Yesterday started with a balmy 21 degrees here in the smokies at our farm. The chores were less than ideal as when heading out I found that our water was frozen for the livestock barn. All the water feeders were frozen up; buckets, rabbit’s water bottles and even the water stand itself. We have three different facilities so that means trucking water. In the midst of all of this the snow flakes started falling on the farm. They were light and fluffy: Big large flakes. They just blew sideways and moved on while I stood there watching. It would have been beautiful if I wasn’t so concerned with frozen water at the moment.
We have been keeping Lil Bean in the house (our bottle baby Nigerian Dwarf) baby goat, but I do bring her out to the barn so her mom can continue to connect with her. Lil Bean tries to nurse on her mom but her milk has such low flow that it is more for connecting that I do that. Needless to say, the little three pound baby was a tad cold during chores with me in the morning. She spent most of her time inside my coat. Doing chores with one hand while coddling a little baby is always fun. But, I can promise you, I am not the only farmer who can say they have done this. We just cant help ourselves. The babies are just to darned precious.
Our morning started with me feeding our newly hatched chicks. I gave Lil Bean the chance to bond with the new hatchlings. That was fun. I am not sure if she was more interested in the chicks or the heat lamp.
Then Lil Bean and I headed on to the dogs, rabbits and chickens. All the water bowls were frozen solid and the rabbit bottles could have been used as rocks. That was unfortunate.
I had to go out and break up the chicken’s water trough ice so they could finally drink. Rabbits required other containers until their bottles thaw.
Lil Bean was not a big fan of the dogs. She is used to our ducks in the livestock barn so chickens appeared to be alright by her.
We head down to the livestock barn to do the chores for the goats and chickens. All their water was frozen too and the water stand pipe was also frozen. Fortunately there were extra water buckets full of water that could be shared amongst the critters.
Here are a few shots of the babies.
Little Arturo was doing great sleeping in the hay. He is named after King Arthur. We are naming our animals after all the great ancestors we are learning about in our family heritage. You can learn more about our genealogy at our sister site Davis Family Pioneers that you can link to on the right side of this page. Our family are descendants of the Kings Of Dalriada (the Scottish Kings) and the famed legendary King Arthur.
I am really excited about this little buckling because I want to see the results of Nigerian Dwarf/Nubian crosses in the future. Both are dairy goat breeds but the Nubians are bigger and have less fat in their milk. The Nigerian Dwarfs are smaller and have more fat in their milk (great for cheeses). So I am hoping to breed great size, milk production and fat percentage. So this will be a fun breeding sire in the future.
Here is a cute clip of the babies all playing together (well four of the five) taking over the feed room. I love baby season.
So, Lil Bean and I tend to the goats, sheep, ducks and donkey while the babies all have a field day in the barn. LOL. The mamas all get their grain to assure their best nutrition for milk production.
Here are a few more shots of the morning with the babies and ducks.
Above you can see Asiago and her new little baby “Jemima Jane” Jefferson. She is black and white. We named her that because we found out my husband’s family genealogically are descendants of the Jefferson family (Thomas Jefferson) but through what is likely a slave, Jemima Jefferson. Our family is apparently Melungeon and there is very interesting history there that we are loving delving into. Needless to say, this mysterious race of the Appalachian Mountains that went unrecorded, is a unique mixed race which is totally awesome. So, in tribute to the diversity of our heritage, indeed, Jemima Jane will have a prominent place in our herd.
Next, I leave Lil Bean with her mama though cold and head down to our third barn, the horse barn. It is still snowing.
Meanwhile, while I am doing all the “animal” chores in the balmy 20 degree weather, my husband is muscling it up with his chainsaw clearing a huge tree we plan to mill on our log mill later this week.
My husband can do the work of three men. It’s totally amazing how much he gets done around this farm from cutting down trees, to building barns, to fixing things to taking our entire farm off grid and onto solar. This guy can do everything. In fact, the horse barn above with the horses, he built that all by himself and milled all the lumber for the barn too….and did the entire pad and rail road ties (it’s four feet off the ground on the back side of the barn). He did the entire thing himself in four months and he thought he worked too slow. Unbelievable what he gets accomplished. I am so blessed!!!
I head back up to the livestock barn and pick up Lil Bean, then we head back up to the house to go sit by the wood stove. I bottle feed her then start eating my homemade bread I made in my cast iron loaf pans in my woodcook stove, while I wait for my husband to come in from the cold.
Then we can plot our strategy to start our day, LOL. Funny how you do all that work BEFORE the day begins in “modern” terms…………..like work and such.
We hope you enjoyed following us on our snow flurry day on the farm. If you like to follow our blog to see what we do on a daily basis then feel free to press “follow” and join us on our journey.
Have a blessed day!