Finally, some progress!

I have many photos to post soon, but for now at least it’s an update!

The chicken camper is finished and the girls are being coop trained. We will install the nesting boxes later this spring and my daughter and I will paint the camper.

The ladies will be getting their first taste of the outside world in the next few days when they get to explore their run for the first time. They have grown from the little fluff butts to gorgeous, glossy girls! So far only two have names since they are the only two I can tell apart from their breed mates.

Their run is fenced and will be seeded this weekend. We still need to work on hawk deterrent as there is suddenly a hawk flying around a few times a week that has never been here before. The top of the run will be reinforced this weekend.

It’s been a busy few weeks at the homestead. I’m pretty sure my son is going to grow up thinking everyone has a backhoe in the backyard!

We are anxiously waiting for Big Momma Harriet to calve at the Red Barn. She looks quite the sight at the moment with her heavy belly and half of her winter fur shed out. Last year’s little heifer, Rosabelle, grew like wildfire over the winter. She is nearly as big as her Momma. She is going to be rather cranky when it’s time for Momma and the new calf to move to their own pasture.

We took the kids over to the red barn last weekend and put them both to work. They helped me scrub the summer water tanks, muck the last of the winter manure out of the barn, helped their Papa clean the hay loft, and rode with their Daddy to push the cows to spring pasture. It was a wonderful day of family play without any gadgets or gizmos!

The sow at the farm on the mountain is ready to deliver any day. I love those first few days of new piglets when those little babies are shiny and dainty!

Our plans for this years large garden are under way, with minor setbacks. We started the tomatoes, peppers, brussel sprouts, and broccoli indoors last month then moved them out to the enclosed greenhouse with the rhubarb, strawberries, and currants. We jumped the gun and lost the tomato, brussel sprouts, and peppers last weekend when the temperature dropped suddenly overnight. I’ll be replanting those this weekend.

Bovine Beauty!

Our very pregnant and cranky Scottish Highland cross, “Big Momma” Harriet, last June before she delivered her first calf for us.

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“Big Momma” Harriet, Scottish Highland cross

A few days later, we got to the farm in the morning and were greeted by Harriet and one enormous little heifer, Rosabelle. We got the baby on the scales that afternoon and she weighed in at 87 lbs! Fat little baby. Rosabelle was born with instant personality, hopping around and kicking up her heels if she thinks you are bothering her.

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“Big Momma” Harriet and Baby Rosabelle

I was pretty nervous about our first birth at the Red Barn,  I’ll be honest. I think that first time waiting for one of our animals to deliver a healthy, happy little calf was as nerve-wracking as waiting for my own little mud-bugs to arrive. I kept praying that she wouldn’t deliver in the middle of the  night when we weren’t close by.  That is one of the scariest parts about not living on site. But,  Harriet was a trooper and her delivery was flawless. In fact, when we got there the next morning we didn’t even realize at first glance that she had the baby until we saw Rosabelle pop out from behind!

We were pretty excited that her first baby at the farm was a little heifer. It puts us on track for the next few years. We were really hoping that her first baby wasn’t going to be destined for the freezer!

And now we wait again until the spring when Harriet is set to deliver us another little beauty…