Turkey Trouble

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This mama turkey has been hanging around our cabin. She has a few babies we have seen running on the trails, but lately she has been hanging out closer and closer to the barn.

If you saw my previous post: Camping on the Farm, I shared that we have a cornhole game by the cabin.  This is a game you play using “corn bags” that are tossed.  The “corn bags” are a felt fabric stuffed with whole kernel corn and sewn shut.

We went back to play the game the other night and could not find the bags.  After a few minutes of searching, we found one empty bag of material, then another and another and so on.  Yep, you guessed it, mama turkey had stolen the bags and put a tiny hole in each one and eaten the corn!!

We have had no rain in almost 2 months.  The ground is hard as concrete and most of the wild vegetation has shriveled up. These poor wild animals are having a hard time finding food sources.  I am finding more and more deer in my pastures picking at leftover hay.  The raccoons are around and in the garbage, the birds are eating and drinking at the feeders and bird bath more than ever.

This picture was from yesterday.  She has now made her way up to the chicken and goat pasture and was eating the chicken scratch feed.  Needless to say, I ran to the feed store today and purchased a bag of corn to put out back in our feeder for her and her babies.

For more of our crazy daily farm living adventures, don’t forget to follow our facebook page: ChasenChanceRanch

 

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Farm Happenings

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Blue and Oreo finally enjoying a sunny day

Spring on the farm is one of the busiest seasons.  It is the time for cleaning up the winter mess, prepping the gardens for planting, fixing up all of the animal pastures/enclosures that have weathered the winter snow and ice, starting all the seedlings in the greenhouse, spring hockey, jv soccer, varsity softball, work, meals, and trying to have a bit of fun inbetween.

Here are some of the things we have managed over the last week (not including meals which will come in a later post 🙂 :

If you have followed along with my Facebook Page…Chasenchanceranch, Disco foundered in January and has had a rough road over the last 2 months.  With aggressive treatments he is on the mend thankfully and even had his mane trimmed as he always has for riding and showing.  Even if he never makes it on the trails again, we are beyond grateful to have him comfortable and not in pain.

The baby chickens coop has been completely netted over the fencing and roof so there is never another hawk issue and they can be free and go in and out of their coop at will.  We have owned this property in my family since 1972 and have never had an animal lost to a hawk until this year.  It was a very hard life lesson for the kids to handle, but we are doing all we can to ensure the safety of all the animals!

The bunnies have a new run attached to their house so they can get some exercise and play during the day.  Meanwhile the “Chicken Brigade” travels the yard making sure to keep the bugs to a minimum!

Pops of color from the spring perennials are starting to liven up the grounds while some plantings are thriving in the portable greenhouse.  If you do not have primrose in your garden, I suggest you invest in some.  They are a very hardy spring plant and have beautiful green leaves during the summer when not in bloom.  They bloom in early fall as well and add great color.

Spring sports are underway.  The boy (in red) at his first jv soccer practice, the Teen Queen practicing catching and throwing for Varsity softball, and the boy playing in a jv hockey game.  Our nights are busy after work for sure!

The cabin is being set up for the summer to live in, the awning is up on the house for some outdoor dinners, morning coffee when not sleeping in the cabin, and rainy days when we play board games under it.

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This robins nest is in the eave of the cabin.  We have to leave it as it contains these cute little eggs and a hopeful robin mommy!

And with the nicer weather comes our weekend bonfires to end the nights.  This was the “big one” as we burned up all the branches from around the yard and a few pallets.

And that’s part of the week in review!  Tonight is the first Varsity softball game…Go Lady Eagles!!!

 

Life Lessons on a farm…

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Living on a farm offers so many benefits. But for every benefit there is always a hardship.

Farming teaches your children responsibility with helping them learn how to plant, hunt, cook, and can their own food.  They learn many tricks of the trade for getting the right vegetables to grow along with making a little money selling those things at a roadside stand.

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The Boy and his friend after a hockey game playing with the chicks

Caring for animals is a huge responsibility.  It teaches compassion, love, nurturing, along with the commitment to the well being of the animal and loss.  There are sacrifices to be made such as leaving a birthday party early to get home to feed the animals.  Many other times you race home because the weather has changed and those animals need to be brought in.

This weekend was a very hard lesson at our farm and that was learning to understand that no matter how responsible you are, things still happen that are hard to accept.

We purchased 6 baby chickens about 7 weeks ago to compensate for 4 of our older girls who will soon stop laying eggs and live out their golden years with us.  The kids hand selected each baby.  We have had them living in a huge bin in our basement until old enough to go outside.  Over the past 7 weeks they have held them, cleaned them, taken care of them and loved them.

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Putting the babies from their travel bin into the outside house for the day

Yesterday was the day we decided they had outgrown their bin and were ready to move into the “baby” chicken coop and pasture.  This is a special area for the babies to grow into a full size chicken.  There is fencing that is 6 feet high on one side and 4 feet on the other.  There is also a baby gate before the 4 foot fencing.  Long story short, 2 of the babies are gone.  After being out there for 2 hours we went in for 20 minutes and came back out to find one of the babies outside of the fencing dead and one is missing.  The other 4 are ok.  The kids are devastated!

We have come up with 1000 theories on what happened but may never fully know.    UGH….so hard to accept!

As much as I want to grieve, I have to be strong for the kids who were still having tears slide down their cheeks getting ready for school today.  Sometimes the farm life is harder than you imagine!

Farm Kids

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This picture really captures the essence of “farm kids” in my mind.  I love how they still at 13 and 10 appreciate their farm animals and remain the little “farm kids” we have raised them to be.

We built a larger run for the chickens tonight so they have more room to free range safely when we are not home.

You can see more cute chicken pictures on our Facebook page here:  Cute chickens

Circle of Life

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Living on a farm it’s very important to teach the kids at the earliest age possible about the circle of life.  We have had many animals that have touched our lives here.  Flash was one of them.  He was a one of a kind rooster for sure and lived a good long life for a bantum chicken.  When he started showing his age last week we made him as comfortable as possible.

His funny personality and antics will be sorely missed, but we are thankful for the 7 years he was a part of our family.

You can see more pictures of our Flashy on my Facebook page here:   Flash

Beautiful Day on the Farm

Even though it’s 11 degrees out it’s still beautiful with the blue skies and sun!

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You can’t tell but the horses have worked a small area in the pasture after each snow fall and it’s actually about 3 feet higher than the actual ground. If they step off into the snow that’s not worked they sink almost up to their bellies.

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Poor Blue the goat wanted to come see me at the chicken coop and realized it was over his belly so he turned around and went back to the trail I made for them to use to walk around.

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Al and Oreo thought it best to hang in their house and peek their heads out rather than venture out!