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So, it’s been a while. Ok, a long while. Sometimes life gets so busy I just don’t have time to write much. Boy, have we been busy around her for quite some time now. Let’s see……. where do I begin?
Early this year we announced that we were expecting our 7th farm baby. What a blessing! Not long after our announcement we began adding more animals to the farm and have pretty well filled this place up! In March we purchased a little jersey bull calf to raise for beef.
Our friends Tonya and David also bought two calves at the same time from the same person. In fact, the pregnant Tonya , me, her daughter, and all of our farm kids loaded up in our van to pick up the calves. When we picked them up, they seemed healthy and active. Within 24 hours all of them were gravely ill and had scours. We all worked very hard to save the calves. We gave our calf homemade electrolytes, used essential oils, and lots and lots of prayers went up for him. Tonya treated her two calves as well but sadly, her two calves didn’t make it.
Sometimes this farming life is tough and no matter how hard you try you lose some animals. Our calf was very weak for a long time, probably about six weeks. He finally started to get strength and is doing great now. Gertie took him on after some persuading and thinks he is her baby now. He was lovingly named Abner.
We still have four pigs from last fall that will be butchered very soon. We decided to buy quite a few pigs from Tonya and David from the spring litters. We bought ten baby pigs. Talk about a load of cuteness! We currently have fourteen piggies running around. Now, we have had some troubles with our electric fence staying on and have had loose pigs a lot. Fortunately they have stuck around and come right to a feed bucket unlike our prodigal pig from last year. I’m excited to get pork back in the freezer. We have been out of pork from the pigs we butchered in January for a couple of months and we have missed it!
We have added many new animals to the farm but we have also lost one beloved member. My pony, Lightning, who I’ve had since I was eight years old. He lived a good, long life with us but it was his time to go. We were all very saddened and miss him. It is always tough to lose an animal, especially one that has been part of your life for so long.
After adding all of the pigs we did a round of meat birds. We currently have another round that we will be butchering soon as well. On the note of meat birds, we decided to try raising turkeys as well this year. In May we bought fifteen baby turkeys. We only lost one so we have fourteen left. We built a turkey tractor out of pvc pipes and chicken wire for them. It has worked great. We used a tarp on the top to give them shade and shelter from the rain. The turkeys have been fun to raise. I really enjoy watching and listening to them. I’m very excited about Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners with our homegrown turkeys!
This spring, Farmer Derek and I made the decision to make an investment for our future farming endeavors. We decided to purchase three young heifers. Farmer Derek has a co-worker/friend that raises Registered American Tarentaise Cattle. After researching about the breed we were ready to commit to it. They are a heritage breed that originally came from France. They are also a dual purpose breed so we are hoping to train one to milk.
These girls will be breeding stock for our future grass fed beef herd. They’ll be ready to breed early next year. We picked out the heifers in May and once they were weaned in August they were brought home. We have two reds and a black. We named them Elsa, Annabell, and Anna. They are beautiful girls and we are so excited about this new adventure.
The best addition to the farm and family by far is our precious new farm baby. He made his appearance in early September at a whopping nine pounds! Our biggest baby yet. He is such a joy and blessing to our family. We have been enjoying this newborn stage of snuggles and staring at him. Our hearts are so full!
We are heading into a season of butchering animals to fill the freezers for the winter. It is such a great thing to be able to do this for our family. I’m looking forward to sharing meals for the upcoming holidays and just everyday with my family out of the products of our hard work on the farm.
To say we are blessed is an understatement. Farming definitely has its ups and downs but when we focus on the goodness of God and what He blesses us with the good times outshine the not so good times. I wouldn’t have it any other way.