Special Friends: Welcome to Sugar Creek Ranch


DennisMy family and I moved to our little piece of heaven about 5 years ago, and we haven’t looked back since. I had grown up spending summers on my grandparents farm, so farm life is nothing new to me. Not the same with my wife, Kathy. She was a city girl. But after consenting to be my wife, she quickly learned and came to love rural life just as much as I. This is our second small ranch. We live quietly here, just the 4 of us, myself, my wife Kathy, our son Aaron, and our other son Stuart. Aaron is in college now and Stuart will be starting this fall.

Stuart on modern horse
My son Stuart out on the modern version of a horse.

Once we moved onto our new home, we took a long time to really decide what we wanted to do with our ranch. Initially we just had a small amount of poultry. A very small flock of chickens, a few ducks, several geese and a couple of turkeys. Most were pets. It was about a year before we started building our herd or flocks of livestock. We bought a small flock of blackface sheep, then we were given our back angus heifer by our neighbor when she was orphaned.

Feeding the sheep
Out feeding the sheep.

Then we added a few goats, and then last year our other cattle. And we have added on to our poultry as well. The geese and ducks have always been my favorites among the poultry.

I had one goose that was a favorite of mine. I had hand raised him and he was very attached to me and was my “guard goose” or at least what I called him. He would not let anything or anyone come near me when I was outside. He would follow me everywhere, and when any animal or bird came near, he would immediately charge them and drive them away. This became problamatic when my wife and sons were outside with me. They were safe from his attentions as long as they stayed at least 20 feet or so away. If they crossed that invisible line, he would charge them and chase them until he decided they were far enough away.

S.M.R. Saia
5/5/2010 5:29:54 PM

Wow, what a great picture of the Guard Goose! I enjoyed reading about your ranch. I hope that we can get to that point one day. Welcome!

Nebraska Dave
3/3/2010 7:40:45 PM

Dennis, I am always glad to hear about the successful reality of a dream coming true. I too always wanted to have acreage outside the city as my youth inspired time on the farm buried that dream in my heart. That just never came to fruition. My passion now is urban backyard gardening. I have learned that it can be just as fulfilling and passion driven as larger amounts of land. It is true that I can’t run my land with a 4 wheeler or pull fish out of the farm pond but I can have fish in my gravity feed automatic watering feature for the garden and I can sit by the roaring fire of the outside fire place. Well that is when it’s all built. I keep myself busy and working on this urban ranch. It’s a continuous work in progress and keeps me quite busy. Well that is when I’m not helping someone else with their urban ranch chores. I spent many wonderful days during my youth on my Uncle’s farm. There’s no better way to grow up than running the woods down by the creek, or bucking those hay bales into the barn, or learning how to milk a cow …. by hand. And yeah, I like the iron horse better than the real thing. A couple benefits are that it doesn't eat much when your not using it and if a foot breaks it can be fixed good as new relatively easy.

Mountain Woman
3/3/2010 6:44:49 AM

Hi Dennis, Welcome to Grit. I loved reading about your ranch and your animals and their special relationships with you and each other. My Mountain Man would agree with your son, Stuart, about having the modern version of a horse. So sorry you lost your guard goose. He sounded very special. I look forward to reading more about you, your family, your animals and your ranch. Mountain Woman Grit Blog: Red Pine Mountain

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