Grit Blogs > Terra Dei Farm - A Life of Stewardship

Twitter, Kittens, and Emergency Rooms.

The past week has been a flurry of activity around Terra Dei Farm!  We’re catching up with the modern age with a Facebook business page and Twitter.  I had to type that fast before the shame set in and caused me to chicken out to confessing such frivolity.  But in today’s day and age, it’s good business to network, right?  Show me that networking is good business by following and “Like”-ing us!!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TerraDeiFarmLivestock
Twitter: www.twitter.com/TerraDeiFarm 

Our rabbit babies also safely arrived!  Eight little kits, weird looking as ever:

Baby Rabbits 3 days old
A few mornings ago we walked out to the barn at 4:45 am to load hogs to take to the locker.  We had a hog loading experience the previous week that went less than optimally (think along the lines of: uncivil swine, yelling, cussing, physical bruising, and the end scenes of the Apocalypse).  So we were braced for another fight.

I took a moment to soak in the early morning sky, which looked something like this:

Farm Sunrise

Ten minutes later we were closing the trailer door.  The hogs had walked right on with minimal complaining on their part and requiring little more than “Please?” on our part.   Go figure. 

Later that morning, after returning from the meat locker run and working outside for awhile, my husband, Matt, came into the house and called for my help.  I walked into the kitchen to the sight of him holding his hand while blood dripped profusely to the floor. 

He has been working on an overhaul of our chicken coop.   (The coop has a long story, which I’ll post with before and after pictures upon the project’s completion.)  Apparently, during work on this project, the utility knife slipped in a tight corner and cut his hand to the bone.  One ER trip later, he is stitched and bandaged up but luckily escaped any serious permanent damage to nerves or ligaments.  We get so used to living in such a rural location that we forget how far we are from most basic amenities – that is, until we have to travel 45 miles to the nearest hospital while trying to control bleeding.

While ER trips are not lessons in frugal farm management, our chicken operation is.  I won’t share any chicken coop pictures until the project is completed (mostly because, I don’t have any.)   I will, however, go ahead and share pictures of our newest bulk chicken feeder.  It doesn’t look like much and is awaiting a new paint job, but it sure has made chicken feeding a lot easier! 

Repurposed Pig Weanling Feeder

It is an old weanling pig feeder that we salvaged from a former hog raiser.  We got it for free, as it had been mangled after being hit by a tractor (not to mention sitting in disuse for some time).  Yet Matt was able to structurally straighten it out without too much effort.  He also drove posts on both sides and mounted scrap pieces of hog panels, leaving only a small “doorway” for the chickens to enter and exit.  This allows us to turn goats into the chicken run periodically to eat down the tall grass and weeds without them enjoying a chicken feed lunch.  After those small modifications, it is just a matter of dumping a bag or two of feed into the bin and refilling as necessary!  It has also significantly decreased our amount of wasted chicken feed.  

DIY Budget Chicken Feeder

As soon as Matt unveils the extent of his chicken coop renovation plans to me, I’ll post pictures and details.  And I’ll leave you with pictures of the two kittens I received for my birthday last week.  Our old male cat, Cicero, has been in a terrible mood all week as the kittens continue to try nursing from him…

kitten Thelma

 Kitten Louise 

terra dei farm
6/22/2012 2:39:24 PM

The kittens are barn cats. While we have two barn cats that are good mouse hunters but mostly wild, these kittens are definitely becoming eligible for the "pet" category. They are constantly underfoot and clamoring for attention. Luckily the kids (human, not goat kids) are happy to oblige.


nebraska dave
6/21/2012 1:35:53 PM

Alexandra, Too funny about old Tom mistaken for a Mom. I think I'd be grumpy too. The chicken feeder idea is great. Sometimes fresh ideas that involve recycling things for a different function are the best. Having lived on a farm during my youth, I know about reusing things and making do with what you have. Animals are so cute when they are born. Rabbits are one the few animals that retain their cuteness when they grow up to be adults. Of course that's what makes so difficult to process them when the time comes. They are a great meat source. Have a great day on the homestead.


lisa jacobs
6/20/2012 6:32:51 PM

Do the kittens live inside or are they like barn cats? I am learning so much from this blog! I love it.


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