Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Farm Happenings & Visits

This week we have been having lots of rain and thunderstorms.
Normally, I LOVE rain

(a shot of the farm at sunset during a storm)

But this week my mom is here visiting from Florida 
and I was hoping we could spend the week outside in the garden.
(nope, too soggy)

(my mom, Annie, Oliver and me at the airport)

So we have not been able to spend much time outside.
We have been in the barn a lot though, trying to teach 
the new babies how to take a bottle

They are starting to catch on, but I have been worried 
because they haven't been drinking much at each feeding. 
I read that it can take 3-4 days for them to figure it out, 
so I am hoping that will happen soon.

Oliver is also here for a couple days and 
he was thrilled to meet all the new animals!
(he was fine being outside, despite the rain)

Annie showed him all her favorite chicks 
and how to hold them and smile for a picture

Good Job Anabelle!
(and great pose for the camera Mohawk!)

As for my mom, she leaves tomorrow and 
I still have not been able to get her to hold an animal...
I was hoping to catch her snuggling a chick or one of the baby goats 
so that I could put the picture on my blog, but so far no such luck!

I will have to settle for just her-  without an animal.
Love you Mama,Thanks for coming to visit!!

Wish List

Our Funny Farm is growing rapidly... just 6 months ago we started by adopting a small chicken flock off Craig's List, and now we have over 50 animals. Honestly, I am quite satisfied with our brood, but there is still 1 more animal species I would really like to acquire...

I would love to look out my kitchen window and see this:

I have always been fascinated by the peafowl that wander freely around the zoo and never seem to leave. (They must be related to GUINEAS...) I think it would be pretty cool to have 1 or 2 (or 10) walking around the farm sharing their beauty with us.

I checked with some hatcheries and they have a minimum order of at least 8 and these exotic birds aren't cheap, plus shipping costs are quite high. I am hoping to find some closer to home that fit into my budget.

Anyone ever raise peafowl? Any suggestions?  :)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Birth Announcement!!

It has been a busy week around the farm-
It is Spring in North Dakota, and that means babies are being born!

Sooooo.... the big news?
Our baby horse was born this morning!!
We have been waiting (impatiently) all winter... 

 and now the wait is finally over!!
Mama and baby are both doing fine!

Isn't he adorable? I love the marking on his face!

Welcome to our new baby boy!!
Our first horse and he will come to live at the Barker farm in a few months 
as soon as he is old enough to be away from his mom.
Until then, we will make frequent visits and try to 
come up with the perfect name for him.
Our whole family is soooo EXCITED!!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Chicken Party & Bathing Beauties

I was cleaning out the fridge today and found 
some leftover Jello Cake (yummy!!)

Unfortunately, it was a little too old for my liking.
Fortunately for my chickens, they didn't seem to mind...

In fact, they didn't mind at all!
Before long it was a chicken party and the cake was flying

After the party, I found 2 of the girls in the garden cleaning up.
They didn't seem to mind my intruding into their bath time...

They continued bathing, and even let me snap a few pictures

and when they were finished, they went on their way

It was a good day to be a chicken.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Rainy Days

Today was a rainy day on the farm...
but I am not complaining; I love the rain! 

I love to sit out in the barn and listen to the rain beating on the roof while inside all the animals are carrying on with their normal routines. 
The chickens are busy clucking and scratching; 
the goats are jumping and playing; 
the chicks are cheeping contentedly and the new baby goats are bleating.
Even the cats are happy to hang out with me in the barn away from the rain, and they find a comfortable spot in the hay to purr and groom themselves. 

Sitting there amidst it all I feel true contentment. 
I am so thankful that I am having the chance to fulfill this dream!
Kindof corny, but for a born and raised city gal,
finally getting to live in the country on a farm feels like a dream come true!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Adoption Announcement!

They're HERE!!!!
We picked up our new baby goats today & they are absolutely precious!!!
They are so small and soft and sweet!!

Julianna & Simon

Fainting Goat Twin Does born on 5/7/11
They are almost identical, but they do have some slight marking differences:

We haven't named them yet... any suggestions?
They look like Oreo Cookies to us, so we thought of
"Cookies" & "Cream" 
(But we aren't quite sure about that)

So cute! She is already exploring her new "toys"

Anabelle is in love!

and so am I!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Men Who Wrestle Goats

Today I made the mistake of thinking it would be easy to trim the goats hooves. 
I buttered the boys up by feeding them apple slices and 
giving them a good body scratch first.
Then I assumed because they love me and appreciate me, 
they would stand still and patiently let me trim their hooves.
(you know what they say about assuming...)

I quickly realized that I would need help.

Enter Matt:

half an hour later... mission accomplished.
Thanks Matt :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Gardening is for the Birds

All through the long winter I was thinking about my vegetable garden.
I dreamed about squash and zucchini seasoned on the grill; eating bright crispy salads with cherry tomatoes... mouth watering sweet corn and giant orange pumpkins...  
not to mention a fresh herb garden just outside my back door!
 I was itching for spring so that I could dig in the rich, black ND soil 
and grow my own delicious food.

The problem is that I have never actually had a vegetable garden.
How hard can it be, right?

Here is my garden in it's current state:

Surely, by the amount of healthy looking Dandelions, 
my garden is ready to produce a veritable feast for our family.
(and the chickens of course)

After seeing that several of my local friends have already gotten 
their gardens in, I decided that this is my week. 
I am already late!
I will spend the next couple days weeding, tilling and planting.

And I will have to find a way to keep out all my barnyard buddies, 
but I guess I will worry about that later.
Stay tuned... 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Blue Eggs

Look what Matt found today in one of the windowsills of the big barn:

Aren't they beautiful?
The mama was not very happy about our intrusion...
So he snapped this pic and then left them alone.

I love spring in North Dakota! 

Any chance my sweet Easter Egg chicks will lay me
bright, beautiful blue eggs like this robin's?
I doubt it, but it is fun to dream!


PS: speaking of EE chicks,  2 more started crowing this weekend... so we now have 3 confirmed roos and *hopefully* 5 pullets. Time will tell!

Friday, May 20, 2011


Look who I caught in the act-
The animals decided to raid the compost bin.

They showed no remorse, even after being caught


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chick Field Trip

Today when I went to feed and water the little chicks, 4 of the 8 flew out of the brooder before I could even blink and eye! For the last 2 weeks I have known that it was getting time to transition them to outside but I am still unsure how to integrate them in with the big chicks without causing too much stress or injury. The little chicks are already a couple weeks older than the big chicks were when they moved out to the coop nursery, and I know they are getting impatient for
some freedom from their tiny brooder!

I decided to load them up this afternoon and take them outside for a field trip. 
For the first 30 mins or so, they would not venture out of the carrier

I am sure the big world was a little intimidating, especially since all the 
other chickens wanted to come see what was in the box.
I tried to lure the babies out with treats, but they weren't interested.
(the other chickens were VERY interested and promptly ate the treats up)

After awhile, one by one they started venturing out and exploring
First to come out:

Lucy Goosey
(Anabelle's White Leghorn Pullet)

After a bit, one by one they started coming out of the carrier.

And then all of them were out...

They were timid, but seemed to enjoy foraging around. They stayed close to each other and didn't seem to mind too much when the big chicks came near. 
Now I just have to figure out how to move them out to the barn permanently!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Chicken Therapy & 5 Eggs

Today is sunny, warm and GORGEOUS in North Dakota!
I spent several hours outside by the coop in my lawn chair
enjoying the day and the flock. 
Whenever I can sneak away I love to go hang out with the chickens- 
they can entertain me for hours on end and I never get tired of it. 

Sometimes the kids will come hang out too, but they get bored easily and leave.
That is ok with me.
(The chickens are more nervous when the kids are around anyway.)
Here is Julianna with her hen, Ditzy:

The chicks love when I come out, because that means they get released from their nursery. They run to the door cheeping excited to see me and hoping for treats. I just know they love me, even though Matt teases me that it is only because they associate me with food. (That's ok though as long as it works!)

We currently have 25 "teenage" chicks out in the coop nursery.
And even though I love them all, I can't help but have favorites.
Out of the 3 breeds (Silkies, Bantam Cochins & Easter Eggers)
The EE's are BY FAR my favorite!
Butterscotch, Buttercup, Peeps & Pigeon are all EE's
I am about 75% sure they are all girls and I am hoping I am right...
 I just love them and hope to keep all 4 of them!

Here is Buttercup-
She spent some time on my lap studying my face today,
so I decided to take some pictures of hers:

This is Pigeon-
She is very curious and very friendly.
Originally Matt's chick, we bonded after her doggy trauma,
and now I am smitten with her (and she is with me too! Matt is jealous)

My sweet baby Butterscotch-
The friendliest & sweetest of the chicks by far!
She was the first to hop on my lap all by herself and get comfortable. 
I have heard of chickens that do that, but she was the first one of mine to ever do it.

And lastly, Peeps-
Peeps was my favorite of the chicks when they were newborns.
She had the puffiest chipmunk cheeks of all the chicks and I just adored her!
I still love her, but I wish she was as friendly as the other EE's

Love this shot of 3 of the gals:

L to R: Butterscotch, Pigeon & Buttercup

and lastly- a cute shot of Buttercup & Lulu:

In other chicken news-
I got 5 eggs today!!!!
That means Yahtzee laid an egg for the first time
(that I know of) in the 5 months we have had her!!

Good Job Yahtzee!