Les Farms


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The Amazing Snowhen

Our January thaw is underway, which made perfect weather to make a snowhen. No, not a Snowman.. a Snowhen! One that is so amazingly awesome, that she lays 4 eggs a day and hardly eats at all!

Yeah you’re jealous.. Don’t try to deny it.

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Let there be Play.

Even working dogs deserve a play break. Clementine is doing a great job watching over the flock. She signals if anything is amiss, and is always on guard. Every night she gets a good romp around. Mornings as well if there is time for her to do so. Weekends she gets to have the most fun. Backpack off.

Playing really tuckers a working dog out.

At least someone is enjoying all that snow. Cause I’m not.


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Meet Fancy & Molly – Our Sheep!

I may be a little off the ball on this post. We added two sheep to our farm over a month ago. Should have said something sooner. Must have slipped my mind. I don’t know how it could though.. they are baaing all the time.

Here is Molly. She can be identified by the poof of wool on her head. She’s also the ring leader and the more daring ewe.

and here is Fancy. Fancy is my girl. She’s more reserved, but enjoys a good scratch. She’ll lay her head on my lap and close her eyes during such times. It’s very endearing. Not that Molly won’t.

Susan loves our girls. Our girls love us.

We had contemplated whether or not we were going to do sheep or goats.. We have discussed goats with many goat owners, and have been told that they are invasive with gardens, They like to climb on top of cars (we have the turkeys for that!) and are just plain mischievous in comparison with sheep. We did want a goat for milk, but were informed that sheep can also be great in that department.

History
Sheep have been raised for milk for thousands of years and were milked before cows. The world’s commercial dairy sheep industry is concentrated in Europe and the countries on or near the Mediterranean Sea. The dairy sheep industry is in its infancy in the United States. There are approximately 100 dairy sheep farms in the U.S. They are found mostly in New England and the Upper Midwest. There are several large commercial sheep dairies in New York and California.

Highly nutritious
Sheep milk is highly nutritious, richer in vitamins A, B, and E, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium than cow’s milk. It contains a higher proportion of short- and medium-chain fatty acids, which have recognized health benefits. For example, short-chain fatty acids have little effect on cholesterol levels in people. They make milk easier to digest.

According to a German researcher, sheep milk has more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than the milk from pigs, horses, goats, cattle, and humans. CLA is a cancer-fighting, fat-reducing fat. The fat globules in sheep milk are smaller than the fat globules in cow’s milk, making sheep milk more easily digested.

Sheep milk
Sheep milk can be frozen and stored until a sufficient quantity of milk is available to sell or make cheese. Freezing does not affect the cheese-making qualities of the milk.

Sheep milk has a higher solids content than goat or cow milk. As a result, more cheese can be produced from a gallon (or liter) of sheep milk than a gallon (or liter) of goat or cow milk. Sheep milk yields 18 to 25 percent cheese, whereas goat and cow milk only yield 9 to 10 percent.

While sheep usually produce less milk than goats and much less than cows, sheep milk sells for a significantly higher price per pound, almost four times the price of cow milk.

Though I still long for a dwarf goat, the sheep will do for now. They are wooly sheep, so will need to be sheared come spring. That’s something I’m not looking forward to.


as I already have this lamb chop to take care of in that regards. Not a minor feat!


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Happy New Year and Website!

Happy New Year everyone! It’s a cold one out there, and we had another foot of snow dumped on us yesterday. Smiley
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Well at least the ducks are smiling.

Thought I’d throw it out there that I’m working on a Farm Website. Take a look see. If anyone has any questions regarding chickens/ducks/geese/turkeys, please drop me a line and I’ll add it to the F.A.Q page.

Plenty of pictures of the birds for you to enjoy over there. Check out the “Our Farm” part. There is a slideshow I’ve put together.

UniversalScraps.com - New Year Smileys

Happy New Year!

 

 


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Walking in a Winter Wonderland


As promised, I am going to try to stay current with my blog entries. It won’t be every day, but I’ll aim for once a week at least. Even if it is just a few pictures or a little blurb of the going-ons at Les Farms.

It was a white Christmas this year. The world DID NOT end. Smiley

We’re under storm watch again today. Another 20 CM expected this afternoon and evening. It makes for a difficult time doing chores, but winter chores are typically a pain. With the birds refusing to come out, and my food freezing – it’s just happy joy joy all around. *sarcasm*


Our pathways are pure ice.. ice and poop.. and feathers.. and who knows what else, but it’s all frozen solid. Frozen and slippery. Thankfully we purchased shoe slip treads to facilitate walking and prevent falling.

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Like so. I highly recommend these if you slip and slide on your walk to the chicken coop. These babies are fabulous! Best $5.99 I ‘ve spent this year!


The slippery slopes are no match for hungry groupies. The birds don’t mind the ice.. even when they are doing the splits and giving us side pains from all the laughter. The Pennies still run out to greet me. Or mob me. Take your pick. They are most liable to mob me before bed, when it’s their second feeding time. As you can tell, they are not underfed Smiley


They sure make it hard to make my way to the barn without tripping over a chicken – which the shoe treads do not help against.


The barn has been winterized as much as it needs to be for the winter. No heat. No insulation. Their down is enough to keep them toasty warm this winter. I have Timothy hay hanging for the geese – as the majority of their diet during the spring, summer and fall is grass. The chickens enjoy swinging from their hay bale.


Have you guys met the bunnies? We have two that are free ranging… Can’t catch them.. They have a shelter under some pallets and a tarp. We feed them and they stick around. Here’s Frankle. He’s a little off. He has poor coordination. He’ll topple over when he’s walking slow. Maybe he has poor vision, or is just old.. I don’t know. He was given to us during the fall show.


Here is Frankle’s girlfriend Wanda. Who is spade. I am not keen on breeding rabbits. I don’t like confining them, and Frankle’s disability would not be a good idea to pass on. He’s happy though, and that’s all that matters.


Merry Christmas everyone!


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Jagger’s Got the Looks, and the Moves!

I could really go on and on about my Jagger. He is so handsome… He’s becoming more and more mature every day.

His wattles and comb have tripled since we brought him home in October. His body has probably tripled as well. So many people voice their rooster issues several times a day, but this boy does not have a mean bone in his body.

He’s curious, gentle, and loves to call his girls to food. The only thing I can say with any negative impact on his part is how loud his crow is. He crows often, and that’s okay by me. I’ll tell you that if he is close by, it makes your ears ring. Continue reading


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Brighter News!

Following my breakdown writing the previous post, I have some better news to share.

Our flock has been rewarded an extension to the 30-day to remove them request. We have until April 20th to move our flock to a new location.

We had mentioned how stressful enough winter can be on a flock, add a new location on top of that and we could expect the worst. We now have time to get our plans in order. We will be staying at Susan’s parents house until we find the best place to move them for the last time.

We are searching for the perfect plot of farmland. Nothing too large, but nothing small either. It’s going to be an adventure, that’s for sure! I’m very happy that Susan’s parents were kind enough to allow us to move in. They have a beautiful property on land that is zoned for livestock. Susan grew up with horses and ponies. The chickens will have a wonderful barn, and we will make them an enclosed run when they are not being supervised.

On top of that whopper of great news, Janet laid her first egg on Thusday, and her second yesterday! Go Janet! She really knows how to sing the eggsong.

Her eggs are long and bi-coloured with freckles!  Continue reading