Hurricane Farm

  (Scotland, Connecticut)
A view of life on our farm
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The Further Emergence of Spring

Spring continues its forward progession. 

New calves have been introduced to the growing "herd" out in the pastures...

A new lamb, named Vera, is introduced to some of the other sheep in the flock...

A little girl holds one of her favorite hens...

A flower pops its head through the freshly tilled and fertilzed soil...

Fiddleheads pop up alongside the brook and stream...

Spring is here and in full force at Hurricane Farm!

 
 

The Race Is On

It's been raining on and off for almost three weeks now here in Southern New England.  The forcast calls for rain and thunder storms for the next 7 days.  This is good for some of our garden but detrimental to tomatoes, peppers, and people who don't like mud.  In fact, the hay fields all around us in towns throughout Eastern Connecticut have been left to their own devices--almost looking abandoned--due to the constant wet.  No one has been able to cut their hay for weeks.  The first cutting traditionally takes place on Memorial Day Weekend here in CT, but it was raining back then, too!  Hopefully the rain will let up for a few days at least soon!

The rain does not seem to bother the large livestock, however.  Here you can see the two Jerseys and Aloysius involved in some sort of race with one of our Black Spanish turkeys.  The turkey seems to be winning this one.

The rain has also slowed down my building of our meat chicken coop/shed.  Here is a photo from a couple of weeks ago.  Liev helped me erect a wall.  Now, during breaks in the rain, and with a little help from my Dad yesterday, we have all four walls up, framed, and covered with siding.  I hope to put up some rafters today if it stays only overcast and does not begin to rain.

Despite all the rain, mud, humidity, and dirty floors that come with living in what seems to have turned into a tropical rainforest environment, good things do come in the end:

 
 

Calf on the Run

Here are some updated photos of our new calf, Aloysius, running in the field.  These were from about two weeks ago.  By now, the grass is really starting to take off in the field.  We over-seeded the pasture with a nice mix of grasses just before we had about a week of rain, so hopefully we will be able to improve on the quality of our grass. 

The lower portion of the field was all overgrown with golden rod and brambles, which were of little interest to the cattle and sheep.  I ended up cutting it all down with a field mower last fall.  I was sort of shocked at how bare it looked afterwards, and nervous that I ruined the field, but it looks like the grasses below the golden rod are now able to have a fighting chance. 

With a few years of work, we should be able to have this old pasture brought back...

It never ceases to amaze me that all of our animals instinctively know when to throw on the brakes when approaching a fence.  They will come at you at top speed and stop just before pummeling you or the fence.

Though he is still only about a month and a half old, he is starting--emphasis on starting--to learn to follow me around and to respond to our voices.  He knows his name when called and perks up when he hears it.  Always a good thing just in case they happen to "escape."

Above Aloysius (or Monster Truck, as my son Liev just reminded me over my shoulder as I type) romps about.

There he goes, trotting back to his stall after a hard afternoon's play.  We feed our cattle only grass/hay, but we do have them trained to grain as a treat.  When returning from the field, they (the big ones, too) have to cross through an unfenced area to gain access to the barn.  All I have to do is hollar for them to come and they come running.  They receive a small handful of sweet grain as a reward. 

 
 

Moo

I came home yesterday to find a bale of wood shavings ripped open and spilled across the barn floor.  Hmm, I thought, I wonder how that happened? 

Then I saw some ripped paper in the stall with the cattle...Apparantly, they enjoy brown paper almost as much as they enjoy grass and hay.

I'll have to make a point of not stacking the bales of shavings so close to them in the future.

Moo!

 
 

Baby Animals in the Barnyard

Here are some of the much anticipated photos of our baby farm animals.  We've been quite busy getting things prepared for their births and arrivals, as well as with sugaring, but here are some shots of the recent additions to our farm.

Moments after birth--and still wet--the baby lambs hang with their mom.

Later in the day, all nestled into their own private stall.  They are twins, though it does not look like it!

Here are the hogs, still quite young, but not looking like babies any longer!  Looks quite comfortable.  Perhaps I'll join them for an afternoon snooze...

We also acquired a new calf this past week.  He is a week and half old and already he towers above our kids.  His name is Aloysius (but our son calls him "Monster Truck") and he is an Ayershire bull calf.  This breed is larger than the Jerseys and is sort of neat for us to have as they originated in southern Scotland. 

He has two bottles a day, and is already starting to eat some hay and a little grain.

We've spent most of this rainy day rebuilding, cleaning, and repainting the bee hives that I had picked up last summer.  We ordered a 3 lb. package of bees and will be getting them into their hive in about three weeks or so.  There will be several updates on that project, I'm sure.

 
 
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