Whirlwind Romance

Wow! This last month or so has been a whirlwind of activity! We brought the girls home to the farm on July 25th without too much trouble. However, Alice did not fair well in the beginning, showing signs of extreme stress. We managed to situate her in the front of the trailer which seemed to help the rest of the way home. It’s a blessing that we thought to stop and check on them or we may well have lost her. Once home, we unloaded them and because it was so hot, decided to give them a good spray from the hose, which they thoroughly enjoyed!

bringing girls home

20150814_072128We managed to integrate the first flock of chickens with the second flock without too much ado. We can still see the separation in the flocks, but the second flock is growing fast and soon we won’t be able to distinguish them by size. It’ll be all in the feathers! I hadn’t planned on having 34 chickens, but it’s not much more trouble and for now, all is well. We did end up with one rooster and I’ve decided to keep him . . . as long as he doesn’t cause any trouble and doesn’t become aggressive.

The rabbits, ducks and goats have all settled in nicely. The only real trouble comes when the ducks decide to take a bath in the water in the chicken coop creating quite the mess. Yesterday I had to clean out the chicken coop three times . . . not my idea of a good time.

On August 1st we welcomed “Loki” our livestock guardian dog to the farm. He is a Maremma, a breed that originated in Italy. He is already showing signs of “guarding” . . . when he’s not in puppy mode! LOL!

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Tomorrow we’re hosting our monthly “Open Farm Day” and we hope that you’ll join us. You’ll have a chance to see the farm and all its inhabitants running through their daily activities. See the Events page for more information.

Living Alpaca Loca,
Teresa

Cayuga Ducklings First Swim

Our Cayuga ducklings are growing so fast! Today they are two weeks old and are as cute as ever. Last night we decided to give them their first swim in the bathtub. It was so much fun watching them race around in the water, although I was sure to be careful if they showed any signs of stress or chill.

This week I plan on getting the Duck House ready for them. They won’t be going out for another month or so, but I want it to be ready for them. Once we start getting some nicer weather – in the 80s – I’m going to let them outside to forage and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine.

They are a joy to behold!

We’re expecting our chicks around the beginning of June so I’m preparing for them as well. We’re also having our alpacas bred and as soon as they’ve taken, we’ll be bringing them to the farm. Our Great Pyrs should be arriving sometime in June as well.

This week our friend is coming from Canada to help with fencing. It’s going to be a lot of work and we’re sure grateful for the help!

Living Alpaca Loca,
Teresa

Shearing Day 2015

We had an awesome day at Dougherty Creek Farm shearing alpacas! My time was spent collecting the blankets and bagging them. The fleece was so soft and cozy I could have dived into the bin and taken a nap!

I must admit I felt a sense of pride as my girls walked up to the holding pen . . . they were so well behaved. When it was Olivia’s turn to be sheared you’d have thought it was the apocalypse. I was rather concerned as she screamed and went into a long draw . . . a warning signal to the others. Rather late in the game, they were all done!

Our first experience with shearing day was a good one. Our thanks to Kim and Linda at Dougherty Creek Farm and to Brent, our shearer, and James, his assistant and teeth cutter. Now, off to the co-op with the fleece!

Shearing Day

A short video of me collecting a blanket . . .

Living Alpaca Loca,
Teresa

Growing and growing and . . .

It’s hard to believe that our Cayuga ducklings are just over a week old. They’ve grown so fast! They moved from their condo of three 3X3 boxes taped together to a box that is 4X4 feet which gives them more room to run around. They are so cute and we’re looking forward to their first swim, their first outdoor adventure and their first foray into the Duck House. Stay tuned for many duck adventures to come!

duckies

Living Alpaca (and duckie) Loca,
Teresa

Cayuga Ducklings

My Cayuga ducklings arrived last night. A big shout out to the ladies at the Beaver Dam Post Office for staying until I could arrive to pick them up!

They are the cutest little things and do everything as a group . . . eat, drink and sleep! Apart from one almost choking, they are all doing fine. Thank goodness for a husband who keeps his head in a crisis and knows what to do!

At three days old they’re already very independent. I’m enjoying watching them and am looking forward to their first swim! Enjoy the following cuteness!

ducklings

Living Alpaca Loca,
Teresa

Trees and Fences and a Cat named Boris

We’ve been busy outside while the weather has been nice planting trees. Three cherry trees and two apple trees in what will be my fruit and vegetable garden and ten maple trees lining the driveway. They all look like sticks right now, but after two or three years they should be looking like quite something!

Brian also ordered three raised garden beds for me. Once they’ve arrived and are built, installed and filled with dirt, I’ll share pictures.

We also adopted a cat from the Juneau Humane Society. He was adopted out as a barn cat because apparently he sprayed in the house. He’s the sweetest thing and is getting along well with our bunny “MooMoo”. Marge, the cat we inherited, isn’t quite sure about the goings on in the barn, but she seems to be getting used to the change . . . and the wet food we put out for her every morning. There’s nothing like good food to bring an animal around to your way of thinking . . . well at least partially.

We went for a drive to visit our girls yesterday. It had been almost a month since we saw them due to the move. They are all well and of course, remembered us, or at least the carrots we brought for them. We are looking forward to shearing at the end of this month, breeding in June and then bringing them to the farm sometime towards the end of June, early July.

Life is good on the farm!

Living Alpaca Loca,
Teresa

Not a Virtual Farm Any More!

We have moved onto our dream farm in the heart of Wisconsin! We closed on the property April 7th and have been busy unpacking and settling in. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get our queen size beds up the steep, narrow stairs to the bedrooms, but that will be remedied when we remodel later this summer.

There are many things to take care of in house, but the most important thing on our to-do list is get the fencing done so that we can bring our Alpacas home by the end of June, early July. We are really looking forward to having them on the farm!

We did welcome a new addition to the barn. A Lionhead rabbit named “Marshmallow” – MooMoo for short. He’s adorable and makes the cutest little noises when I walk into his stall to feed, water and visit. He also loves to be petted! He’ll live in the barn until we get the fencing up around the chicken coop for the ducks, which are coming at the end of this month!

moomoo2
I’m also thinking vegetable garden and will be building raised beds along the south side of the shop this weekend. My cherry and apple trees have been shipped, so I’m looking forward to getting them planted up as well.

So much to do and enjoying it all!

Livin’ Alpaca Loca,
Teresa