My cowgirl

One thing I have always loved, probably since birth, is horses. I never was able to own one when I was younger but I did get to ride sometimes. My passion is apparently genetic because our oldest daughter is in love with horses. We found a great trainer about 15 minutes from our house and with only a few months under her belt, she is already turning out to be a great rider. She is also learning the responsibility of taking care of the horse and earning money to some day buy one of her own. This Saturday is an all day fun show we are training for this week. I’m not sure who is more excited!

Goat trouble

I go out tonight to check on everyone and feed them dinner. I realize Bella has her rear end stuck between two pieces of wood and can’t move. She has pee and poop all over her legs and feet. She smells horrible guys. So I try to help her squeeze out to no avail. I then decide to call in the big guns, the husband. He cuts off one of the beams and she is free. Apparently, she’s really hungry because she runs straight to the food. Her dinner had to be cut short though, mom’s not letting her stay covered in feces. Yuck 🤢. The nights are cooler now so she also had to get the blow dryer to her since I don’t want her catching pneumonia. I let her have more dinner while she got dry. As soon as she was back in the pin she went straight for the chicken feed 😳 really fatty? Come on.

I have to say though, fresh out of the bath and dried she was super soft and cuddly 😉 and I got a little goat kiss on my cheek.

How did this start…..?

We moved to our property in September, which in Ohio means that winter is right around the corner. Not much happened over that first winter. That next summer, I sporadically said one day, “lets go buy some baby chickens!”

With that the homestead began.

Now, my husband is a handy guy, but I didn’t want to bother him with building me a chicken coop. So I went where I can find just about anything….Amazon 😂. The minimum amount of chickens the store will let you buy is 6. So, that’s what we got. I found a coop on Amazon that said it would work for 4 to 6 chickens.

First, if you haven’t already, DON’T DO WHAT I DID! We just spent some time outside modifying this chicken coop that is very adorable but not practical for 6 chickens. They needed much more room. Also, after some reading I discovered that my roosts need to be higher in the air than my nesting boxes 😒 guess what wasn’t designed that way??? Also, if your chickens don’t have plenty of room, it can be bad for their health. They could fight and even really harm themselves. I have discovered they are much happier running around in a large dog kennel (6 ft high) with clipped wings so they can’t fly out. They get locked in their house each night but are free to roam in the day. They seem much happier and from what I have read Happy Birds = EGGS, which is the goal 😉

After the chickens, my husband sporadically stopped on the way home and bought our daughters a rabbit, the man said he had one more left and I decided we should just bring them both home. This time, my husband built the hutch, with my help (mostly in the designing).

After this, I begged for pygmy goats but my husband kept saying not right now. Then when he decided he wanted a fishing boat 😇 my leverage was a goat! So I got my little pygmy billy goat, Billy and my husband got a fixer up boat. However, if you don’t know, goats are herd animals and can get lonely. I told my husband that my Billy needs a girlfriend. A few weeks later, I found a doeling for sale, she is a nigerian dwarf with colorings matching Billy. I contacted the man and he actually decided to give me a good deal on 2 doelings. Of course I had to!!! So now we have my nigerian dwarf, Bella and we have my nigerian dwarf/mini nubian mix, Layla.

This covers all the non-domestic animals 😉 For now….

Teaching the seeds of our homestead

As I am learning the exciting journey of our new homestead country life, I also have to train our children. This is hard. Just when I think I’m making progress something crazy happens. The most common crazy is currently Ember’s favorite game of “release the chickens”. This may not sound “that bad” except for the fear of losing one, especially to the german sheppard who lives next door. We currently only have 6 chickens and I am still waiting for eggs to appear. I would like to get more chickens but I figure I may want to wait since I purchased 3 goats within the last few months. All of them are shy and timid and will require a lot of attention to gain our trust. Luckily the chickens we have already received that attention and don’t need as much right now. So, more chickens will be postponed. For now.

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