Turkey Trial

I try one new animal a year. This year we are trying out raising turkeys. 

I have only known one turkey from my ex’s farm. It used come up to me and we would talk. He would many turkey sounds and I would copy him. He was a very pleasant bird who used to sleep with Rosie. Shawn’s brother was kind of nutty and didn’t like HIS turkey sleeping with his brother’s pig so he put the turkey in with his demonic weaner pigs who proceeded to eat the poor turkeys ass off alive. I went into the barn to discover the poor guy walking around leaving a trail of blood everywhere. He butchered later that day, but I’ll always think fondly of that strange creature. So i got turkeys of my own whos asses will hopefully not get eaten off alive but cooked up on a festive table. So much better.

Supposedly turkeys are dumb, but how dumb are they REALLY? 

Maybe dumb enough to fall in a toilet and not get out dumb? Yes. Yes they are. I left the toilet cover open in the bathroom they were brooding in not thinking it was a problem.. However, my turkeys were jumping out of their brooder tub two days after in took them home. Why wouldn’t they be jumping on the toilet? So I came home and checked on my turkeys only to find one standing tall, but wet and cold, in the bottom of the toilet bowl.  I grabbed it and put it below the heat lamp, but it was chilled so it has a hard time standing and is feet were turning blue. The heat lamp wasn’t enough so I stuck it in the sink for a warm shower

It promptly feel asleep and smacked it’s face on the sink. After a few minutes in the sink and I felt it’s body temp was normal I dried the little guy off with a towel then electric blanket. 

Which was apparently very comfortable, too. Lots of snoozin’ like goober is doing just fine, now. Today the turkeys for moved to the tractor outside.

I decided to try without the brooder set up I normally do. It does take up lots of room and I’m trying to get friendlier birds. We’ll see. 
Anyway. Turkeys! 



I have spent a few years preparing for this spring: breeding my own line of dairy x Jacob sheep did not turn out how I had hoped. Last year i purchased a full blood EF ram whom I named Tuck due to his monk like bald cap that never fades. His fleece is very fine, and before coming here he was never touched. He discovered he loves attention and is now the attention hog of the flock

I was blessed with mostly rams from him last year. However, Ash produced one high % East Friesian ewe lamb. Black as night, fine boned but lovely. Swift should be an incredible dairy sheep if she is anything like her mother.

So this year I was excited to see her in production. Alas, farming has a way of crushing your dreams. After all the older ladies had lambed and all that was left were the yearlings Dusty and Swift I figured they were a few weeks out being the youngest and therefore last cycle into breeding. Swifts udder was still tiny so I figured any more lambing was a few weeks away.

Imagine my surprise when I walked into the barn one morning and heard they cry of a new born lamb. Swift was just finishing up when I came in for feeding.

A male and female. But tiny. Half the size of the other lambs born. The smallest was standing and trying to nurse but couldn’t latch on.Classic premature baby symptom. I tried repeatedly to get her on a teat but she just didn’t have the oral function to get a proper suction. So inside she came and I fed her from a dropper until she developed the ability to suckle. She was TINY. Her body was the length of my hand, and I could carry her practically in my palm. I took her back to the barn had her mother feed her and it looked like she would take her daughter… until the little lamb developed pneumonia. 

I did notice the first night I brought her in she had strange popping sounds coming from her chest, but I made little fuss over it. Then in the morning she was lethargic, feverish, eyes cloudy, breathing heavy…I already lost one new born fit pneumonia this year, not going to loose another. So I gave her a shot of antibiotics and within a few hours she was alert again. Within twelve hours she was running around. Antibiotics are really amazing. Without a doubt she would have died, but with the prick of a needle jet life was restored.

Not confident she was healthy enough stay in the bath unattended when i had to go to work I took her with me and kept her in the car checking on her and giving hey bottles through the day. At night her mom was still sort of accepting of her but each time we took her inside her dam lost interest more and more. 

Inside she slept in the bed so we could observe her. She would lay her head on you and pass out. Finally we decided she was our bottle baby.

With that she gets baths when she gets muddy and wears a diaper to prevent accidents.  I will never experience a child this easy to diaper ever again. She doesn’t mind me  grabbing her tail and sticking it through the diaper. Doesn’t mind anything.

She enjoys cuddles, the fireplace, the dog and the cat. She comes along for car rides and seems to enjoy them, especially if she has a lap to lay in.

Gwen was all of 5# when born. Suspecting her to still be a little sick we took get to the vet at a week old and she already weighed 8.3# good job little girl!

This little lady is incredibly sweet. You’ll be hearing more about Gwendolyn’s adventures, I’m sure

Pig Dicks and More

I’m not sure if I have shared with you all my new boar is an idiot who can’t figure out how to actually breed the sows? He’s been living with them for a few months and I’ve been suspicious he hasn’t done his job for a while but I’ve never caught anyone breeding. 

When I pulled him out of the pen and put him with Lola who i just weaned I discovered the awful truth: he’s just sticking his dick out 3 inches. Humping their faces and leaving them with a pearl necklace. 

 Yesterday my sows who were still unbred by him decided to assist me in heat detection by breaking out and spending the morning laying next to the boars pen gazing dreamily as their beady eyes would allow. 

They were out so I figured I would let him out, too. I want prepared to get involved in breeding, but now was my chance. I let him out of his pen and he b lined to the sow who wasn’t in heat, just enjoying some freedom for the day. I had to encourage him to leave her alone and try one of the girls camped out by his pen. He got one to stand up and started massaging her. 

Titanium is a nice little tank, but I’m pretty sure he’s not firing on all cylinders. He lets the tip of his tounge hang out slightly askew and his mouth always slightly agape. His eyes are set in the same look of Pixie mischief sans the intellect for any actual mischief. I have other swine who are quite expressive and I can tell their feelings and thoughts looking at them (you’re planning a breakout, hum?). Titanium is a blank slate.  After my sister pointed out how stupid his expression was I can’t look at him without thinking, “duuuuhhhh.” To my surprise his face can get even dumber when he gets to hump. Yes, his sex face is somewhere between ecstasy and a stroke as his eyes loose that brightness of consciousness and glaze over. “Huuurrrrrr” is the sole thought I imagine going on in that noggin. 
He proved me right as he continually attempted to mount their faces. The girls were in full standing heat and made no protest to the grinding action bestowed upon their jowls. In no time their faces were dotted with white splatters of piglets who never will be. With the help of a friend we got him on the right end.

I looked at my hand: clean enough and cleaner than my work groves. With a sigh I ducked down and did what I swore I would never do: I tried to grab his pulsating weiner getting more involved in porcine copulation than I wanted. 

Did you know pig dicks are slippery? Somewhere in-between “wet baby” and “bar of soap” and trying to grab the damn thing as it springs and spins spraying all kinds of body fluids is not for the faint hearted. Nor is doing it without gloves as the scent is disturbingly like the musk of stinky tofu wafting from the back of an authentic Chinese restaurant. (Unfortunately for me, I was also making Chinese for lunch so I continually questioned if the scent I was smelling was Chinese ferments or pig dick)

In frustration I called George, a pig breeding expert and asked his advice. He told me let the boar settle a little he’ll calm down and I should have some luck then (I looked over into the pen to watch Titanium bouncing between the two sows faces) Next time I should bring the girls to him, but for now just keep trying to grab his Weiner and if you get it in the right spot behind the corkscrew so it feels like vuvular contractions he should extend out aka give your boar a good hand job. New addition to my resume: swine fluffer.

Over and over he would mount and we would attempt to readjust and someone would move and he’d fall off. Over and over I cursed his sweet innocence and wondered if pig porn is a thing and maybe he could learn? (Naw. Doesn’t work for humans, why would it for pigs?) Finally he started to slow down. We shoved him to the sows rear end and I ducked down again. A few grabs and I lost it as it spun wildly around (fun fact: pig penises gyrate). Who would think 3 inches was so darn hard to grab? 3 inches of pig penis one inch away from the goal…. Why is this so hard?! (Or not hard enough if ya know what i mean. Giggidy)

I grab at his corkscrew again and all the sudden it shoots out like a footlong harpoon straight into a very willing and ready Cinnamon. His eyes widen and go crosswise. I am shocked, staring wide eyed inches away from the most graphic sex I have ever seen, assured that, yes, he has a full sized, fully functioning penis! Maybe, maybe this will be a succe–Cinammon adjusted herself and he lost balance and fell out and over. Five seconds of extreme jizz will probably not result in a litter but he’s spent. I’m spent. Peppercorn is so frustrated she’s off in the corner just over getting teased. 

I consider trying to encourage him aga when he rolls in mud and moves on to digging a trench. “Hey, Titanium, you want to try that again?” No amount of pleading can make him try again. My friend pushes on the boar to encourage him over towards the girls and he misunderstands this as an invitation for belly rubs so he falls over with his dumb happy face, tongue hanging out, ready to receive belly rubs. My friend instead sits on him. Because boys.

We quit for the day. I have it marked in my calendar: 3 weeks from now I week have time to come up with a plan. it will be game on.

Who’s a Sexy Chimney Sweep? Me!

Wood stove started smoking out of the pipes, wouldn’t pull air. Only a month ago I had a guy out and he charged $100+ dollars to sweep. So I went and picked up a brush, opened up the stove pipe and brushed from below. Then I pulled the stove pipe out of the ceiling when got stuck. Whoops. It’s me. What do you expect? When I was done I looked up the chimney and couldn’t see any light. So I grabbed a ladder and climbed to the roof. Got on the roof and realized roofs scare the shit out of me. Still, I carefully skooched up the roof to the chimney and found the mesh at the top was totally clogged. I knocked as much off as a could without standing up and made it down alive. Reassembled the stove pipe, clean up and test if it’s pulling air again.  Hopefully I went need to go up there again for a long time….

A Side Adventure

I have mentioned I have a creek with a native fish run of salmon which excited new when i bought the property. Turns out it’s illegal to fish my creek, boo. They look pretty terrible by time they are up my creek anyway. This year I started dating a fisherman and I’ve been learning from him how, and WHEN, to catch fish in our many different runs.

Obsessed doesn’t begin to describe it. Determined and devoted sounds nicer anyway.  He’s taken me out a few times and we got skunked. Not only did we get skunked anytime I go out EVERYONE get skunked. Fishing will be hot one day so we decide to go out together and…Nada. no one is getting anything. Over and over. Boo!
Finally one day I go with him any his daughter and he’s so hot to get started he doesn’t get my rod set up. I’m getting to know the kid anyway so I don’t fuss. He was in his own world and didn’t hear me ask to get a pole. Finally when he heard me her goes,”oh, I’ve been waiting for you to ask.” … whatever.

 Gimme gimme gimme my pole! Finally get set up with some eggs on a bobber and cast out. Hard to say if the bobber actually bounced from the river bed or a fish… But I thought I so it go down, so I set the hook and started to reel in. Nothing fought back….. But… Maybe there might possibly be a fish? So I don’t say anything, just reel in. Line starts heading towards a possible snag so I start walking up to it when my pole finally shakes. “Wait, do you have a fish on?!!” He asked.

“Um, I think so” suddenly we saw a silver flash under the water. A silver hen, female, fresh up the river. I brought her in with hardly any fight. She was exhausted from jetting up the river to spawning beds. But, she was a hatchery fish so she wasn’t supposed to spawn in the river anyway. A keeper.

A few other times we tried and nothing… Christmas we went out again. Steelhead start running late December peaking in January and early February. Different rivers have different runs and one of Anthony’s favorite river  was very early in the season, but being we could fish and still make it to Christmas dinner. 

We started off late and worked out way down the river. Lower and lower we went not getting any bites. A two other people landed keepers, but the fishing was light. I used it as a learning opportunity for trying new knots. After loosing my gear again I tied up a new knot and grabbed a bead with a juicy pinkish orange hue to it. Boyfriend smirked because it wasn’t the color this river produces on, but hey, I liked it. We tried a hole id never been in. I was instructed to stand on a rock and cast between rapids in the seams between fast and slow water. 

I cast a few times and felt like something was hitting my line but i wasn’t hooking it. I followed a pattern in the water that felt like it was producing a hit. Cast in, let the line float down, reel back in and cast again. 

Finally, something hit me just before my bobber hit the rapids. I set the hook and heard the reel start spinning as the fish took off down the chute to escape into the rapids. I cranked down the drag and pulled it out rapids. I finally announced, “fish on!” Once I knew it was on. The line wasn’t moving when my boyfriend got over to my rock. “Are you sure you’ve got a fish?” He asked skeptically.

“Yeah” thinking any my quite fight pulling the fish out of the rapids, “I’m sure.” He instructed me how to bring it in the rest of the way. The fight lasted a few minutes before I landed a “lipstick pink” buck. 

My first steelhead. Small, but beautiful. Boyfriend was actually impressed Ipulled it out of the rapids and landed it. 😉

I filleted it and made jerky with some of the cuts, smoked some and put some in the freezer for later .


So that’s how I’ve been getting behind in my farm work.. But it’s good have a life outside the farm and my work. 

Starting the New Year Right

After last year I needed all the help I could get so I looked up lucky foods and found this article http://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/ingredients/slideshow/foods-to-bring-good-luck-new-year

Doughnuts, really? Don’t have to ask twice. I had a momentary freak out when i thought I was out of pork. How?! That young gilt i decided to keep for a breeder was looking tastier and tastier…Turned out my pork chops were just in the other freezer

I don’t have a doughnut cutter so I made due with a Mason jar lid and a pastry tip

In the mean time I made a maple glaze for some sweet pork chops

Later in the day I enjoyed the traditional pomegranate 

Here’s to hoping!


The last year started out alright. Pigs were bred and had easy litters in January. Unfortunately all the piglets decided they wanted to live off Peppercorn and with 30+ piglets under her feet she’s couldn’t Lay down without crushing some. My worst year yet loosing 9 piglets to crushing! How depressing. 

I successfully AId Violet and she had a small but lovely litter of 5 show quality pigs. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any 4h kids wanting show pigs this year so they went to meat. How depressing.

Lambing started off fine but two late lambing ewes had complications and I lost their lambs. How depressing.

Milking quality and quantity went up. Much cleaner set up, sheep were very willing participants. My new customers developed a lactose allergy and couldn’t find new milk customers. How depressing. 

Then a few sheep got out and are out of some dirty/moldy buckets in a corner waiting to be washed. A few got very sick. I called in the vet and had a big bill. Blaze nearly died but I nursed her though. She lost her ability to stand, possibly having a stroke, and eventually had to put her down. How depressing.

Then some lambs started acting off. Beautiful 4 month old lambs with runny noses and fevers. I treated them for two weeks only for them to get worse eventually one died screaming in pain in my arms. The other died half an hour after visiting the vet and a large vet bill. How depressing.

Roy developed a terrible limp that one vet said was arthritis from the bb that was shot in his foot a year before. Treated him as they said without any improvement, took him to his regular doc who has been on vacation previously. She looked at the same x-rays and says, “he’s got a bone infection. You see this right here? The bone is inflamed.” Weeks of antibiotics and Roy was finally able to walk on four legs again. But seriously, how depressing!

One lamb was sent to a university for a necropsy any that contacted me that it appears a freak virus went through my flock and there was nothing I could do because antibiotics don’t kill viruses. How depressing! In the mean time I lost another lamb. The case turned out to be so rare I had a researcher come out and collect samples of the lambs who survived. Unfortunately i had to kill a minimum of 4 for a scientific sample and that meant I killed the last of Blazes lambs and her legacy. How depressing!

At this point in the great I lost my phone and all my pictures with it. How depressing.

Violet have birth for a second time only this time she has a breech. Her contractions weren’t happening. Most piglets had to be pulled, she had almost no milk, became fevered, she had to receive antibiotic shots after which she no longer trusted me and kept charging me eventually developing  a very bad attitude and even going far kill and start eating one of piglets when I startled her (I was attacked by yellow jackets and ran around failing and screaming to which he snapped and killed a beautiful boaring) How depressing! 

I think there is more but i don’t even remember at this point suffice to say this year SUCKED.

Vet bills vet bills vet bills. Death death death death death. I almost gave up this year. I stopped blogging because i was having ask much bag stuff Hakeem and I was depressed… But then I’ve got very supportive community of friends and customers. Thanks to them I keep on going. Thanks to them I know what i do is valued. 

I have issues facing me this year. I cut down my pig herd and had to buy a few more because my hundreds of dollars I spent in artificially inseminating my sows seems to have failed so I bought a boar and a pregnant sow. I’m not set up for this many sows. Fences need to get worked on again. I think I have more sheep than my property can handle at the moment. I’ve got alot to do. But I’ll keep trying. That’s what I have to do.

Happy New Year from me and my farm family.