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!

Inner Clock

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Mysty waiting when I pull in from work

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Yelling to me as I walk out the door towards the barn

This mare loves her food. She knows exactly when I get home from work and waits at the fence for me to pull in. She stares and watches me as I walk in the house not caring that the rest of her herd will not join her standing and waiting.

When I come out after changing into barn clothes, she yells to me I imagine to hurry me along.


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As soon as the goats here her yell, they peek their heads around the corner of their house to confirm I am on my way with everyone’s lunch!

It’s all about the tools

Having the right tools in the barn is just as important as having them in the kitchen!!  Here are some of my “must have” tools in my horse barn.

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I keep a scrub brush and empty bucket for cleaning out the water buckets in the stalls.  I scrub them and empty them to refill with fresh, clean water.  I have an orange hose that is heated.  I plug it in when I enter the barn and by the time I am done with stall cleaning and other chores in the chicken and goat houses the hose is ready to fill the water buckets.

The blue fish net is an EVERYDAY item.  I use it to clean the water in the buckets on days that I am not emptying them and just refilling.  They catch all the little bits of hay or grain that may have fall in into the buckets.

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You just swirl the net around and the water is free of any debris and fresh.

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I have scissors and wire clippers hanging at the doorway to cut open hay twine or quickly nip/repair any part of the wire goat and chicken fencing.  Having them at your finger tips when you need them is a great feeling.

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Last year I asked for a tool box for my barn.  This is MINE only.  It is off limits to the kids and the man of the house.  I keep a hammer, screw drivers, wrench, and all different size nails for any little projects I need to do in the barn.

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Those projects include hanging pictures and items that make me happy.  I love this oil barn painting that was found in a house after someone purchased it.  It’s signed Adele 1956.  I painted the frame black and love seeing it every morning when I am in the barn.  The blue framed picture is one I bought at an antique shop many years ago. I have no idea who it’s by but love the picture imagining it’s a soldier returning after a long time away and getting reacquainted with his woman.  And last the old license plates from my parents, lanterns found in the woods and an old fashioned beater.  I feel right at home in my barn.

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A staple gun is another handy tool for those days the wind is coming in the cracks of the doors.  You can easily plastic them with a quick staple to the corner of a sheet of plastic.  Plastic bins for important items such as paper, pens, leg wraps, injury wraps, etc.  keep the items free from dust.

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Felt blankets purchased at Walmart for $5.00 each work great at covering the saddles again keeping them free from dust and dirt and easily removed when getting ready to ride.

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Bucket rakes and muck carts are another fabulous invention.  They make picking stalls a breeze.  I also keep a few around in case one breaks or for when someone else is helping (after you forced them) to clean stalls.

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And last, but certainly no less important, is a baseball cap for those days you get stranded in the barn when it starts pouring!  It helps keep the rain or snow out of your eyes when emptying buckets, bringing in all the animals or making a mad dash to the house.

These items sure make my job easier and assist in keeping me happy in my barn 🙂

Dashing Through the Snow….

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It’s our “Wrinkles”deer

Well this was fun tonight trying to get our dog to keep this headband on.  But a few yummy treats soon had her sitting pretty for a picture!!

Wrinkles is our crazy rescue dog (you can read about her here).  And while she is truly crazy most times, she is coming around and proving to be a great farm dog!!

Farm life in the Fall

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Martha on top roost and Cherry below all nestled in from the wind and rain

Fall is my favorite season.  But with fall comes cold temperatures, windy days, less daylight and MUD everywhere.  The chickens stop laying eggs consistently, the goats only roam out of their house for short periods and will spend time in their outdoor hut which offers protection from the wind and a full view of the house and yard, and the horses spend many days in their stalls and walkout areas as wet mud is not good for their feet and legs all day.

I like to keep things as natural as possible for our animals.  The goats have a hill and rocks to climb in their pen.  They have grass and trees as well.  The horses have 12×12 stalls and outside the stalls are walkout areas made of stone and rubber matting so they can walk and stretch their legs all day and night.  The chickens free range so get to be in their natural habitat all day.  Some farmers keep a light on in their coops to “trick” their chickens into thinking it’s daylight longer and they will produce more eggs.  I prefer to only use a red heat lamp and let their bodies act naturally during the winter months.

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This is our hen Grrr having a drink of water that contains apple cider vinegar to keep her healthy all winter long

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This is our hen Catness. She likes to roost on the highest part of the house

Some days I will let the horses out when the ground is slightly frozen in the morning.  However as the day progresses and the ground warms up, this is what you get:

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Our paint mare, Mysty decided to enjoy the mud!! Bad horse!

And this week I am dog and chicken sitting for a neighbor.  Her chickens are full of personality.

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They are spoiled like our chickens and enjoy hot oatmeal, fresh salad, tomatoes and some nice yogurt during the cold days.  These are all young hens born in the spring and they are still laying eggs.  The perk of this job is the eggs I get to bring home every day!

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And while it’s much more work it’s also great to spend some “me” time on a nice ride through the bare trails on my oldest horse Bailey.

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Wet and muddy on those trails but worth it!!

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Mud, water, and ice spots line the trail

And about now I am ready for the change of season with its snow and frozen ground!!

Change of Seasons

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I do not complain at the change of seasons because I like it.  I like the changes that take place all around me.  I enjoy seeing what the next season brings.

This week has been pretty much all 4 seasons in a week.  On Monday it was like a nice spring day here in Buffalo, NY.  Temperatures were moderate and the sun was out.  Tuesday was like an early summer day.  The temps were warm enough for a t-shirt and short sleeves.  The man of the house and I took a wonderful trail ride in the early evening.

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Wednesday we were back to fall weather with cool Northerly winds blowing.  I took advantage of the weather to finish preparing all the animal houses for the winter.  The horses heated water buckets were set up and plugged in.

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And today, Thursday we were into winter.  The snow fell on and off all day.  The horses didn’t mind and were happy to be in the big pasture getting a tummy full of good hay.

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The picture looks blurry because of the snow blowing.  But it wasn’t sticking to the ground yet as it’s too warm and still good for bug hunting for the chickens who did not seem to mind the snow either.

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And in the house the wonderful comforting smell of a big pot of chicken noodle soup filled the kitchen with a nice warm fire going in the woodburner.

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There was even a jar saved to give to Grandma tomorrow

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