Friday, June 29, 2012

What is Raw Milk, and Why Drink It?

I thought this You Tube did an excellent job at explaining raw milk. Very simplistic, easy to understand, and true. Quite nice. ;) 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Gonna' Watch It This Year

2012 Summer Equestrian Olympics...

Crazy, Crazy...

That is what life is right now. Crazy, crazy.

We unexpectedly had to change our butchering date for the broilers and will now be doing it NEXT MONDAY, so I'm scrambling to make sure that all my customers (er, farm patrons that is) are aware of that fact, see that I have ice, propane, knives, freezer bags, and helpers, and try to make sure that nothing is going to go wrong. Hehe, of course something will go wrong; something always goes wrong! But my fingers are crossed that nothing *too* serious goes amiss, and that the day will go as smoothly as possible. I'm actually looking forward to it a little bit, since I'm eager to implement everything I've learned from Polyface and from the poultry processing facility where I used to work. I have a good team of helpers coming, and with luck we will be fast and efficient. Last year we had way too many people who only had a vague idea of what to do, and it ended up taking us over eight hours to butcher less than 150 chickens. [smacks forehead]. At the processing facility, I learned to butcher and process 100 chicken in 1 hour (that's with help; not by myself! I do 20+ chickens per hour by myself), so hopefully this year will go better!

Also in the radar is a Jersey cow, PLUS a milking machine coming next week!

And tomorrow I have two WWOOF'ers coming here to tour the place, help out, and share stories with. I'm really excited!!  

And a post is coming soon about sprouting food for livestock! I started last week and am totally hooked. Why did I never start this sooner?!?!? Talk about a money saver!

Crazy days, but oh how I do enjoy them!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tickled Pink

I have a big ol' grin on my face right now as I just found that I was nominated for the Sunshine Blog Award by Domesteading! :)


After some Googling, I learned that the Sunshine Award goes to Bloggers who "Positively and creatively inspire others in the Blogosphere". [insert yet another grin]

Along with being nominated, an award nominee is required to do a few things:

1. Link the award to the person who gave it to you.
2. Answer questions about yourself.
3. Nominate 10 other bloggers for this award, link your nominees to this post, and  comment on their blog, letting them know about the award.

On with the questions!

1. Favorite Number? Hmm, to be honest my favorite number is 15. Don't know why, but it is. ;)
2. Favorite non-alcoholic drink? Milk! And raw milk at that! I like both cow and goat pretty evenly, but I do drink goat milk much more often than cow.
3. Favorite Animal? A goat of course!! LOL!
4. Facebook or Twitter? Facebook I suppose... I don't have a twitter account!
5. My passion? Oooh... Raw milk, small farms, sustainability, local food systems, goats, and farming!
6. Favorite day of the week? I think Fridays, and it's for a very selfish reason: indoor chores are really light that day! Hehe.
7. Favorite flower? I honestly can't decide between lavender and sunflowers. I love them both equally!

My blog nominees who I've chosen to pass this fun award onto were HARD to pick, as I hate to leave anyone out, but here are my tops favorites (and note: they're in a random order, so placing has nothing to do with how much I like them):

1. Cold Antler Farm - If you haven't hopped over to CAF and "met" Jenna yet, you really should! She is awesome. :)
2. Polyface Henhouse - All the Polyface ladies are wonderful writers and the blog is a lovely blend of practical advice, beautiful pictures, and a taste of their live in Virginia.
3. Happily Married... To The Cows! - I love this blog and reading her adventures about living on a dairy farm!
4. Throwback at Trapper Creek - A fellow Oregonian, writer, farmer, and cow lover! We have yet to meet in person, but she has given me lots of advice via the computer about my cows.
5. The Thrifty Homesteader - The author of 'Homegrown and Homemade', Deborah has lots of good advice on there.
6. Homestead Revival - This is already a really popular blog and it's easy to see why. Great pictures, tons of excellent advice.
7. The Irresistible Fleet of Bicycles - The Greenhorns Blog. If ya' want to stay up to date on what's going on with small farmers, here's how.
8. Serenity in the Suburbs - This is a fun read and I always enjoy visiting it. :) Lori's son was also at Polyface back in January, but we missed each other by I think a week or two... Bummer.
9. Apifera Farm - Just love. ;) Katherine lives in my neck of the woods, and I keep telling myself that one of these days I'm going to hop over when a chance comes up so I can meet her donkeys and goats. Awesome pictures, awesome writing talent. Nice sheep too!
10. Rural Legacy - A sweet friend of mine who takes great pictures and just recently got her own herd of goats!

So there you have it! Thanks again, Domesteading for the wonderful surprise!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

My Kind Of Fence

Electrified woven wire fencing. Fiberglass fence posts attached to the weave and the whole shabang weighs about 60 lbs. This is my kind of fence, folks. ;)

I had always wanted to try this kind of fencing out, but never had the money to do so. Then, a few weeks ago I saw an ad on Craigslist for 150' of fencing and the seller was open to trades.

Thirty minutes later, the ad was taken down and I was the soon-to-be new owner of some electrified woven wire. The seller even threw in a dozen extra fiberglass fence posts for no extra charge. The total cost? One Thanksgiving turkey for him and his family. I love bartering.

I finally got the fencing yesterday (it wasn't exactly in my neighborhood) and put a little bit of the fencing up today just to get a feel for it, and to keep the goats out of the pasture that the broilers are in. It's not on, or even hooked up to the charger but already I like it. The goats are respecting the boundary really well (wasn't sure how Heidi would do...), and I grinned as I watched Poppet futilely try to squeeze through the tiny weave. Payback time, Dwarf. LOL. I'll be setting this up around the perimeter of our un-fenced pasture soon which will give me double the grazing space that I've had for the last 4-5 years. I'm looking forward to doing some serious rotational grazing with the goats/cows!! 





Does anyone else use this kind of fencing? What do you like and/or not like about it?

The Turkeys

It has come to my attention that I haven't mentioned my turkeys since they got here! Time for an update!


I lost one poult straight off the bat on the first night, but other than that they have been superb! They have been the funniest little peepers, and I laugh every day because of them. Most mornings I try and sneak up to the brooder box while they're still sleeping; I'll softly whisper "Morning turkey birds!" and with that, there is a stampede of nine fuzzballs that remind me of tiny velociraptors. I really enjoy showing them to visitors since they will come running when they see a hand, whereas the chickens will run away.

In the thought of raising more of these birds, I really hope that I end up liking them. It makes more monetary sense to raise turkeys over chickens in my state since Oregon only allows one thousand birds to be grown and sold on a small farm. And when a chicken sells for $14.50 (my price this year) and a turkey sells for $60.00 (again, my price), it *does* make more sense to raise one thousand turkeys instead of chickens. But it's still a thought. We'll see how these turkeys do before I make any decisions. 


Sorry about the scarcity of posts lately! Things have been crazy lately as I am --- hmm, shall we say planning something? ;) Changes are a'coming dear friends. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012


GSF is now down one cow. Hazel left at 10:30 this morning. I was sad to see her go, but I do not regret my decision. She came on a trial basis, and I learned that she and I just weren't meant to be. But now she's back at her old home where she will be cared for.

I did want to take a moment and address some things that were mentioned in the comments of my last post real quick... First off, I would like to make it clear that Hazel absolutely was NOT a rescue cow. She may look like it, but there's a completely different story behind her. She was a dairy cull and was sent to the auction for one reason or another. She was already thin, and most likely already had the edema. The folks who bought her, also bought two Jersey cows (milkers), and a bunch of calves. Their plan was to use the cows to raise the calves, so they wouldn't have to do any bottle feeding. But Hazel didn't like being a nurse cow and she soon started having more serious udder issues which the owners didn't know about until I got her. Her owners did put some pounds on Hazel, but they found that cows are not their cup of tea so they sold off the calves, which then left them with three cows that had to be milked 3x's per day. Hazel's owners are good people, and this was most definitely not a rescue on my part. She just needs some TLC.



Secondly: Yes, I could have dried her up and made her into a pet or left her dry for a year, but I live on 1 acre of land and if there is going to be a cow here, she really needs to pull her weight and produce milk for me! Plus, with the edema she would still need to be milked 2x's daily until it cleared up, and since I did not have a milking machine, that was out of the question.



Now, I know there are a lot of neat contraptions that will keep a cow from kicking, such as hobbles, or a clamp style thing that presses on some nerves and keeps them still, and I'm sure those would have helped, but that still left me hand milking 6 gallons a day. If Hazel had slightly bigger teats, then it would have been no problem. But they were small. Very small. So now we're back to the milking machine.

And even if she had bigger teats, or she didn't kick what would ALWAYS happen is after 30 minutes of milking on side, she would decide that she was done with this whole milking thing and hold her milk back on her other side once I started over there. The result was a sharp decline in milk production and a very aggravated dairy maid. 



The kicking really was the last straw. Ever been kicked in the stomach by a cow? Let me tell you, it hurts. Thankfully I was alright, save for a bruise, lots of soreness today, and perhaps some wounded pride. But to have a cow that is dropping in production, has cracked teats, edema, AND kicks? Hmm... There's got to be a better bovine out there somewhere! I can handle kicking, or even edema, but as a beginner I really don't need everything all at once. 



But I was still really sad to see Hazel go... I don't like having to give animals back, and I'm especially dissapointed that this didn't work out. But things are already in the works for more bovines around the place, so I don't think it will be too long before Peaches has company again. And I'll have a milking machine. I promise. ;)


Admitting Defeat. Accepting Failure.

It is with much shame and sadness that I am admitting defeat with Hazel after only three days. She is leaving at 10AM tomorrow morning. :(

Tonight's milking was an utter nightmare. I couldn't even milk her out all the way. I was growing frustrated with her repeated attempts at putting her hoof in my pail, when suddenly Hazel changed her tactic and launched her foot directly at my stomach. The force tossed me three feet back, and pain shot through my torso. All I could think to gasp was, "Holy Mackerel!" As I stood up, bent double with my arms wrapped around me. I couldn't help it anymore... I cried. And cried. And cried. Hot fiery tears from pain, from knowing that this was the end of the two of us, that she would have to go back, and worst of all: I hadn't even finished milking out her first side. Her right side was still engorged with the day's worth of milk. She still kicked the entire time and finally I gave up on using a pail; I just milked her out right on the floor and dodged her feet as best as I could. All that milk... Wasted.

I need a milking machine. If I knew I could get one before the week was out, then I would keep Hazel. But it'll probably be a couple weeks yet before I can get that miracle contraption, so I must do the hard task of giving her back. I really don't want to though. She really is a sweet cow, I just take forever during milking and she hates that. I love her color, her sweet face, her funny moo... Oh man I do not want to lose this cow. But neither do I want to hand milk her anymore. Had I known that she had edema and cracked teats when I first went to look at her, I would have said 'No' on the spot. This being my first milking cow (I've always had calves in the past), I need a cow that doesn't have problems. A kicking cow is one thing, but a kicking cow that has edema and cracked teats is a whole 'nother story. When I first saw her, she had such an engorged udder that there was absolutely no way you could tell that she had edema. And her udder was so filthy that you really couldn't tell what was caked mud and what was a crack on the teat. Nope, I thought she was a perfectly healthy cow. And then I learned otherwise once she landed at the farm...

I wish I knew someone who could take her and give her the care she deserves... I'm worried that she'll end up right back at the auction after this, and most likely end up on the rail (i.e. at the slaughterhouse). She needs to gain about 300 lbs. and she needs some TLC on that big udder of hers. I thought I would be the one to do all that, and now I'm finding that I'm not... 

So has this adventure cured me of wanting a cow? Absolutely not. I will sorely miss Hazel, and now I can't imagine not having a big milking cow around the place. Plus, I know Peaches will really miss the bovine company. Hazel didn't work out, but that will not deter me from my ultimate goal of having a raw milk herdshare program. First, I will get a milking machine. Then I will get another cow. I'll most likely just get a good tempered Jersey from my local dairyman; I got a heifer calf from him a couple years ago, and I know a lot of people who have bought milkers from him. His prices are good, and he's dead honest about why he's selling each cow. But it probably won't have that pretty chocolate brown color that Hazel has... And she probably won't have that funny moo that sounds like a dinosaur, like Hazel has. But as long as she doesn't kick like Hazel does, or have udder problems like Hazel does, then we should be fine.

So off to bed I hop now... I am admitting defeat, and now I am accepting failure.

I'm going to miss Hazel...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

She Is Big

I know Hazel really isn't *that* big, but in comparison to my goats... Well, she's a behemoth.

Milking was interesting yesterday. Hazel had an empty stomach during the morning milking, due to the fact that my ton of hay wasn't coming until after milking chores, and she wouldn't eat any grain. And with that empty stomach of hers, came a grumpy attitude to tag along. We had words yesterday, she and I did.

Actually, that last sentence makes it sounds like I was some victorious milker who came out on top of things. In reality, I almost cried. Yesterday was hard. Hazel milked 3 gallons at each milking, but I only brought in a 1/2 gallon each time. The other 2.5 gallons were spilled all over the floor in the milking room. On Monday, Hazel would give tiny little kicks, as thought to say, "Ow! That hurts!" as I gently milked out her right side which is so horribly cracked and raw. Tuesday was a different matter. Those tiny kicks turned into what felt like a battering ram. The message had changed; now she was saying, "Back off, lady!" Oh she kicked... And danced around, urinated and defecated all over the place, and wouldn't let her milk down! I was ready to cry. Was I wrong to get a cow so soon? Should I get a different one that doesn't have such a bad case of edema and cracked teats? Should I have gotten a milking machine first? Should I just give up?

These thoughts galloped through my mind like a herd of wild mustangs, but they always came to a sliding stop when I ventured to look at Hazel's sweet face... I really do love this cow. It's not her fault that we're having such a bad time in the milking room. That edema and those awful teats are killing both of us!

Today dawned bright and early, but I dawdled inside... I will be honest here and admit that I was dreading having to milk Hazel again. It takes me an hour at the very least to milk her, and that makes for an hour of dodging bovine heels and crying over spilled milk. But that cow wasn't going to milk herself, so I armed myself with the most patient attitude I could muster, and mentally told myself, "Chaaaaaarge!"

And do you know what? This morning's milking was victorious! It still took me an hour, but I did not lose one single drop of milk. I did get kicked square in the shin, but I decided I'd rather have that than lost milk. Alas, on the day that I managed to get all of the milk, I only had one lonely 1/2 gallon jar that was empty. :( So the chickens got 2.5 gallons of milk for breakfast!! Methinks I need more jars.

Hazel's edema does seem to be getting better, but it's slow going. Her rear udder looks almost normal now, and I can actually start to see her medial suspension showing. Now if I could just get the front udder to start healing! Gaah! As I mentioned before, her right teats are the worst off, and I think they are going to take a good while to heal up; the left teats are almost back to normal though, so that's good!

Cows... The things we do for milk.

Next mission? Milking machine. This farm girl is doing everything in her power to get a milking machine. Let's see what happens!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Six Gallons?


The cow is here!! Betty landed here at the farm at 9:30 this morning! Alas, I've been gone almost all day, so I'm just now getting around to telling y'all about her...

The day started of pretty interestingly as I was informed that she had not yet been milked for the morning. My family and I needed to leave in less than an hour, and now I was suddenly graced with the responsibility of milking a new cow! So she was placed in my "milking parlor" (fancy name for the cleaned up feed room that now has a cow stanchion in it), and I got to work with the help of the lady who brought her.

That poor cow... It turns out that she has a severe case of edema in her udder, so it is ROCK hard. :( It's hard to milk her, and it's uncomfortable for her; so I'm hopping now trying to get that cleared up. But despite the edema, and her tiny teats, I found her very easy and pleasurable to milk. After an hour of milking (the edema really slowed us down), we had 4 1/2 gallons of milk, and that cow was still ridiculously full... Six gallons a day? Hmm, I'm thinkin' it's more like 8 gallons. This cow knows how to produce! I looked in the bucket of milk and smiled. It was such a lovely yellow color, and there was so much of it! By Jove, I think I'm hooked!


I knew right from the start that she couldn't remain "Betty" seeing as I already have a "Metty", so after thinking about her new handle pretty much all day I came up with it.

She is now Hazel. :) My pretty little Hazel cow.

Don't get too far, friends. We're just getting started here... I have plans up this sleeve of mine. Hehe.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Seven Hundred Pounds of Moo

Folks, come tomorrow morning I will be the possible new owner of 700 lbs. of moo.

There is a cow headed my way.

In a whirlwind of events, the Jersey/Holstein cow by the name of Betty, is now coming to GSF!! The lady who owns her called yesterday, saying that she had just sold all of her calves, which left her having to hand milk three cows (a total of 12+ gallons a day), and she was now ultra-motivated to see the heaviest milker leave the property. Apparently a lot of other people had inquired about this cow and shown interest in her, but everyone flaked and I turned out to be the ONLY person who actually showed up to look at Betty. I told the lady I was interested in her, but couldn't pay until the last week of June. That was my final say on the matter and the lady had to take it or leave it. 

She took it. Oh she took it... I wasn't kidding when I said she was ultra-motivated to see Betty moved, so we struck a deal: She's bringing me 700 lbs. of mooing bovine tomorrow, and I'll keep her for two weeks without paying a cent. At the end of the trial, if I feel like Betty and I are a good match, then she'll be paid in full and become a resident here at GSF. 

It all happened so fast that I barely knew what happened. I had just come home from teaching a goat care workshop on Saturday and heard that there was a message for me from the cow lady. Ten minutes later, I had plans of a new cow coming! Admittedly, there was a moment of panic as this realization sunk in, but I think I'm ready for this... I'm fixin' to go build a stanchion (nothing fancy right now; not until I know if she's staying or not), I have a ton of hay coming *hopefully* tomorrow evening, and there are plans in the works to expand the pasture. 

So stay tuned, folks! Adventures are dead ahead!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Just For The Record..

A 15 mile electric fence charger can put out quite the shock.

And when a wire is goofed up and touching a fence post, said fence posts become electrified as well.

And when you're leaning up against a fence post, not knowing that a sister just turned the fence on, you might find yourself the recipient of a "shocking experience".

Long story short, there's nothin' wrong with my fence. But boy howdy was I tingling from head to toe for an hour... 

I Met A Cow Today


I met a cow today. A different one from my little Guernsey/Jersey heifer... This was a lady in her element. A Jersey/Holstein cross, weighing in at 700 lbs. and milking a whopping 6 gallons a day. Yep, I met a cow today.

And why was I traipsing about looking at cows that were not my own? Dear friends, this farm girl is looking for her next addition. I need a milking cow. I had seen and inquired about another Guernsey/Jersey cross cow, and this one was milking 4 gallons a day on her first lactation (be still my beating heart!), but I had not the money for her at the time, and the gentleman could not hold her for the two weeks that I need.

So I began looking some more. And it just so happened that someone was selling a Jersey/Holstein cross, and they lived close by. Who was I to say no to such a possibility?? The address was written down, and the van fired up. We were goin' cow hunting. Personally, I think we ended up getting more than we bargained for as Mom and I found ourselves winding up an incredibly steep and curvy gravel road... Our wheels spun more than I care to hear wheels spin, and I mentally willed the van to keep on creeping up this hill that seemed more mountainous in terrain. More than once I declared that I would walk up the rest of the way; I didn't trust the van to get us there in one piece. Thankfully, when I feared I could stand the tension no more, the road leveled out and we came upon the clearing of someone's homestead. To my left was a corral with three cows and four calves. To my right were four horses; a dun, two sorrels, and a paint. Dead ahead was a small, tidy, white farmhouse and coming directly at us was a gigantic German Shepherd. I grinned at Mom who is known to NOT like German Shepherds at all, and got out of the van. The big dog turned out the be a friendly lug and my mind soon turned to the task at hand: the cow. 

The lady walked me over to the corral and pointed out the bovine of interest. Chocolate in color, with a darker head, she looked like a sweet little Jersey. Had the lady not told me that there was Holstein blood in this girl's veins, I never would have guessed. She walked in a slow and graceful manner towards us; her overly pendulous udder slapped against her legs keeping time to the rhythm of her gait. Her head nodded with each step, and I smiled as I thought how much it looked like she was dancing to a song in her head. This girl knows music. The next 10-15 minutes were spent looking her over, asking questions and trying to get a feel for this cow. The lady was very sweet and told me what she new about her... They've been calling her 'Betty', and she was four years old. They bought her from the local auction, but before that she was from a dairy. She would accept foster calves, but preferred to not be bothered with youngsters. Our guess as to why she was culled was perhaps her udder. There was no way around this conclusion: it was *quite* pendulous. You could still put a pail beneath the ol' girl with no problems, but in comparison to some of the other cows you see in pictures, she looked a little dowdy. But nevertheless, I liked this cow. I really did. There was ONE thing though, that was causing some hesitance in me, and it wasn't exactly her udder (I can live with looking at a droopy bag). Her back teats are tiny! The two front teats are fine, and I can fit my whole hand around them. But with the two back teats I can only do my thumb and first two fingers. I think my hands might rebel at such a Cross Fit of milking those things twice a day, every day until I can get a milking machine. But I'm trying not to judge her too much, as it felt like she was pretty engorged, so it may not be all that bad... 

In the midst of this cow critiquing, I happened to glance back at Mom who stood outside the corral's boundary. What I saw made me burst out in a laugh, which consequently spooked Betty. There was Mom alright, but instead of standing still and watching me, she was now throwing a clunky piece of wood to the German Shepherd who was adamant that he be played with. Mom later exclaimed that she felt a bit like the main character, 'Larry', in Night At The Museum, in the scene with the T-Rex wanting his bone to be thrown.

After walking around Betty a few more times, milking her, handling her, and watching her, I took my leave. I liked this cow, but I wanted to think on this for a bit. The lady willingly came down to my asking price, but I can't afford to do any buying for two weeks yet... So Betty might be gone by then.

One thing is for certain though: This farm girl will have a second cow by July... I can feel it in my bones.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

In Which The Non-Builder, Builds

I am not a builder by any possible stretch of the imagination. Shucks, I only just learned how to use a hammer back in January while at Polyface Farms! In the past, when I have attempted to make something, it would usually collapse in a dusty heap before an hour has passed. The things that did manage to stay together were always things that had been built with my favorite supplies: duct tape, zip ties. guerilla glue, and PVC. 

However, the broilers have been quickly outgrowing their tractor, and I knew I was going to need another one ASAP. But I also needed hay, and didn't have the funds for both things at the same time. So I did the next logical thing. I decided to build my own, and use only items found on our property.

Hoo boy.

In a book I had gotten from the library, the author had shown a small sketch of a chicken tractor that was covered with feed bags, so as to cut down on building costs. That idea caused a light bulb to turn on in this head o' mine, and the wheels started turning. After some scrounging, I had an odd assortment of things for this project that were by anyone's standards, quite laughable. But I was determined. I was going to build myself a chicken tractor. 

After four days and who knows how many hours, I had myself something to put chickens into.

It looks like this:


Yes, you are allowed to laugh at it. 

The base is made of boards from an old bunk bed. The arch is made with PVC and Juniper branches. It's covered with feed bags, the screws I used were either too big or too small, and it has a braided piece of baling twine so that I can move this contraption. All in all, it is a typical specimen of my building style. Thank heavens the chickens don't care what it looks like!



I believe it measures out as a 6'x6', which is smaller than I would have liked but oh well...



But I at least succeeded in one mission: I did not spend a single penny on this thing! Everything has been re-used and recycled! 



We had a good rain the day after the birds were put in the tractor, and I was delighted to see that everyone stayed toasty and dry in there! There wasn't a single leak with that feed bag roof! The only downside however is that the entire thing smells like, well, feed. The goats decided to try and eat it for the first few days, which was a pain to deal with. And now, Heidi has learned that there's chicken feed inside the tractor! That goat loves chicken feed above all else in life, so she has now crashed right through the structure 4 times. If she doesn't go galloping through the back, then she very cleverly snaps the wire on the front. I don't think goats should be this smart... But I seem to have the last laugh, as I've locked them out of the pasture that the chickens are in. Ha! Take that, Heidi! I can't believe I'm fighting with a goat...


So there you have it folks. The non-builder has actually built something. I think I'm actually a little bit proud of myself! It hasn't fallen apart yet, so that's good. Let's see if it continues to stay that way...

My "Pinterest" Hay Manger

 I needed a hay manger...

But I didn't have one...

Nor could I buy one...

So I improvised.

My family calls this my "Pinterest hay manger".


For those of you who haven't guessed what this really is, it's actually the side of an old baby crib!! I found two of these in our dump pile and they have been delightfully handy around the place! :) I've used them as tops for the chick brooder (with hardware cloth taped over the wood), as trellises for my sugar snap peas (worked awesome), and now one resides in my quarantine stall as a new hay manger. 

Cost to buy a new manger? Thirty dollars at least had I gone to my local feed store. Cost to use these crib sides? A big round goose egg. Nothing, zilch, nadda. I love scrounging... ;)


And yep, that's just baling twine at the top of it, and the bottom is simply screwed to the wall. Not even Heidi has managed to bruise this thing and believe me, she has tried her best. It also works really well since the rungs are relatively close together, which creates an almost ZERO percentage of hay wastage! If you're using hay that's over $10 per bale, that's something to celebrate!

So that's all... I just wanted to show y'all my fun little find in the dump pile. When my sister first saw it, she thought for sure I had gotten the idea from Pinterest (which, *ahem*, I am quickly coming to love!). I crossed ma' heart, this idea was all from ma' own little head. ;) I do have good ideas once in awhile.

Beauty Is In the Eye Of The Beholder

I have to admit that goat eyes absolutely fascinate me. I love taking pictures of them and really looking at them. Goats are so expressive, and their eyes really show a lot of their feelings... It just amazes me.




Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Turkeys Are Here!

I'm too tuckered right now to think up any clever title for this post, so I shall be blunt. Turkeys are here!!


This is my first try at turkeys, so I ordered the oh-so-small amount of 10 little poults. I was slightly wigging out this morning since the post office hadn't called yet, but the poults were *supposed* to arrive today! I called both the post office, and the hatchery and got brushed off by both. The poults would get here when they got here. Nice customer service there...


11:45AM came and while madly chasing cornish crosses around the pasture in an attempt to catch them (Heidi decided she wanted to eat chicken feed and totaled a chicken tractor), the poults made their arrival right along with a student who was here for a spinning lesson. Oy. Can things get any crazier? 

So the turkeys were hurriedly placed in the brooder, the chickens caught, and I go running up to the house gasping for breath and hoping that this lady wouldn't be scared off by a wild-haired girl who spends more time in the company of chickens, then she does with humans. Thankfully she did not seem to mind me being her teacher. Either that or she thought it was some sort of "quaint and rustic" adventure. Hmm.


Once the spinning lesson was over and I voraciously ate some lunch, I went back out to see my new additions to GSF. They are *SO* cute!! I'm trying to enjoy them as much as possible, since I'm sure I'll probably end up disliking them by the time October comes (their big date for the freezer). They're a lot different from chicks, and I must say that so far I like them better. They're curious and friendly little things that twitter ever so quietly, and they fall asleep in your hand. :)


Maybe I'll try and get a video of these tiny birds later...

Caprine Stilettos


Saturday, June 9, 2012

To Market, To Market...

I dearly love going to farmer's markets, but above all I love going to the McMinnville Saturday Market. This is a year-'round event, and is hosted no matter the weather. It's also said the be the most beautiful market in the State, and I must agree. The market manager put down a rule that vendors may not bring plastic tables (unless they're covered), camping chairs, plastic coolers, vinyl banners... Instead they encourage re-using old materials and creativity. No one seems to mind this quirky rule, and the result is a breathtaking building. Live music is always being played, and there are smiling faces at every turn. Oh I love this market...

 Instead of trying to use hundreds of words to describe the place, I shall instead give you pictures. :) These are from both me (shocking, I know) and my sister.

So without further ado, I give you the Saturday Market...