We have survived our second week of farm life.  Other than the fact I am experiencing a little blog withdrawal, we are absolutely loving our life.  S confessed to me early this past week that he had felt a bit overwhelmed during the first week, but now, he is in full agreement and loving everything equally with me. 

This week we have learned just how fast turkey poults grow…..YIKES!!  I don’t know who made King Kong an ape, but they should have made him a broad-breasted turkey!  These things are mutants!  Why they are even staying in their box now is beyond me.  We have had 2 escapees so far–one I discovered when I went to milk the goat, and there was a little poult cheeping away under the milk stand.  Since then though, they like to perch on their food and water jars and just sit there and watch the goings on outside the box.  Seeing as how their box is already about 24 inches tall, I have no other options for containers for now, and seeing as how the temps will be in the low 20’s tonight, they obviously can’t go outside yet.  So, I think I am just going to come up with a cover for their brooder box for now.  It won’t be long though before I will be having to attach more boxes to give them more room.  That was something I didn’t consider before! 

Not that you can tell their size here, but I would estimate they stand over 8 inches tall now.

Sadly, we have also learned just how vulnerable the poults are, since we lost our first one earlier this week.  The kids are basically in charge of their care, so poor M was the first to discover the little guy lying in his box.  She came inside and asked me to come take a look.  Based on her demeanor (she is an animal softy!), I think she knew he was dead, as she seemed to be holding back the tears, but she also seemed to hoping against hope that he was just sleeping (even if his eyes were wide open).  Poor girl.  Farm life can be tough on a soft heart, but I suppose it’s better they learn with turkeys and chickens and rabbits, so they are more prepared later for the goat babies and cows of the future. 

The goats are doing great.  I haven’t made much progress in the last week with the skittish Sara.  Once I catch her, I can handle her, and I can catch her pretty quickly (only because she isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed), but I am not looking forward to trying to drag her on a leash across the entire yard to get to the milk stand.  She doesn’t exactly jump at the idea of following me anywhere (she prefers to jump away!)  Only time is gonna tell how she works out.   In terms of milking, I think I have improved drastically.  Not that I have any way to be sure, but I am pretty confident I am doing well milking Lilac out pretty thoroughly.  She is such a good girl to learn on.  I think we found a good deal with her!  She is smart as a whip too, and absolutely adores people.  I think she would love to be a house pet, but I do have to draw the line somewhere!  I have been a bit disappointed that her production has not increased any yet, though.  When I got her, she was milking 5-6 cups a day on once-a-day milking, and now I am getting exactly 5 cups on twice-a-day milking.  It is tempting to go back to once a day if I get the same amount, but I keep hoping maybe the change in environment is keeping her so steady (I have heard they back off on production sometimes).  I am also playing around with her feed a bit to see if I can get a bit more protein into her.  Turns out she doesn’t much care for the hay we’ve been getting lately (good quality horse alfalfa, but a little stemmy I suspect).  So, the big change is the addition of alfalfa pellets twice a day, which the girls are cleaning up happily, and then using the hay as a free-choice supplement essentially.

My big news of the week happened Saturday.  It was gorgeous out, so we decided to spend the day working outside for the first time.  I decided to rake out and clean up the garden area a bit, and low and behold, buried under the scrubby waste, I discovered tons of RHUBARB!!!  At least, I think it’s rhubarb.  Because it’s so young, and the leaves are just uncurling, I debated between that and swiss chard, but based on the pics I found online, I’m pretty sure it’s rhubarb.  I also found what we suspect to be horse radish.  We think.  I haven’t had a chance to really research it, but S insists it smells just like it. 

So, I spent the day transplanting a few of each to a more desirable area for us, and actually creating the beginnings of a veggie garden.  I also transplanted a bunch of lilies I found.  I wasn’t going to garden this year, but after catching on to things so far, S agreed that we might as well go for it.   Being able to recycle rather than spend money helps make it all the more fun!

My makings of a garden. I know very little about gardening, so this is an experiment in itself. Add to it the fact that everyone says gardening in Colorado is akin to gardening in Las Vegas (very difficult), and I may have my work cut out for me!

In addition to the garden, I finally got to create my much-anticipated compost pile.  I used some of the used T-posts we purchased off Craigslist last year and moved out here, and recycled some of the old goat pen fence.  I have some plans for the soil created by the worms in my vermicomposter over the last 8 months or so, but the worms’ days are numbered.  They just proved too high maintenance for us. 

The house is coming along nicely too.  I’ll post more about that later, but we are slowly but surely getting settled.  We only have a couple boxes remaining, and a few –OK, a LOT–of miscellaneous things lying around needing a permanent place to go.  I think we will be starting up school again on Monday though, and starting to try to get into some semblence of a routine again.  We love to have fun with things during the occasional break from work though.

Making fresh squeezed orange juice.

We installed a new tire swing, which the kids have wanted for a long time. They love it.

 One thing that already seems to be coming naturally is our kiddo’s bedtimes.  I have discovered that there is nothing like farm life to wear kids out!  We decided to put all 3 of our boys in a room together for the first time.  A has always been the difficult one to get to sleep if there is another child in the room, so I was concerned as to how that would work out.  As much time as the boys spend playing outside, though, when naps or bedtimes roll around, they are so tired, they don’t put up any fuss!  Furthermore, I usually have to wake them at the designated time, lest they oversleep.  We have also had to bump back the bedtimes to about 30 minutes earlier for the toddlers and for M, as they are all so tired at night.  I LOVE it!!  WORK……(and play)….It does a body good!

Sleepy little boys.

This coming week should prove just as adventurous.  We are expecting our chicks any day.  Life is good, God has truly blessed us, and we look forward to what the future holds!!

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