Our family's homesteading adventures in the mountains

Jefferson County Fair Livestock Show

Katy once again participated in 4-H and showed two of her goats at the county fair.  She spent so much time training them and caring for them.  Both Molly and Smores looked great and the care that Katy gave them really showed at competition time.  She won Grand Champion in Intermediate Showmanship, Grand Champion in Breeding as well as in the dairy goat class.  She brought home a slew of ribbons as well as three gorgeous new belt buckles.  Katy also got the chance to participate in Round Robin.  Round Robin is where the showmanship winners compete against each showing in all categories – horse, goat, llama, sheep, poultry, rabbit and swine.

 

 

4 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

A new puppy!

We have added a puppy to our farm.  She is a gorgeous Bernese Mountain Dog/Great Pyrenees mix.  We hope that her presence will help deter threats from wildlife – although thankfully we have not had any issues.  She has huge paws (that happen to be very clumsy still) and loves attention from the family.  She follows us around the farm as we do chores and loves to catch milk her mouth as we milk the goats.  Lassie has all the enthusiasm that you would picture when you think about a puppy.

 

 

4 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

Update on kidding season

So far this year we have had 7 does kid for a total of 14 babies- 9 boys and 5 girls. Our two top does gave birth to 3 kids each! Unfortunately this is the first time we lost a kid. It was a sad experience but one that is part of this lifestyle. We have one doe that will kid next month and that will be the end of our season. It has had it’s high and low points and caused us to think of things we will do differently for next year.
Today the first of our babies left for their new home. It was a little bittersweet. It will be wonderful to be back to our core crew but you do get so attached to those kids.   So here are the three boys.  They found a home where they will have  a life of hard work – looking cute and being friendly.   We will probably visit them from time to time as we tend to do with the goats we sell.

4 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

Sheep

We have added sheep to our little family farm. The breed we chose on the Navajo-Churro sheep. They are one of the oldest domesticated sheep breeds in America. They are a long wooled sheep that can be used for wool, meat and dairy. The wool of the Navajo-Churro is used to make a true Navajo blanket. We purchased two ewes, Bonita and Soukie, and a breeding ram named Topaz.

5 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

Honey Bees – Update

Well, the new hive has been doing great this year! They are healthy as can be and are now occupying two almost full hive boxes, with a healthy mixture of stored honey, pollen, eggs, and larvae. I recently inspected the hive and got to watch a brand new worker bee chewing her way out of the cell where she grew (a neat thing to see!).

Given the dry conditions in Colorado, I’ve been feeding them supplementary pollen and sugar water, but they’ve also been gathering lots of native nectar and pollen. It’s amazing to see the different colors of pollen they bring in from the wildflowers around here, ranging from bright yellow to purplish orange to blood red.

The first year for a new hive is when they build up all the comb and food for themselves and get settled in, so we won’t be harvesting any honey this year, but they’ve been progressing very well and should have lots of extra beautiful golden honey for us next year.

 

5 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

Hotshot

Hotshot is a horse (a gray gelding), and one of the more recent members of our farm. He belongs to a friend of the family who didn’t have a lot of extra time to spend with him, so she generously gave us the opportunity to keep him at our place and have a chance to see what goes in to keeping a horse.

He is incredibly gentle and friendly, and overall quite well behaved. He does have  some room for improvement when it comes to a few areas like taking a bit, loading in a trailer, or standing still, so I’ve been learning about horse training and working with him to be more respectful of our requests.

It’s great to have him around and hear him whinnying when it’s time for his hay.

 

5 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

Chicken update

We have 19 chickens now.  The first batch consists of 8 laying hens (2 Australorp, 2 Orpingtons, 2 Brahams and 2 Dominiques) + 2 silkies.  One is our fearless rooster, Billy Joe.  He is smaller than the hens but he sure thinks he is something.  He crows all day.  Emmy Lou is our female silkie.  She went broody this spring (and is currently) and hatched us a chick.  Only one egg hatched but it is the cutest little thing.  It wasn’t even her egg (oh the scandal!)  It is a cross between an Austalorp and Billy Joe.  It was so much fun for everyone to watch the process and see Emmy Lou mother the little chick.  Much more natural then raising them in a brooder box.

Our second batch consist of 8 Austrlorps.  7 hens and a rooster.  Mr. rooster is still nameless but hopefully will have one soon.  He is practicing his crowing.  The hens will be laying in the next month and we hope to sell surplus eggs.

Nick is running the chicken portion of our farm.  The first time around we got a sampling of breeds so we could see which ones we liked.  Nick decided the Australorps are a good fit for us.  They have a great lay rate and are docile.  He is working to raise them in the most natural way possible such as using the deep litter method in the coop.

There sure is nothing like those farm fresh eggs!

5 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

Really?

Well we are coming up on a year at our farm.  So much has happened!  Over the next few weeks, I am going to be updating where things are at in each of the different areas.  33?   (more…)

5 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

Honey Bees

In May Nick and I attended our first meeting at the local bee club.  We had waited too late in the year to get bees.  All the orders had gone in.  We were so bummed about waiting until next year.  But one Wednesday night we got a call that somebody had ordered two sets and no longer wanted both.  They were ours if we wanted them.  So we hustled to purchase our equipment because the bees were coming in that Saturday.  Nick is our beekeeper and undertook the project with dedication and enthusiasm.  He spent many hours researching bees and electric fences.  The electric fence is a must for our location due to bears.  We are looking forward to eventually having our own honey supply.

Preparing the frames

Nick heading out to install the bees

5 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

Eggs

The past couple days have felt like Spring around here.  Spring on the farm is an exciting time.  Does kid so there is a fresh supply of milk.  Chickens start laying.  Two days ago we found a bunch of eggs in the nesting boxes.  The chicks we purchased in the fall are laying!   Here is a link to a fun post Drew put on his blog.  It is a funny video of our rooster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 years ago 0 Comments Short URL