away are our two little goats and flock of chickens.

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