Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Things have turned cold here in MN.  Not as cold as one would expect in the sub-arctic winters of dear MN, but cold enough to make your breath a white puff and to freeze your nostril hairs to one another.  Lately the snow has melted in a just-above freezing drizzle.  The chickens are happily playing in the mud.  Well, at least the ones that can get outside.  Our "chicks" have quickly turned into dirty-white obese orbs on drumsticks: the tell-tale sign butchering time is near.  The cornish-cross hybrid is quite the masterpiece of meat...that is if you can get past the amount of "input" and "output" that goes into this freak.  I am considering only growing these in spring and fall.

The kids are getting excited for Santa to visit soon.  They have been extra attentive in saying "I love you" and keeping their toy room clean.  Last month we visited the local farm co-op for pet pictures with santa.  We brought our cleanest pullet with us.  The kids shared a sucker that they got from the counter and patiently waited for their turn to see Santa.  There were plenty of other pets in the store which was fun for them to see.  Dogs, cats, a koi fish, turkeys, some very LARGE saint bernards.  The clerks giggled with joy to find out we brought a chicken with us.

Andrew wants a backpack and a drum for Christmas.  Santa agrees about the backpack but isn't so sure Mommy and Daddy would appreciate a  noisy drum.  An alternative present has been arranged.  One even noisier but meant for outside use.  Daddy took the kids for a ride on his snowmobile.  He rigged a sled behind and slowly tugged it around the yard.  The kids were quiet as they layed back in the sled.  I wasnt so sure they were enjoying it.  When taken off the sled, the kids screamed to go back in.  They came back inside the house frustrated they couldn't stay out longer, with rosy cold cheeks.  The house is decorated, the tree is up, and the shed and coop have multicolor lights.  Ari exclaims "Oh, wow!" when we pull into the driveway.

We wish you all a wonderful holiday season and a blessed new year.  We will keep you updated on the butchering.  I'm expecting it to be TASTY!

Shady Oaks Farm

Monday, October 31, 2011


Today is Oct. 31st.  The kids are excited to go trick or treating tonight.  My younger son is going to be a firefighter and my older son is going to be spiderman.  We are going to decorate their trick or treat buckets later this morning.  The kids are now taking a bath.  Poor little guy has some lower GI issues so he's soaking his bottom.  Recently he has learned to blow his nose.  Unfortunately he has a runny nose, also which blows mucus EVERYWHERE!  Yesterday we got 14 eggs from the ladies.  I sure hope someone wants some eggs!  They're for sale if you're from the area.
  Our cornish cross chicks are a week and a half old.  I have NEVER seen such voracious eaters.  Since they gorge themselves to the brim, I neglected to refill their food yesterday.  (you have to restrict their diet somewhat or they'll get too big too quickly and die of heart failure.)  When I did feed them, they went crazy!  All these round puffballs sceaming and shoving each other out of the way to get to the food.  I have no doubt these chickens will be large and tasty come butcher time.  Mabel also went for the food.  It's great to see her eating regular chicken food. 
On a slightly sadder note, my mother's best friend passed away very unexpectedly two days ago.  She was helping her mother with some chores on the farm and developed a sudden headache.  While getting into the car to go to the hospital she developed speech and movement problems.  During the car ride she starting seizing and upon arriving at the hospital she was dead.  She had a massive brain bleed, also called a hemorrhagic stroke.  She was only 53 years old.  My mother took this news very hard.  They had just seen each other at a class reunion.  Hopefully everyone will note the symptoms of a stroke, no matter the age, and seek prompt emergency transport and treatment.  I don't think it would have made much a difference for my mother's friend since it came on so quickly. 
In closing, I hope everyone is having a joyous fall and halloween.  Remember to love your friends and family and live each day like it's your last.
Many Blessings to you, my friends,

Friday, October 28, 2011

Welcome, welcome, welcome!

Thank you for visiting us at Shady Oaks Farm!  I took some pictures today to show you around.
This is Daisy and Captain, our farm dogs.  Captain is about seven years old and is (from what we guess) a border collie mix.  Daisy is one year old and a lab mix.  Daisy loves to play with the kids.  Captain is the alert guardian of the family.  They are both good dogs, but can be rascals.  I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of a burglar at our house, though!  haha!

This is our chicken coop.  Originally it was a very shoddy old shed that had housed chickens many years ago.  As of last year it held straw.  My husband insulated it and fixed it up into the hen haven it is today.  It's quite the beauty.

Here I am getting some loves from one of our Buff Orpington Pullets.  We have about 24 pullets and two cockerels.  Maynard is the main man here and Mansard is our "special" guy that has a bad case of wry tail.  Mansard hangs with the ladies most of the time.


There are our ladies hard at work.  We get about a dozen tan chicken eggs a day.  They sure do taste good!

And in closing, I give you the infamous "stink eye".  This little lady didn't want to be messed with today.  Perhaps she was a little camera shy.  I hope to update this every now and then for you all.  I hope all of your harvests were successful this year.
A beautiful Minnesota fall day