Saturday, July 30, 2011

Keeping Cool

With summer temperatures in the high 90's this week, it's hasn't just been hot for us, the animals have to put up with it too! During the hot afternoon sun, you can find most of them lying in the shade. Some of them, however, take it a step further and find other ways to keep cool :
Bird Bath
Our turkey named Charlie is soaking in his water dish! 

Charlie is only a little over 2 months old, and is growing fast.

Mud Madness!
Our new piglets Belle and Aurora love sitting and rolling in the mud to cool off. Since pigs don't sweat, they depend on water and mud to cool their bodies down.

Here's more pictures of these cute NEW babies!

Belle on left, Aurora on the right. They are Hampshire pigs and are about 2 months old.


So stinkin' cute!

Most of our animals names are "themed". For example, the goats have mythology names, the cows have names from Star Wars, etc. Well we decided to go with Disney princesses for the pigs. (our daughter loves the Disney princesses!)

So what do our kids do to stay cool? Swim and raft in the pond! It's been so fun, it's like having a swimming pool, it's just not as clean and we have to share it with the ducks!

This is especially fun to do after weeding in the pumpkin patch all morning.

I hope you are finding ways to keep cool this summer!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Llama Grooming

Our llama was in need of some "maintenance".  All of our animals require periodic grooming, like the goats and horses hooves are trimmed and they need to be de-wormed. Sometimes there is a snaggly goat horn to trim, even the chickens flight feathers are trimmed occasionally.
In our llamas case it was his teeth that needed trimming and his fur needed to be sheared. The shearing we took upon ourselves, and used scissors to do it. It was a slow process. We put him in a squeeze in his pen and the kids fed him hay while we trimmed away. Cameron on one side and me on the other. We took about a 6 inch layer of fur off him. It is pretty botched and uneven, but I bet he is feeling much cooler!  We need better shears for next time.
The tooth cutting we had our friend Katie do. She has alpacas and is used to maintaining camelids. She is awesome, and so good with animals! I often discuss animals with her and get advice. Anyway, she brought over some cutting wire with handles,  it's like a saw. It took four adults to do it; Cameron and Katie's husband Todd were holding the squeeze and the head rope harness, I was holding the llamas lips open and squirting water on the teeth, and Katie was trimming the excess off the teeth. She just pulled the wire back and forth and it made a notch, then sawed at the notch till it popped off! She took off about 1/2 inch off his front teeth, then trimmed his "fighting teeth" which are on the sides near the back. I never even knew about those teeth!
Anyway, it went pretty quickly, and he also got immunizations at that time.
So Pilgrim is looking and feeling pretty good. He's all set till next year!

Before the tooth and hair cuts


Still long teeth, but much better than before!

Pucker up for a llama kiss!

PS Our dog Saydie got a haircut too - check her out!

After - she is much cooler in the heat too!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Pumpkin Planting Day

We planted the pumpkins on June 11th. It was a busy day, and we started at about 8:00 am. We had a group of 12 people and it took us 7 hours total. We figured that we planted about 12,000-15,000 seeds! We doubled the size of the field we had last year, and we have 8 varieties growing instead of just 2 we had last year. The varieties are: Sugar, Connecticut Field, Howden, Big Max, Lumina, Cinderella, Jack be little, and Atlantic Giant. So far they are coming up great!

Just one of many holes dug that day!

2 seeds per hole

A cute little "helper"

Don't worry, these won't grow blue pumpkins! These are treated Lumina seeds. They are treated to help prevent disease, and so the squirrels won't want to eat them. This was the only variety we planted with treated seeds, so we'll see if it makes a difference.

More seeds!

Getting later in the afternoon

My friend Kelli on the left, me on right. We worked in teams. Our legs were sore the next day!

Turning on the drip line to water the newly planted seeds.

Look at those handsome boys! Friends on left and middle, our oldest son on the right.

Our twin boys were quite the team!

I am smiling because we are ALL DONE!

 Of course, we have the usual obstacles of rabbits and squirrels and there are a lot of weeds coming up this year! Way more than last year at this time. It is overwhelming! The kids and I have been out weeding almost every morning this week, we weeded as a family a few evenings. We had a few friends helping, yet we still weren't making the progress we needed to. So we gathered a crew of our friends teenage kids to make some money and help us get more done. In 3 hours we got just as much done as it took our whole family all week! Many hands make light work, right?
The weeding crew - hard working and awesome!