llama Grove Groove

Valley of the Camelids

We’ll Miss You

Posted by kari on November 21, 2009
Posted under barn, cow, drainage, horse, llama

As the rain continues, so does the exodus from the soggy barn. We’re very sorry to see them go, but without proper drainage, the barn is simply too wet for our animals to spend the winter. The French drain didn’t hold under the weight of the cows and horse.

Cinnamon, our juvenile milk cow, has found a new home where we hope she will be very happy. She is a sweetie who loves having her cheeks scratched and really only has one motivation in life: a little treat.

Leif the guard llama is auditioning for a 4-H family this weekend. We expect that he will probably find a new home Saturday.

Brody the horse is looking for a new home as well. He’s going to go stay with our friends and horse trainer to be keep company with other horses for a while. We’ll bring him back when we are able to do so or he will find some family looking for a wonderful Georgian Grande pinto who also have time to train him.

The chicken stall is still dry, so they will be able to stay safe and dry. 🙂 What’s  a life without our chickens?

Sad to Say

Posted by kari on November 13, 2009
Posted under barn, cow, weather

hailIt’s hard to see, but the insanely wet and cold weather we’ve had gave us our first hail this week. Unfortunately we’ve been getting over an inch of rain each each day.

The really sad thing about this is that our barn flooded again! Horses and cows are too heavy for french drains.

Because of this and our lack of time, we gave up our beef cow. He’ll have a gret time with the cows in the new pasture he’s going to live in, well, for a while. He is a Jersey Angus cross steer, so he’s not really slated for a long life.

Llama Love

Posted by kari on November 4, 2009
Posted under Uncategorized

mooLeif the llama protects his cows. The horse, though, he could do without.

Fall Explosion

Posted by kari on October 23, 2009
Posted under Uncategorized

FallFall seems to have exploded this week. Somehow we weren’t looking and the leaves changed colors this week. Cherry trees, maples, walnuts and apples are all suddenly yellow and red.

Doubling the Flock

Posted by kari on October 6, 2009
Posted under chicknes

hensThis weekend we doubled the size of our flock. A neighbor gave us five laying hens they didn’t want to keep any longer. There are four Rhode Island Reds and the big coup for us was a silver araucana that lays blue eggs! We’ve bought so many araucanas looking for one that lays blue or green eggs.

To this end, Ray built three more nesting boxes and another roost. The heating lamp was turned on, too, given the low overnight temperatures.

One Hard Weekend

Posted by kari on September 27, 2009
Posted under barn, fence, field

WorkThis was one hard weekend. Ray took every gate off their posts and re-did their fittings to keep the horse from pulling the gates off their hinges. He also had to fix three stall door closures because the horse had been having a good time pulling on them to get at grain.

That and a few minor barn changes got us a far way to ready for winter. It looks like all that’s left is stall bedding material purchases and we’ll be ready for the snow.

In addition to all this work, Ray worked on the horses hooves and pulled out the chainsaw to take care of branches that were overhanging driveways and fences.  There was a fence post shorting out the electric fence, allowing the llama and one of the cows to repeatedly escape that needed fixed as well. The entire outer perimeter was walked just to check for shorts as well.


Posted by kari on September 22, 2009
Posted under barn

somuchhayBehold the cleaned up hay area. There are bins below with feed, hay above and filling the farthest stall. We thank Kieth and Juliet very much for manning the hay elevator for us. It was kind of them in the extreme.

Everyone was womred, since we had frost a few day s last week. Today was over 100, though. What’s up with that?

Whole Lot of Cleaning Going On

Posted by admin on September 7, 2009
Posted under barn, food

upstairsWith the start of our annual winter fear fest, we started pulling down the last of the hay from on top of the barn. It was there that we discovered what a fine and glossy-coated herd of mice we’ve raised. These were the fattest and healthiest mice you can imagine. In fact, they were living happily in our hay and eating our hormone-free, antibiotic-free feed. They opened several bags that we’d hoped would keep the cows over the winter, and a few bags of llama and general live stock feed. There was one bag that was eaten down to 1/2 of it’s original 50 pounds. Obviously we’d become lax since we’ve never had a mouse infestation of this size before. The answer is larger feed bins and barn cats, I’m afraid. The llama will stomp mice if he can see them, but he can’t reach the rafters.

Back in the kitchen we did a pre-winter cleaning and made gallons and gallons of no-fry re-fried beans. That’ll keep us from getting too lazy and eating in town. Also, there were 7 jars of dill pickles (we always give so many away) and some really great pure made.

Roast Chicken

Posted by kari on September 1, 2009
Posted under chicknes, firewood

chicken Our second chicken.

Llama Speak

Posted by kari on August 27, 2009
Posted under horse, llama

sharinSomeone had asked me how to know what a llama or alpaca is thinking. Here’s a good example. This pictures is a llama, Lief, happily sharing his morning hay with Brody. They get along like that.

not sharingHere is a picture of what it looks like when the llama is done sharing. See his head? The neck is arched, ears back, lips in the air? The horse was soon covered with green, slimey spit. Of course Brody decided he didn’t need extra hay that much. It was a real surprise for the horse, since he’d very politely shared his own breakfast with Lief.

Chicken Harvest

Posted by kari on August 26, 2009
Posted under chicknes, food

chickenRay came home early today to round up the Cornish Crosses and the Australorp rooster for slaughter. He drove them down to another farm that has a plucker. We’ve decided plucking feathers by hand is for the birds. Minus driving and catching the rooster, the entire process was done in the time it would have taken us to pluck the feathers of one bird. To the right is a picture of some of the birds in the refrigerator. They will age in the fridge for a couple of days before moving into the freezer for use in the next year. You can really tell the difference between the rooster (middle) and the Cornish Crosses.

Berry Season

Posted by kari on August 24, 2009
Posted under food

berriesWe’ve been harvesting and hosting harvests for about a month now. The blackberries are spectacular this year. These are invasive Himalayan blackberries. The native species is a little sweeter, has a bit more seed in it and will be available all September. If we leave any for you!


Posted by kari on August 20, 2009
Posted under Uncategorized

PeachyYesterday was spent canning. There was lots of help and fun in the kitchen.


Posted by kari on August 10, 2009
Posted under food

Today we pulled  in some of the harvest. The corn wasn’t as abundant as we’d have liked, but in reality, we don’t eat much corn. There are three tomato varieties, onions and a few cloves of garlic ready for storage. The potatoes did awesome.

On a frightening note, Ray crawled under the truck for a little look around. He’d noticed the trailer hitch sagging, so it was worth a look. The hitch was almost off on one side! The remainder of the afternoon was spent sanding, figuring and finally, welding the hitch back on. Thank goodness for safety measures.

Warm for the Winter

Posted by kari on August 7, 2009
Posted under firewood

Ray’s been working for the good of the house this winter. You can’t see because there is a human-height pile of wood in front, but the wood shed is full of split wood already.

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