Grit Blogs > Spring Peeper Farm

Bottle-fed Calves, Hatched Eggs, and Ornery Goats

A photo of Lisa and familyWell, once again it’s been nonstop here. We are at that point that we are starting to wonder if it’s all worth it. There’s so much work, and it just never stops. We don’t have 2 minutes to ourselves. We have decided as a family tonight that we are going to set a day or evening where we are going to do something for just the family. The problem is finding that day.

Today was a beautiful day, as has been the last week. I hope that spring is finally here. The goats were happy outside and I cleaned out the chicks and the greenhouse. J. did the chicken coop.

The piglets are doing great. Someone came and picked one up after they were only one week old. We didn’t guaranteee that one. The person understood. Dave finally made a door for Wilbur so he can go outside and divided the pen with electric wire. Now we know why people tell us to put a barricade on the OUTSIDE of the electric fence. When you train pigs to the electric fence they actually run into the fence if zapped. They don’t back away from it like a normal animal. Charlotte ran through it and broke it twice! Sometimes pigs aren’t the brightest bulbs in the bunch.

Otis the calf and J.

Well Otis is here! He’s the cutest. I have no idea how we are going to eat him this fall after bottle feeding him and cuddling him. I know we shouldn’t ... but how can we not! I mean look at him. He’s got big beautiful eyes and such long eyelashes.

Otis the calf

I think this is the part where I become vegetarian.

We’ve been bottle feeding him twice a day now, and I’ve also started teaching him how to eat grain. He prefers slobbering all over me to eating the grain at the moment.

Esme and Whisper are now forever buddies. I have tried putting Febe in, but she terrorizes the poor things. Even outside she bullies her. I’m not liking that. J. is having a ball, though. They love him especially when he shows up with treats!

J and the goats

After much anticipation we have a grand total of 19 chicks! I put 53 to hatch and we had 20. One died after a day. This might not be a good average, but compared to last year it’s fabulous! Last year I put 30 eggs twice and got only 3 chicks. We were so disappointed. So 19 is pretty good.

Chicks under the light

Last week they demolished 3 buildings from our downtown area. It’s really sad to see them go. They’ve been there for 60+ years. They were ready to crumble since nobody was taking care of them. Most of the buildings in Weymouth are built over the water, so they’re on cribbing. Needless to say if it’s not taken care of the cribbing rots.

Buildings in downtown Weymouth

They’re planning on building an industrial building there. I had to give them ideas of color schemes. I think they liked a few of them.

I was so excited yesterday. I have flowers coming up!! My garlic is also starting. I was worried about the garlic, since I had planted it so late in the season. We actually had a snow storm the day after.

My tomato plants didn’t do all that well. They all sprouted up, stayed nice for a few days, then flopped over. It looked like a little forest going TIMBER!!!! At work we have a horticulturalist on staff, and she told me it’s call “damping off.” It’s a fungus. So I have to sterilize the pots and start over again. Wonderful.

Well I think that’s all I’ve got for this week. I know I’m probably forgetting something, but...oh well.

Have a Blessed Day!

Lisa

lisa_8
4/18/2010 8:30:58 PM

Thanks for your comments. I love reading them. Dave, I still think that they do send chicks in the mail. From what I understand chicks can live up to 3 days without food and water. I think it has to do with the yolk sac in the egg, it's still in them or something like that and they can live on that for a few days. Mind you it's not ideal, but if it has to be done, it's possible.


lisa_8
4/18/2010 8:25:57 PM

Thanks for your comments. I love reading them. Dave, I still think that they do send chicks in the mail. From what I understand chicks can live up to 3 days without food and water. I think it has to do with the yolk sac in the egg, it's still in them or something like that and they can live on that for a few days. Mind you it's not ideal, but if it has to be done, it's possible.


jesse_2
4/15/2010 12:21:12 PM

You can sprinkle cinnamon over seedlings to prevent damping off. Cinnamon has antifungal properties.


nebraska dave
4/12/2010 8:59:18 PM

Lisa, Spring time on the farm is always filled with new life and never ending work schedules. I can see that you are already in trouble with cutie Otis. The life and death that goes with farm life is definitely difficult to manage at times. It’s easy to send that ornery old bull or goat to the processing plant but the gentle ones are the hardest to part with. I guess that’s why I always liked milk cows. They have a longer life of usefulness. I’ve never been party to hatching chickens. We always bought them through the mail. It amazed me that they could cram all those chicks in a box with air holes and send them across the country and still be alive. I wonder if they still do that? My experience with chickens was to clean the chicken house during the hot summer months. It’s a wonder I didn’t die. That stuff sure made the garden grow the next year. It’s always sad to see the stately old building with history be demolished for a new apartment building or worse that modern day strip mall. Buildings are just not built like 50 years ago. Back then a building was built to last. Today a building is built for one purpose. When that purpose is done, the building is torn down and another is built for the next business. What a waste. I have a street near me that is a fast food area that seems to always be tearing down and rebuilding with the next fast food chain store. Thanks for sharing your farm adventures for all to read. I’ll look forward to next week.