Saturday, May 30, 2009

ClaireAnna and Cindy at the Spring Horse Show

We finally had our Wrangler's 4-H Club Spring Horse Show after being rained out twice. The day was beautiful but hot, about 90 degrees. ClaireAnna and Cindy did great together and had a fun, fun day! What a cute pair they make!

Walk Trot Class

Walk/ Trot lineup.

Trail Class. We can't believe Cindy backed around the corner! Didn't know she could do that!

Trail Class
Pole Bending



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Barrels

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What's New in the Barnyard?

This is Cocoa. She's the runt of triplets, but now that her brother has been weaned, she is catching up in growth. ( Her sister died in a freak accident.) She is for sale.


ClaireAnna with her Lionhead rabbit, Lily.

We've got the large stall set up as a poultry nursery. In the large stock tank in the back center of the picture, is a batch of 10 Chinese Mandarin ducklings, to the left, in a pen made of hay bales, are ClaireAnna's new Bantam chicks and loose in the rest of the stall are Cleo, the lone duckling and Kate's new African goslings.

You can't see the Bantams well, but there are 21 of them in several different varieties.

Here are some pictures of what her chicks will look like all grown up.

Our second batch of Mandarins hatched 10! We will be keeping 2 and I have sold the other 8 to a gentleman in northern IL. ( I love the Internet!) I will be delivering them to him on my way to visit Jes in Late June.


This is Cleo, the only other duckling hatched here this year. She is now out of the kitchen and living with her new best buddies, Kate's African goslings. In this picture, she is 3 weeks old and they are 3 days old. Soon, they will dwarf her.
Here's what the African geese will look like, all grown up.

We bought a new nannie goat and her doeling the other day from a local Boer breeder. Isn't she COOL! We love her color and think she will make some beautiful kids with our buck, Romeo. And so will the doeling when she is grown. Kate named the nannie, Frenchie, and ClaireAnna named the doeling, Shiloh.

She's Gone

We spent the morning with her. Brushed her and trimmed her. Kate rode her bareback around the barnyard. We hugged on her and told her we loved her.....took some pictures and video.... And then we said goodbye. We've owned her 5 1/2 years and she has been a wonderful horse. My first horse is 17 years. She is just a wonderful girl. But we haven't been riding her much anymore and she has some "quirks" that make her inappropriate for beginner friends to ride. Kate's back and my back don't take well to her bumpy gaits. And so I decided to sell her. She went to Northern Missouri to the girl who bought her as a weanling and trained her to ride in the first place. She loves her too and wanted her back. So....off she went. I'm not sure I did the right thing. I thought it was, but it sure doesn't feel good....not at all. We can only hope and pray that Jazz has a long and wonderfull life with Kim, and that someday we have the privilege of seeing her again. Thanks, Jazz....for 5 wonderful years and many wonderful memories.




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Saturday, May 23, 2009

It's a Beautiful Spring Day in The Cow Pasture!

Two really pretty fall hiefers. We are going to catch the one in the forground and halter train her for ClaireAnna to show at the fair. They are 50/50 Red Angus X Fleckvieh Simmental
This is Shiloh. ClaireAnna named her. She is 50/50 Red Angus X Romagnola. The Romagnola are an Italian cattle with white hair but black skin. This hiefer got the red hair from her Red Angus sire and the black skin from her Romagnola dam. ( you can tell by the black nose) She's a cutie!
Red Angus X Fleckvieh Simmental spring heifer. See the pink nose?

A couple of fall calves.

This handsome hunk is 75/25 Angus X Fleckvieh. He was not banded as a newborn and has turned out so nice that we are marketing him as a commercial bull. His dam is "Dumb." Yes, that is her name. She always gives us one of our top calves of the crop and this guy is no exception.

This heifer is only hours old. She is HUGE!

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Barnyard Today

The ducklings have just about doubled in size. I've sold the entire clutch of Mandarins - all eight - to one guy. He is driving 4 1/2 hours from Louisiana to pick them up. The best part is that he is paying $200 for the batch! Whoo hooo!! Poor Cleo, the Ancona, will be left alone again. But I'm sure ClaireAnna will see to it that she has some company.
This is Romeo. He is our 100% Boer, painted buck. We traded a horse for him. He is not turning out as nice as we had hoped, although we have changed his feed and are waiting to see how he fills out on the new stuff. I kinda wish I had the horse back! But....he will do till we can raise up another buck we like better. Or maybe sell some kids and buy one. I like his color! And his is friendly and easy to work with.

This is Brook. She is a pretty, black headed, half dairy, half Boer, doe. She was born here last June. We like the dairy mixed nannies because they give lots of milk and grow a kid fast!

This first doe is Grace. She is a high % Boer we will be keeping from this years crop of kids. She is only 3 months old and very muscular and healthy. I guess Romeo can get it right if he tries! The little red doe behind Grace has been sold to a 4-H girl.
Here are the dogs lounging with Summer in the foreground. We are mad at her. She is our nicest Boer doe but failed to have kids this spring. We are giving her one more chance and then to the sale barn she goes! The doe in the background is named Thacia, but we call her BB for Basketball Belly. She is older and her stomach has stretched out permanently. It looks like she has 2 basketballs in her belly, one on each side. She is NOT pregnant in this picture! She lost a teet to injury this year - darn it. She did manage to raise 2 kids on one teet, which is pretty amazing. But, she usually has triplets, so that is not going to work. We will breed her one more time since she gave us our best kid this year. Then, off to the sale barn she goes.
This picture gives you an idea of how gigantic Bo is. We don't know where he gets his height from. He is much taller then either of his parents. Ted is wearing his "summer" jeans since they give him a little circulation! He doesn't wear shorts on the farm no matter how hot it gets so this is his compromise. LOL
Doesn't Shani look dead???? She was tired from running ( her usual activity) and plopped down in the dirt. She paddled her front legs a bit to expose some damp cool dirt and then just lay here. As I took the picture, she opened her eyes, but kept her gaze forward and didn't raise her head. Hence the death pose! Funny!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

PIG!



Here is Pig. Yes, that's his name. He is Kate's 4-H project and our future freezer pork. Ted made a quick shelter for him out of material we had around the barn. He loves it and is keeping it quite clean actually. He lounges most of the day on his pallets but does his "business" in a corner in the mud. We have only had him about 2 weeks but he has just about doubled in size. When we got him, he was about 50 lbs. By fair time mid September, he should weigh close to 280 lbs. What a pig!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Lone Guardian and The Escape Artist

From a distance, all you see is a small, happy, herd of goats..........

But zoom in, and you will see WHY they are so happy. Bocephus! What a good boy! He is 17 months old now, all grown up and doing his job. He is just the best livestock guardian dog we could ask for. The goats trustingly follow him out to pasture each day. They come running back to their paddock if he barks the alarm. His bark, alone, keeps predators and stray dogs away from the barnyard. And by the way, he is GIGANTIC! I can pet his back without bending at all! And sweet and gentle as can be. He does chew up the stray halter if left in the barn. But we are learning to put them away. Other then that, he is the perfect farm dog!

Shani, on the other had, has abdicated every scintilla of guardian responsibility she ever felt for the goats and holds no loyalty to her brother what so ever. She has decided she is supposed to guard people instead. After spending their entire first year in the goat pen, we slowly allowed the dogs some freedom. For a while, all was well. But once Shani found our house, (a few of hundred yards from the barn), she never left. We tried everything to get her to stay back at the barn like her well behaved brother, but she has thwarted our efforts. She climbs fences and digs out of stalls and pens. She'll do what ever she has to do to get to the house so she can lay on the carport, waiting for us to come out. She spends her entire day in this spot and only goes back to the barn when we do.
What a little stinker! As of now, we have decide to let her hang out at the house during the day, but we have no choice but to put her back at the barn at night or we would never get to sleep. Remember, she is guarding us - from every single night time sound and movement. Bark! Bark! Bark! Thank you, Shani, but .....no thanks! So, much to her dismay, she is spending her night time on a chain in the barn - the only form of confinement she has been so far unable to escape! Poor baby! We love you anyway!

Sad and Tragic Day

Missy had her foal. As you can see, she is another Lethal White Overo. Soon after this picture was taken, we transported the filly to the vet for euthanasia. This is our second LWO foal out of Missy and it will definately be our last. For an explaination of the whole situation, see this previous post.

http://harmonpfarms.blogspot.com/2007/12/tragedy-in-horse-barn.html

We had chosen a substitute mare to breed to Conclusive Mister but she failed to conceive. Last spring, we just decided that luck would be in our favor and it was Missy we wanted a foal from anyway, so....let's go for it! Hind sight is 20/20 and as of today, we sure wish we had chosen a different path. We knew there was a chance.....but we just kept telling ourselves that it wouldn't happen twice. But....it did. Sad day.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Duckling Triumph!

Yeah! We finally found something under one of our duck hens when we checked them tonight! Eight tiny Chinese Mandarins! Lucky for us, these are our most valuable ducks so we are really excited that the Mandarin hen did her job right - UNLIKE the Ancona or Khaki Campbell hens! Here is the whole clutch under the lamp. They will rest all night and then we will put them out in the barn in a stall with a heat lamp. We will raise them in the stall until they are sold. I'll post video once they are running around. These cuties are only hours old and still resting from the effort of hatching. ClaireAnna is begging to keep Cleo in the kitchen anyway. I'll let Dad break that one to her.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day!

I got these beautiful flowers for Mother's Day from my wonderful daughter, Jes! Thanks Jes! I love them!


Duckling Disaster!

Spring is the time for farm babies and we have been anxiously awaiting our crop of ducklings. We had seven hens sitting on large nests of eggs. Finally, after waiting for weeks, we went out to check the ducks and found........ONE DUCKLING! That's it....and that's all we got....ONE DUCKLING! What on earth are we going to do with ONE??? We had planned to sell a bunch of them to the local feed store. We have no idea why all the nests were duds....we will have to do some research so this doesn't happen next year. And we do still have 2 hens sitting faithfully, so we are hopefull......But for now, "Cleo" is living in a makeshift brooder box under my counter in the kitchen. I mean..come on...you can't leave ONE DUCKLING all by it's self at the barn......can you?






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A Giant Falls

We've had a couple of horrendous thunder storms lately, with high wind speeds. This giant oak is the victim of two of them. This oak must have been wounded sometime decades ago and had a large split about 15 feet up. At it's base, it was one of our largest trees, easily hundreds of years old. But above the wound the tree was split in two. ( You can see the decades old would in the second photo - Claire is standing on it. Well, a couple of weeks ago, one side of the tree fell and a couple of nights ago, the other side joined it. We have no idea how we are going to clean up this mess. We're hoping to find someone willing to cut it up for the wood, but it is SO big, that I doubt free fire wood would be worth all this work! We have lost several large oaks to storms and lightning in the last couple of years and need them all removed. However, the others are on our own property and can be left till we have time. This one has fallen into our neighbor's field and has to be removed immediately. Here's ClaireAnna having some fun.