Innisfree Farm: Day 23 – the other side

This life isn’t for the faint of heart.  Tough decisions need to be made, when emotion can’t guide the outcome.  When it’s not about what you want, but what’s best for the person or animal. And sometimes those decisions hurt.   Ginny and Jenny – may your new pastures be sunny and warm, and may […]

This life isn’t for the faint of heart.  Tough decisions need to be made, when emotion can’t guide the outcome.  When it’s not about what you want, but what’s best for the person or animal. And sometimes those decisions hurt.
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Jenny

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Ginny

 

Ginny and Jenny – may your new pastures be sunny and warm, and may the grass be the greenest of all.

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Innisfree Farm: What don’t they eat?

Goats eat.  A lot.  And with 5 of them, they can demolish a lot of greenery in a short period of time.  Here’s an example – we have the goats on our west hill, which hasn’t been mowed or grazed … Continue reading

Goats eat.  A lot.  And with 5 of them, they can demolish a lot of greenery in a short period of time.  Here’s an example – we have the goats on our west hill, which hasn’t been mowed or grazed for 5+ years, so it’s very grown over:

 

Enter the goats – this picture is after 5 days of goat demolition:

And after 7 or so days, here’s the carnage:

As you can see, there is a lot of thatch and dead grass, but after another year of goats working it over, this area will be looking much better and be growing better grass for the goats to eat!

And as to what greenery goats won’t eat – there is a type of low-growing ground cover (found especially under our pine trees) that they just don’t like.

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Innisfree Farm: Animals and their games

To the casual observer, animals probably seem pretty simple.  The cows are munching grass in the pasture, the chickens are clucking around the chickenyard looking for bugs and worms.  Once you spend any amount of time around those animals though, … Continue reading

To the casual observer, animals probably seem pretty simple.  The cows are munching grass in the pasture, the chickens are clucking around the chickenyard looking for bugs and worms.  Once you spend any amount of time around those animals though, you start to see their personalities…animalities?

The cows.  Sedate bovines, heads down in the grass, tails swishing.  All true, but when you have black cows who stay in the barn for the coolest parts of the day and head to pasture in the heat of the afternoon, I start to wonder if their brains have been a little overheated.

Chickens contentedly pecking in their yard.  Except when the garden is directly on the other side of that fence and there just *has* to be something better to eat over there.  Like the corn we just planted.  Then replanted.  We have one hen whose routine (has been ever since she could fly over the fence) is fly over that fence, scratch around all day, then fly back over the fence at night.  It’s now a morning game – look out the window, see the hen scratching in the garden, shoo her to the fence, she flies over, repeat later that day.

Goats are great lawnmowers, but, like the chickens, are certain that the grass is greener and tastier on the other side of their pen.  We move them to a new section of grass every week or so, and the first thing they typically do is eat around the perimeter of their new pen, then stick their heads through the panels and eat as far on the other side of the panel as they can.  Then they will deign to eat the rest of the grass in their pen.  As it turns out, goats can push pretty hard and can bend a cattle panel.  That was news to me.

Then there’s the cats, but that’s for another post!

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Innisfree Farm: A farm birthday

Today happens to be my birthday, which isn’t that big of a deal anymore.  Dinner out at LeDoux’s in Troy OH (excellent Cajun food) with the family and in-laws last night, presents, and key lime birthday pie from my mother-in-law. … Continue reading

Today happens to be my birthday, which isn’t that big of a deal anymore.  Dinner out at LeDoux’s in Troy OH (excellent Cajun food) with the family and in-laws last night, presents, and key lime birthday pie from my mother-in-law.  Got home to see that three of the seven eggs incubating had hatched, which was a special treat for my niece.  We put the three in a box under the heat lamp, and retired for the evening.

As happens often in life, things don’t go as planned.  Got up to see that all three of the little peepers had died during the night.  Too much heat, too little heat, internal trauma (the first little peep had been very active, running around in the incubator)?  We just don’t know, but learned a few things for the next batch of eggs we incubate.  First, we will be taking the peeps out as they are born, and not waiting until they are dry (as the incubator instructions advise).  One peep didn’t make it out of the shell except for his beak, and I’m pretty sure it’s because the other peep rolled that shell over so he couldn’t get out.  Second, to eliminate too much/too little heat, we bought a brooder from the company we bought the incubator.  That way, heat will be better regulated and we can remove that variable.

But the day wasn’t all gloomy – it was Garage Sale Day in our town, and we found some good buys.  Had lunch at the Bulldog Diner in West Milton, then came home to hook up the trailer to head off Springfield way to Amanda’s.  Three more goats are now members of the Innisfree family – Rocket (the red one), Molly (white with red head), and Flower (white with black head).  Skittles and Ginny are not quite pleased with this arrangement – there was butting of heads, and much baa-ing.  But it appears that they have all settled in to the business of eating the tasty brush that is in their area (bigger than a pen, but smaller than a pasture – a “pasturette”?).

 

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