(Hopkins , Michigan)
Random thoughts and tips
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We let our kids name the animals that come home to our little farm. The lone duck that survived the "Coyote Massacre of 2013" is named Hot Chocolate. I have no idea how they came upon that name. (he"s a Pekin, white as fresh fallen snow.)
Anyway, Hot Chocolate is quite aggressive toward other wildlife. In fact, I've seen him chase off other dogs in our yard. And even the normally ferocious red wing black bird screams and flies away when Hot Chocolate puts his head down like he's Jim Brown, running for one of his 12312 yards. He has yet to go after any of his family, but he has ran toward visitors quacking his battle cry.
Since this is the first experience we have had with ducks, I'm not sure if this is normal male duck behavior, or if he's got a screw loose. I know geese can be aggressive, especially the females, when they have babies near. But I have yet to hear of a male duck acting in this way. So I guess off to the inter-web I go to track down the answer. I will let you all know what I find.
Posted by James
@ 02:02 PM EDT
Rabbits and Rain!
April 4, and the snow and ice is finally gone form our yard and pond respectively. It has been replaced with rain, and I even heard some thunder and saw a couple flashes of lightning this morning.
So, instead of working in the yard, or trying to get our old Farm-All H (1943, all original, 6 volt) running strong for this years work, I am designing plans for Allys' rabbitry .
The goal is to let her have several rabbits to raise for her 4-H project, teach her about raising animals for food, and give her a commodity ( rabbit poop) to sell to her her customers ( myself and her brother) so that we may use it in our gardens. Bradley is working on getting a worm farm up and running, so he will gladly "buy" the droppings. And what ever is left, I will graciously remove to my compost pile to be used for fertilizer in my outdoor veggie and herb gardens. With any luck they will all learn something about supply and demand, as well as supply chains and some economics.
Anyway, I've settled on a 48"x30"x 18" cage with a divider in the center. All walls and top will be made from 18 gauge wire. The floor will be made from 14 gauge 1"x 1/2 " .All wire will be G.A.W, or "galvanized after welding " This makes the cages virtually rust proof.
My family raised rabbits when I was a child. It was a fun project for my sister and I . I hope Ally enjoys it as much as I did!
Posted by James
@ 12:46 PM EDT
Well, this morning, I got up to get the kids ready for school, as I do every morning. When I got to Bradleys' room, I saw everything that we had for dinner, ( we grilled for the first time this season! Brats and burgers. It was amazing!) all over the floor, and Bradley, sound asleep in his bed. Needless to say, I had quite the mess to clean up. Thankfully, (for me and my weak stomach) my lovely wife hadn't left for work yet, so she cleaned up the majority of the chunks, and I mopped and bleached the area afterwards.
Sickness always seems to come in waves in our house. Brad and Ally spend the weekends at their moms house where there is always someone sick. Then the come back home and we all share in the rapid evolution of whatever virus has infiltrated our humble home. So out comes the bleach and whatever other germ killing concoction I can find under this sink.
I wonder how many families deal with this phenomenon. Is there any parents out there that have children going back and forth between parents, that get sick so often? If so, what do you do to stop the bugs getting a free ride?
Until the next time
Posted by James
@ 10:30 AM EDT
My first ever blog post!
I have been planning to do this for a while now, and just haven't had the extra time.
For starters, I am a 36 year old male. Married to my wonderful wife of just over three years, with our 3 children ages 5,8,11. We all live on 6 acres just outside of a small town, about an hour east Lake Michigan.
Our plan is to raise beef, rabbits, chickens, ducks, and maybe a goat or two.We have had one other attempt at raising livestock. Last year we raised a Holstein bull calf, and several ducks. (The kids have a riot naming the animals, Piglet was the calves name, and our one remaining duck is named hot chocolate.)
In addition to the animals, I plan on growing the majority of the food our family will need throughout the season. We are also registered medical marijuana caregivers, and grow organic medicine for our three patients.
As money is available, we will be swapping out our terribly inefficient propane powered furnace, and replacing it with a combination of wood, solar, and geothermal. We have a creek in the back, and my dream is to somehow convert to hydroelectric. Probably just a pipe dream,
So, what I will do on this site, is take a little time each day to type down the adventures of our family. Feel free to read, comment, or offer advice as you see fit. I will welcome it all.
Posted by James
@ 04:30 PM EDT
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