In stark contrast to last summer, we have had an extremely dry summer this year.
We have had luck with our hay, which is in good condition, and we've heard will be worth alot of money this year due to the high number of farmers that have been affected by the drought, both here at home and the US.
There's something new at the barn every day it seems, but what's keeping our little ones busy is the gaggle of bunnies that daddy bought from the auction barn... they've become quite the pets!
On a sad, sad note, we lost a dear farm friend in Calvin, our dog. Many will remember him as the laid-back black lab who surveyed all the action in his orange pumpkin costume. He was a good dog, a puppy when we brought Bella home from the hospital. In those early days, it was tough to see if he would mellow out enough for our farm, which receives more than it's share of new people down the lane each day. He turned out to be perfect for this place. So we're trying it all over again with a rescue dog named Ty. He is a 'teenager' with some good training but likes to play/nip a little too much. We will see! We miss you Calvin!
A very rainy and wet summer has made it challenging to get the crops growing properly and harvested on time.
The cattle have been happy with lots of grass, but it's sure been a challenge driving anywhere with the tractors without packing down the soil too much. Wet conditions make for lots of powdery mildew, mould, and certain types of bugs on the crops.
The arrival of five little piglets in the barn have kept Bella busy. Ian and her videotaped the birth of the piglets, to be posted sometime to this page once we figure out the technology! So Bella's been busy bringing kitchen scraps down to her piglets, who she's named Gloria and Olivia... and the rest of the names change daily. In reviewing the posts on this page, I realize that the amount of news on pigs outweighs all the other animals, considering how many cattle we have that sure is odd -- but they keep life interesting!
It's also been a busy summer for the coyotes and wolves, who've been sighted coming right up to the barn. It means that the farm dogs, Calvin and Amber, have been busy barking all night long most nights as they try to keep them away from the poultry.
What a winter we've been having... It's so cold that half our days have been spent paying due attention to the water system in the barn, and monitoring the cattle for pneumonia. Alternating between frozen and thawing days is very hard on them.
Recently we trucked into 'la belle provence' of Quebec to attend a cattle auction sale and visit some farms. We came home with three great-looking yearlings that will be a great addition to our herd and bloodlines. It was really neat seeing the way they keep cattle in Quebec, a bit different than in Ontario but it sure seems to work for them and the cattle! The highlight had to have been hearing the auctioneer, auctioning in fr-english. He did a great job, got good prices, and it was all very funny to hear.
Oh, yes, Farmer Krystin has a horse for sale (see posting below). Interested buyers can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Saddle up!
What makes more noise than a crusty rooster? Not much! At the farm we have a crusty old rooster whose crow sounds like a creaky old chair that needs some oil! Everytime the rooster crows it sounds like an old witch in distress! It's terrifying!
The animals are looking forward to seeing all their friends this fall. New at the farm is a grey mare that Farmer Krystin recently purchased but has yet to get up the nerve to ride. We'll keep you posted on that one!
It's been a nice summer so far for the animals. We have had wet weather but so far not too much pneumonia. We have recently taken delivery of a new horse for Krystin, so we are looking forward to seeing her on a daily basis soon!
There are four baby pot-bellied piglets roaming around the farm which have just been weaned. Isabella likes to feed the pigs corn, and sometimes takes a few bites for herself!
Kyle had alot of fun taking the pigs to the auction sale in December. Ian didn't think they'd be worth much, but sent them anyhow. While Kyle was transporting them to Dave McNevan's truck from our truck, one squealed and escaped... now, can't you just picture Kyle and Dave chasing this little pig around - for a full hour? Too bad it's not on youtube! And how much did that pig sell for, after having been chased for an hour and transported for two, and fed for how many days at the farm? Four bucks. Now who's dumb as a pig - the pig or the farmer?
After a successful fair circuit, most of the cattle and horses are happy to be hunkered down in some nice fresh straw for the rest of the winter, and look forward to seeing all of their city friends this spring and fall!