Farm Farm

Heartbreak – again – on the Farm

I have been so busy lately I haven’t had much time to update my site. Things have been busy here on the farm with summer actiivities in full swing.

And as if he heartbreak of losing Cissy after the birth of the babies wasn’t enough, on Thursday morning I went out to feed the farm only to discover that my small brooder coop had been broken into by a predator – probably a raccoon or possum. . Unbelievably, I lost every single chick — and there were 20 or 22 adolescent chicks in that coop — except one. We don’t know how this guy managed to escape the attack, but in the morning he was the lone survivor. We have yet to come up with a suitable name for him. He has, thankfully, been welcomed into the larger flock and is now living over in the big coop.

The lone survivor of the chicken massacre of 2011

Sometimes I just feel like I can’t take anymore heartbreak in this farming life. It’s been a rough month here on the farm.

The goat house and chicken coop construction has not been moving along as quickly as I feel it should be, but like watching a large jigsaw puzzle being put together painfully slowly, it is, bit by bit, getting done.

The rear of the chicken coop in the beginning of the week.

Front of the coop and nesting boxes at the beginning of the week

Rear of the coop by the end of the week. Walls and washable wall material has been installed and rubber flooring laid down.

By the end of the week this is what the front of the coop looked like. Only one small piece of the scrubbable wall material left to be installed and the trim around windows and nesting boxes.

The cupola was installed on the roof, and that solar panel to the left of the cupola will power...

The solar ceiling fan built into the cupola's base. It runs off a thermostat on the wall and kicks in when it gets to a specified temperature in the coop. How cool is that?

I expanded my garden bed this spring, but quickly realized with the goats having free-roam of the property until the new fencing is installed anything I planted would be eaten in minutes flat. I decided to make some protective fencing myself. So, through the heat of these past two weeks I’ve been building fencing. Evan has been helping me quite a bit when he gets home from school.

The final step was cutting off the excess of the mounting posts with a circular saw.

The finished garden enclosure with an entry gate. It's not fancy, but hopefully it will keep the goats out.

With all of the work it took, we still don't have that much room to plant things. Evan and I spent some time this afternoon getting stuff planted in the cold, dreary weather.

It’s frustrating to do all this work and still have such a small piece to plant in. I’d love a really big garden one day. There are so many fun things to grow!

Grace & Kiki are growing like weeds! They practically call me on the phone now when it’s bottle time and Grace can suck down her bottle, which is up to 8 ounces 4 times a day, in about 2 minutes flat. Kiki is a little more lady-like about it and likes to take a break or two while drinking hers. I have discovered it is very difficult to get a good photograph of goat kids…they move constantly.

My goal this week is to get them down to 3 feedings a day. I have to leave for Wyoming on Friday to take Evan to camp and I’d like to reduce the burden on everybody by getting the bottle feeding a little less frequent.

Grace has discovered that sucking on an earlobe is remarkably like sucking on a goat’s udder, so whenever you’re holding she’ll root around for your ear and suck away. And yes, those are goats in the house.

And Kiki discovered Princess Kate’s tiny udder the other day and was sucking away on that. Look at Kate’s face!

It was one of the cutest things I’d ever seen, until about 20 minutes later when I was looking for Kiki and found her under the contractor’s truck where she was covering Princess Kate’s face with kisses.

The chicken’s are anxiously awaiting the move into the new coop this week. They are so smitten with the goat house I don’t know what they’re going to do when they realize this new structure is for them! I am constantly finding them in the goat house, and yesterday there were a total of 6 eggs in the goat’s stall – 3 in the hayrack and 3 on the ground.

Just wait until they get a load of the nesting boxes with individual windows.


  1. cathy barrett says:

    Goats in the house???!!!! Love it!!!

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