Monday, March 19, 2012

Farm Dogs

After hubby and I took care of Sammy for the week, we realized that we needed a doggie companion. We ended up bringing in our German Shepherd, Sugar to be an indoor dog. Since she has gotten older (12 years old this year) her energy levels have dropped considerably. She is living out her senior years in the comfort of the indoors.

 She really enjoys it, but she seemed lonely. One day I was checking out Facebook, and saw one of the local dog rescues urgently needed foster homes for 24 puppies that they had gotten in a shelter. After talking it over with DH, we decided to go ahead and give it a try. The next day, we picked up two, sixteen week old, Australian Shepherd mix puppies.

Of course it was love at first sight, but we had to keep our head on straight. When I first got Sugar, she was a stray that wandered up to our house when I was about fifteen years old. It wasn't until after I was attached to her that we found out that her prey drive was so high that she would chase and attack the horses, harming not only them, but herself. Because of my experience with Sugar, I knew we had to be sure that the pups wouldn't be the same way.

After about a week of testing their personalities around the horses, cattle, and chickens, we decided that they would fit right in with our family. They barely give a second glance to the chickens and are afraid of the horses. In time they should warm up to them, but I am sure they won't have the same drive to eat them that Sugar did! They even get along great with our two indoor cats.

So, I'd like to introduce Boomer and Chewie,, the newest members of our family!



Chewie - In case you are wondering, he is named after Chewbacca, from Star Wars! lol He also lives up to his name by chewing on everything.


DH has bonded a little more with Boomer, and I with Chewie. They are both great boys though and they are extremely smart. The first week we had them, they were four months old and had no idea how to walk on a leash. After a week of working with them they not only knew how to walk, but also sit, lay down, and the beginnings of stay.

Now that Sugar has warmed up to the boys, she keeps them in line and LOVES playing with them. She is twice their size, but is always gentle with them, like they are her own puppies.

Linked to:
Barn Hop #54 
The Country Garden Showcase  
The Country Homemaker Blog Hop

Our Simple Farm

Friday, March 16, 2012

Scrap Lumber Chicken Tractor

We have been enjoying some amazing weather this past week, so it motivated me to knock out one of my goals for his month. I would like to share with you, my Scrap Lumber Chicken Tractor! I made it completely out of scrap wood found in the barn. The only thing we had to purchase to finish it was a new roll of chicken wire, because I ended up using the rest of what I had laying around. That cost about $26 for a 4'x50' roll. The rest of that will come in handy for the next one I build. It only took me about three hours from start to finish.

Now, it's not the prettiest chicken tractor around, but it does the job!

I think they're enjoying the fresh air and sunshine as much as I am!

I am beginning to think the Buff on the left is one of my roosters. His comb is considerably larger than the rest of them.

The chicks have grown so much! Since they will eventually outgrow this one, I am making plans for another, larger chicken tractor. I have been scouring the internet for different pictures to come up with ideas for the next one. One website I stumbled upon has tons of pictures, The Chicken Tractor Gallery. If you are planning on building your own, it's a great place for ideas.

This post is linked to:

Growing Home

Our Simple Farm

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Making Goals (and keeping them!)

Ever since I was little, I have always been one to make lists and set goals. Unfortunately I have never been very good at keeping them! This morning I stumbled upon a post over at Live Renewed about making monthly goals. I really like the idea of monthly goals because although I have made goals for the year, realistically, (for me anyway) they need to be broken down into smaller increments.

So since we are fairly close the the beginning of the month, this is a perfect time for me to establish some new goals and divide up my yearly goals also.

My first goal is to post a list of monthly goals at the beginning of every month. Along with the monthly post, I will go over how I kept up with last months goals. So, here we go!

March 2012 Goals

- Finish putting the greenhouse back together. This was completed, until we had another bad windstorm come through and tear most of the panels apart. A trip to the hardware store is in order for replacement panels now!

- Get seeds started. Unfortunately this is dependent on the former goal. My plan is to get the greenhouse put together this weekend and the seeds will follow shortly.

- Find a good plot for the vegetables once they are started.

- De-cluttering the house. This is a big one for me. I can't stand clutter, yet it seems I can never get rid of it!

- Try out a monthly cleaning plan.

- Make an assortment of crockpot freezer meals.

- Let chicks into the hen house (separated from the older ones) around 6 weeks old. I can't wait for this one!

Building Projects 
- Build the chicken tractor.

-Fix the west pasture fence. We will be working on this Saturday, we've been having a couple rotten steers getting through lately.

Personal Goals
-  Start going on walks again. During the summer my husband and I like to take walks with the dogs. This allows us to have time to talk about our day and not be distracted by things that need done in the house. We both have really missed this since it got cold out.

-Post at least once a week on the blog. Not because I make any money doing it, just simply because I enjoy writing and getting my thoughts out. It tends to help organize my thoughts.

Completed Goals
At the beginning of the year, I made a list of goals for 2012. Out of these, the one goal I have completed is ordering the chicks. I'm not worried about that though, since the other goals consist of butchering and gardening. Those will come later in the year. I have been looking for another steer, but I haven't found one at the right price yet.

How about you guys? Does it help you to set goals? What goals have you set for this year?

This post is linked to:
Frugally Sustainable
Barn Hop # 53

Our Simple Farm

Growing Home