llama Grove Groove

Valley of the Camelids

Homestead Here?

Posted by kari on March 28, 2010
Posted under chicknes

chickensWe’re not sure if this is the permanent homestead. The view is unbeatable, but the slopes don’t accomodate the larger animals without putting the soil in jeapordy. The chickens love the space that used to belong to the female Alpacas! So roomy and full of worms. They also have the entire barn to themselves. We’ll be looking for a new site soon enough, but hope to return to the llama grove as soon as we can. <3

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.

Gardening

Posted by kari on June 20, 2009
Posted under chicknes, food

Ray has begun getting the weeds out of the garden. It’s had to wait a little bit, but just look at these results. We have more lettuce than we can reasonably eat. ( I will not be making cream of lettuce soup. I’d rather give away a couple dozen heads. Cream of Lettuce soup tastes like chlorophyll to me, anywya.) There are new broiler chicks in the barn. We’re not taking pictures since they won’t be with us long.

Here a chick, there a chick, everywhere

Posted by kari on March 28, 2009
Posted under chicknes, Uncategorized

Chicks are really hard to find this year, and since we aren’t looking for Cornish Crosses, people at the feed store don’t quite know what to make of our requests for a multi-purpose bird. We got a black sex link and three Australorps. These should be big girls that can lay eggs if we chicken out, so to speak. It took 7 visits to feed stores to find chicks this year. If you want a turkey, no problem.

Posted by kari on March 20, 2009
Posted under alpaca, barn, chicknes, cow, horse, llama

Though we said we’d try the cornish cross broilers, a little research proved that these are not the chickens for us. Any chicken that has to have it’s food intake monitored is not the right chick for a free-range, calf-pasture sharing bird. The side effects for not watching the feed ranged from the birds not being able to stand due to the weight of their breasts, to heart failure and a noted stupidity of the breed. So we’ll stick with our dual purpose layers and see how the year goes.

Cinnamon the cow has taken very well to her llama overloards. The llama ladies have shown a maternal side that had previously only been glimpsed when Mariah was indulgent towards alpaca cria. Now even tomboy pack llama Ursula is allowing the calf to try to suckle and none of the camelids spit at her. The horse is still routinely covered in spit, but he seems to ask for it. He’s indulgent in his own way, too. Yuri the Suri was spotted standing on his hind legs to eat from the horse’s feed dish, sharing breakfast.

Project for the weekend: Set up a chick area in the milk stall, maybe get the cupboards up in the feed area. Take time off if the weather is terrible. Get the fir trees trimmed back from stairs and garden areas if the weather is fine. Oh, and teach the darn horse some manners. He’s too smart for his own good.

Sulight in the Storm

Posted by kari on March 17, 2009
Posted under chicknes, weather

With the onset of a storm, we realize that tilling should have been done back when we had that week of sunlight. Fortunately, today we had a short sun burst in the middle of the day. There was even a double rainbow to keep us company as we scurried about doing what we could. No, there was no tilling because the ground was too wet, but the animals had a nice time out.

The barn must be readied for a new group of chicks. We’ll be experimenting this year with cornish cross hens. For the first time we’ll bring meat birds on the farm.

Free Range

Posted by kari on February 18, 2009
Posted under barn, chicknes

The chickens have their own stall in the barn, one that opens to the near field. The near field used to be for female alpacas, but the Chickens are very happy with it.

DOORS!

Posted by kari on January 13, 2009
Posted under barn, chicknes, Uncategorized

Arun finished the horse stall and the milking stall has its main door on and an outer wall on top of the inner wall. This is great!

We lost poor Blackfoot, the last of our named chickens. The poor old girl was with us from our last house, and this winter was very hard for her. We’ll miss you, Blackfoot. The remaining chickens are free ranging-it while the big animals take over the far fields to stretch their legs after the long rainy/snowy month behind us.

A Tree Fell in the Forest

Posted by kari on September 29, 2008
Posted under firewood

Fortunately, our neighbors saw. This was a very large elm tree that split several times near the middle. Fortunately it was just not a little taller, or it would have taken down the fence to the new back pasture. Ursula would have loved that ! Read the rest of this entry »

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