People often ask me how I have time to take care of boys, a garden, the house, dogs, homestay students and animals. We recently made the decision to have me stay at home with the farm. Now I can really focus my energy on growing our little family farm. Whats on the farm you ask?
The Boys We have 2 beautiful boys, K turns 5 years old in February and J is 6 years old. My boys have ENERGY! They have so much energy that they literally run around in circles. We are always dirty! If there is mud or a puddle you can bet that my boys are in it and covered head to toe. We spend most of our time outside. Hubby is the other boy in my life. All I can say is I have a great man! He is patient, kind and hardworking. Luckily he is all those things because life is a bit of a mad house sometimes. The Dogs
We have 2 dogs, Tacoma and Shaggy. Tacoma is a German-Shepard Lab cross she is 8 years old. Shaggy is a German Wiredhaired Pointer Lab cross. Tacoma is a fabulous farm dog. If a chicken is somewhere she shouldn’t be Tacoma will help herd her back to the correct location. Shaggy is a trained bird hunter so needless to say we have to watch him a little closer. They are both great family dogs.
The Laying Hen
We started with 9 laying hens and we now usually have around 80 hens. I love chickens. I could watch them scratching in the yard for hours. They are amazing little animals. They provide the farm with the most business as we sell our eggs. We currently have 4 coops and one more in the final building stages. Our chickens get to free-range and explore the property.
We have 6 roosters who were picked to live on the farm. Roosters are essential to the farm because first they help make chicks and second they protect the ladies. The rooster will call to his ladies when there is danger and take them to a safe location. I always know when there is a predator near with the help of my roosters.
The Meat Birds In the spring and summer we raise meat birds to sell and provide meat for ourselves. This year was our first year raising them and we will definitely continue raising them. The birds free-range in an electric net and are moved to a new location daily. Once you taste chicken that had the freedom to move around outside and scratch the ground to eat you will never go back, I promise you.
This year we raised 4 turkeys to test it out. These birds are the most inquisitive creatures I have yet to encounter. They are curious about everything that happens on the farm. Hands up if you thought turkeys could fly. Am I the only one that thought they would be lousy flyers? Turns out they are quite good at flying. Yesterday I had to scold a turkey for being on the roof of my house!
One day I went up the street to purchase a Silke hen to have in the yard because they are fantastic looking but instead I came home with a rabbit. While walking on the property the day before this I came across a rabbit cage. I figured it was a sign! So I loaded up my new rabbit and came home. Hubby was confused and even more so when I told him our new rabbit was pregnant and would be giving birth in about 18 days. I, of course, didn’t know anything about rabbits giving birth but no problem I had 18 days to figure it out 🙂 We now have 2 does that live with us on the farm. They are both a Californian New Zealand cross.
The Bees We currently have 3 hives that house thousands of bees and are always expanding when we can. Our bees forage on whatever is available to them in nature. In the winter months they survive on their stores of honey. There is no taste like real organic honey. The honey you buy from the supermarket is usually made from bees who are feed sugar or high fructose corn syrup, yuck! Our bees provide us with honey for the entire year and on occasion we are able to sell some jars. We also utilize the comb and clean it into pure wax to make candles.
The Pigs We love the pigs! They are mine and my hubby’s favorite animal to raise. We would pull up a chair and watch them keep busy turning the soil looking for treasures. We raised 2 this past year and will raise so many more I am sure. Our pig pen was built from pallets and worked perfectly. We are set to get 4 more pigs pretty soon and they will be acting as our plow to clear some invasive blackberry bushes at the back of the property.
The Horse I lease Jimmy from a friend of mine. He is a lovely horse with a gentle personality. I am new to riding so this old guy is perfect for me. There is something so calming about going into the barn and mucking out the stalls and having a chat with a horse. I also take care of my neighbors horse, Cash, who is a super sweet old boy too.