Thursday, October 4, 2012

Guinea on the Roof

My Guineas go into the chicken coop at night with the chickens.
Well most of them. Sometimes one or two won't come off the roof.
I love to watch them in the morning after I let them out of the coop.
They will all go onto the roof and run from one side to the other making the most aweful noise.
My husband has asked me if I can possibly find a more obnoxious bird.
He does not realize that peacocks are in his future!
One of first times they ran across the roof like this,
Jack and Jerry were in their end of the barn and
they came running out in a panic, kicking and braying!
The donkeys are now used to the noise.

Katahdin Sheep

A little background for those of you not familiar with Katahdin sheep. Katahdins are hair sheep. That is, they don't grow wool that has to be sheared. They grow a two-layer coat, an inner layer of fine wool that sheds out naturally in the summer and an outer hair coat that remains slick during the heat of the summer. As you can see in the Honey and Adele post, Honey is shedding her last bit of winter wool. Katahdins were developed as a breed by a Maine sheep farmer, Michel Piel. Story goes that in 1957 he read a National Geographic artical about West African hair sheep. He was a sheep farmer but had to shear his sheep. He combined a number of breeds and by the late 1970s he had a hair sheep breed that met his goals of excellant meat production without having to shear. He named it for Mt. Katahdin, the highest peak in Maine.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Jack and Jerry, the Guard Donkeys

Jack and Jerry came up for a visit this morning. They are our guard donkeys. They guard the sheep from coyotes and dogs. They are small standard cross-back donkeys. They normally are fed with the sheep but sometimes when I catch them by themselves, they get a little bit of grain in their feed buckets.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Honey and Adele

We started our Katahdin sheep herd last December with five ewes. This past spring we had lambs. All of the ewes twinned. Twins are typical. All the ewes had a boy and a girl. Which is not typical.
Except Honey. She had two girls. And for some reason she lost one.
So she just has Adele.
And she is a very attentive mother. 
Honey is our most friendly ewe. All the children who visit the farm can pet her and feed her from thier hands. And Adele is following in her mother's footsteps. Adele is so curious and friendly to the point at times for trouble. But always fun!

Monday, October 1, 2012

New calves on the farm.

This one is Isabelle. She is Sara's calf. Her mother is Millie. Millie was born on Sara's second wedding anniversary and was a gift from her Dad and me. Sara's favorite movie growing up was "Seven Brides For Seven Brother's" and Millie was the first bride. If you know the story, the brothers were named alphabetically for men in the bible. When Millie had the first granddaughter she continued the names and named her daughter Hannah. Millie's (the cow) calf last year was named Hannah. Following the tradition, this years calf is Isabelle.

And this heifer calf was born on Sunday. Her name is Remi. (St. Remi)
Her mother is Helena. Helena is actually the first calf that we breed ourselves with the first herd bull, Paul Heinz, ear tag #57 and Cow 34. As you might guess, Paul Hienz was a black bull. We have four of his daughters on our farm now. Remi is Norbert's calf. You might guess the color of Norbert!

Oh and Isabelle is Norbert's daughter. Norbert is now our Herd Bull.
Paul Heinz has left the farm.

Adventures in baking!

Sara here! I want to tell you about some baking we have been doing. We stopped at Panera last week and bought two muffins to split and share - a pumpkin muffin and an apple cinnamon muffin. After trying them both, we (me and Jo) decided that we needed to try to make some. So we found a recipe that we really liked online (here's the recipe that we started with) and made a few tweaks to it, like more pumpkin spice and a whole can of pumpkin puree and of course we doubled the streusel topping. I must say, they turned out wonderful!! So the next week we decided to take that muffin recipe that we liked so much and turrn it into an apple cinnamon muffin. We used apple pie filling instead of the pumpkin puree. The apple pie filling has chunks of apples in it, just perfect for a muffin. And we added lots of cinnamon! Here's the batter in the large muffin tins.

They turned out wondeful as well. I'm not even a fan of cinnamon and I love them! We also plan to make / create a blueberry muffin and a chocolate muffin. The great thing about the original muffin recipe we started with is that we figure its not really all that unhealthy (for a muffin, that is). It has applesause in it to keep it moist and half a cup of oats in it. And we added flax seed meal to the apple muffins. Flax is really good for you, but you couldn't even tell it was in the muffins. 

Seven Spring Ewes