The Grovestead

Farm, Family, Fun.

Category: Animals (page 1 of 10)

Wonder Woman

My wonder woman

Have you ever known someone that continually surprises you with newfound abilities? Who is always blowing past the boundaries of what you thought they could handle? And when you think about them, you are often left in a state of pure wonder?

That’s how I feel about my wife.

As I watched her expertly milk our Nanny goat this morning, after starting from scratch only a few days ago (both for her AND the goat), I was simply amazed. How did this suburban girl, elementary educator, and seminary graduate with no farm experience figure out how to do this? And she’s been doing it faithfully every day since we started, often giddy with enthusiasm.

Ready to milk

It’s not only the goats. She’s also the reason we have pigs this year (sometimes a point of contention), having researched and found a breeder, driving to another town to pick them up and bringing them home to their new stall in the barn. And then moving them two months later and 150 pounds heavier into their permanent home in another shed.

pigs

She has been relentless against the weeds in our oversized garden. It simply would not be possible for me to keep up this year without her dedication. (The beauty of Back to Eden gardening is that after the early spring weed-explosion, you don’t have much to contend with the rest of the summer. But you still have to weed or they can take over.)

She’s helped me chase broiler chickens into the coop at night and made sure the laying hens had enough water on steamy days. She fumbles with the electro-netting fence with me every few days as we try to move a herd of sheep into new pasture. When we had to shear the sheep early due to hot weather, she was right there with me in the stall, holding the ewes down or snipping off wool with the shears.

Shearing the sheep

She woke up nightly at 2am to feed our orphaned lamb. Something even I was unwilling to do.

Bottle feeding runs to the barn

After I dug the holes, she planted 25 pine trees with the kids (future Christmas trees).

Planting future christmas trees

She introduced beekeeping to our farm a few years ago.

Becca's bees

She was my only partner as we installed a 210-foot wooden-rail fence in only 2 days this spring.

Most recently she helped empty bedding from the animal stalls this week. Actually, she is the reason we got started at all. This is the worst chore on the farm folks, and she was knee deep in there with me pitching a winter’s worth of HEAVY manure.

Animal stalls

And let’s not forget, on top of all this, she also has an indoor farm to keep up with every day!

Indoor farm

She is one amazing woman. She is my Wonder Woman.

Farmwife

 


Morning Chores


Barnyard Roundup

Who are you looking at?

People keep asking me how big our pigs are now. And I never know how to answer that question. Real Big is my answer…and getting bigger every day. I am still quite a bit afraid of them. And I also think they’re pretty cool. And then intimidating.

Abraham up close

Chicken yard new fence

We finished our chicken yard this week! It’s awesome. We are so pleased with how it turned out and even more pleased to play in the rock box without chickens harassing Hattie.

Kittens play
Kittens playing

While we put the fencing up around the chicken yard, these two kittens were our constant entertainment. Better than a show on nova, our kittens are here to entertain.

Kittens still playing

Broiler chicks

I woke up this morning at 5:30 ready for the day. No kidding. I have no idea what that was all about but I felt great and the sun was bright and I was excited to do all the chores before 6. So I took off to feed the chicken Layers and then went out to let the chicken Broilers out of the chicken tractor. And before I knew it, I had 51 birds trying to eat my toes that were exposed as I was wearing my flip flops. It was terrible! I screamed and hooted and yelled and danced a jig to their feed bucket as fast I could and started dumping feed all over the yard telling them to “shoo!” “get!” “back off!” while stomping my feet and curling my toes. Also, we got all males this year because they grow to be a bigger bird and I think they’re missing the ladies. There is a lack of love in those eyes, don’t you think?

Pastured chickens

Miracle... lamb

And finally, Miracle. We have had a really hard week with Miracle. He hasn’t walked for five days in a row. For a while the vet said she thought he had Polio. But then his temperature spiked the highest it has ever been which made her think he has some sort of infection. So he went back on antibiotics. He lays in the grass up by our house all day long and we visit him and bring him fresh alfalfa and clover. He is still so, so sweet. Tomorrow we are taking him to the vet and I honestly have no idea what the outcome of that visit will be. In a sudden twist, he walked to the garage this afternoon, but couldn’t walk again after that, so now we’re more puzzled than ever.

But we are so thankful for our vet. She is incredible. Last weekend Rory got off the phone with her and said to me, “She is so sharp. I want to start bringing our kids to see her.” Ha! I thought that was the funniest thing ever, and a very high compliment. But she is that good. A large animal vet is an exciting person to know. One time I went to get medicine for Miracle and asked if she was in the office and the receptionist checked her computer and said, “no, she’s offsite in the middle of a surgery on a cow.” Can you imagine having dinner each night at her family table? “So, what did you do today, dear?”

So keep Miracle in your thoughts and prayers. Once again we have no idea how this story will end.


look who finally arrived!

Goat with baby kids
We came home from church on Sunday and after lunch Rory went out to feed Miracle. He came running back telling us we had to get to the barn, now! Hattie and Alden were already down for their naps so I grabbed my camera and followed behind.

Running out to the barn
And there we found Darcy, proud mama of two of the most darling, adorable goat babies ever. And they were born on Pentecost! We have had so many animal births happen on a Sunday morning while we’re at church! Either that, or on a holiday. Palm Sunday (Sunday), May Day (Mayday), my birthday…which was also a Sunday (Miracle and Big Sister), my cousin Sarah’s birthday (Sugar Cookie and Snowflake) and now Pentecost!

The black one is a girl and the brown one is a boy. Ivar spoke like a wise old man when he told me, “well, I’m a little sad that he’s a boy because I know what that means. But we will just be sure to give him the best life possible, here on our farm.”

Baby goat up close

So the boy (the brown one above) is named DandyLove. In honor of dandelions and love. The person who picked that name has a name that rhymes with Shmelsie. Ivar prefers Dandelion.

And the little girl is named Penny after Pentecost. The person who came up with that name has a name that rhymes with Meccalecca high mecca hiney ho.

We are in love. They are so darling. The world needs more goat babies. It would be such a better place.

Baby goat
Baby goat


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