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!!!

 

Beaver Dam

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Rohan looking for the beaver

This is a creek that eventually meets up with the Niagara River.  Last summer a beaver made this little area his home.  Every few days the kids would go down and check his progress on building his dam.  Yesterday we took our little nephew there as he wanted to check for the beaver and collect more of the chewed wood for his collection.

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pile of sticks that were once the beaver dam

The town got sight of the dam in the fall and came and removed the dam with a backhoe.  This is all that is left of the dam today.  The kids were very sad but understand the importance of keeping this creek flowing.

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It’s amazing to see how hard this little beaver worked even taking down quite large trees all along this area. These are things you can’t teach in a classroom and so valuable to share with the kids in my mind.

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He is missed but the kids will keep looking for signs of him throughout the next few months to see if he returns.

 

Beginning of 2016 in review

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Sid in the tree and little golden Henny in the hut

I once shared that for some reason “even” years are not my friend.  It always seems during even years things seem to pop up more often than normal to give my world a little shake!

Shortly after the new year we lost our little Bantam rooster, Sid.  One day he seemed to stop crowing but was eating and still enjoying his roaming time outside.  The next day he was in rough shape and died a few hours later.  Two days later his closest companion, also a bantam hen, Henny, who was born and raised on our farm for 8 years died during the night after showing no signs of a problem.  UGH…I was prepared for the worst with something going through our flock and cleaned as much as possible in the winter.  Luckily it’s been 3 weeks and the regular size hens are all healthy.

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Two weeks ago one of the horses started showing signs of pain in his hooves. After a vet visit and X-rays he has a broken tip of his coffin bone in one of the hooves and he is foundering with a possible pituitary issue.  He has special wooden shoes on and is taking all sorts of medication.  He’s on rest but his brother comes and eats with him to keep him company.

The boy has been sick all week with a cold, sore throat and now cough but there have been some bright spots.

The ice pond finally has frozen and we have had many visitors and fun skating!

The boy finally learned how to blow a bubble and the Teen Queen’s basketball team is undefeated for the season and has won the Catholic Schools Varsity girls Championship!!

Here’s to more bright spots in 2016!!

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

Busy time of year

Between school, sports, farm work, gardening, and work, the days are shorter and shorter it seems. I’ve neglected my blog these past few days for sure!

Here is an update on what’s been happening in our world.

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The plants we started in the greenhouse in March are all nicely tucked into the ground! Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Zucchini, Summer and Butternut Squash, Celery, lettuce, Sweet Corn, Gem Corn, Pumpkins, Gourds, Cucumbers, Peppers, Carrots, Potatoes, and sweet Onions to name a few.

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The chickens are busy at work and we are keeping our customers stocked on their farm fresh eggs.

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An elderly gentlemen who has come to get manure for his gardens from us for the past few years brought some apples as a gift for the man of the house helping him load his buckets and get them in his garden.  He is too weak now but finds the strength to garden!  These apples are a true gift especially to the boy of the house who informed me a few weeks ago we only had 2 containers of our homemade applesauce left.  I told him it was not apple season yet and I would pick up a jar at the store if we needed it.  His response was priceless “you can BUY that??”.

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A game of “Goat Army” was played.  Hard to get those goats to fall in line!

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This is the last time the “tween queen” will cut the grass as a “tween”.  She will celebrate her 13th birthday on Monday.

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A beautiful walk around the Buffalo, NY waterfront while the boy was at his hockey practice.  It was great to sneak out for a 45 minute walk!  I’ll post more about that at another time with a few more pictures to share!

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And tonight we ended the long work day with a great bonfire!

Back to work tomorrow making crockpot applesauce, seeding some pastures, a memorial service for a friend’s father, and a soccer game for the boy!