Baby Chicks Move Outside

The day old chicks we were raising outgrew their cage in the house after about 4 weeks.  They were ready to move outside to the barn. They didn’t need the heat lamp any more and were ready for more space and fresher air (the house needed to be aired out by that point as well!).

I used an outdoor pet exercise pen and covered the outside with chicken wire to make sure the chicks couldn’t squeeze out between the bars. I added a wooden crate and a cement block inside to give them something to climb and roost on. The floor is covered with pine shavings to help maintain cleanliness and provide the chicks with something to kick through.  The roof over the pen was just a scrap of wood from the barn to prevent them from flying out and any other chickens from getting in.

Four week old chicks out in the barn.

Click through for a video and more photos of the baby chicks.

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Bottle Feeding Piglets

You may recall that we got the chance to bottle feed an orphaned calf last year at a neighbor’s farm. This year, there wasn’t an orphaned calf, but there were some orphaned piglets that my neighbor took in to raise. He let us stop by to help with one of the bottle feedings earlier in the summer.

Bottle feeding a piglet.

Our neighbor took in 3 of the piglets from the litter. He had 2 black and white piglets and 1 red piglet.

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Photos from the Farm – Summer 2017

Here are some nice photos from the farm and nearby areas from late spring and summer 2017. Hope you enjoy!

The barn and pasture on a foggy day.

Here is a picture from a boat ride on Cayuga Lake – which is the second largest finger lake in Central New York. The rest of the pictures all come from our farm from various angles.

Sunset over the lake.

Sunlight breaking through the fog in the morning.

Sunset at the farm.

The cows grazing on a summer day.

Local Wildlife: Red-Tailed Hawk

With a good portion of our pasture surrounded by woods, we sometimes get a chance to see young birds learning to fly – they take off from the trees on the edge of the pasture and flap / glide into the field.  The pastures are relatively safe as the fences block most ground predators.

This year, a juvenile red-tailed hawk came to our pastures to practice flights. However, on one attempt, the hawk’s foot got stuck in the fence and the hawk was stuck hanging on the fence, unable to get free.

By the time we noticed and began to approach, the hawk was able to free itself, but was still either in shock or needed to rest. It sat on the ground near the fence for a couple of hours before flying away.  We checked on it periodically to make sure it wasn’t permanently injured and didn’t need any human intervention.

Juvenile red tailed hawk on the ground.

Here is a video of the hawk on the ground, turning its head to watch us closely as we approach.

We saw the hawk around the area for the next few days afterwards, but it always flew away before we could get anywhere close it.

Day Old Chicks

New arrivals: we bought 6 day-old chicks!

Last year, we raised 3 bantam Cochins but they were already 6 weeks old when we got them. We also picked up a couple of hens from the NY state fair, but those were already grown.  This year, we decided to try starting with day old chicks.

We picked up our chicks from a local hatchery and brought them home in a small shoebox with a few air holes. They chirped loudly most of the drive home.

The chicks try to hide from the camera in the corner of their cage.

They are very cute and fluffy!

Click through for some more pictures!

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Billy the Foster Dog

We heard about a dog that was having some trouble at the same shelter in New Jersey from where we adopted Shaffron. He was overly stressed at the shelter and had to be placed in a foster home. However, his first foster home was moving and they couldn’t take him to the new location so he had to go back into the shelter. At the shelter, he was so stressed in the shelter that he drooled so much that he dehydrated himself within hours.

We decided to foster him until he can find a permanent home. His shelter petfinder page is here. The shelter is calling him Pretty Boy but we are calling him Billy (because that’s way better).

Some volunteers drove him the almost 4 hours up to our house. We took him for a walk around the pastures and while he was a bit shy at first, he really liked the quiet open spaces.

Billy looks out over the pastures.

Here is Billy walking through a puddle.

Billy walking through the water.

Click through to see more photos and videos of how Billy gets along with the farm animals.  Continue reading

Cows!

Long time readers may remember that our pastures have been the summer home for 3 different yearling heifers from a neighbor’s farm for each of the past 2 years. This year is no different.

The 3 cows arrived in late May. Their names are Jean, Raven and Faith.

Jean at the start of the summer 2017.

Raven and Faith at the start of the summer. Raven is in front and Faith in the back.

Shortly after arriving at our farm, they actually squeezed through a loose gate and escaped from the farm. They had quite an adventure.

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The Second Old Stone Pillar

You may recall the old stone pillar along the road that used to be at the end of the driveway of our property many years ago.  However, of the 2 pillars from the old sketch, only 1 stone pillar is still standing. The other pillar was missing, presumed destroyed.

Sketch of our house from the 1950s or 60s.

But.. we think we found the other pillar! Click through for the details.

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Stemming the Flow: Building a Small Dam

Following the earlier flooding, we decided to try to build a small dam to try to block the water, rocks, leaves and other debris from flooding out into the pastures.

Here is a reminder of what it looked like during the flooding with water and debris flowing out from the woods.

The creek flooding out into the pastures.

We stacked up the logs again in the water channel where it floods out of the woods.  This time, instead of just stacks of logs, we put a metal post behind the logs and covered them with a couple feet of dirt and rocks.  Hopefully the post and earthen dam will help keep the logs in place and divert the water and debris.

Close-up of the “dam” with metal post holding the logs in place.

Click through for more pictures and details.

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