Autumn on the Farm

With the weather staying warmer and only two light dumpings of snow, we’ve managed to get quite a lot accomplished around the farm this fall. Work on the house continues – new doors are in and we’re waiting on windows. Some of those small, yet surprisingly annoying, items are being crossed off (like being able to finally push the fridge back into its space after our contractor refitted some upper cabinets) and the main bath wallpaper has been removed with new paint in its place.

We’ve fenced in the winter pasture for the girls and winterized the chicken/duck coop. We’ve had new water lines installed to the chicken/duck coop and big barn with an automatic waterer for the girls. We’ve started stacking the woodpile that Brian just had to bring from our house in Waterloo and have burned brush. Brian has also built a new deck off of the back of the house so the dogs have an easier time of getting outside and the goats can see in the door (not planned, but they’re liking it!).

Fourteen of my 33 hens are laying eggs and all five of my ducks are laying beautiful eggs as well. Rooster is having the time of his life – so many hens, so little time! The goats are doing well, although they’ve gotten a little chubby, so we’ve backed off on the animal crackers until they lose a little weight. The rabbits are doing well – Moo Moo is off to the vet today to get neutered. We’re hoping to find him a rabbit friend, even though he seems quite attached to Boris (the cat) we feel he might like to have one of his own kind for companionship.

All-in-all we’ve settled into a nice routine and everyone is healthy and happy. So now, of course me being me, I have to stir things up and introduce a new critter to the mix. Introducing “Finnegan” our newly adopted miniature pig. He’ll be coming to the farm around December 9th all the way from California. I’m looking forward to this little piggy!

Finnegan

Enjoy the reprieve from winter we’re having (at least here in Wisconsin). Until next time . . .

Living Alpaca Loca,
Teresa

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

It’s a farm life for me!

Brian said to me the other day that never in a million years would he have thought to have seen me on a tractor. Nor I him, truth be told. In our almost 25 years of marriage, we’d talk now and then about how much we’d like to live on a farm and now, we are living our dream. Someone pinch me (but not too hard!).
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We’ve been on our farm just a little over two months. In that time we’ve welcomed rabbits, cats, ducks, goats and chickens. In just over a month we’ll be bringing our alpacas to the farm. Five out of six of them expecting crias (baby alpacas) next spring. We’ve also purchased a Maremma puppy who will be coming to the farm at the end of July. As much work as it is – and believe me, it’s a lot of work – I am really enjoying our farm and its inhabitants. I’m in my element, grateful each morning when I rise and in the evening when I lay my head down, that the Universe saw fit to grant us this wish.
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Our farm is open to anyone who wishes to visit. Bring along your water bottle and camera and stay while.
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Living Alpaca Loca,
Teresa

We’re on the Move!

As of last night, we have an offer on our house! It looks like we’ll be moving to the farm in early April. So much to do . . . so little time! We’re looking forward to the move and bringing our Alpacas and Great Pyrs home. Let the fun begin!

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Living Alpaca Loca,
Teresa

Guardian Dogs

heidi and maxHaving decided that we wanted livestock guardian dogs I started doing some research on them. Our mentors, Kim and Linda, have a Great Pyrenees and a Maremma. Both beautiful, big, white, friendly dogs. I thought I had decided on the Maremma. The Universe thought otherwise. Kim emailed me with a link to a farm that was re-homing two of their dogs – a bonded pair. I called up Laura (Kissin’ Coussens Alpaca Farm) and we had a nice talk about the dogs. I emailed her a few days later, and after much consideration, she decided that we would be a good home for the dogs. I’m so excited to welcome Max (short for Maximus) and Heidi!

Laura is going to keep the dogs for us until we move onto the farm. So now we have six alpacas and two Great Pyrenees as part of our growing farm family. I understand that April is chick month . . .

Living Alpaca Loca,
Teresa

Re-Use or Re-Build?

We were out at the farm today taking care of farm-buying business – namely a fireplace inspection and appraisal. It was a beautiful sunshiny day, albeit a tad on the cold side! I had hoped to take more pictures of the farm, but I forgot my camera. Brian shot this one with his cell phone camera of me in front of, what I hope will be, our farm store. We may build a new building and re-use the old barn boards as I’m not thrilled with its current location and Brian says we won’t be able to move it as it will likely fall apart. I guess we will see when the time comes . . .

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Living Alpaca Loca,
Teresa

Day Dreamin’

Now . . . we wait . . . for our current house to sell. My Angels have assured me that it won’t take long!

In the meantime, I’m day dreamin’ about what I want to do with our little gem of a farmhouse.

The short list:

  • rip out and replace the old farmhouse staircase (it’s great if you’re a long distance ski jumper!)
  • add a kitchen island (in white to offset the oak cabinets)
  • replace the tiny kitchen window (rip out the existing window and cupboards on either side and replace with a big ass garden window for more light and a view of the back yard!)

The long list:

  • paint, paint, paint, replace carpeting, paint, paint, paint, create garden with gazebo, get chickens, get donkey, paint, paint, paint

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Living Alpaca Loca,
Teresa

About the Farm

We put in an offer on a dream farm yesterday and last night it was accepted! Yahoo!

Now the fun begins . . . go to the bank, get our current house sold, pack, move house, install fencing, and finally bring home our “girls”. And of course, there are going to be all those little things in-between. I’m not worried though . . . I know that everything is in Divine Order!

Picture of Maple Leaf Alpaca Farm, LLC . . . sigh . . . so grateful for this journey!

dream farm

Living Alpaca Loca,
Teresa